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The decision to have weight loss surgery should be made after careful consideration and investigation of available options. Successful patients are those who are well informed about what to expect before, during, and after undergoing weight loss surgery. Please click here to read about the rationale for the surgical treatment of morbid obesity. Aside from surgery, there is no durable, effective treatment for patients who are 100 pounds or more overweight.
If you have made the decision that weight loss surgery is the right option for you, please contact us to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our surgeons and to attend our weight loss surgery seminar. Click here to access our step-by-step process and patient workbook.
To expedite the process, you can begin the process of pre-surgical testing even before your first appointment with us. Click here to review our list of pre-surgical testing requirements. You may bring the results of these tests to our office at the time of your first visit, or you may have them faxed to us at (612) 625-3206. At your initial consult your surgeon will determine if further testing needs to be done based on your medical/surgical history.
At your first visit you will also see our dietician. It will be up to your insurance company and your surgeon how many visits you need to complete with the dietician. In addition to pre-surgical testing requirements we ask you to complete a patient questionnaire regarding your medical/surgical history as well as diet and weight loss history. Click here to fill out questionnaire.
Please bring a letter from your Primary Care Provider describing attempts and length of time at medical weight loss and medical history. Click here for sample letter.
Your surgeon may ask you to obtain consultations from different medical specialties based on your history. Please click here to obtain our workbook which has letters to bring to any appointments you may have with your specialists.
It will be determined by you and your surgeon which weight loss surgery is best for you. He'll be able to explain the various types of weight loss surgery offered. Once all your pre-surgical requirements are completed and it has been determined by your surgeon that you are ready for surgery you will work with our schedulers and your insurance company to get pre-approval for surgery and a surgery date.
After the surgeon reviews the potential risks and benefits of the operation you will need to provide written consent for surgery. Two days prior to surgery, you will begin a clear liquid diet and bowel prep as directed. The night before the operation, no food or liquids should be taken after midnight.
Day of Surgery
You will arrive at the hospital the morning of the operation. Preparation before surgery often includes changing into a hospital gown, placement of a catheter in your vein and often preoperative medications are necessary. You will meet the anesthesiologist and discuss the anesthesia. You will be under general anesthesia during the operation which may last for several hours. Following the operation you will be sent to the recovery room until you are fully awake. Then you will be sent to your hospital room.
In the Hospital After the Operation
You will stay in the hospital after the operation for less than 24 hours if you are having the adjustable gastric banding procedure, for 1 or 2 days if you are having laparoscopic gastric bypass or a sleeve gastrectomy, or for 2 to 4 days if you are having the laparoscopic duodenal switch procedure. You should be up and walking the night of surgery and participating in breathing exercises. The exact treatments and timing of diet progression will depend on which procedure you have chosen, your health, and your recovery from surgery.
At Home During Recovery
Patients are encouraged to engage in light activity and continue breathing exercises while at home after surgery. Pain after laparoscopic surgery is generally mild although some patients may require pain medications. You will remain on a liquid diet until you are evaluated by your physician approximately 7 to 10 days after you return home.
After surgery, the small incisions on your abdomen are closed with sutures (after gastric banding) or staples (after gastric bypass and duodenal switch), and the staples are removed 2 days after surgery. Steri-strips (special pieces of tape) are placed over the incisions and can be removed after two weeks. You may shower two days after surgery. If you require an open incision, staples or absorbable sutures may be used for closure. The staples will usually be removed at the first postoperative visit 1-2 weeks after surgery.
When to Call Your Doctor
Be sure to call your doctor if you develop any of the following:
- Persistent fever (over 101° F)
- Bleeding or excessive drainage from incision
- Increased abdominal swelling or pain
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Persistent cough and shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing that doesn't go away within a few weeks