By the time you decide to consult with the surgeons at Bay Surgical Weight Loss, you may be ready to go straight into surgery so that you can get started on your new life journey. But it doesn’t happen that quickly for two important reasons.

First, it’s essential to be sure you’re emotionally prepared for bariatric surgery. The surgical procedure won’t help you in the long run if you’re not completely committed to following the diet and exercise regimen we prescribe before and after surgery.

And second, we need to be sure your BMI qualifies you for bariatric surgery, and then collect comprehensive medical information and perform standard tests to be sure you can safely undergo the procedure.

Before we schedule your surgery, you’ll go through an in-depth screening process. We understand you’re eager to have bariatric surgery, but that’s only one step in a long weight-loss journey.

We put together this brief overview to help you understand and prepare for your first bariatric surgery consultation.

Medical and diet history

When you come in for a bariatric surgery consultation, we thoroughly review your medical history. This is like a history you’d complete for any doctor at a routine exam, telling us about previous illnesses and surgeries and whether you take any medications, as well as providing details about your overall health and your family’s history of diseases.

We also ask you to complete a questionnaire that we call the bariatric history form. Your answers help us evaluate whether you’re ready for bariatric surgery. The bariatric history form also provides information that’s needed for your insurance company to approve your surgery.

The bariatric history form asks questions such as:

  • How long have you been overweight?
  • Why would you like a surgical evaluation?
  • Have you attended a weight loss seminar led by one of our surgeons?
  • What was your lowest weight in the last five years?
  • What was your highest weight in the past five years?
  • Do you have sleep apnea, and if so, do you use CPAP?
  • Have you been diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder?
  • Are you on prednisone for any reason?
  • What exercise plans have you used?
  • What is your diet history?

As part of your diet history, we need to know the names of diets you’ve followed, when you were on each one, and how much weight you lost during the diet.

Learn about the types of bariatric surgery

After we finish exploring your overall health, we explain the different types of bariatric surgery. It’s important for you to understand how each procedure is performed, how it helps you lose weight, and the risks and benefits.

As we talk about the types of surgery, you’ll also learn about the amount of weight typically lost by patients following each procedure, the diet you follow afterward, and the length of time it may take to reach your goal.

Preoperative diet and weight loss requirements

We give you a presurgery diet and exercise plan to follow, and we establish a weight-loss goal for you to achieve while on this diet. For many obese patients, losing some weight beforehand is essential to lower the risks of surgery.

Your ability and willingness to stick with the diet and lose weight prior to surgery also indicates how well you’ll do after surgery. If you can’t stick with the plan, we may not proceed with bariatric surgery.

Additionally, some insurance providers require you to participate in physician-supervised weight loss before they will approve your bariatric surgery.

Presurgery testing requirements

At the end of your consultation, our team helps you schedule the required presurgery tests and consultations. Many tests are routinely ordered to evaluate your respiratory and cardiac health, while other tests are specific to your health needs.

Before you’re scheduled for bariatric surgery, you undergo a psychiatric evaluation. You may also need to receive clearance from specialists, such as a cardiologist and a pulmonologist.

The process may seem long, but it’s designed to protect your health during surgery and to help ensure that we give you the best possible chance to successfully lose weight and regain optimal health.

If you have any questions or you’d like to schedule a consultation, call our office in St. Petersburg, Florida, or book an appointment online.