Why Do I Need to Lose Weight Before Weight-Loss Surgery?

Why Do I Need to Lose Weight Before Weight-Loss Surgery?

Despite your best efforts, you’re unable to lose weight and you've decided that bariatric (or weight loss) surgery is your best path forward. But before your procedure, we may ask you to embark on one last pre-surgery effort to shed some pounds.

At the Weight Loss Institute of Arizona, our team of surgeons wants to ensure that you safely navigate your procedure, as well as life after your bariatric surgery. To those ends, pre-surgery weight loss is a good idea for several reasons, which we review here.

A pre-surgical health boost

If you’re undergoing a bariatric surgery in which you’re under general anesthesia and we need to make anatomical changes to your digestive tract, losing some weight beforehand accomplishes several objectives:

When you have obesity, your body is already under added pressure to circulate blood efficiently, and good circulation is paramount during and after your weight loss surgery. 


With good blood flow, oxygen and valuable nutrients are able to flow more freely, which can greatly help with your body’s ability to recover and heal more quickly.

Laying the groundwork

Another reason we recommend pre-surgery weight loss is that your life after bariatric surgery is going to change dramatically, especially your diet. Rather than abruptly changing the way you eat after your surgery, we want to ease you into the changes beforehand, which typically include:

By training yourself beforehand to eat smaller, more frequent meals, you can hit the ground running on the other side of your weight loss surgery with a schedule already in place.

And while reducing sugar and fat may seem simple enough, reducing or eliminating these ingredients from your diet is far from easy, as you’ve likely discovered during your previous weight loss efforts.

By taking the time before your procedure to introduce these changes, you can concentrate on your recovery and slide into your new life with fewer challenges.

Meeting insurance requirements

Depending on your insurance company, you may be required to attempt weight loss before they approve your bariatric surgery. Often called medical weight management, this prerequisite is designed to prove to your insurance company that bariatric surgery is a good idea and that you’re committed to the process.

No matter the reason for trying to lose weight before your bariatric surgery, rest assured that we’re with you every step of the way through our specialized dietary counseling services.

If you have more questions about weight loss before your bariatric procedure, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our six Arizona locations in Tempe (two locations), Glendale, Mesa, Tucson, and Phoenix.

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