Skip To Content

Preparation for Surgery

What are the routine tests before surgery?
Patients are asked to provide a complete medical history, recent laboratory tests and the results from other physical and mental examinations including the following: complete blood count (CBC), comprehensive chemistry panel, cholesterol panel, thyroid function, iron levels, B12 levels, methylmelonic acid, thiamine, folate, zinc, PTH, prealbumin, H. pylori antigen and hemoglobin A1C. Other tests, such as pulmonary function, sleep studies, echocardiogram, GI evaluation, cardiology evaluation and psychiatric evaluation may be requested on an individualized basis.

Why do I have to have so many medical tests and examinations?
An accurate assessment of your health is needed before surgery to determine your readiness for surgery and to maximize your likelihood of success. Dr. Scott feels it is his responsibility to offer you the safest, most effective intervention for your obesity and therefore may order some additional testing.

Why do I have to have a psychiatric evaluation?
Bariatric surgery will require significant changes in your lifestyle and will also change your life. A psychiatric evaluation will help prepare you for these changes by developing coping skills and encouraging behavior modification. Additionally, our psychiatrists will evaluate your understanding and knowledge of the risks and complications associated with weight-loss surgery, whether you have an eating disorder that requires alternative treatment and your ability to follow the basic recovery plan.

What impact does my medical history have on the decision for surgery?
Obesity-related health issues are among the determining factors that may improve your chances of receiving approval for surgery. There is, however, a delicate balance of health versus risk that must be considered. While weight-loss surgery is proven to result in improvement of many obesity-related health conditions, individuals who are very sick or who have multiple high-risk complications may not be healthy enough to undergo surgery. Your physician will take all of this information into consideration before making a recommendation.

What can I do before the appointment to speed up the process?
Select a primary care physician if you don't already have one, and establish a relationship with him or her. Work with your physician to ensure that your routine health maintenance testing is current.

  • Make a list of all the weight-loss attempts you have tried and share it with your doctor.
  • Bring any pertinent medical data to your appointment with the surgeon - this includes reports of special tests (echocardiogram, sleep study, etc.) or hospital discharge summary if you have been in the hospital.
  • Check with your insurance provider for a list of their pre-operative requirements. Some require several months of physician supervised weight loss efforts. If this is the case, make certain you obtain clear documentation.