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General Questions

Pre-operations Questions

What are the pre-op diet and balloon exercises?

Before your lap band surgery, you can expect to go through a three-day preop diet. It is designed to help the surgeon assess how you will react to the surgery and what adjustments to make before performing it. During this time, you will drink nothing but clear liquids, such as water, broth, and sugar-free jello, and eat nothing but very low-calorie foods like carrots and celery sticks.


During this time, some surgeons make the patient undergo a preop or rescue procedure where they pace inflatable balloon in the stomach, which is filled up with air to stretch out the stomach. That helps limit the amount of food the patient can eat after surgery because their original stomach capacity will be limited and stretched to about half a cup.


Should I stop my medications before surgery?
You should stop taking any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, two weeks before surgery. Make sure your surgeon knows about all the medications you take so that they can determine what should be stopped and what, if anything, needs to be changed.
Should my bowel be cleaned out before surgery?
Weight loss surgeries don't require you to clean out your bowel before surgery. However, if you've had gastric surgery, especially the duodenal switch or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS), your surgeon may have you follow particular diet guidelines for a few days before surgery. In these cases, bowel clean-out is necessary to avoid contaminating your open surgery site.

Operations Questions

How long does it take to perform a weight loss surgery?
Weight loss surgeries usually take between one and three hours. That includes the time the patient spends with the anesthesiologist before the procedure, needed to complete it, and recovery. It can vary depending on the type of surgery being performed.
Are staples used during surgery and, if so, how?
The staples used in gastric banding surgery are small and made of titanium. They can be easily removed by a doctor one week after the procedure, but some doctors allow them to fall out on their own within three weeks. The other surgeries do not use staples and use stitches instead. Sometimes, they use dissolving stitches, which you don't need to remove.
What is the significance of the drainage tube?

A drain tube is an essential part of post-operative care. The drainage tube allows the gastric bypass patient to heal by allowing fluids and stomach contents to be drawn off. This process aims not to "drain" the patient but to prevent stoppage or obstruction of the small intestine where it exits the abdominal wall. The smaller opening made by the gastric bypass usually allows an average of 15cc per hour to drain out through the tube.


Initially, stomach contents are allowed to drain for up to 24 hours following surgery. That ensures that the patient does not vomit or aspirate at any time after the procedure. If no vomiting is noted after this period, the stomach tube can be clamped off for up to eight hours at a time.

How is laparoscopic gastric bypass different than open gastric bypass?

The difference between laparoscopic gastric bypass and open gastric bypass is that the former is performed through tiny incisions using a laparoscope. That reduces pain, weight loss surgery scars, blood loss, and the risk of hernia formation. It typically results in accelerated recovery compared to open gastric bypass with equivalent outcomes.  When performed appropriately, laparoscopic gastric bypass is associated with lower complication rates compared to open gastric bypass.

Why aren’t all gastric bypasses done laparoscopically?

Many gastric bypass procedures are done laparoscopically with small incisions and a camera that the surgeon uses to see inside the patient. However, one type of gastric bypass, called Roux-en-Y (RYGB), is done through an open incision in the middle of the abdomen. The stomach is opened to turn into a small pouch that can hold about one ounce. That often causes heartburn because the top part of the stomach that makes acid is on the bottom side of this new, smaller pouch.

Post-Operations Questions

How soon after surgery can I bathe or shower?

You will not be able to bathe or shower for at least 24 hours after a cirugia de adelgazamiento. You may want to plan and bring along some baby wipes if you wish to freshen up before returning home for the evening.


The incision site is usually iced 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off every hour after surgery until bleeding stops and the tissues are no longer pink and puffy. The sutures or staples will be removed about five weeks after the surgery, if any were used.


You may shower as soon as you can tolerate it without pain. It is best to wait until after your postoperative visit when your surgeon will examine your incision site and remove the sutures or staples.


Can I drink alcohol after surgery?

You can consume alcohol before and after your weight-loss surgeries. However, many people find that drinking alcoholic beverages interferes with their satisfaction with food. In addition, some of the medications you will need to take for the rest of your life to maintain a healthy weight contain warnings about alcohol consumption. So, it is best not to drink alcoholic beverages while taking these medications.


If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so responsibly and in moderation. Alcoholic beverages should be consumed and enjoyed only with food.


What is the reason for protein shakes after surgery?

Protein shakes are beneficial after cirugia de adelgazamiento because they provide a way to take in protein. That is especially important for those who have had a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy procedure. This type of weight loss surgery reroutes the digestive tract, leaving less room for a meal, and a full stomach may be distended with air. It is important to feel full after a meal and not deprived. Protein shakes can help achieve that feeling of fullness until you eat a meal or the stomach re-adjusts to taking in less food.

What kind of exercise should I do after surgery?

After cirugia de adelgazamiento, you should wait 6-8 weeks before resuming physical activity. After that, you’ll be able to do mild exercise like walking and yoga with your doctor's approval.

Why aren’t all gastric bypasses done laparoscopically?

Many gastric bypass procedures are done laparoscopically with small incisions and a camera that the surgeon uses to see inside the patient. However, one type of gastric bypass, called Roux-en-Y (RYGB), is done through an open incision in the middle of the abdomen. The stomach is opened to turn into a small pouch that can hold about one ounce. That often causes heartburn because the top part of the stomach that makes acid is on the bottom side of this new, smaller pouch.

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