Bariatric Surgery Hospital Checklist

One of the biggest questions we get here at VIDA is, “How should we prepare for weight loss surgery?”. We’ve consulted with our in-house bariatric surgeons and come up with a Bariatric Surgery Hospital Checklist below!

Essentials and Comfort Items.

Recovery Boutique 

A common question among bariatric patients is what to bring to the hospital for bariatric surgery. Sure, you want to be comfy, but you aren’t going to be in our Recovery Boutique forever. So, what to pack for the hospital for bariatric surgery?


Travel light. Do not forget your hygiene products (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) Bathrobe, pajamas, sandals, and/or slippers. Make sure to bring comfortable clothing, preferably loose clothes. Leave your jewelry at home. We also recommend bringing a suitcase with wheels.

Diet Changes

Preparing for a bariatric surgery diet may not be easy, you will be asked to cut off calories and increase protein in your diet. But don’t worry, we are here to help in every step of the way. VIDA nutrition specialists will provide you with a personalized eating plan that will cover a preoperative bariatric surgery diet and a postoperative eating plan. However, you may want to prepare your kitchen for your return with nutritious and feel-good food. So, what to buy before bariatric surgery? In terms of pantry items, go for natural and sugar-free items that will give you the nutrients your body needs for optimal recovery.

Bye, Bye, Smoking and Alcohol: Hello, Exercise!

It is important you are aware that one of the basics of bariatric surgery pre-op preparation is a shift towards a more active lifestyle. Smoking not only slows the body’s natural healing process, but it can also lead to post-operative complications. So, if you smoke, our doctor will ask you to quit at least 2 weeks before the procedure. If you need support to help to quit, our expert staff can help you with life coaching sessions to make the process smoother. Additionally, you may be asked to lose some weight before your surgery. Your doctor will advise you on an exercise regime that fits your needs. Remember, go gentle and listen to your body.

(Note: At the time of this post, Marijuana is NOT LEGAL in Mexico, and its possession is considered illegal and it’s punished with a fine or jail time)

It is also important to stop any alcohol intake 2 weeks before your surgery.

Medication and Supplements

STOP MEDICATION causing risk of bleeding:

Stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medication 7 days prior to the procedure.

Anticoagulants should be suspended 5 days prior to the procedure unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Prescription or Routine Medications:

Make sure to take all of your medication (except the stated above) up until one day before your arrival date. Bring with you your routine medication or those prescribed by your doctor. Please do not bring your medication with you to the clinic, keep them safe at a hotel so you can take them on the day prior to your surgery, and after you have been discharged.

Patients that are currently taking any medication or who have a pre-existent condition should continue to be looked after by their regular doctor as their medication might have to be adjusted as they continue to lose weight.

Always Travel with a Doctor’s Prescription:

There are certain medications that are highly controlled and some even illegal in Mexico. You are allowed to bring them with you, but only the amount you will need for your stay.

The following medications are classified as controlled and can be illegal in Mexico, especially if they are not doctor prescribed. Take into account that it is necessary to have a prescription when you cross back to the United States and some medications can be illegal to cross the border with. Keep all medication in their original packaging, and you will need to carry with you a handwritten prescription or a copy from the pharmacy.

For more information, please visit the following online sites:

To come to Mexico:

To go into the US:

Travel Documentation

Since June 2009, all American citizens that travel to Mexico will need a Passport or visa to go back into the United States. You will also need to stop at immigration when you enter Mexico, show your passport, and fill out a form where you declare how long you will stay in the country. If you forget your visa or passport, you may be denied entering Mexico. For more information on what you need to travel to Mexico go to: and

Mexico’s customs and immigration offices require you to fill the FMM form and to have it stamped when you cross the border. Please fill out this form online to cross from the “El Chaparral” entry. The address of the clinic is Brasilia #1 Fraccionamiento el Paraiso Tijuana, B.C. 22106. Use this link to fill out the form.

If your passport or visa expire within the next 6 months, you will not be able to fill out the form online, please renew your passport to be able to complete it, otherwise, you will need to stop at the customs office in Mexico to fill out the form which will delay the process. The online form can only be completed 30 days before your surgery date, so, if your surgery is scheduled for more than 30 days ahead, make sure to fill out the form 30 days prior to the surgery date.

These rules will also apply to your companion. Make sure he/she has a valid passport and that they fill out the FMM form.

Additional Pre-operatory Prep


We need for our patients to start taking multivitamin supplements specifically formulated for bariatric patients before the surgery. Supplements should be restarted after the surgery, in adittion to those recommended for post-op recovery.

Volumetric incentive spirometer:

We highly recommend for you to start a breathing exercise at least one week before your surgery. Bring the device with you for your surgery.


Fasting (no food or drink) for 8 hours is necessary for the pre-op examination (labs, EKG, etc.) These will get done on the day prior to your surgery. You will also need to be fasting since midnight on the day of your surgery; you will be able to have a clear liquid diet until 10 am

Surgery day:

On the day of surgery take a shower, and please do not use anybody lotions, oils, makeup, lipstick, or anything on your nails. Please remove any nail polish, acrylics, or gel on your nails prior to your arrival at the clinic for your pre-op analysis as they may interfere with the EKG reading.

A Zen State of Mind

Bariatric surgeries, whether it is a gastric sleeve or a gastric bypass, will change your life completely! All the physical changes you will experience will go hand in hand with mental discipline and self-control. This is why it is super important to know how to mentally prepare for bariatric surgery. Take time to reflect on your goals and expectations after the procedure. How realistic are they? How much time is going to take you to achieve them? Who is going to be next to you during the process? Bariatric surgery is an internal tool to improve your life and health, but the real game-changer is you and you alone! Talk with an expert and get inspiration from other patients that went through the same process; you will surely be more motivated!

Last Minute Arrangements

You already know what to buy before bariatric surgery, know what to bring to the hospital for bariatric surgery, know how to mentally prepare for bariatric surgery, you have established clear and feasible goals, and are working in a more active lifestyle; the only question that remains is: what should I do the day before surgery? Have a relaxing night, don’t drink alcohol or smoke, take a nice long shower and arrange with someone to drive you to VIDA Bariatrics.


Essential Items to Bring

  • Face mask (personal protection items due to COVID 19)
  • Antibacterial gel
  • Travel documents
  • Passport (with VISA to reentry US if necessary)
  • FMM form
  • Volumetric incentive spirometer
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Robe
  • Slippers or comfortable footwear
  • Charger for cell phone or tablet
  • Toiletries (recovery hotel has shampoo, conditions and body wash)
  • Personal medication in original pharmacist packing
  • Book or magazine

Interested in speaking with a bariatric surgeon about your specific situation? Feel free to request a free bariatric virtual consultation here.



Dr. Gabriela Rodriguez specializes in General and Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery. She brings to VIDA Wellness and Beauty a wealth of experience in bariatrics. Dr. Rodriguez is a founding associate of the Mexican College of General Surgeons. A world-class bariatric surgeon with double certification in the US and Mexico.