If you are considering weight loss surgery, you probably have many questions. Read some of our frequently asked questions at Atlantic Medical Group Advanced Surgical.
Potential Weight Loss Results
How much weight will I lose?
Every surgery and patient is unique, however we expect that, depending on the surgery, you should lose between 50% and 80% of your excess weight by following your prescribed food and exercise regimen.
Will my high blood pressure be resolved?
In many cases, high blood pressure will go into remission.
Will my diabetes be resolved?
In most cases diabetes will go into remission.
Will my high cholesterol be resolved?
In most cases high cholesterol is significantly improved or resolved.
What procedure is best for me?
Choosing the right procedure requires research, attending a free weight loss surgery seminar and a subsequent consultation with one of our surgeons. In the meantime, you may learn more about each procedure on our website: gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric banding.
Qualifying for Surgery
Am I a candidate for bariatric surgery?
Every insurance option, including Medicare, has different criteria for qualification. Generally speaking, you must have a BMI of over 40, or a BMI over 35 with comorbidities (co-occurring diseases); you must have tried and failed other weight loss programs, including medical weight loss; and you must pass psychological and physical tests. Patients with a BMI of as low as 30 with one or more co-morbid diseases may qualify for Lap-Band (check for symbol) surgery.
What are my other options?
While bariatric surgery is the only proven long-term weight loss solution, a proper diet and exercise regimen should be followed for everyday health.
Paying for Surgery
How much does surgery cost?
Depending on insurance and financing, costs will vary. We will offer assistance in verifying your benefits, but you should call you insurance company to learn more about your plan’s coverage. Cash-pay patients should expect to pay between $12,000 and $25,000 for bariatric surgery and follow-up. SEE OMC PAGE
How do I pay for bariatric surgery?
Various insurance policies cover bariatric surgery. You can also finance or cash pay. Please speak to us about the options available to you. Learn more about paying for bariatric surgery. (link to OMC page)
What if insurance denies my claim?
You have the right to appeal a denied claim. Each insurance company is different and will have different requirements to appeal. We will work with you to manage the denial and appeal the decision. Learn more about appealing insurance denials.
Recovery After Bariatric Surgery
How long does the surgery take?
Typically, the gastric bypass requires about two hours operative time while the gastric sleeve can be completed in as little as one hour. This does not include preoperative prep or time in the recovery room.
How long will I be in the hospital?
Most procedures require a one- to two-night hospital stay to ensure that you are managing your discomfort well and to keep an eye out for any potential complications. Open surgery, if necessary, will require a slightly longer hospital stay.
How long must I take off work?
Expect to take 2-4 weeks off work, depending on your procedure and the type of work you perform. Minimally invasive surgery will require less recovery time than open surgery and those with physically strenuous jobs will need to wait longer before returning to work. Some patients request less strenuous work or the ability to work from home temporarily to allow them to return to work sooner.
Are there any complications?
There can be. This is major surgery and has inherent risks. There are also risks specific to bariatric surgery. However, bariatric surgery has never been safer than it is today. You’ll be fully apprised of the risks of surgery during your weight loss seminar and subsequent consultation with one of our surgeons. In the meantime, please contact us or visit our procedures page for the risks specific to each procedure.
What do I do about excess skin?
Depending on the amount of weight lost, the rate at which you lose the weight and your age and genetics, you may experience some excess or sagging skin. You may choose to remove excess skin through plastic surgery. There is rarely a medical necessity to remove it.
Will I have to make regular office visits?
Yes. Bariatric surgery is an ongoing lifestyle change that must be monitored by our office. Procedures such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve require comparatively less follow-up than the gastric band which will require several additional visits to adjust. Have a look at our follow-up schedule.
Gastric Bypass Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the ideal gastric bypass patient?
The gastric bypass is suitable for many patients with a BMI of 40 or over, or those with a BMI of 35 or over that have one or more obesity related diseases. Patients with certain weight related issues may find that gastric bypass is preferable to other bariatric surgeries. Those with severe or uncontrolled acid reflux or GERD as well as those with severe Type-2 diabetes may be particularly suited to a bypass.
What results can I expect?
The gastric bypass has excellent weight loss and obesity related disease improvement potential. Every patient experience will be different, however on average, patients may lose up to 80% of their excess body weight and improve or resolve a majority of their obesity related diseases.
Are all bypass surgeries performed laparoscopically?
We strive to perform all gastric bypass surgeries laparoscopically. If, however, the patient has too much scar tissue or fat accumulation in the surgical area, we may have to perform an open procedure. There is a small chance that a gastric bypass would need to be converted from laparoscopic to open mid-surgery for patient safety.
How long is the hospital stay after a gastric bypass?
A typical, uneventful recovery from a laparoscopic gastric bypass will require a 2-3 night stay in the hospital. An open procedure may require an additional night or two.
Is the gastric bypass reversible?
Since no part of the stomach or intestine is removed from the body during surgery, the gastric bypass is technically reversible. However, the procedure to reverse the bypass is not only complicated, but risky. There are many reasons why a patient may not be losing as much weight as expected and only a consultation with our practice can determine the best course of action.
Can you revise a gastric bypass?
Yes, gastric bypass revisions are straightforward. The most common bypass revisions including adding a gastric band to the top of the stomach pouch, or endoscopically shrinking the stomach or tightening the stoma if they have stretched over time. Many revisions can be performed in an outpatient setting. Please learn more about gastric bypass revisions.
The gastric bypass seems complicated, are there serious risks?
Much like any surgery, the gastric bypass comes with inherent surgical risks and a few unique to the procedure itself. Thorough pre-operative testing is employed to assess your risk as a bypass patient. Many of the perioperative risks revolve around a patient’s poor general health. You will learn more at your consultation. With that being said, the risks of the bypass must be compared with the risks of living with obesity. The goal of bariatric surgery and lifestyle change is to improve your health for a longer, happier life.
Will I ever be able to enjoy food again?
There is no doubt that the gastric bypass comes with the most dietary restrictions of any bariatric procedure we perform. However, we also preach moderation. We don’t expect you to eliminate every indulgence for the rest of your life. Rather, we assist you in developing healthy eating habits that walk the fine line between taste and calories.
What if I develop a nutritional deficiency?
Nutritional deficiencies are not common in patients who follow their post-surgical plan. While the risk of deficiency is higher than in the gastric band or sleeve, eating a balanced diet, taking supplements as prescribed and attending all your post op visits should keep nutritional problems at bay.
I understand that diabetes can go into remission within weeks of a gastric bypass. Does that mean I can consume sugar any time I want?
We have known that patients with Type 2 Diabetes go into remission very early on after surgery and before they lose a significant amount of weight. Recent research has shed light on why. It has been postulated that gut bacteria in your body may rebalance themselves after a bypass, offering better blood sugar regulation. This is not a free pass, however. Consuming too much sugar will eventually lead to weight regain and a possible return of the diabetic condition. Further, consuming too much sugar can lead to dumping syndrome, a very uncomfortable condition caused by the rapid emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine. Always follow your post-op instructions carefully.
Is it true that I can’t drink soda?
Soda, especially for bypass patients, is a no-no. Not only do most sodas contain sugar or sugar substitutes that don’t offer any nutritional value, the carbonation itself can be very uncomfortable and over time, stretch your stomach pouch, causing weight re-gain.
Is the gastric bypass right for me?
We won’t know until you visit us for your pre-op work-up and consultation with one of our highly skilled surgeons. With that being said, thousands of people have changed their lives with this surgery, so it is worth finding out more by attending a free informational seminar!
Watch Our Online Weight Loss Seminar
One of the first requirements for people interested in weight loss surgery is watching our online seminar. This seminar is completely free to you and serves to educate potential, qualified patients on the benefits and risks.