Your Journey

emoji_peopleGetting Started

Understanding your current medical and nutritional health is key to getting started. Working with your current physician, along with our surgeons and dietitians, will determine your degree of long-term success.

After completing your seminar, we will begin to evaluate your eligibility for surgery. You will need to complete the Bariatric Surgery questionnaire and submit the primary care provider form to your current provider for completion. Upon receipt of the Bariatric surgery questionnaire, you will be ready for your first appointment. During your visit, we will:


You will be required to attend a nutritional seminar followed by a series of individual appointments with a dietitian.

You will learn about:

  • Adopting lifelong healthy eating habits.
  • Developing healthy meal plans and menus.
  • Preparing for the lifestyle changes for long-term success.


The nutrition track takes between 2 and 6 months to complete.


It is important for you to check with your health insurance company to understand whether bariatric surgery is a covered benefit under your policy. Surgery is usually covered, however there still may be co-pays and deductibles that you are responsible for.

Following the completion of your surgical consultation, we will submit a request to your insurance provider for surgery approval.

Surgery Options

Our bariatric surgical team specializes in minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery, which involves small incisions using tiny instruments and a camera to guide the surgery. Smaller incisions result in decreased scarring, reduced pain, fewer complications, and a quicker recovery.

Surgery Options include:

sleeveGastric sleeve surgery is considered “restrictive” as the surgery makes the stomach significantly smaller. More than half of the stomach is removed, leaving a narrow vertical sleeve, about the size of a banana. This surgery is not reversible as the part of the stomach has been removed.

After surgery you will be “restricted” to smaller portions due to the size of your new stomach. You will feel full faster.


Gastric BypassIn the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Procedure the surgeon creates a smaller stomach pouch and attaches a Y-shaped section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. Food intake "bypasses" much of the small intestine resulting in less calorie and nutrient absorption. The smaller pouch makes patients feel more full while consuming less food.

Gastric Bypass

The duodenal switch is a variation of the gastric bypass that involves bypassing a much greater length of the small intestine. This procedure was originally developed for the more severely obese individual.


listPreparing for Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a journey to weight loss. Our goal is prepare you nutritionally, physically, and mentally.

On average it takes approximately 4-6 months to meet the medical and nutritional requirements for surgery. Keep in mind that this is elective surgery and our team of professionals will determine when it is safe to proceed to surgery. You must complete the nutritional program, the required medical testing and must demonstrate the ability to make the necessary lifestyle changes to be successful with surgery. Each component of the program is time sensitive. If you do not have surgery within one year of beginning the program (attending a seminar) you may need to repeat a portion of or all of the program.

Your last appointment before your surgery will be with your surgeon. During this consultation, you and your surgeon will decide the type of surgery you will have and recap all the information that you’ve learned over the past months. Our team wants to make sure you are feeling comfortable and prepared for your surgery.

Before you leave your consultation, we will schedule your surgery date.

All patients will have a pre-surgical screening. The appointment will include: blood work, urine sample, EKG, X-rays (if requested by your surgeon), health history screening, pre-surgical education, and MyChart signup. The goal of this screening is to ensure your body is ready for surgery.


local_hospital Surgery & Recovery

All your hard work and preparation has finally paid off, and now it is time for surgery.

All bariatric surgeries are performed at Highland Hospital in one of our state-of-the-art operating rooms.

On the day of your surgery, you’ll go to the Highland Surgery Center on the first floor for check-in. The total time from operating room to leaving the post-anesthesia care unit is usually about 4 hours. After surgery, you will be transferred to our bariatric surgery recovery floor where you will spend approximately 2 nights.

Once in your hospital room, the nurse will assess your needs and review your individualized care plan with you. The inpatient dietitian will review your new liquid meal plan. Both are here to help get you started on your road to recovery and a life back in motion.

After discharge, it is very important that you follow the liquid meal plan staying hydrated and getting enough rest as your body recovers.

Be prepared! It is very important that you sample the various protein drinks to determine what you prefer. Do your grocery shopping and stock your pantry with the liquid meal plan items prior to being admitted for surgery.

You will be able to drive as long as you are not taking pain medication. Most patients can return to work within 2 weeks as there are no significant physical limitations after surgery.

Highland Hospital is taking steps to ensure that patient’s pain is controlled safely upon discharge. Many patient leave using little to no narcotics.

directions_run Life After Surgery


In the first year after surgery you will have five follow-up appointments. Our aftercare program provides routine follow-up, continued nutrition education counseling, monitoring of blood work, renewal of prescriptions and early intervention and support if needed. We work in conjunction with your referring physician during treatment and follow-up but patients are expected to continue to see their PCP for general health care. Our visit schedule includes:

  • Visit 1:  7-10 days after surgery. Transition to the Pureed Meal Plan.
  • Visit 2:  5 weeks after surgery. Transition to the Soft Meal Plan.
  • Visit 3:  9 weeks after surgery. Transition to the Bariatric Lifestyle Meal Plan.
  • Visit 4:  6 months after surgery.
  • Visit 5:  1 year after surgery and continuing visits annually thereafter.


You will begin with a liquid diet as your first meal plan after surgery. Your dietitian will have covered the details of the liquid diet at your last nutrition appointment. After your first post-operative appointment you will advance to the pureed diet. At each successive visit you will progress to the soft diet and ultimately to the lifestyle meal plan.

Learn more about post operative diets

This is the time for you to check things off your bucket list! Do the things that your weight was holding you back from. You can finally play tag with your kids. You can ride your bike with your partner. You can join the gym. You can make a difference and walk for a cause. The possibilities are endless.


Led by our dietitians, our weekly virtual coaching program will help to support long-term goals, weight maintenance and healthy habits for our post bariatric surgery patients.

Learn More About Healthly Lifestyle Coaching