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What to Expect Before and After Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

Example of woman measuring her body weight

Preparing and recovering for your weight loss surgery

South Nassau’s bariatric team is committed to your successful weight loss. So before your procedure, you’ll meet with a surgeon, nurse specialist, dietitian and psychologist to be sure weight loss surgery is best for you.

Attend a FREE Weight & Life Management Seminar

If you've been struggling with weight loss for years, the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at South Nassau can help. Select a date and time to register for our FREE seminar or call us at (516) 374-8631.

Or call us (516) 374-8631.

If you and your team decide surgery is right for you, we’ll begin working with you to prepare for this life-changing event.

Tests before your surgery:

  • Blood tests
  • Abdominal ultrasound to check your gallbladder and liver
  • Some people also need a special test to check for sleep apnea (stopping of breathing during sleep)

Diet changes before weight loss surgery

Before weight loss surgery, you’ll follow a strict, calorie-controlled diet. This will reduce the size of your liver and help to reduce the risk of complications associated with the surgery. Our dietitians will meet with you to discuss your eating plan for both before and after surgery.

Medication changes before weight loss surgery

You might need to stop taking some medicines 48 hours before surgery. Be sure to let your physician know medicines and supplements you take.

Surgery and risks

Typically, these procedures last from one to two hours, although in some cases the time might be longer. All surgical procedures carry risks. Your bariatric surgeon will explain all potential risks and complications in detail and answer any questions.

What to expect after surgery

Expect to be in the hospital an average of one to three days. Most patients return to normal activities between one and three weeks after surgery, depending on the type of surgery and their overall health.

Diet during recovery

Patient nutrition right after surgery is the key to recovery. Our clinical registered dietitians will discuss the special eating program we’ve designed to allow your stomach to heal, but here are general guidelines:

  • Eat slowly; take 30 minutes to finish a meal
  • Stay on your liquid diet for the full two weeks
  • When you start eating solid food, be sure you chew thoroughly
  • Limit serving sizes
  • Don't eat desserts or other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients
  • Don't drink carbonated liquids, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes, or eat high-fat foods
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Limit snacking between meals
  • Keep a food diary
  • Participate in nutrition classes after surgery

Weight Loss after surgery

Most patients lose weight steadily during the first year: Many lose more than 100 pounds during that time. Some patients lose weight for as long as two years following the procedure and may lose more than 200 pounds during that period.

What kinds of success can I expect?

Approximately 70-80 percent of patients who have weight loss surgery experience long-term success. But remember: Permanent weight loss is a lifestyle change, and you'll need to follow our guidelines for diet, exercise, and support throughout the months and years following the procedure.

Besides losing weight, many of our patients also enjoy a number of other important health benefits.

Learn More about your weight loss surgery options

Are you overweight or obese? Learn your BMI
Is weight loss (bariatric) surgery right for you?
What to expect before, during and after surgery
Attend a free seminar
Long-term support and follow-up
Insurance coverage
South Nassau’s bariatric surgery team

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