Preparations for weight loss surgery begin long before the actual procedure. You will first attend a free NewStart information session, which will provide you with an overview of the process and information about the available surgical procedures.

You will also complete pre-admissions testing, including:

  • psychological evaluations
  • nutritional evaluations
  • medical diagnostic tests

You will then meet with your surgeon to discuss the results of the evaluations and tests. This very thorough process will help determine whether weight loss surgery is the right option for you, identify potential health problems and reduce the risk of complications.

What You Can Do to Maximize the Safety of Surgery

In addition to undergoing the pre-admission testing, there are several things you can do ahead of time to ensure a successful surgery:

  • Stop smoking before surgery. Smoking increases the potential for lung problems after surgery, delays the healing process, promotes infection, decreases your capacity for oxygen, interferes with blood flow to tissues that are healing, and increases your risk for ulcers.
  • Exercise. Begin walking a minimum of 30 minutes daily. You can break this up into smaller increments if necessary.
  • Listen to your doctors. Your surgeon will provide you with information you need to know regarding prepping for surgery, surgical experience, post operative routine, your individual diet plan and your post surgical exercise guidelines. Your surgeon is looking out for what is in your best physical, mental and surgical interests.

What to Bring on the Day of Surgery

There are also a variety of personal items you can bring from home that will make your stay more comfortable, including:

  • Comb or Brush
  • Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Shampoo
  • Body lotion or hand cream
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Loose-fitting clothes
  • Books and magazines
  • Makeup
  • Lip balm
  • Hair dryer
  • Deodorant

Do not bring valuables such as jewelry, cash or similar personal items.

The Day of Your Surgery

Typically, you'll arrive at your Memorial Hermann hospital two hours prior to surgery.

At that time, you will change into a hospital gown and an IV will be started. You will also receive any medications that might be required before surgery. Additionally, you will have a consultation with your anesthesiologist and your surgeon.

After that, you'll be taken to the operating room for surgery. Depending upon the type of procedure, the operation can take between 30 minutes and two hours. When the surgery is complete, you will be moved to the recovery room until you wake up, and you'll be monitored in recovery for about an hour.

From there, you'll be moved to your private room. Your pain will be managed so that you are comfortable and you'll be assisted and encouraged to start walking every two hours during the waking hours.

For most surgeries, you will be taken to radiology the morning after surgery, X-rays will be taken to assess the gastric pouch and to check for any leaks.

Depending upon the procedure and technique, you can expect to be hospitalized one to three days.