The preparation for bariatric surgery takes, on average, three to six months.
You'll first meet with your surgeon to find out what to expect during
the preparation process.
Pre-Operative Tests and Screenings
You'll undergo some medical tests to assess your surgical risk and
to check your gastrointestinal anatomy. Patients undergo a pulmonary workup,
as well as an EKG stress test or echocardiogram to make sure there are
no underlying problems. Other tests may include an Upper GI and/or endoscopy
to check for any abnormalities of the intestines that may impact surgery.
In some cases, a sleep study is performed to diagnose sleep apnea.
Preliminary Weight Loss
You'll begin shedding pounds even before the surgery by beginning to
incorporate the strategies you'll need for success. Your
multidisciplinary team will guide you through this process by explaining proper food choices
and helping you put together an exercise program to increase your level
of physical activity. Patients must weigh less than 400 pounds to qualify
for any of our surgical procedures.
Your dietitian will be an important member of your weight-loss team. You'll
learn to incorporate dietary changes into your life, how to read labels,
eat smaller meals throughout the day to boost your metabolism, and how
to control your portions - even how to limit portion size when dining out.
Psychological Evaluation and Support
Patients must undergo an evaluation to determine whether their expectations
for weight loss are realistic. It's important to understand that success
is based on your level of commitment to a healthier future, and a surgical
procedure is just one step in your lifestyle change.
Education and Support Groups
All bariatric patients are required to attend pre-operative
education class. These are free and conveniently located at Torrance Memorial.
In addition, Torrance Memorial offers a variety of free
support groups, designed to help you successfully lose weight and keep it off. At these
sessions you will have the opportunity to speak with our surgeons, our
bariatric staff and patients who have successfully navigated the process
so you know what to expect along the way.
There are support groups for each specific surgical option, but you can
also attend general groups. In addition, you'll be expected to bring
a "coach" - a friend, significant other or family member who
will give you the emotional support you need to stay on track.
After your surgery, you are encouraged to receive education and guidance
from the Torrance Memorial team. Classes such as "Eating Normally"
can teach you how to improve your eating habits. You'll also learn
how to handle friends and co-workers who may not be supportive of your