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Bariatric Physical Therapy

Call (443) 481-1140

We help patients improve their health before and after bariatric surgery. We offer medically supervised exercise programs, diabetes management and post-op rehabilitation.

Bariatric Surgery & Physical Therapy

Bariatric surgery is a proven and effective treatment for losing weight and keeping it off. It can allow you to live a more vital, active, and longer life. It can aid in pain reduction and can help to reduce or remove need for diabetes medications.

However, as with any surgery and new program, there are risks. So before you can move forward with a surgery date, there are milestone and goals surgeons want you to reach. These include understanding safe exercise practices and achieving pre-operative weight loss.

Our bariatric physical therapists and bariatric surgeons have created a program that helps you you achieve these goals and milestones and so much more. Its name says it all: Bariatric Optimization Program (BOP). In short, we'll help you prepare for and recover from bariatric surgery, so you'll get the best possible result.

Why Choose Our Bariatric Optimization Program?

Like you, we want to ensure you get the most benefit from bariatric surgery, all while minimizing potential risks. And that's exactly what BOP delivers. What else gives us an edge over other hospitals?

  • We offer aquatic therapy. In some cases, we may recommend aquatic therapy. Water takes some of the weight off your joints, so exercising is more achievable. Plus, your risk of falls and injury is low. Using the water as your resistance can help you build muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance at the same time. The warm pool water can help to additionally loosen tight muscles and further soothe pain.We offer aquatic therapy in locations that feature warm water pools with shallow and deep ends.

  • Our physical therapists are licensed medical professionals. We're specialists at helping bariatric surgery patients safely lose weight. But that's not all. As licensed medical professionals, we're qualified to check your vital signs to ensure your safety while you exercise and help to manage any other limiting factors to your program's success.

  • We'll help manage other medical conditions. Preparing for bariatric surgery is challenging enough. It's even more complex if you have health conditions including diabetes, osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. We have physical, occupational and speech therapists who specialize in managing the symptoms and side effects related to these conditions, as well as many others.

  • We have several locations. Sure, we're a health system. But our satellite clinics offer you the convenience of a private clinic. Our many sites make it easier to get treatment close to your home or workplace. And that means less time traveling to and from appointments.

What to Expect

We're experts at safely getting you into an exercise program that best suits you and your life before surgery. This can reduce your risk of complications and shorten your recovery time.

What about after your surgery?

After the operation, we then help you manage any lingering pain. We can also help you build your strength and further achieve those goals you're working toward.

The payoff?

You'll return to your usual activities faster. And the sooner you're recovered, the sooner you can start living your new, improved life.

First, a specialized bariatric physical therapist measures your starting fitness level. This involves testing your strength, flexibility, balance, mobility and power.


This exam helps pinpoint any physical limitations that keep you from exercising and losing weight. For instance, you may have back pain due to weakened muscles. We use this information to create a personalized exercise program that allows you to gradually improve and decrease any issues or pain. At the same time, this program optimizes your heart and lung health and overall mental performance.


Unlike personal trainers, our bariatric physical therapists are licensed medical professionals. Why is that important? We're qualified to medically supervise you while you exercise, including properly monitoring your heart rate and breathing to ensure you are staying within safe/healthy limits. Then we'll teach you how to do the same.

We're experts in helping manage pain. And we can ensure that while creating a personalized program any other medical conditions you may have are also managed effectively. For instance, some therapists focus on treating diabetes-related problems like decreased feeling in your feet. Others have extensive experience helping people with osteoarthritis decrease their pain and increase their mobility.


And we offer other supports, too. Unless someone has been in your shoes, they can't truly understand how you feel. That's where our BOP support group comes in. Connecting with others who are undergoing bariatric surgery gives you a network of support from people who better understand what you're going through. While it's currently paused due to COVID, we plan to begin offering it again soon.

To get the greatest value from your evaluation, we ask that you do the following:

  • Eat a light snack 30 minutes to an hour before your evaluation.

  • Complete E-check in through your Luminis Health MyChart account before your first visit. You'll find new patient documents there for you to complete. If you don't have MyChart, arrive 30 minutes before your appointment. You'll need this time to check in and fill out paperwork before seeing your physical therapist.

  • Come dressed for exercise. Wear sneakers and comfortable clothes.