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Weight-loss surgery - before - what to ask your doctor

Definition

Weight-loss surgery is done to help you lose weight. After the surgery, you will not be able to eat as much as before. Depending on the type of surgery you have, your body may not absorb all the calories from the food you eat.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse before you have weight-loss surgery.

Alternate Names

Gastric bypass - before - what to ask your doctor; Roux-en-Y gastric bypass - before - what to ask your doctor; Gastric banding - before - what to ask your doctor; What to ask your doctor before weight-loss surgery

Questions

What are the different types of weight-loss surgery?

  • How is the scar different from the all of the surgeries?
  • Is there a difference in how much pain I will have afterwards?
  • Is there a difference in how long it will take to get better?

What is the best surgery to help me lose weight and keep it off?

  • How much weight will I lose? How fast will I lose it? Will I continue to lose weight?
  • What will eating be like after weight-loss surgery?

What are the risks of weight-loss surgery?

  • Will I need more surgery?
  • What are the complications that can happen during or right after my surgery?
  • What are other medical problems that I may have after the surgery?

What can I do before surgery to lower my risk of complications? For which of my medical problems (such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure) do I need to see my doctor before the surgery?

How can I get my home ready before I go to the hospital?

  • How much help will I need when I come home?
  • Will I be able to get out of bed by myself?
  • How do I make sure my home will be safe for me?
  • What type of supplies will I need when I get home?
  • Do I need to rearrange my home?

How can I prepare myself emotionally for the surgery? What types of feelings can I expect to have? Can I talk to people who have had weight-loss surgery?

What medicines should I take the day of the surgery? Are there any medicines that I should not take the day of the surgery?

What will the surgery, and my stay in the hospital, be like?

  • How long will the surgery last?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used? Are there choices to consider?
  • Will I be in a lot of pain after surgery? What will be done to relieve the pain?
  • How soon will I be able to get up and move around?

What will my wound be like? How do I take care of it?

How active can I be when I get home? How much can I lift? When will I be able to drive? When will I be able to return to work?

When will my first follow-up appointment be after surgery? How often will I need to see the doctor during the first year after my surgery? Will I need to see doctors other than my surgeon?


Review Date: 10/5/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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