Preparing for Surgery Skip To Content

Preparing for Surgery

Getting Started

You've thought long and hard about it and you've decided weight-loss surgery offers your best hope in the battle against obesity. What's your next step in this life-changing journey? Learn more about weight-loss surgery and how to get started. If you are interested in attending a free informational seminar, please click here to learn more about the upcoming dates and times.

Please take our healthy weight self assessment quiz.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart

Your Weight-Loss Team

Your journey will include several key passages: an initial consultation, months of education and preparation, surgery and recovery, and finally a new, healthy way of life. At every step of the way, you'll meet specifically trained professionals who will work with you. All share a common goal: your lifelong success. View your weight-loss team members.

Healthy Living Consultations

Weight-loss surgery by itself is not the answer. You also need exercise, nutrition and mental health – three factors that make a powerful difference in your lifelong success. Consultations with our experts will give you a realistic view of what to expect and the important role you play.


A consultation with a registered dietician will help you to understand the nutritional aspects before, during, and after surgery. They will answer any questions you may have, and are always available should you have questions after surgery.

Weight-loss surgery will require you to make permanent changes in your eating habits to lose weight and keep it off. To prevent any problems with vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies after surgery, it is important to eat food of high nutritional quality. You will also need to take vitamin and mineral supplements daily as recommended by your health care team everyday for the rest of your life.

You will also be advised to start making healthy food choices and monitoring your portion sizes. This will help you not only lose weight prior to surgery, but help set healthy habits into place. We encourage all patients who are working toward metabolic and bariatric surgery to follow a 1200 calorie diet. An example of a 1200 calorie diet can be viewed here.

BLAST (Better Living, Attitude, and Success Training)

Classes are held each month for pre-op bariatric patients. Join our bariatric dietician to discuss the following topics during BLAST class. Call (605) 333-2249 for more information or click here.

Mindful Eating

This class will show you how to pay closer attention to what you are eating and how it makes you feel. Practice by taking smaller bites, eating slower and experiencing your food with all your senses. Mindfully eating will help you learn to enjoy the quality versus the quantity of foods. We also briefly discuss the post-operative diet and supplement regimen.

Barriers and Feelings

This class will help you identify any personal barriers that may be inhibiting weight loss or a healthy lifestyle. We will examine food related feelings and emotions, the hunger/fullness scale and discuss the value of food and activity logs. We will also discuss non-food ways to nurture yourself.

Menu Planning/Activity

This class will help you learn how to create a health grocery list and simple food plan. This class also touches on eating out, the benefits of physical activity, how screen time and sleep affect weight loss and the important of adequate support to help you reach your goals.


Exercise should become a routine part of your life. Our exercise physiologist will visit with you after surgery and give you all the information you need to incorporate exercise into your life. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. Exercise programs are available at your request to give you additional exercise beyond the everyday activities you do at work or home.

Starting an exercise routine now helps aid your weight loss as you work toward surgery and also helps you recover quicker and to have more endurance after surgery. You will be expected to continue an exercise routine 5-6 days per week after surgery with a plan that starts slowly and becomes more difficult. We encourage all patients to begin with walking with a goal distance of one mile. This will be essential to your recovery and rehabilitation. Working in exercise 5 to 6 times per week for the rest of your life is essential for weight loss and maintenance after bariatric surgery.

Psychological Evaluation

In addition to being medically appropriate for weight-loss surgery, you need to be emotionally and mentally ready, too. At this appointment, you'll meet with a psychologist who will complete a psychosocial assessment. This may include a standardized test to help identify your eating behaviors, mood, stressors, and coping skills. Your commitment and motivation to change lifestyle behaviors and follow pre- and post-surgical recommendations will also be discussed.

Helpful Resources

Use these trusted links and frequently asked questions for more help.

If you would like additional information, please call to arrange a consultation with one of our bariatric surgeons at (605) 328-3840 or (800) 727-0670, or click here to request more information online.