Have you been thinking about bariatric surgery? Maybe you miss all of the things you used to be able to do before you gained all of the excess weight, or perhaps health issues are becoming a bigger part of your life because of the gains. And now that you’re ready to pull the trigger, you’re probably wondering, “how quickly can I get bariatric surgery?”

Unfortunately, weight loss surgeries like gastric sleeve or bypass aren’t something you do so you can look good for a class reunion in a couple of weeks or to get in shape for a reunion game. It can sometimes take up to a year from the first consultation to the actual day of the procedure.

How Quickly Can I Get Bariatric Surgery? It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Weight-loss surgery isn’t something you can schedule a few weeks in advance, and not everyone is a candidate for that matter. A duodenal switch or gastric bypass literally changes the composition of your digestive tract, and your surgeon needs to be sure you’re ready for both the emotional and physical changes ahead.

Getting bariatric surgery involves a few steps that can take several months. First, you’ll have a consultation with a bariatric surgeon to see if you’re even approved for bariatric surgery. They’ll check if you’re a good fit for the surgery and explain how it works.

They’ll discuss your health and weight (body mass index/BMI) to better understand your medical history, any health problems you might have, and your previous efforts to lose weight. In some cases insurance may require diseases like high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or type 2 diabetes must be present for a procedure.

The surgeon will explain the different types of medical weight loss surgeries available. They’ll discuss which one might be best for you based on your situation. They’ll explain how each surgery works, the risks involved, and the changes you’ll need to make in your lifestyle after the surgery.

The surgeon will also chat about what happens before and after the surgery. This includes tests you might need before the surgery and the recovery process. They’ll explain that it’s not just the surgery itself but also the changes you’ll need to make in your diet and habits for the surgery to be successful.

This is a good time for you to ask any questions you might have about the surgery or anything you’re unsure about. The surgeon wants to make sure you understand everything and feel comfortable before moving forward. You’ll also want to have your insurance company information handy so you are aware of insurance requirements for coverage.

Preparing For Weight Loss Surgery

After that initial conversation, you will likely need to make some changes to get ready during pre-surgery. This is usually the longest part of the weight loss program. These changes are important to help ensure your safety and the success of the surgery. You may need to follow a specific diet plan for weeks or even months before the procedure.

This can include reducing your calorie intake, eating more protein, and cutting back on certain types of foods to prepare your body for the operation. You may need to take additional vitamins and minerals to make sure your body has everything it needs following surgery. Your body won’t absorb food like it once did, so these supplements will help.

In some situations, the surgeon might ask you to lose some weight before surgery. Losing weight can reduce the fat around your liver, making the surgery safer and easier for the surgeon. This may include more physical exercise or a modified diet. For some patients, this can push the surgery timeline back.

If you smoke or drink alcohol, your doctor will ask you to stop before the surgery. Smoking and excessive alcohol can affect your body’s ability to heal and recover. You’ll likely need to undergo various medical tests, such as blood tests, imaging scans, and consultations with different specialists to ensure you’re in good health for the surgery.

These changes are meant to prepare you for the surgery and improve its success and safety. Your doctor or healthcare team will guide you through these steps and provide you with specific instructions tailored to your needs and the type of bariatric surgery you’ll be undergoing.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Sometimes, hospitals or clinics might have a long waiting list. They might be busy and have limited spots for surgeries, making you wait longer for your turn. WeightWise has its own surgical facilities, which can help with scheduling. Still, when the calendar is full, it’s full.

The operation itself usually takes a few hours, and after that, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for at least a night so we can monitor your vitals. In most cases, you can go home the next day and resume normal activities in another day or two. In fact, the surgery is the easiest part for many patients.

It’s the work you need to do in the months before, and the lifestyle changes you need to make in the years following the surgery, that give some potential clients pause. Overall, from the initial consultation to getting back home after the surgery, averages 120 days at WeightWise, but some insurance carriers require 12 months of monthly visits to qualify.

How Quickly Can I Get Bariatric Surgery? Ask the Experts!

A weight-loss procedure isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision, can take up to a year to get ready for, and involves a life-long commitment to eating healthy and staying physically active. If you want to lose 10 pounds before going on a tropical vacation, maybe spend a little extra time at the gym or (safely) cut down on your intake of food in the weeks leading up to the trip.

If you want to know more about bariatric surgery timelines, scheduling, and if you’re a viable candidate, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced team at WeightWise. Or you can watch our free online seminar and take our assessment quiz to see if you’ll be a potential client.

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