With rising obesity and related health conditions, weight loss surgery has become one of the most popular treatment options. Bariatric surgeries like gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy can help people achieve significant and long-term weight loss.
When you decide to have weight loss surgery, there are several medical tests and exams you will need to do before your surgery can be scheduled. These tests help to make sure that you are healthy enough for surgery, and they also help to ensure that your surgery is as safe as possible.
Ask your bariatric surgeon what tests you will need before surgery, as the specific tests can vary depending on your weight loss surgery.
Here is a list of some of the most common tests and exams you will need before weight loss surgery:
1) Physical Examination
Pre-op testing for gastric bypass surgery usually starts with a physical examination by your surgeon. Your weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) will be measured during this appointment.
Your surgeon will also assess your overall health and any risk factors you may have for complications during or after surgery.
The body mass index is the most important number to determine if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery. A BMI of 40 or more is morbidly obese.
If your BMI is below 35, you may still be a candidate for weight loss surgery if you have other health conditions that are improved by weight loss, such as sleep apnea, type II diabetes, or high blood pressure.
Your surgeon will review the medical history and any medications you are currently taking. Be sure to tell your surgeon about any allergies you have and any previous surgeries you have had.
2) Blood Tests
Your surgeon will order a series of blood tests to assess your health and to identify any potential risks for complications during surgery.
These tests will check your blood count, electrolyte levels, kidney function, and liver function.
You may also have a test to see if you are iron deficient. Your surgeon may also order additional tests, depending on your individual health history and risk factors. For example, if you have a history of heart disease, you may need a stress test or EKG before surgery.
3) Barium Swallow or Upper GI Series
You will likely have a barium swallow or upper GI series before surgery. This test examines the anatomy of your upper digestive system, including your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
During the test, you will drink a chalky liquid that contains barium. It liquid will help your digestive system show up on the x-ray.
An abdominal ultrasound is a non-invasive test done using sound waves to create images of your digestive system. This test can help your surgeon assess the size of your liver and gallbladder and look for any abnormalities.