Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

Read time: 4-5 minutes



  • If you’re considering weight loss surgery, it’s important to research your options and prepare in good time.
  • Patients with a BMI over 40 or a BMI of 35 and above with an obesity-related disease are qualified for weight loss surgery.
  • We offer financing with affordable payments for the $11,300 cost of surgery, but don’t accept insurance or Medicaid.
  • Getting healthy and losing weight before surgery can reduce the risk of complications and put you on a path to success.

Are you struggling to lose weight and considering weight loss surgery? If so, you probably want more information about your options. The gastric sleeve procedure is one of the many types of weight loss surgery that can help patients on their journey toward a healthier weight. Dr. Borland is a nationally recognized bariatric surgeon who specializes in this type of weight loss surgery. We’ve put together a guide to help you prepare for gastric sleeve surgery and learn more about what to expect along the way.

Qualifying for Weight Loss Surgery

One of the first things to consider is whether or not you qualify for weight loss surgery. The National Institute of Health (NIH) sets guidelines for measuring and treating obesity; you must be considered morbidly obese to qualify for weight loss surgery. According to the guidelines, a person is morbidly obese if they have a body mass index (BMI) more than 40 or if they have a BMI over 35 with one or more obesity-related diseases. An obesity-related disease is one that is caused by or strongly related to obesity. Examples of obesity-related diseases include:

  • Sleep apnea
  • High cholesterol
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Soft tissue infections
  • Venous stasis disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression

There are also health factors that may keep you from qualifying for weight loss surgery. These include drug or alcohol problems, endocrine causes of obesity and uncontrolled psychological conditions.

Gather Information about Weight Loss Surgery

It’s important to be well-informed before pursuing weight loss surgery. Research the procedure and explore your options. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery given your health status and history. Remember to talk to your family and support system about the surgery, too. It’s crucial to success following surgery that you have a strong support system, so make sure that you have people around you who are ready to help you throughout the process of preparing for surgery, recovering from surgery and maintaining your weight loss.

Consider the Cost of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Weight loss surgery isn’t cheap, but it’s a good investment in the long run. Many patients end up saving money due to fewer health-related expenses after losing weight following gastric sleeve surgery. However, it’s still important to understand the cost of surgery and determine how you plan to pay for it.

Dr. Borland offers an affordable, outpatient option for gastric sleeve surgery. The total cost for the procedure is $11,300; this includes the initial consultation and the fees for the surgery and surgery center. It doesn’t include the cost of a hotel room or travel expenses if you’re from out of town.

We offer financing with affordable payments but don’t accept insurance or Medicaid. You may also need a pre-op appointment or blood work, but these can be performed by your primary care doctor and are usually covered by insurance.

Losing Weight Before Surgery

It may seem strange to work on losing weight before having weight loss surgery, but there are a number of reasons for doing so. Patients who lose weight before surgery often lose more weight after surgery and are less likely to experience complications.

Working on losing weight before surgery is also important because it takes time to change habits, and weight loss surgery is unsuccessful if you don’t change your habits. Starting to develop a healthier lifestyle before surgery makes it easier to adjust after surgery. Here are some ways you can give yourself a head-start and begin changing your habits before gastric sleeve surgery:

  • Start eating for health, not just flavor or pleasure
  • Focus on eating plenty of protein
  • Eat slowly and chew each bite
  • Watch portion size
  • Start taking a multivitamin
  • Don’t drink fluids with your meals
  • Avoid sugary beverages
  • Drink more water
  • Limit caffeine
  • Stop drinking alcohol
  • Start exercising a little more
  • Stop smoking
  • Join a support group

Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery

There are a few steps you’ll need to go through to prepare for surgery. Begin by scheduling an initial consultation with Dr. Borland. During this consultation, he will discuss your options and help you determine if gastric sleeve surgery is a good fit for you.

Next, you’ll visit your primary care doctor to complete blood work and pre-op paperwork. You’ll also want to consider beginning a physician-assisted weight loss program. Once all the necessary tests, paperwork and other requirements are complete, you can schedule your surgery date.

Day Before Surgery

You’ll receive instructions for the day before surgery, but in general you can expect to limit yourself to clear fluids only during this time. Clear fluids include:

  • Water
  • Clear broth
  • Pulp-free fruit juice
  • Ice chips
  • Sports drinks
  • Coffee or tea without cream or sugar
  • Jell-O
  • Popsicles

After midnight before your surgery date, you’ll need to stop eating or drinking anything.

Take the First Step

Gastric sleeve surgery is an exciting and, at times, scary step along your weight loss journey. This procedure is a great tool to help you work toward a healthier weight. It’s not taking the easy way out, you’ll need to work hard before and after surgery to lose and maintain your weight loss, but gastric sleeve can help you get the boost you need to work toward your goal weight.

Our compassionate team is ready to help support you throughout your journey. If you’re ready to get started, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Borland, and check out our additional resources for more information about weight loss surgery and what to expect along the way.