Steps To Weight-Loss Surgery

Before Surgery

Before taking the step of weight-loss surgery, make a commitment that you will improve your health by sticking to your new food guidelines and exercising regularly. Prepare yourself mentally for the changes your body will undergo after surgery.

Meet with your physician and discuss your options for weight-loss surgery. Ask questions and share your concerns. Find out what health benefits you’ll receive by having surgery. If surgery is right for you, talk with a surgeon. Discuss the risk involved with weight-loss surgery.

Talk with your health insurance plan administrator to find out if surgery is covered on your insurance plan.

Contact Benefis Bariatric Institute. As you meet with the Bariatric Nurse Coordinator, you will gain the knowledge and support necessary to lose weight successfully. Make plans to attend the nutrition education classes, which will prepare you for your procedure and help you manage your weight-loss appropriately. Attend the support group meetings to see how others are winning the weight-loss battle.

A pre-operative evaluation will be conducted to assess your heart and lung function, your dietary needs and to review your psychological condition.

Prepare for post-surgery follow-up, which is critical to avoid serious complications and to ensure positive outcomes. Follow-up includes scheduled clinical visits and regular attendance at support group meetings. And remember, Benefis Bariatric Institute staff is always available to meet with patients to assist with support. Bring a friend or family member with you—they are welcome too.

Day of Surgery

On the day of surgery, check-in at the Surgery waiting room 2-hours prior to your procedure. Wear loose-fitting clothes and no jewelry. Leave valuables with family members, including your overnight bag.

The Surgery waiting room is on the second floor of Benefis Hospitals East Campus. Your family can wait here until your surgery is complete. When your procedure is finished, the surgeon will visit the waiting room to speak with your family. Meanwhile, you will be taken to the recovery room for 2-3 hours where a nurse will monitor you as you wake from anesthesia.

When you are ready to leave recovery, you’ll be taken to your room on the Surgical Unit, on the 7th Floor of Benefis Hospitals East Campus North Tower.

After Surgery

Once on the Surgical Unit and settled into your room, your nurse or nurses assistant will be in and out checking your blood pressure, oxygen levels, pain control and making sure your stay at Benefis is as comfortable as possible.

The sooner you’re up and moving around, the better you will feel. Your nurse will encourage you to sit up on the side of the bed, to walk around the room or even to walk the unit hallways. This is a good way to regain your strength and clear your head.

The day after surgery, you will have an X-ray swallow test to be sure your surgery was successful. On this day you also will be expected to be walking, breathing deeply and coughing, taking in fluids and learning how to care for the drain from your incision.

Once discharged from the hospital, you will need someone to drive you home. If you have prescriptions that need to be filled, ask your family member to get those for you. And, if possible, have someone with you for the first couple days as you recuperate. The support of family and friends is important in the healing process.

You may experience weakness, lack of hunger, nausea, bloating, gas, slight discomfort at the drain site, taste changes and smell changes. All of these issues will be worked through as you get used to your new lifestyle. These changes take time and will not happen overnight. Just remember this is a work in progress and the day of surgery could be seen as your new birthday—the first day to a whole new you.

Your New Life

With surgery behind you, you can now progress to a healthier, happier you. Be committed to your new way of life and you will be successful!

  • Adhere to your new nutritional expectations.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Commit to lifelong follow-up with your physician.
  • Attend at least two support group meetings prior to surgery and participate regularly post-op.
  • Buy and take vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Avoid tobacco products altogether, and don’t drink alcohol for at least one year post-op.
  • Embrace your weight-loss journey and take pleasure in welcoming a new you!

At Benefis Bariatric Institute, we want to help you be successful with your weight-loss journey. Let us know what we can do to help. Give us a call today at 406.455.2814 or 406.455.2840.