The bariatric surgery process has many steps both before and after surgery. We understand that coming to a hospital can be stressful. Our patient and visitor guide has everything you need to know whether you are coming to stay or you are visiting a patient.
Here is a short guide to help you understand what to expect:
Leading to surgery
Online information session. The information session will outline what bariatric surgery is and help you decide if you are interested.
One-on-one with a surgeon. This is your chance to ask any questions and get answers from one of the bariatric surgeons.
Examination and evaluations. There will be a series of physical and psychological evaluations to help us get a complete picture of your health.
Meeting with the team. You will meet monthly with the bariatric team as you prepare for surgery. After meeting with a dietitian and physical therapist, it’s important to start developing healthy eating and physical activity that will continue after surgery.
Insurance approval. The process and requirements may vary depending on your insurance. Our team will work with you and your insurance company to help you understand your coverage and submit the necessary paperwork for surgery approval.
Pre-admission testing. Two weeks before surgery, you will be scheduled for pre-admission testing and anesthesia evaluation.
Admission. For gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital the day before surgery. For adjustable gastric band, you will be admitted the day of surgery.
Surgery. On the day of surgery, you will be taken to the Surgery Unit. Family and close friends are welcome to wait in the family waiting room while your operation is taking place. You will spend about one hour in the recovery room after surgery before going to your room. One or two immediate family members are welcome to stay with you overnight.
Recovery. It will be important to get out of bed and walk every two to four hours after surgery. You will also be using a small breathing device that helps you breathe deeply (this helps keep your lungs clear and prevents fever).
Discharge. For adjustable band surgery, you may be discharged the day after surgery depending on your condition. For gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery, your discharge will likely take longer and varies from patient to patient. Expect to be in the hospital for two to three days. Those who live a far distance from Nationwide Children’s Hospital (greater than 100 miles) are strongly encouraged to stay at the Ronald McDonald House located across the street from the hospital for the first week after discharge.
Incision care. You will need to keep the incision dry and follow instructions from your surgeon after returning home.
Nutrition. You will likely be on a full liquid diet when you return home. Follow your dietitian’s instructions regarding when and how to move to the next phase of your nutrition plan.
Physical activity. It will be important to continue to walk every few hours when you return home. You will leave the hospital with instructions to continue the physical activity you began before surgery.
Follow-up appointments. Returning for follow-up appointments is a necessary part of care. Visits will be scheduled based on how you are doing at your first visit. You will meet with a doctor or nurse practitioner, dietitian, physical therapist, social worker and psychologist.
Have a question? Just ask!
The bariatric surgery process can seem daunting, but you aren’t in this alone. Your team will be happy to answer any questions you have about any step of the process.
Complete Patient Assessment
Request More Information