The Best Bariatric Surgery Checklist

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Congratulations on making the decision to get yourself healthy. You have decided that weight loss surgery is the best option for you, and that day is quickly approaching.

Even if you are just doing an outpatient procedure, there is typically a short hospital stay. To keep you comfortable, it is important to decide what you should pack in your bag when you have bariatric surgery. This bariatric surgery checklist is sure to get you on your way! 

Trust me I know… as a bariatric patient who had a Gastric Bypass back in 2016, I am well versed in what you need to pack for your hospital stay.

what to pack for surgery

Related: Gastric Bypass Are You Ready For Change

Bariatric Surgery Patients Checklist

When it comes to doing anything in the hospital, it isn’t the most comfortable of times. So, I put together this bariatric surgery checklist to help make your stay a little smoother and much more comfortable. Some of the most crucial items include:

  • Your ID or driver’s license
  • Insurance cards
  • List of medications
  • Medications you take
  • Comfy clothing
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Entertainment
  • Comfort items

Insurance Cards and Insurance Company Details

Be sure to bring your insurance cards and contact information for your insurance company. You will need this information when you check in for surgery. They may do an insurance check to make sure you are eligible for the surgery, and that it covers the bariatric surgery cost.

List of Medications and Medical Conditions

When you check in for surgery, the hospital will want to know what medications you are taking. Be sure to bring a list of all your current medications with you to the hospital. This includes prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as vitamins.

You will also need to bring a list of your current medical conditions. This will help the hospital staff prepare for any potential complications that may arise during or after surgery.

Comfortable Clothing

Let’s face it; hospital gowns are just not comfortable. For me, I feel like everything is just hanging out. I would much rather spend my time in some nice comfy Pjs.

When it is time to make your way home, make sure you packed yourself some casual lounge Yoga pants and a post-surgery short sleeve shirt. Additionally, you will want to pack your own clean underwear, bra, and some slippers. 

Slippers – After your surgical procedure, your bariatric surgery team will want you to walk as soon as possible. Make sure you bring a pair of sturdy slippers to the hospital.

what to pack for surgery

Personal Hygiene Items

No matter what type of bariatric surgery you have, you are sure to wake up feeling like you just want a shower. Unfortunately, you can’t shower after a surgery right away. Some things you can bring to help freshen up include baby wipes, dry shampoo, a hair brush, sanitary items (pads/tampons), deodorant, and a toothbrush and toothpaste

Entertainment Bariatric Surgery Checklist

Since weight loss surgery is a surgery you choose to do, don’t expect everyone to come visit you at the hospital. You may have a few visitors, but the in-between time can be grueling. Bring books, magazines, a puzzle book, and a pen to help you pass the time. 

In addition, you will want to make sure you bring your chargers for your electronic devices, such as cell phone or IPad. I mean who forgets their cell phone these days? But, you may forget to bring your charger. So pack an extra one in your bag. 

Comfort Items

Some things aren’t a necessity, but they sure do make you feel more comfortable. I would recommend a V shape pillow as you are going to need it not only in the hospital room but on the way home.

You will also want to bring your own towel and some vaseline lip balm (trust me your lips will be dry). Another comfort item is peppermint tea. This is super soothing after surgery and I would totally recommend bringing some. 

Lip Balm – After having weight loss surgery, you may not be able to eat or drink anything for a time. This may result in dry, cracked lips. Lip balm is a tiny item that may be easily overlooked, yet it can make you feel a lot better.

Earplugs – Hospitals are bustling and noisy. As you figure out what to bring to the hospital, don’t forget a pair of earplugs to help block out the racket so you can get some rest during your recuperation.


If you take any medications, I would recommend packing them in your bag before it’s even time to go. You can get one of those pill containers to store them in. Trust me, you don’t want to be in the hospital without your medications.

The hospital staff is typically reluctant about giving you your normal medications even if you have a prescription for them. So, it is always a good idea to bring your own so you don’t have to worry about it. 

Have a few weeks or months before your surgery? Pin this post so you can easily come back to it when you begin packing your bag for your bariatric surgery. 

If you think of anything else that should be on this list, please share it in the comments below so we can add it to our list!

what to pack for surgery

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  1. As a nurse please don’t bring your own medication to the hospital. There are reasons why we are reluctant to give you your normal medications after surgery. If you take something without us knowing it could have a life threatening interaction.

    1. I guess it depends on the hospital and country you are located. In the uk we are asked to bring our medications as it helps the nurses to know what we take and it’s locked in a medication locker.

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