Children's Hospital Colorado

Preparation and Recovery

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Bariatric surgery preparation

Learning that your teen is a candidate for bariatric surgery can make you feel hopeful, but nervous. Our bariatric surgery care team members support teens and their families throughout the journey – from candidate evaluation and surgery preparation to recovery and beyond.

Our families discuss preparation for surgery

The preparation and education our bariatric surgery team gave Mona and her mom before and after surgery was very reassuring. Here, they discuss how they each prepared for the bariatric surgery 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.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy

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.

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB)

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.

Bariatric surgery recovery

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.

The recovery process

Teens will need to recover from bariatric surgery at home for about two weeks. Our care team closely monitors teens during the recovery process and provides the support and resources needed for optimal healing and weight loss.

Our multidisciplinary approach

Our bariatric surgery team provides multidisciplinary expertise and support to teens from evaluation through recovery and beyond.

Jessika smiling
"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

Additional bariatric surgery resources

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.