Children's Hospital Colorado
Jessika sitting on a couch with her mom talking about bariatric surgery

Bariatric Surgery Preparation and Recovery

Bariatric surgery preparation

Learning that your teen is a candidate for bariatric surgery can make you feel hopeful, but nervous. For our families, the preparation and education our bariatric surgery team gave them was very reassuring. Mona and her mom share how they prepared for the journey, which started several months before surgery.

Bariatric surgeries we perform

At Children's Hospital Colorado, we offer two types of bariatric surgery – vertical sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y bypass surgery. The type of surgery that is best for your teen depends on different factors, such as their health condition. Both types of surgery require the same preparation before surgery, and the same care after surgery.

Learn more about the bariatric surgeries we perform

Graphic illustration showing the removed portion of the stomach and how the gastric sleeve becomes the new stomach.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is an irreversible procedure to reduce the size of the stomach by removing a portion of it. This causes weight loss by limiting the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. This procedure takes about two hours.

Graphic illustration showing the bypassed portion of the stomach and how food flows from the gastric pouch.

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is a type of weight loss surgery that involves two steps. First, a small stomach pouch is created. Next, a part of the small intestine is separated and reconnected to the small stomach pouch, bypassing a portion of the small intestine. This decreases the amount that your teen can eat or drink at each meal. This procedure takes two to four hours.

Recovery from bariatric surgery

Teens will need to recover from bariatric surgery at home for about two weeks. Recovery from bariatric surgery is both a physical and mental process, according to Mona. While she was at home, she found that the mental recovery was more challenging than the physical recovery. The process of feeling better about herself and getting back to her routine was particularly challenging.

Our multidisciplinary approach

The bariatric surgery team at Children's Colorado takes a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of obesity, collaborating with experts from lifestyle medicine, pediatric surgery, endocrinology, nutrition and psychology.

These care team members support teens and their families throughout the journey – from candidate evaluation and surgery preparation to recovery and beyond.

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Bariatric surgery research

Results from our research studies provide invaluable information about bariatric surgery surgical outcomes.

Read our research
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Our Bariatric Surgery Center

Read more information about our bariatric surgery program and the types of surgeries we offer.

Discover bariatric surgery resources

"I have more confidence in myself than I ever have. Children's has made me comfortable in my decision."

Jessika, patient about to have bariatric surgery
Jessika smiling


Partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Children's Hospital Colorado partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where many of our physicians and care providers serve as faculty.