Before Bariatric Surgery: What to Expect

Published September 14, 2023 by

If you have decided to pursue weight loss surgery, it probably took a lot of due diligence, research, and soul searching. You have most likely lived with all the effects of being overweight or obese. When you begin the weight loss journey, don’t expect overnight results. In fact, don’t expect to have a consultation and think you will be scheduled for surgery immediately. There is a lot of preparation. Before bariatric surgery: what to expect.

healthy lifestyle changes before weight loss surgeryGetting Approved Is Just The First Step

In order to become a candidate for bariatric surgery, certain weight loss criteria must be met.

They include the following:

  • Having a BMI body mass index of 40 or more. Being more than 100 pounds overweight.
  • Having a BMI body mass index of 35-40 or above and one or more obesity related conditions like Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
  • If you have been unable to reach a healthy weight after trying several weight loss efforts.

Pre-Surgery Lifestyle Changes

In the months leading up to your surgery, you will be expected to make some healthy changes. As per Dr. Barba, these include changes in diet, exercise, and lifestyle.

Special Diet

You will be put on a special diet about 2 to 3 months before surgery. With the diet, you will lose some weight before the actual surgery, and will help to reduce any possible complications. It will be high protein, but low in fats and carbs which will help to maintain muscle mass.

This diet could be similar to the one you will start after your surgery. Sometimes patients are put on a low calorie liquid diet several weeks before surgery.


An exercise program will be recommended to begin before surgery to help develop positive habits.

Stop Smoking

This is an essential step before surgery. Dr. Carlos A. Barba will tell you how long prior to your procedure.


Seeing a therapist is important to identify emotional issues and to be sure you have realistic expectations.

It is important to follow all pre-surgery recommendations.

Related Discussions and Final Testing

Your care team needs to be sure you are ready emotionally for surgery and to accomplish goals afterwards. The above lifestyle changes can take 6 months to complete and are usually necessary for insurance approval.

Similar to other surgical procedures, you will need to present a list of all prescription medicines and over-the-counter supplements you take along with vitamins and herbs.

You may need to have blood tests, an electrocardiogram for your heart, and a check for nutrients.

Be aware of and follow all the directions given by your care team about driving, eating and drinking, medications, and at home care.

It is possible you may not get final approval for surgery if you have not accomplished all the requirements like quitting smoking or engaging in exercise. Dr. Carlos A. Barba wants to give you the best opportunity to have a successful result.

Contact Dr. Carlos A. Barba at (956) 621-4981 today if you are considering bariatric surgery in Brownsville and Harlingen, TX.

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