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Expert Answers

Why is it important to make lifestyle changes before surgery?
Lifestyle modification, including nutrition, activity and mental health, should be addressed prior to surgery to ensure patients are properly educated and prepared for life after surgery. This preparation is essential for successful outcomes and the prevention of possible complications following surgery. Furthermore, patients who initiate weight loss prior to surgery can actually lose more overall weight. In addition, those who have engrained the lifestyle modifications prior to surgery have a better likelihood of maintaining those changes years after the surgery, which is essential for weight maintenance following any treatment option, including bariatric surgery.

Why do I have to complete so many steps before surgery?
All bariatric surgery patients must complete our standard bariatric pre-operative checklist before proceeding to surgery. In addition to the standard checklist, some patients may have additional requirements based on your medical history. This is to ensure appropriate work-up, risk identification and reduction and education prior to surgery to help reduce surgical risk and promote quality outcomes.

When will I be able to return to work?
Release back to work following bariatric surgery depends on the patient. Most laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding patients approximately one week off of work, while Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients need more time. Learning to adapt to a new eating lifestyle requires time and concentration. That task is best accomplished when the patient takes enough time off work to learn to eat appropriately without the normal daily distractions of work and life. This is an important time to learn and this time is valuable to long-term success.

When should I begin my activity program?
The activity program starts pre-operatively and resumes shortly after bariatric surgery. The night of surgery is the first walking activity, and activity progresses daily. Upon discharge, the patient should be able to perform 15-30 minutes of walking several times a day. After 1-2 weeks, the patient can begin to add intensity to their exercise regimen.

A long-term activity plan generally involves a daily period of exercise of choice for a minimum of 45 minutes.

How fast will I lose weight after bariatric surgery?
Most of our patients lose weight pre-operatively as a result of the recommended pre-surgical diet. Post-operatively, gastric bypass patients lose more rapidly compared to laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding patients. Weight loss is usually noted even by the first post-op visit 7-10 days after surgery. We will photograph and weigh you at each visit and continually track your results.