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Prepare for Surgery

About the Surgery

Each of the bariatric surgery options offered by Hurley are designed to help you achieve your weight loss goals. While each bariatric surgery is a little different, there are many similarities between the procedures. The approaches for gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and the adjustable gastric band are discussed below so you know what to expect on the day of your weight loss surgery.

Your bariatric surgeon will make 4 to 6 small incisions in your abdomen. The incisions will not be greater than 1 inch. A laparoscope, camera, light and other surgical instruments will be inserted through these incisions, so that your bariatric surgeon can access your stomach.

Your bariatric surgeon will then use carbon dioxide to inflate your abdomen for a better view of your stomach and other organs.

  • Gastic Bypass: During the gastric bypass procedure, your surgeon will separate your stomach into two parts, with more than 95% of your stomach “bypassed” after the surgery. There will be a small pouch at the top of your stomach that your surgeon will connect to a bypassed portion of the intestine. Your stomach will be approximately 0.5 to 1 ounce after the surgery.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy:During the sleeve gastrectomy procedure, your bariatric surgeon will remove approximately 75 to 85 percent of your stomach, maintaining the remainder of your digestive tract. This preserves the natural continuity between the esophagus, stomach and small intestine so malabsorption rarely occurs.
  • Adjustable Gastric Band: An inflatable silicon band is placed around the stomach to create a small pouch in order to restrict the amount of food that it can hold at one time. The adjustable gastric band will need to be adjusted after surgery to ensure optimal weight loss.

Typically, these bariatric surgery procedures are completed laparoscopically. However, you and your doctor will decide which approach will be safest and most effective for you.

After surgery you will spend 1-2 hours in recovery and then be transported to the bariatric unit. Dependent on your particular procedure, you will spend 1-3 days in the hospital. You can anticipate a 1-3 day stay for a normal procedure without complications.

Preparation Checklist

The surgical checklist that you will need to complete before bariatric surgery is dependent upon several factors; among them are your age, and any co-morbid conditions you may have. Other variables may need to be considered as you prepare for weight loss surgery. Your bariatric surgeon will discuss specifics with you during your consultation and review your surgical checklist with you.

At the minimum, all patients need to:

  1. Undergo psychological evaluation with testing and clearance
  2. Have received medical clearance from their primary care physician
  3. Provide a copy of their medical records.

What To Expect

Your expert care team will work with you each step of your bariatric surgery and weight loss journey, ensuring that you are well educated and comfortable with your weight loss treatment plan.

The following information will help you plan and prepare for your surgery, so you know what to expect before and after bariatric surgery.

What to Expect Before Bariatric Surgery
Prior to arriving for your weight loss surgery, we ask that you take the following into consideration:

  • Please shower or bathe with CHG scrub that is given to you at the Nursing Nutrition class, the night before and the morning of the bariatric surgery.
  • You may brush your teeth the morning of your weight loss surgery, but do not swallow any water.
  • Please leave jewelry and valuables at home.
  • You may wear your eyeglasses if necessary. If you wear contact lenses, let your care team know since they will need to be removed before you enter the operating room.
  • Be sure to bring your driver’s license (photo identification) and any health insurance cards.
  • Bring a list of all medications you are currently taking. Be sure to include the dosage and schedule you follow.
  • If you have an Advanced Directive, please bring a copy for the hospital to keep on file.

What to Expect After Bariatric Surgery
Typically, bariatric surgeries take 1 to 2 hours. However, your surgeon will discuss the length of your particular bariatric surgery with you during an earlier consultation. Following the weight loss surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room for an additional 1 to 2 hours where the nursing staff will monitor you as your anesthesia wears off. Once you are stable, you will be transferred to the bariatric unit and will likely, be up and walking around within a few hours.

The bariatric nurses and rest of the care team will work closely with you to monitor your pain and answer any questions that you may have after your bariatric surgery. They will also encourage you get up and go for frequent walks. It is recommended that you get up and walk every hour for at least five minutes. This will reduce the risk of complications such as blood clots and pneumonia.

While in the hospital, your diet will advance from ice chips to clear liquids. You can expect to follow a liquid diet for two weeks after surgery.

Dependent on your particular surgical approach, you will stay in the hospital from 1 to 3 days. We are committed to your wellness and success. With that in mind, we will see you to monitor your progress at 2 week, 6 week, 3 month, 6 month, 12 month, 18 month and annual follow up visits.

Support groups can also be helpful to you and instrumental in your success. The Hurley Bariatric Center offers a monthly, medically-supervised, support group. Please call the Bariatric Center for more information on dates and times. There is no cost to attend and no need to pre-register.


How do I know which bariatric procedure is right for me?
If you are thinking about bariatric surgery, we encourage you to attend one of our free monthly educational bariatric surgery seminars to learn more about the three procedures we offer at the Hurley Bariatric Center: Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy and Adjustable Gastric Banding.

Each bariatric procedure has its own unique benefits and risks. If you decide to pursue bariatric surgery, you and our expert care team will discuss each of the surgical options and your weight loss goals. You will learn about the differences between gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding. Once you and your medical team decide which surgical weight loss procedure is right for you we will work together with you to create a customized plan that will help to safely achieve your weight loss goals. When you and your medical team decide on the procedure that is best for you, you may also discuss if a laparoscopic approach would be effective in your case.

How much weight loss will occur after my bariatric surgery?
Each bariatric procedure produces different weight loss outcomes, which you and your expert care team will discuss before you undergo your bariatric surgery. However, on average one year after bariatric surgery, patients that undergo gastric bypass will lose 67% of their excess body weight in the first year, those that select sleeve gastrectomy typically lose 46-83% of their excess body weight in the first year, and individuals with an adjustable gastric band lose approximately 42 to 45% of their excess body weight in the first year. Achieving these weight loss results is highly dependent upon the patient’s commitment to and compliance with the post-surgical diet and exercise regimen.

Remember, each bariatric procedure has its own unique benefits and risks. You and your care team will decide on the approach that will help you achieve your weight loss goals safely and effectively.

What are the risks associated with bariatric surgery?
As is with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with bariatric surgery. Risks include bleeding, infection, and post surgical mortality. Please discuss the specific risks you will face with bariatric surgery as it relates to your health conditions and the surgical procedure desired. Each weight loss procedure, including gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding, has its own unique benefits and risks.

How long will I stay in the hospital after my bariatric surgery?
Each bariatric procedure, including gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding, offers different benefits and recovery times to surgical weight loss patients. Laparoscopic approaches require a shorter stay than traditional open bariatric surgery approaches. Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy procedures completed laparoscopically generally require a 2-4 day hospital stay, whereas a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band has a shorter stay of 1-2 days. Open bariatric surgery procedures can require hospital stays of up to 5 days.

Regardless of the approach, you will remain in the hospital’s care until you are:

  • Fever free
  • Well hydrated
  • Controlling pain adequately with medication

What can I do to prepare for my weight loss surgery?
You and your expert medical care team will meet on several occasions to help you prepare for weight loss surgery. You will work together to create a customized weight loss treatment plan designed especially for you. While individual weight loss treatment plans are tailored to each patient, often times the steps are similar.

Your care team will encourage you to start making changes in your activity and nutrition habits that will help you prepare for weight loss surgery as well as life post-surgery. This will help you to meet your weight loss goals safely and effectively. Your care team will also educate you on possible nutrition deficiencies associated with surgical weight loss and tips on how you can avoid them.

We have also found that enlisting the support of family and friends can help you in a successful weight loss journey. By involving them, they can help you to make healthy choices and keep you motivated throughout the process.

Will I know what my exercise and diet requirements are after my weight loss surgery?
Yes! Your expert medical care team will meet with you prior to surgery, after weight loss surgery and as needed to discuss exercise and diet requirements. Before you undergo weight loss surgery, it is likely that your care team will prescribe a diet and exercise program that will help you to prepare for your bariatric surgery.

In addition to meeting with your bariatric surgeon, you will have a one on one meeting with a dietitian to assess your weight loss history and provide you with information on nutrition expectations and required changes in eating behavior that are necessary for your success after bariatric surgery. The dietitian will help you develop a customized plan that will help you to safely and effectively achieve your weight loss goals through diet after bariatric surgery. You will also attend a class where nurses will discuss more healthy eating tips, ways to avoid nutritional deficiencies as well as the benefits and risks associated with your particular surgery.

How long after bariatric surgery before I can return to work?
Most individuals return to work 4 to 6 weeks after bariatric surgery. However, complete participation in pre-surgical activities will vary according to your physical condition, the specific activity as well as the weight loss surgery that you selected. Patients that have a minimally-invasive laparoscopic approach, may be able to return to their daily activities 3-4 weeks post weight loss surgery.

Your care team will continue to monitor your progress and make recommendations based on your specific case.

What type of support is available after my bariatric surgery?
Medical studies reflect what we’ve seen firsthand: Individuals that are committed to their post-operative care are more likely to be successful in maintaining their weight loss after bariatric surgery than those that that do not complete the follow-up care.

At Hurley Bariatric Center, our team is devoted to your wellness and long-term weight loss success. With this in mind, we expect to share in your progress and discuss your journey with you at a 2 week, 6 week, 3 month, 6 month, 12 month, 18 month and annual follow up visits.

Bariatric surgery support groups can be helpful to you and instrumental in your weight loss success. The Hurley Bariatric Center is pleased to offer you both medically supervised and peer bariatric surgery support groups. Additionally, our weight loss support groups are offered at many convenient Michigan locations so that you can attend one that is located near your home or workplace.

If you are thinking about bariatric surgery, we encourage you to attend one of our free monthly educational bariatric surgery seminars.
Register online or call 888-611-4462