How Long Does Bariatric Surgery Take?

How Long Does Bariatric Surgery Take?

The size of this pouch can be adjusted over time by injecting or removing saline from the band through a port placed under the skin.

Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to lose weight but nothing seems to work? Or maybe you’re considering bariatric surgery but have concerns about the time commitment. Well, we’ve got good news for you! In this blog post, we’ll dive into the question on so many people’s minds – how long does bariatric surgery take? We’ll explore different types of procedures and what to expect during each stage of the process. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for some informative reading!

Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are several types of bariatric surgery, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types are gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric banding.

Gastric bypass surgery is the most common type of bariatric surgery. It involves creating a small stomach pouch and connecting it directly to the small intestine. This bypasses the rest of the stomach and reduces the amount of food that can be consumed at one time.

Sleeve gastrectomy is another common type of bariatric surgery. It involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving only a narrow sleeve of stomach remaining. This reduced stomach capacity leads to smaller meals and fewer calories consumed overall.

Adjustable gastric banding is a less common type of bariatric surgery. It involves placing a band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small stomach pouch. The size of this pouch can be adjusted over time by injecting or removing saline from the band through a port placed under the skin.

Overview of the Surgical Process

Bariatric surgery is a major procedure that requires several hours to complete. The actual surgery usually takes about 1-2 hours, but the entire process – from pre-operative preparation to post-operative recovery – can take much longer.

During the pre-operative phase, patients will undergo a series of tests and consultations with their surgeon to ensure they are healthy enough for surgery. Once everything is cleared, patients will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for their procedure. This may include fasting for a certain period of time before surgery, as well as discontinuing certain medications.

The surgery itself is typically done laparoscopically, which means that several small incisions are made in the abdomen. Through these incisions, the surgeon will access the stomach and intestines. In some cases, the stomach may need to be divided into smaller sections or rerouted completely. Once the necessary changes have been made, the incisions will be closed and patients will be moved to recovery.

Recovery from bariatric surgery can take several hours or even days. During this time, patients will be monitored closely for any complications. They will also need to follow a strict diet and avoid strenuous activity while their bodies heal. Most people are able to return home within a few days, but full recovery can take up to 6 weeks.

What to Expect During and After Surgery

Many people are interested in bariatric surgery but are worried about the surgical process. Here is what you can expect during and after surgery:

During surgery, you will be under general anesthesia. This means you will be asleep and pain-free. The surgeon will make several small incisions in your abdomen and then insert a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera on the end. They will use the laparoscope to guide them as they remove a portion of your stomach and re-attach the remaining stomach to a smaller section of your small intestine. The entire surgery usually takes about two hours.

After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room where you will wake up from the anesthesia. You may feel some pain and discomfort as well as nausea and vomiting. Your surgeon will prescribe medication to help with this. You will stay in the hospital for one to two days so that the staff can monitor your progress and provide support as needed.

When you go home, you will need to follow a special diet for several weeks as your stomach heals. You will also need to take vitamins and minerals supplements for life. Most people see significant weight loss within the first few months after surgery but it can take up to a year to reach your goal weight.

Follow-up Care After Bariatric Surgery

Most patients will stay in the hospital for 2-5 days after bariatric surgery. Once you are discharged, you will need to follow up with your surgeon and have regular checkups. The frequency of these will depend on your individual situation. You will also need to make sure you are eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise.

You will need to meet with a nutritionist or dietitian within the first few weeks after surgery. They will help you plan meals and snacks that are appropriate for your new stomach size. Vitamins and calcium supplements may also be recommended to make sure you get enough nutrients in your diet.

If you experience any symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, or excessive bleeding, contact your surgeon immediately. If you have had esophageal stapling done for adjustable gastric banding, you will need regular checkups to make sure it is still working correctly.

It is vitally important that you attend all of these follow-up appointments as this is the key to success with bariatric surgery. Your surgeon will monitor your weight loss and check on any other medical issues you may have due to the surgery or related conditions. These follow-up appointments will also provide ongoing education and support as well as advice about how best to manage eating habits and lifestyle adjustments going forward.

Pros of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a medical procedure that offers hope and transformation for individuals struggling with obesity. It involves surgical techniques that modify the size and function of the stomach and digestive system, leading to significant weight loss and improved health outcomes. Bariatric surgery provides numerous advantages that go beyond mere weight reduction, improving both physical and emotional well-being. In this article, we will explore the pros of bariatric surgery and how it can positively impact the lives of those affected by obesity.

1. Substantial and Sustainable Weight Loss: One of the most significant pros of bariatric surgery is its ability to facilitate substantial and sustainable weight loss. Traditional weight loss methods such as diet and exercise may not provide sufficient results for individuals with severe obesity. Bariatric surgery offers a powerful solution by reducing the size of the stomach or rerouting the digestive system. These modifications result in reduced food intake and absorption, leading to significant weight loss. Studies have shown that patients can achieve weight loss of 50% or more of their excess weight within the first year following surgery, with sustained weight loss over the long term.

2. Improvement or Resolution of Obesity-Related Health Conditions: Obesity is often associated with a range of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and joint problems. Bariatric surgery has been shown to significantly improve or even resolve these obesity-related health conditions. As patients lose weight, their metabolic health improves, resulting in better blood sugar control, reduced blood pressure, improved sleep quality, and decreased joint pain. Many individuals experience a reduction in the need for medications to manage these conditions, leading to an overall improvement in health and quality of life.

3. Enhanced Emotional Well-being: Bariatric surgery not only impacts physical health but also has a positive effect on emotional well-being. Excess weight often takes a toll on self-esteem, body image, and overall confidence. After weight loss surgery, individuals report improved self-confidence and body image, leading to enhanced self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life. The psychological benefits of bariatric surgery can lead to improved mental health, reduced rates of depression and anxiety, and an overall improvement in quality of life.

4. Reduction in Cardiovascular Risks: Obesity is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Bariatric surgery addresses this risk by promoting weight loss and improving metabolic health. Studies have shown that weight loss surgery can lead to a significant reduction in cardiovascular risks, including lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, and reduced inflammation. By reducing the burden on the cardiovascular system, bariatric surgery can potentially add years to individuals’ lives and improve their overall cardiovascular health.

5. Long-term Sustainability: Unlike many fad diets or temporary weight loss methods, bariatric surgery provides long-term and sustainable results. The modifications made to the stomach and digestive system during the surgery lead to lasting changes in eating behaviors and satiety cues. Patients experience reduced appetite and a feeling of fullness with smaller portions, enabling them to maintain their weight loss over time. This long-term sustainability sets bariatric surgery apart from other weight loss approaches and offers individuals a chance for lasting success.


We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of how long bariatric surgery typically takes to complete. From patient evaluation to final discharge, the entire process usually lasts between two and four hours or more, depending on the individual case. It is important for potential patients to fully understand what’s involved in bariatric surgery – both before and after – so that they can decide if it’s right for them. Ultimately, only you can make an informed decision about having bariatric surgery based on your unique circumstances.