Weight Loss Surgery
Highly-Experienced Bariatric Surgeons for Safe and Effective Weight Loss
When you need to lose weight but are unsuccessful at shedding extra pounds by changing your behavior, dieting, and exercising, you may benefit from a surgical weight loss procedure. We offer comprehensive bariatric programs that provide surgical solutions and continued follow-up care for long-term weight loss success.
We know sometimes diet and exercise can feel as if it's still not enough when you are trying to reach your weight loss goals.
ARE YOU AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT?Assess my Risk
Is Weight Loss Surgery Right For You?
Along your journey to a healthier and more active lifestyle, there are changes that need to be made. Our program is designed to identify some of those changes and help you make them! The first step in deciding whether weight loss surgery is right for you is to educate yourself with a thorough understanding of the risks and benefits of the surgical procedure. Talking to your primary care physician, physician specialist or family physician is a good next step.
As our patient, you will be our partner in the decision making process not only about your surgery, but about your commitment to sustain your weight loss goals. The goal is to live better, healthier and longer, and that is why you should make the decision to have weight loss surgery only after careful consideration and consultation with an experienced weight loss surgeon. Our experienced weight loss surgeons can answer your questions clearly and explain the exact details of the procedure, the extent of the recovery period and the reality of the follow-up care that will be required.
Who is a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?
If you answer "Yes" to any of the following questions, weight loss surgery might be the right answer for you at this time.
- Do you have a BMI of 35 or more plus an obesity-related health problem (diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea, etc.)?
- Do you have a BMI of 40 or more?
- Does your weight cause physical problems that interfere with family or work-related activities?
Are you at risk for weight-related disease?
Take our free online health risk assessment today to find out if there are other options you can utilize to stay on top of your health.
Is Weight Loss Surgery Covered by Insurance?
Most insurance carriers cover bariatric surgery. When you come for your consultation, we will contact your insurance company and make sure that we know precisely what your coverage is and what their pre-operative requirements are.
How soon will I be able to walk?
Almost immediately after surgery, we will require you to get up and move about. When you leave the hospital, you will be able to care for all your personal needs but will need help with childcare, shopping, lifting, and transportation.
Will I have a lot of pain after surgery?
Every attempt is made to control pain after surgery to make it possible for you to move about quickly and become active. This helps avoid problems and speeds recovery.
How long will I have to stay in the hospital?
Most lap band surgeries are same-day surgeries. However, because of health risks or other concerns, your surgeon may choose to keep you overnight. The laparoscopic gastric bypass and the sleeve gastrectomy are done on an inpatient basis and may require several nights of hospital stay.
Duodenal Switch surgery utilizes both gastric reduction and intestinal malabsorption to achieve weight loss.
Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure generates weight loss by restricting the amount of food that can be eaten.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the stomach and small intestine. You will feel full more quickly.
Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery
The best way to prepare for surgery is to ensure you are well-informed about your procedure. We are here to help you achieve your goals and to support you as you prepare for this exciting change in your life.
Here are some suggestions that you can begin to work on right away:
- If you drink carbonated beverages, now is the time to stop. Why? It expands when a cold compressed gas (carbonation) hits your stomach. That can be very problematic, especially after surgery.
- Start a program of physical activity such as walking or swimming for 20 minutes four times a week. Be sure to receive a physician's approval before starting any physical exertion program.
- Stop smoking. Cigarettes interfere with your lung's ability to exchange oxygen, and nicotine can impair circulation, impeding healing after surgery and increasing the chance of infection.
- Reduce the number of refined carbohydrates you consume. Refined carbohydrates include foods such as white rice, pasta and cookies.
Is a Blood Transfusion Required?
Not very often. If necessary, it is usually given after surgery to promote healing. You must understand a blood transfusion is a possibility with any surgical procedure. If you have any objections to the use of blood you should discuss it with your surgeon before the surgery is scheduled.
Will I Be Asked to Stop Smoking?
Patients are strongly encouraged to stop smoking at least six months before surgery. Smoking is always discouraged at any time, but is especially important around the time of your surgery.
What Are the Routine Tests Before Surgery?
Depending on the procedure, you may have blood work, EKG, chest X-ray and pregnancy test immediately prior to surgery. Pulmonary function tests, sleep studies, GI evaluations, or a cardiology evaluation, may be requested if required due to your health status.
Post-Surgery & Recovery
Many patients experience some hair loss or thinning after surgery. This usually occurs between the fourth and fifth month after surgery. Most patients experience natural hair regrowth after the initial period of weight loss. A diet plan which provides a consistent intake of protein at mealtime is the most important method of reducing hair loss.
Your doctor will determine whether medication for blood pressure, diabetes, and other medical conditions can be stopped when the conditions for which they are taken improve or resolve after weight loss surgery. For medications that need to be continued, the vast majority can be swallowed, absorbed, and work the same as before weight loss surgery. Usually no change in dosage is required.
Several things happen to allow your weight to stabilize:
- Your ongoing metabolic needs decrease as the body sheds excess pounds.
- There will be a natural, progressive increase in calorie and nutrient intake over the months following weight loss surgery.
- The stomach pouch and attached small intestine will learn to work together better and there will be some expansion in ouch size over a period of months.
The bottom line is that, in the absence of a surgical complication, you are very unlikely to lose weight to the point of malnutrition. Eventually, your caloric intake will equal the amount of calories your body needs to function and your weight loss will stop.
It is strongly recommended that women wait at least 18-24 months after the surgery before a pregnancy. At 18-24 months after surgery, your body will be fairly stable (from a weight and nutrition standpoint) and you should be able to carry a normally nourished fetus. When you begin contemplating pregnancy, you should consult your family physician or gynecologist to evaluate your health and discuss special considerations PRIOR to becoming pregnant.
Adhesions are scar tissues formed inside the abdomen after surgery or injury. Adhesions can form with any major surgery in the abdomen. In general, this is not a significant problem after laparoscopic weight loss surgery.
Most pills or capsules are small enough to pass through the new stomach pouch. Initially your doctor may suggest that medications be crushed or taken in liquid form.
How effective is surgery?
The actual weight a patient will lose after the procedure is dependent on several factors. These include:
- Patient's age
- Weight before surgery
- Overall condition of patient's health
- Surgical procedure
- Ability to exercise
- Commitment to maintaining dietary guidelines and other follow-up care
- Motivation of patient and cooperation of their family, friends and associates
In general, weight loss surgery success is defined as achieving loss of 50% or more of excess body weight and maintaining that level for at least five years. Clinical data will vary for each of the different procedures mentioned on this site. Results may also vary by surgeon. Ask your doctor for the clinical data stating their results of the procedure they are recommending.
Clinical studies show that, following surgery, most patients lose weight rapidly and continue to do so until 18 to 24 months after the procedure. Patients may lose 30 to 50% of their excess weight in the first six months and 77% of excess weight as early as 12 months after surgery. Another study showed that patients can maintain a 50-60% loss of excess weight 10-14 years after surgery.
Patients with higher initial BMIs tend to lose more total weight. Patients with lower initial BMIs will lose a greater percentage of their excess weight and will more likely come closer to their ideal body weight.
Patients with Type 2 Diabetes tend to show less overall excess weight loss than patients without Type 2 Diabetes.
The surgery has been found to be effective in improving and controlling many obesity-related health conditions. A 2000 study of 500 patients showed that 96% of certain associated health conditions studied (back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression) were improved or resolved. For example, many patients with Type 2 Diabetes, while showing less overall excess weight loss, have demonstrated excellent resolution of their diabetic condition, to the point of having little or no need for continuing medication.
Why does it take so long to get weight loss surgery insurance approval?
After your telephone interview consultation is completed, it usually takes your doctor 1-2 days to send a letter to your insurance carrier to start the approval process. The time it takes to get an answer can vary from about 3-4 weeks or longer if you are not persistent in your follow-up. Most treatment centers have insurance analysts who will follow up regularly on approval requests. It may be helpful for you to call the claims service of your insurance company about a week after your letter is submitted and ask about the status of your request.
How can they deny insurance for a life-threatening disease?
Payment may be denied because there may be a specific exclusion in your policy for obesity surgery or "treatment of obesity." Such an exclusion can often be appealed when the surgical treatment is recommended by your surgeon or referring physician as the best therapy to relieve life-threatening obesity-related health conditions, which usually are covered.
Insurance payment may also be denied for lack of "medical necessity." A therapy is deemed to be medically necessary when it is needed to treat a serious or life-threatening condition. In the case of morbid obesity, alternative treatments - such as dieting, exercise, behavior modification, and some medications - are considered to be available. Medical necessity denials usually hinge on the insurance company's request for some form of documentation, such as 1 to 5 years of physician-supervised dieting or a psychiatric evaluation, illustrating that you have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight by other methods.
What can I do to help the insurance approval process?
Gather all the information (diet records, medical records, medical tests) your insurance company may require. This reduces the likelihood of a denial for failure to provide "necessary" information. Letters from your personal physician and consultants attesting to the "medical necessity" of treatment are particularly valuable. When several physicians report the same findings, it may confirm a medical necessity for surgery.
When the letter is submitted, call your carrier regularly to ask about the status of your request. Your employer or human relations/personnel office may also be able to help you work through unreasonable delays.