Bariatric Surgery FAQs

Fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions about bariatric surgery.

Q. What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is some­times called weight loss surgery. It is intend­ed to help peo­ple who have strug­gled to lose weight. There are two types of surgery, Roux-en‑Y Gas­tric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy.

Q. How do these surg­eries help me lose weight?

Bariatric surg­eries can serve two func­tions, includ­ing the following:

Restric­tive surg­eries (like a gas­tric sleeve) work by phys­i­cal­ly restrict­ing the stom­ach size and lim­it­ing the amount of sol­id food you can eat. A nor­mal stom­ach can hold about three pints of food. After weight loss surgery, a stom­ach may only hold one ounce of food, although, over time, it may be able to con­tain two or three ounces of food.

Mal­ab­sorp­tive surg­eries (like gas­tric bypass) work by chang­ing the way your diges­tive sys­tem absorbs food. This type of weight loss surgery is more com­pli­cat­ed. The sur­geon will remove parts of your intes­tine, cre­at­ing a short­cut for your food to be digest­ed. Doing this allows for few­er calo­ries to get absorbed into the body. The com­bined malabsorptive/​restrictive surgery also cre­ates a small­er stom­ach pouch, restrict­ing the amount of food you can eat.

Recent stud­ies have also shown that both of these surg­eries also affect the lev­els of hunger and sati­ety hor­mones in your body, which helps with long-term weight management.

Q. How do I know which surgery is right for me?

You will have a one-on-one con­sul­ta­tion with the bariatric sur­geon to dis­cuss your options. The vis­it with the sur­geon will help you under­stand each surgery’s risks and ben­e­fits and design a plan to choose the right surgery for you.

Q. How much weight will I lose after surgery?

The amount of weight you lose will depend on mul­ti­ple fac­tors, includ­ing your com­pli­ance with lifestyle mod­i­fi­ca­tions, includ­ing diet, phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, and behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tions. Stud­ies have shown that patients can lose 20 – 35% of their total body weight with­in 1 – 2 years after surgery, depend­ing on the type of surgery and ongo­ing patient behav­ior and lifestyle changes.

Q. How do I know if I am eli­gi­ble for surgery?

To be eli­gi­ble for bariatric surgery, you must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 40 or a BMI of 35 with two or more chron­ic dis­eases. These chron­ic dis­eases include hyper­ten­sion, type 2 dia­betes, sleep apnea, depres­sion, and anxiety.

Q. How long does it take to get ready for bariatric surgery?

It takes around six months after the first vis­it with the physi­cian to get ready for the bariatric surgery. Dur­ing these six months, you will have ongo­ing test­ing, behav­ior coun­sel­ing, and psy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tion to pre­pare for surgery and achieve good results.

Q. Will my insur­ance pay for the surgery, or can I pay out of pock­et for this program?

We will assist you in con­tact­ing your insur­ance com­pa­ny to get spe­cif­ic answers to your ben­e­fit ques­tions. Not all insur­ance com­pa­nies cov­er this ser­vice; know­ing this infor­ma­tion is essen­tial. In addi­tion, we can offer a cash price for this ser­vice and will be hap­py to dis­cuss this per­son­al­ly with you.

Q. Do I have to take any sup­ple­ments before or after surgery?

One of the risks with all types of weight loss surgery is an increased risk of defi­cien­cy of micro-nutri­ents (vit­a­mins and min­er­als). Per nation­al guid­ance, all weight loss surgery patients are advised to take the prop­er vit­a­min and min­er­al sup­ple­ments to reduce this risk. Our sup­port staff will explain this to you in detail and sug­gest appro­pri­ate bariatric multivitamins.

Dur­ing the pre-surgery phase, you will be required to go on a full liq­uid diet two weeks before surgery. This full-liq­uid diet con­sists of meal-replace­ment pro­tein shakes. Stud­ies have shown that two weeks of a full liq­uid diet just before the surgery helps shrink the liv­er and has bet­ter out­comes after the surgery.