What do you need to know about Anaesthesia for Bariatric Surgery?

Types of procedures

Photo by XiXinXing/iStock / Getty Images

The pre-assessment

The Southampton weight loss (or bariatric) surgical service started in 2005 and has a wealth of experience and a proven clinical track record. As well as offering the three main weight loss operations (Gastric Band, Bypass and Gastric Sleeve), Southampton is at the forefront of research into new surgical techniques for weight loss. Our three Surgeons are Mr Michael Van den Bosche, Mr James Byrne and Mr John (Jamie) Kelly. They will discuss with you the pros and cons of each procedure and tailor a treatment plan to your individual circumstances.

Most patients will be seen in a pre-assessment clinic involving a specialist nurse, and usually, a consultant surgeon and a consultant anaesthetist. This is a good chance to discuss the procedure, plan management of existing medicines and prepare for the day of surgery.

Photo by Mathisa_s/iStock / Getty Images

The day of the surgery

On the day of surgery you will be asked to arrive early on the ward, with-holding any normal medication unless otherwise stated. Your anaesthetist will be a dedicated anaesthetist with a specialist interest in weight loss surgery. Our anaesthetic and surgical techniques are geared towards rapid offset of drowsiness, early mobilisation and effective pain control. Patients who have had a bypass or sleeve gastrectomy will need a nasogastric tube overnight and will also receive a Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) device for post-operative pain. From early on day 1, you will follow a protocol for re-establishment of oral fluids, then solid food. Diabetic patients will have close monitoring of blood glucose throughout with advice to take home regarding relevant medication. Your progress will be monitored regularly by the bariatric surgical team

We expect our gastric band patients to leave hospital the morning after surgery, whilst Bypass and Sleeve procedures normally necessitate a 48 hour stay.