Bariatric surgery is a broad term for several different kinds of surgical procedures, including the gastric sleeve and the gastric bypass, as well as other treatments. These surgeries can dramatically improve the lives of people struggling with obesity and the health conditions it causes.
For most people, the weight loss journey through bariatric surgery begins three to eight months before the actual surgery date, with lifestyle changes and pre-surgery classes. The timing is based on your surgeon’s requirements and your insurance specifications. Then the process continues after the surgery, and includes follow-up appointments with a doctor, a dietician, and others. Understanding the bariatric surgery timeline can help you move through the process more easily.
Pre-Bariatric Surgery Timeline
Before bariatric surgery, there are some required steps you’ll need to complete. The timeline for these can vary somewhat, depending on your specific situation. But it’s good to have a general idea of what to expect, so you can go into the process feeling more prepared.
The initial consultation is the first step toward getting weight loss surgery. Typically, this consultation comes three to eight months before your surgery date. Some people attend information sessions first, while others start out with the consultation itself. Dr. Malladi’s office will verify what kind of insurance coverage you have for bariatric surgery and will inform you prior to the visit.
Program Enrollment and Classes
After consulting with your doctor, you will begin a bariatric surgery program to help you prepare for the changes ahead. A large part of this preparation involves learning about healthy eating and exercise habits. You will be given a healthy eating plan to follow, so you can get ready for surgery.
Needed and Required Tests
While you are progressing through the educational program, you can expect some testing based on your medical conditions. These tests will help determine the appropriate procedure for you and identify any issues that need to be addressed prior to surgery.
Second Visit with Surgeon after Program and Testing Completion
Dr. Malladi will visit with you after you have completed your educational program and testing. At this visit, the lifestyle changes you have made will be assessed, and the testing will be reviewed. The selection of procedure will also be confirmed.
Health Insurance Authorization
After this second visit with Dr. Malladi, the office staff will compile the documentation packet to submit to the insurance company. The insurance company will take two to six weeks to provide approval. Once authorization is obtained, the office will schedule your surgery date and give you all of the peri-operative instructions including timing for immediate pre-op testing.
Once authorization is obtained, the surgeon will give you specific instructions for the weeks and days leading up to surgery, including the day of the surgery itself. Make sure you follow these instructions very carefully, and ask questions if you don’t understand something.
During Bariatric Surgery
There are several types of bariatric surgeries, with some procedures being simpler than others. The gastric sleeve is the most common type of weight loss surgery, with the gastric bypass also being a great option for many people.
Bariatric surgery is performed laparoscopically or robotically assisted, meaning there are only a few small incisions made in the abdomen. This can make the process safer and less painful. It also helps patients heal faster and get back to normal activities more easily.
This minimally-invasive procedure typically takes two to three hours to complete, although the preparation and recovery periods can add more time to the overall process on your surgery day. On the day you’re scheduled for surgery, make sure you bring anything your surgeon or medical team has requested, along with a list of any medications you’re taking.
Bariatric Surgery Post-Surgery Timeline
After your surgery you’ll need time to recover. Some of that will be done in the hospital, and some will be done at home. It’s extremely important that you follow your doctor’s instructions, especially when it comes to what you can eat or drink, as well as your activity levels.
Most people are in the hospital for one day after their surgery. You can generally expect to be released after that time, to continue your recovery at home. While you’re in the hospital you’ll be monitored carefully to make sure you don’t have any complications from the surgery.
You’ll have pain management and will also need to get up and walk as soon as your doctor determines it’s safe for you to do so. Walking is a good way to reduce the risk of blood clots and ensure that you can start getting back to light activities quickly.
Long-term recovery occurs over the following year or more after surgery. Dietary changes, exercise, and follow-up medical appointments are all very important. You’ll typically see your doctor and a dietician or nutritionist every few months for the first year, and then somewhat less frequently after that.
You may also want to have a consultation for skin removal after losing a significant amount of weight. It’s vital to remember that a serious commitment is required to see successful results for the long term. Consulting with a medical professional about your options can help you decide if bariatric surgery is right for you.
FAQs About Bariatric Surgery
How long does it take from start to finish for bariatric surgery?
The surgery itself only takes between two and three hours in most cases, but the total process from the initial consultation to significant weight loss after surgery can take more than a year or two.
What is the timeline for weight loss surgery?
The timeline for bariatric surgery starts three to eight months before the surgery itself, with a consultation, dietary changes, and exercise. As the surgery date gets closer, you’ll meet with dietary professionals, have medical testing, and get the okay from your insurance company.
How long does it take to lose 100 pounds after bariatric surgery?
Losing weight after bariatric surgery is often a relatively quick process, but if you have 100 pounds or more to lose it can still take some time. Many people who have weight loss surgery lose 10 pounds per month or more, depending on their starting weight.
Bariatric Surgery – 12 months to a New You
There are several different options for bariatric surgery, and any one of them can be a good option, depending on your specific situation. From your initial consultation it may take three to eight months before surgery, and the procedure itself only takes two or three hours. Then you can start the process of recovery and focus on a brighter, healthier, and more comfortable future.
If you’re ready to get started on a new you, contact Malladi Bariatrics today . We can give you the information you need to determine if bariatric surgery is right for you.