Steps to Take Before Surgery


Laparoscopic weight loss surgery is complex surgery. The best preparation is to understand the risks and potential benefits and to closely follow our instructions.

Medications to avoid 1 week prior to surgery

Do not take Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or products containing Aspirin such as:
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Anacin
  • Antidol
  • Apo-Asen
  • Aspergum
  • Asaphen
  • Bayer Aspirin
  • Astrin
  • AAS
  • Bufferin
  • Coricidin D
  • Coryphen 325 or 650
  • Darvon compound
  • Dristan, Entrophen 5, 10 and 15
  • Fiorinal
  • Frosst (217-222-292)
  • Instantine
  • Kalmex
  • Midol
  • Nervine
  • Norgesic
  • Novasen
  • Percodan
  • Robaxisal
Do not take anti-inflammatories unless otherwise instructed by your surgeon:
  • Advil
  • Ibuprofen
  • Celebrex
  • Indocid
  • Motrin
  • Naprosyn
  • Orudis
  • Vioxx
  • Voltaren
  • Some new products or medications not listed above may also contain aspirin. When in doubt, consult your surgeon or pharmacist.
  • You should also avoid all natural and homeopathic products including garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, kava, St. John’s Wort for 1 week prior to surgery. Despite their natural qualities, they may induce bleeding and/or change the efficacy of medications and anesthetic medications.
  • If you are taking heart, blood pressure, or diabetes medication, continue to do so until the day of your surgery. During your preoperative consultation with the doctor, you will receive detailed instructions regarding which medications may need to be held the day of the surgery.
  • You can however safely take certain medications such as Atasol and Tylenol to relieve pain.
Please note that it is your responsibility to verify if the medications you are taking contain or do not contain aspirin.

Alcohol and tobacco

  • Limit alcohol consumption prior to your operation, and abstain for six (6) months following your operation.  Alcohol may increase the risk of postoperative complications. Combining alcohol and medications can cause unpredictable reactions and modify the effect of medications.
  • You must stop smoking for at least eight (8) weeks prior to your surgery. Toxic substances in tobacco have a negative impact on blood circulation. These substances can cause small blood vessels to tighten and lead to poor healing after surgery. Tobacco can also cause  more nausea, vomiting, and excessive coughing that increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.

Other important preparations

  • Remove artificial nails and nail polish as skin colour and nail colour are used as indicators to verify oxygen levels in the blood. Additionally, the device used to measure your oxygen level may not be able to read results if your nails are covered in polish or if you are wearing artificial nails.
  • If applicable, two days before your surgery date, remove hair in the operating area between your rib cage and the umbilicus with a depilatory agent (Veet , Vichy, Klorane, etc.). This type of product can be purchased at a pharmacy. Depilatory agents are irritating to the skin. Follow the instructions from the product’s packaging and ask your pharmacist for more information. Avoid waxing as well as razor blades.
  • Remove all jewelry, chains, earrings, rings, body piercings, and hair bands.

Special skin preparation

Take a bath or a shower the night before and the morning of surgery. In order to reduce the risk of infection and reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin during surgery and after surgery, use a sponge or a Chlorhexidine-based soap to wash the operating area. This product is available in pharmacies.