Weight-loss surgery is also known as bariatric surgery. There are various surgical procedures, but all of them help you lose weight by limiting how much food you can eat. Some procedures also limit the amount of nutrients you can absorb.
If you're considering weight-loss surgery, you'll meet with a health care team that may include the following:
Primary care doctor
Nurse specializing in weight management
Psychologist or psychiatrist
Other specialists depending on your medical conditions
Members of your team will explain what to expect before and after the procedure. They will evaluate whether you're ready for surgery and help you decide if it's an option for you. They may identify concerns to address — medical, behavioral or psychological — before you're ready for surgery.
If your team members recommend bariatric surgery, they will work with you to develop a treatment plan. This may include:
Nutrition guidelines. The dietitian will help you with nutrition guidelines, vitamin supplements and menu planning. The guidelines include changes before and after surgery.
Exercise plan. A nurse, occupational therapist or other specialist will help you learn appropriate exercises, develop an exercise plan and set goals.
Weight loss. You may be encouraged or required to lose some weight through diet and exercise before you can have surgery.
Psychotherapy. You may be required to begin talk therapy, drug treatment or other mental health therapy to treat an eating disorder, depression or other mental health condition. Your therapy may include developing new coping skills or addressing your concerns about body image or self-esteem.
Smoking. If you smoke, you'll be asked to quit smoking or participate in a program to help you quit.
Other treatments. You'll be expected to follow treatments for other medical conditions.