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Weight loss surgery is, in many ways, the beginning of a personal journey to health. To give patients the greatest chance of succeeding, MedStar St. Mary's bariatric surgery program offers a range of pre- and post-surgical support services.

Before being accepted into the program, patients receive nutrition counseling, psychiatric evaluation, and cardiopulmonary testing, where appropriate. To help patients make the lifestyle changes they need to ensure long-term weight loss, the hospital offers a variety of post-surgical support services, including weight management education, nutrition counseling, cardiac risk reduction services, and a support group led by a health professional experienced in bariatric surgery.

What You Should Do Before Bariatric Surgery

Before your surgery, you will need to follow these guidelines:

  • Receive preoperative tests and lab work ordered by your surgeon to clear you for surgery.
  • Stop smoking or drinking alcohol a minimum of one month prior to surgery.
  • Begin a calorie-controlled, high-protein diet two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Stop taking aspirin or arthritis medications one week prior to surgery, as they interfere with the clotting of blood, vital for healing after surgery. Please consult your surgeon prior to any medication changes.|

What You Should Do After Bariatric Surgery

Your surgeon will discuss your individualized postoperative plan. This may include referrals to nutritionists, exercise programs, psychotherapists and/or support groups, and is essential for a successful outcome.

Eating after surgery

Directly after surgery, will be on a strict liquid diet, transitioning to a soft and then regular diet, as instructed by your doctor. Moving to more solid food will be determined by your own individual progress. After surgery some patients may experience food intolerance and changes in gastrointestinal functions. MedStar Health nutritionists can guide you in planning the appropriate meals and diet.

Other post-surgery concerns

After many months of losing weight, you may have excess skin. Once your weight has stabilized, you may wish to talk with your surgeon about undergoing plastic or cosmetic surgery.

Members of our bariatric team will be available to answer questions you have regarding:

  • Diet
  • Navigating social activities (eating at restaurants, drinking alcohol)
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Plastic surgery
  • Returning to work
  • Supplements
  • Weight loss plateaus

Considering Bariatric Surgery?

We know that pursuing a surgical solution for weight loss is a serious decision and want to ensure that you are an ideal candidate for the surgery. If lifestyle changes aren't working, talk with your doctor about surgical options.

Learn more about candidacy for bariatric surgery.