Pathway to and from Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing event. In addition to the physical transformation, you will adjust to other changes in your daily life. Challenges may relate to eating and drinking, mental health and well-being, physical activity and interpersonal relationships.

At Jeanes, we offer support and encouragement through all phases of the weight loss process, including before and after surgery and long-term recovery.

Pathway to Surgery

Your primary care physician is an integral part of the surgery approval process and he/she may be required to document your non-surgical weight loss attempts. Documentation requirements vary by insurance coverage. The Jeanes staff or your insurance company will provide specific requirements. Generally, documentation consists of the following information tracked on a monthly basis:

  • Weight
  • Supervised weight loss program
  • Counseling sessions

You will receive the Jeanes Bariatric Informational Handbook at our educational class. The handbook includes diet information, weight loss surgery descriptions and what to expect during and after your hospital stay.

You will then meet with the Jeanes dietitian for a nutritional assessment and individualized diet instruction. Your weight and diet history and food intake patterns will be reviewed. Your body measurements and weight will be taken. Bring any supplements that you are taking with you. This is the ideal time to ask questions so be sure to read the handbook and write down your questions before the meeting.

During the evaluation period and prior to surgery, you will undergo various tests, including blood, GI, cardiac and pulmonary tests. These tests vary by patient and will be determined by your bariatric surgeon following initial consultation. The bariatrics team would be happy to help you set up the tests that you will need.

The time from initial consultation to surgery varies but generally can range from one month to several months. During this time period, you will need to submit specific documentation to your insurance company. Since every company is different, you should check with yours to determine what it requires. During this period, you will also be thoroughly evaluated to ensure that bariatric surgery is right for you. In every case, we attempt to expedite this process but please know that this evaluation process varies by individual and is important to ensure maximum patient safety.

You should not gain weight during this time. We prefer that you begin to lose weight before your surgery and change your diet in accordance with the Jeanes dietitian's recommendations. Weight loss before surgery will help the surgical team perform your procedure as safely as possible.

Pathway from Surgery

Laparoscopic banding patients usually return home the day after surgery. Laparoscopic gastric bypass patients usually return home on the second day after surgery. Open incision gastric bypass patients usually return home from the second to the fourth day after surgery.

After surgery, you will follow a liquid diet. Any liquids containing sugar, carbonation (soda) and caffeine must be avoided. You will add protein-based liquids to your diet, then pureed foods and gradually incorporate foods with texture. The length of time of the diet progression varies but most people are eating small amounts of soft (non-blended) foods by week four or five. Weight loss surgery restricts the amount of food that you can eat at one time. It is vital that you eat nutritional foods after surgery to help heal the incision and maintain your health. You will need to supplement your diet with protein, vitamins and minerals. Supplemental requirements vary and are tailored to each individual's needs. Our dietitian will determine the supplements appropriate for you and provide a list of products from which to choose. You will need to have your blood checked several times in the first year and every year thereafter to make sure you are absorbing your nutrients adequately.

Your own behavior - including what you eat, how often you eat and how much you exercise - is important to your overall result. We emphasize that the surgical procedure is a tool which, when used properly, usually produces good results. The surgical procedure does not automatically make you thinner. You should continue to follow-up with your Jeanes weight loss team on a long-term basis and visit us at least once a year.

Bariatric surgery requires a lifelong commitment of following dietary guidelines, vitamin and mineral supplement regimes and lifestyle changes to maintain your weight loss. And the weight loss team at Jeanes works with you every step of the way.

To register for a free informational seminar or to make an appointment for a consultation with a bariatric surgeon at Jeanes, click here or call 215-728-CARE (2273).

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