Countdown to Surgery: 10 Steps Before Bariatric Surgery

You’ve taken a big step by attending your consultation at Barix Clinics. You may be excited, nervous, and overwhelmed all at the same time. Here is how you can countdown to your surgery date.

Download Healthful Tips: Countdown to Surgery

10. Medical Clearances. Your surgeon may want you to obtain some clearances, based on your medical history, to insure that it is safe for you to undergo surgery. Your surgeon will give you a list of clearances required and his office can help you to find providers if you don’t already have your own doctors.

If you need to stop smoking, don’t wait. Talk to your doctor about starting a program right away. You’ll heal faster after surgery and improve your health and wellness considerably.

9.  Insurance Requirements. Our insurance department will contact you within a few days after  your consultation. They will let you know what your insurance company requires you to do prior to approving your surgery. Barix Clinics can help you to meet these requirements. Your insurance representative will work closely with you to help you meet these requirements.

8.  Learn. As you’re working on the medical clearances and insurance requirements, it’s a good time to learn as much as you can about what to expect after surgery. One way to do this is to connect with others who have already had surgery. Our private Facebook Support Group is a good place to get started (

7. Practice. Learn about post-surgery eating and start to put healthy eating habits in place. In general, you’ll want to:

  • Eat six smaller meals throughout the day—prep food and take with you.
  • Choose fresh, unprocessed foods as much as possible (limit fast food).
  • Limit added sugar (cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and pop).
  • Drink calorie-free beverages.

6.  Start a regular walking or exercise program. Give yourself a head start! You’ll get an important habit in place ahead of time and be in better shape before you even have surgery.

5. Practice patience. Your Barix Clinics team works hard to get your surgery scheduled as soon as possible.  Once you’ve completed all of your insurance requirements, your insurance representative will request pre-approval from your insurance company. It may take 2-3 weeks for us to hear back from them. You’re insurance representative can give you a better idea how long your insurance company typically takes. Once your insurance provides a pre-approval and your surgeon signs off on all of your medical clearances, scheduling begins.

The scheduling process may take 2 weeks or occasionally longer. You will be scheduled for both pre-admission testing and surgery.

4.  Take a deep breath. Now that you have a schedule, the fact that you’re having surgery may seem much more real. It is very normal to feel any combination of excited, nervous and downright terrified. This is a great time to reach out to your Facebook Support Group and tell them how you feel. Those who have been through the pre-surgery jitters can understand how you’re feeling and help see you through.

3. Get organized. You’ll want to:

  • Talk to your workplace about time off. Most people take 2 weeks off. If you lift or have a strenuous job, you may need up to 6 weeks off.
  • Get someone to help with childcare if you have young children. In general, you can expect a 1-2 night hospital stay and a lifting restriction of 10 pounds for 6 weeks.
  • Pack for your hospital stay. You don’t need much—patients recommend that you bring your phone / charger and comfy slippers. Everything else is provided.

2.  Attend pre-admission testing. You’ll meet with a bariatric internist; receive education by our nursing, respiratory and nutrition teams; and have necessary testing done. Bring those last-minute questions with you.

1. If your surgeon requires (Pennsylvania patients only), start the 10-day liquid diet.

Congratulations, your day is here! Relax, the surgical and nursing teams are well-trained and will take good care of you.

About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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