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Your Complete Guide to Bariatric Surgery Preparation

Your Complete Guide to Bariatric Surgery Preparation

You know that bariatric surgery involves a major lifestyle change in your eating habits, and you’re ready to make the change. 

At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, our board-certified bariatric surgeons, Dexter Turnquest, MD, and Victoria C. Chang, MD, explain what’s involved and how to prepare for surgery. 

Your preparation for weight loss surgery depends in part on the procedure you’re having. But all bariatric surgical procedures require you to follow similar general preparation guidelines, which we detail below.

Evaluation and tests 

Just as for any surgery, you undergo tests such as an EEG, chest X-rays, blood tests, and possibly an upper endoscopy to determine if you’re in good enough health to proceed with the operation. We want your surgery to be a success. 

Medically supervised weight loss 

If you haven’t already undergone a medically supervised weight loss program, we place you in our program. It includes education about lifestyle changes you need to make before and after the surgery, and your insurance company may require it.

We review your insurance company’s requirements for weight loss surgery. Your insurance company may not cover bariatric surgery, and if this is the case, we can discuss alternative payment options available to you

Regardless of insurance requirements, we want you to lose a certain amount of weight before the surgery to ensure you have the motivation and commitment to lose weight. Weight loss also helps lower surgical risks. 

After the surgery, you need to continue new eating habits to maintain the weight loss. 

Exercise program 

Our weight loss program contains an exercise component. Regular exercise is crucial for good health. It also helps you take the weight off by boosting your metabolism and helping you burn calories and fat. 

Smoking cessation 

Stop smoking and using tobacco products before the surgery. We tell you exactly how many weeks you need to be smoke-free prior to your operation. We encourage you to join a smoking cessation program if you can’t manage it on your own. 

Smoking retards healing after surgery and increases the risk of complications. 


Caffeine is a diuretic. It can result in dehydration, especially when you’re on a special diet before surgery. Avoid caffeinated drinks in the months before and after your surgery. 

Restricted pre-op diet 

You’ll have a restricted diet prior to surgery. This aids recovery after your surgery and lowers your body fat. It reduces the size of your liver and makes it more elastic, helping us avoid damaging your internal organs during surgery. 

The amount of time you’re on the diet and the exact composition of it depends on the type of procedure and your weight. 

For example, for lap band surgery, your pre-op diet ranges from two to six weeks before surgery. You drink clear liquids and eliminate caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, and processed foods, while consuming roughly 800-1,200 calories daily. 

For gastric bypass surgery, you’re on a low-calorie liquid-type diet from one to four weeks before surgery. You consume protein shakes along with zero-calorie liquids. 

Call one of our two Houston, Texas, locations or book an appointment through our online portal if you’re considering bariatric surgery. We’re your partners in your weight loss transformation.

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