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FAQs About Bariatric and Weight Loss Surgery

Whether you are considering weight loss surgery or well into your weight loss journey, our bariatric team is here to empower your continued success. Read on for answers to frequently asked questions about bariatric surgery.

Surgery Expectations

Do I qualify for weight loss surgery?

Weight loss surgery is often considered when efforts to lose weight through exercise, diet and medications are unsuccessful. However, bariatric surgery is not for everyone. You must meet specific guidelines to qualify for the procedure and undergo a screening process to determine your candidacy.

Some insurance plans do not cover bariatric surgery. Please contact your insurance to see if they cover bariatric surgery.

Visit “Am I a Candidate” for more information or schedule an appointment with a bariatric surgeon.

What surgery is best for me?

During your initial assessment with your bariatric surgeon, you will discuss the best surgery for you. We know everyone is different, which is why we will tailor your surgery to meet your individual needs and give you the safest, most effective results possible.

Learn more about the various types of bariatric procedures and the bariatric surgery journey.

How much weight can I expect to lose after surgery?

Typically, you can expect to lose about 20% to 40% of your total weight within two years if you stick to a healthy diet and exercise program.

How do I prepare for bariatric surgery?

Preparing for your weight loss journey takes mental and physical strength. We provide an entire team to ensure you have the necessary resources.

Before surgery, you will work with a dietitian and exercise specialist to form sustainable healthy habits. Then, as you get closer to your bariatric surgery date, you will meet with your surgeon to ensure any questions you have are addressed and you know what to expect on the day of your surgery and post-operation.

How long will I need to take off work?

The type of bariatric surgery performed will determine the amount of time you need to take off work and rest from everyday activities. The average patient takes one to two weeks off of work.

Talk to your bariatric team about your expected recovery time and learn more about recovery and post-op.

How much does weight loss surgery cost? Does insurance cover it?

Costs depend upon the type of surgery, insurance coverage and post-operative difficulties that may occur. In many cases, insurance companies will cover the cost of the surgery since morbid obesity is a life-threatening condition. 

Most insurance plans do require a co-insurance payment for elective surgery. This is different from your deductible.

Contact your insurance company to confirm that the surgery and any related expenses are covered.

After Bariatric Surgery

Can I get pregnant after weight loss surgery?

Yes, and it can be easier to get pregnant after bariatric surgery . However, it is recommended that you wait for one to two years after surgery before becoming pregnant. Some patients may need to wait longer based on any dietary problems after surgery.

Once pregnant, it is important to work closely with your health care provider and a dietitian familiar with your weight loss surgery.

What if I regain some weight after bariatric surgery?

In some cases, it is possible to regain weight after bariatric surgery, and there can be many causes. Our Back on Track program can help you with any challenges you may have on your weight loss journey. Speak with your bariatric team to create a plan that works for you.

What do I do about sagging skin?

The amount of excess skin you have after surgery will depend on the amount of weight lost, your age, exercise and genetics. However, loose, saggy skin on the face, neck, arms and legs is likely to occur regardless of other factors.

Some patients choose to have cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin. However, it’s important to know that this type of surgery is not covered by your health insurance plan unless you  and your primary care provider (PCP) can document that it is necessary to prevent or treat recurring problems like skin infections.

What is dumping syndrome?

Dumping syndrome happens when food or drink high in sugar rapidly enters or dumps into the small intestine. After certain bariatric surgeries, patients are particularly sensitive to sugar, making dumping syndrome a concern.

Dumping syndrome is not dangerous but can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, a racing heart, stomach cramps and diarrhea.

To avoid dumping, avoid eating foods that cause it, especially on an empty stomach. A small number of sweets, such as fruit, can sometimes be better tolerated at the end of a meal.

Will I lose hair after weight loss surgery?

Hair loss is common after bariatric surgery and tends to happen three to five months post-surgery. It is generally caused by problems with inadequate nutrition, including not eating enough protein, not taking your multivitamin or even from rapid weight loss.

Usually, hair loss is temporary, and the hair grows back. However, if you are concerned about hair loss, talk to your bariatric team.

What can I eat after surgery?

Your diet after surgery will depend on the type of surgery performed. Immediately after surgery, you will have a clear liquid diet and will gradually advance from a soft food diet back to solid foods. You will need to take vitamin supplements.

Your dietitian will work with you to create an individualized diet plan that works for you.

Non-surgical weight loss options

What if I don’t qualify for surgery?

If you are struggling with losing weight, but do not qualify for surgery, weight loss medication may be an option. Along with a balanced diet and regular exercise, weight loss medications can help decrease appetite, control cravings and in some instances stop your body from absorbing some fats. Learn more.

Ready to begin your weight loss journey?

Watch our free informational video to learn about the different weight loss surgery options we offer as well as eligibility requirements and what you can expect as a patient in the program.

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