For fitness clients living with obesity and struggling to successfully lose weight, bariatric surgery may be an option they consider. Personal trainers should be informed on weight loss procedures, including risks, benefits, and recovery process.

More than 42% of American adults (2018) at least 20 years old are classified as obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read on to learn critical information about bariatric surgery, including effective preparation, short-term recovery, and long-term care. 

Before undergoing weight-loss surgery, one needs to undergo testing, including imaging examinations of the abdominal region. Bariatric surgery can not only boost clients’ confidence, but such surgical enhancement procedures may help improve health outcomes as well.

What Exactly is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is weight-loss surgery that includes options like gastric bypass. The process involves alterations to the patient’s digestive system to help achieve weight loss. 

Some individuals opt for bariatric surgery after being unable to achieve weight loss goals through a healthy diet and physical exercise. They may also be experiencing severe obesity-related health issues.

Bariatric surgery is done to help you lose excess weight and reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Sleep apnea 

Weight loss surgeries work in different ways. Some procedures limit how much food people can eat, while others reduce their ability to absorb nutrients. Other surgeries combine both objectives.  

5 Ways to Prepare Mentally for Bariatric Surgery

Undergoing surgery can be a big event. Before bariatric surgery, it’s essential to be physically healthy enough. Here are some tips to also improve your client’s emotional state: 

1. Begin with realistic expectations 

Set realistic post-surgery expectations. Bariatric surgery isn’t a “quick fix” for a thin body. It’s instead a procedure to produce a smaller stomach to help achieve weight loss goals.

2. Seek enough support 

The support of friends, family, and your primary care provider can help patients. They can help you stay motivated, set long-term goals, and track your weight loss milestones. Create a weight loss plan–then stick to it!   

3. Be aware of the significance of a healthy diet and regular exercise

If you have a food addiction, address the problem before bariatric surgery. A mental health care provider can assist in changing your eating habits by changing how you perceive food.  

4. Be aware of the risks of other addictions

Tobacco, alcohol, and drug addictions may hamper your weight loss goals. For instance, alcohol is high-calorie, while tobacco use may cause surgical complications and stomach ulcers. 

5. Get help for depression 

Bariatric surgery is often effective, but your clients need the commitment to keep off the weight. One’s post-surgery instructions will limit their diet during recovery. 

Dealing with depression can help one stay on track and especially if they have a food addiction. 

A doctor or counselor can help develop and sustain a positive attitude about weight.  

Recovery and Long-Term Care After Bariatric Surgery

Post-Surgery Recovery 

After minimally invasive bariatric surgery, patients typically stay in the hospital for one or two days. 

During the first postoperative days and weeks, patients often experience symptoms including:

  • Fatigue 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Loose stools 
  • Emotional highs and lows 

Your doctor can also help with other post-surgery issues, including pain control.

Other steps may help speed up your recovery. They include healthy eating, light exercise, breathing exercises, and correct coughs.

Long-Term Care  

Bariatric surgeries may provide long-term weight loss. 

You can also consider these lifestyle adjustments for long-term care:

Diet: Your suggested daily calories will likely drop during the first year after bariatric surgery. Small, high-nutrient meals can help accommodate your smaller stomach. 

Exercise: After surgery recovery, try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. This process can help maintain weight loss and build muscle. 

Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications for months or indefinitely after your weight loss surgery. Examples are medicines to help prevent ulcers or gallstones.  

You also may need to take supplements such as Vitamin D or calcium. 

Common Types of Bariatric Surgery

Here are some of the primary types of bariatric surgery:

Gastric Bypass Surgery 

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is a weight-loss operation that shrinks the stomach. Food then enters the small intestine directly, bypassing the stomach.

Gastric bypass may provide more weight loss and better diabetes improvement than sleeve gastrectomy. 

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

This procedure is also known as a gastric sleeve. Sleeve gastrectomy surgery only involves a stomach operation. Surgeons often remove approximately 80% of the stomach, replacing it with a smaller “sleeve.” 

A gastric sleeve is somewhat safer than gastric bypass surgery. For example, the risk of complications tends to be slightly lower than a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. 

Duodenal Switch

Duodenal switch surgery is a combination of gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy operations. Bariatric surgeons remove a portion of the stomach to create a sleeve, then conduct a more complex version of gastric bypass surgery. 

The duodenal switch surgery may provide an opportunity for greater weight loss and metabolic effects. Metabolism involves chemical reactions in living cells that provide energy. 

Wrap Up

Bariatric surgery is often a successful procedure for shedding pounds; your clients can increase its effectiveness through proper pre- and post-surgery actions. 

These procedures can be part of one’s weight loss journey that also includes nutritious meals and regular exercise. It’s about gaining a better life instead of just losing weight.  

Casey BloomAbout the Author:

Casey Bloom’s field of studies is concentrated in language and in literature. She had worked as an advertising creative before writing for health and wellness sites. She is a vegan advocate who enjoys cooking, dancing, and music.




  1. Bariatric surgery

  1. Obesity and overweight

  1. How Do You Know What Type of Bariatric Surgery Is Right for You?

  1. 5 Best Tips to Help You Mentally Prepare For Bariatric Surgery

  1. Recovering from bariatric surgery 

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