Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Jill Welshans visiting with a patient in clinic
Jill Welshans is one of our nurse practitioners for bariatric patients. Our team guides you through every step of bariatric treatment.

OHSU’s bariatric program gives you a team of specialists to guide you through every step of preparing for surgery. Important things to know:

  • Patient navigators will answer your questions and help you with appointments and forms. 
  • Your dietitian will develop a diet for weight loss before surgery, plus a plan for your new nutritional needs after surgery.
  • You will meet with a physical therapist and a psychologist.
  • The process typically takes four to six months after your first meeting with a nurse practitioner.

Bariatric surgery appointments

The goal of these appointments is to prepare you for surgery physically and mentally. You also may need to meet with additional specialists, such as in sleep medicine or cardiology. 

Nurse practitioner: You’ll have a complete exam with a nurse practitioner. You will get a checklist of consultations and tests to complete before surgery.

Dietitian: A registered dietitian will review your eating habits and recommend a diet plan and behavioral changes. You will receive detailed information, including a notebook with lists of healthy foods and drinks. The goals are to make the surgery safer and to prepare you for post-surgery nutritional requirements.

A meat and vegetable portion served on a plate that has markings on it to help guide serving sizes
A registered dietitian will help you develop strategies for healthy eating before and after surgery.

Physical therapist: A physical therapist will evaluate your mobility, strength and endurance. The therapist will also help you develop exercise plans for before and after surgery. People who begin regular exercise before surgery are more likely to continue long term, research suggests.

Psychologist: A psychologist will help identify any emotional or psychological factors that could complicate your transition. The psychologist may recommend treatment, such as ways to cope with stress.

Stefanie Collier meeting with a patient
Stefanie Collier (left) is a registered nurse on our team.

Weight-management class, first session: You will learn about:

  • Mindful eating
  • Meal planning
  • Your pre-surgery diet

Test results: Schedule and complete required tests, such as a mammogram and colonoscopy. Fax results to us at 503-418-3683 or make sure your provider does.

Weight-management class, second session: You will review the first session and learn more about:

  • Recommended amounts of fluids and protein
  • The vitamin and mineral supplements you’ll need
  • Exercise
  • Your post-surgery diet

Your dietitian will arrange these sessions, both at the Center for Health & Healing or at OHSU Tuality Healthcare in Hillsboro.

Finish requirements: Complete supervised diet requirements and achieve the required pre-surgery weight loss.

Pre-surgery appointments: After you have completed the above appointments and classes, including any appointments to address medical conditions, you'll have three appointments: 

  • Surgeon: You will meet with your surgeon to discuss risks and to ask questions. After this appointment, we will ask your insurance company to authorize your surgery. Once we get the go-ahead, we will call you to schedule your surgery.
  • Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine Clinic: You will be evaluated for anesthesia risk. If you haven’t registered for surgery yet, you’ll be directed to the Admitting desk to do so.
  • Bariatric pre-op class: We will review vitamin supplements and what to expect before, during and after surgery.
  • Hillsboro Medical Center patients: You will attend the same pre-op class, but your surgical, anesthesiology and perioperative appointments will be at Hillsboro Medical Center.

Pre-registration

OHSU patients:

You will pre-register at least 72 hours before the day of your surgery. You can use one of three ways:

Be prepared to give:

  • Contact and emergency contact information
  • Insurance information 
  • Your primary care doctor’s name
  • Your surgery date

Hillsboro Medical Center patients: 

A staff member will call you to get you pre-registered.

Admissions process

We will call you the day before your surgery to confirm your visit.

The day of your surgery, have someone bring you to the hospital, or take public or other transportation.

OHSU patients: 

Hillsboro Medical Center patients: 

Where to stay

Portland has many options for patients and families coming from elsewhere.

For patients 21 or younger, options include the Ronald McDonald House.

Some businesses offer OHSU patients a discount, so ask for the most up-to-date rate when making your reservation.

The Portland Visitors Association offers more options and resources.

For patients

Get started:

Questions?

Locations

Parking is free for patients and their visitors. 

Center for Health & Healing Building 2
Digestive Health Center, eighth floor
3485 S. Bond Ave.
Portland, OR 97239
Map and directions

OHSU Health Hillsboro Medical Center
Tuality 7th Avenue Medical Plaza
333 S.E. Seventh Ave., Suite 5200
Hillsboro, OR 97123
Map and directions

Refer a patient

Resources on preparing for surgery