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.