Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I am eligible for weight-loss surgery?
Body mass index (BMI) as a criteria for surgery—excess fat in relation to height. You may be a candidate for surgery if:
Your BMI is greater than 40 or between 35 and 40 with major obesity-related medical problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperchloremia (electrolyte disturbance), or sleep apnoea
You have failed previous weight-loss attempts
What is the age limit for obesity surgery?
A team of health professionals – usually including your GP doctor, dietitian, psychologist, and surgeon – will evaluate whether obesity surgery is appropriate for you. Although there’s no specific age limit for obesity surgery, the risks increase if you’re over age 65. The surgery remains controversial in people under age 18.
Am I eligible for weight reduction surgery?
We only determine whether a patient meets the requirements for surgery. It’s only after a complete evaluation, intensive education and discussion with the patient, that he or she may decide to pursue surgery. Because weight-loss surgery is a life-altering procedure, we want to make sure our patients are committed to making the lifestyle changes needed for a successful procedure and life-long health maintenance.
What are the risks of weight-loss surgery?
Obesity surgery is major surgery. All major surgery comes with risks, and the risks are different for each patient. For many people, it is a life saver. But it is not without risk and even the possibility of death. The benefits to her/his long-term health far outweigh the risks of the procedure. During your first appointment, your surgeon will discuss your current health status and explain your individual risk.
Which obesity surgery should I have?
There are several options for obesity surgery. Finding the right one for you is a combination of personal preference and specific health factors, as well as the opinion of your bariatric surgeon. Surgeries to research include Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, mini gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, a gastric band.
How much weight will I lose? Will the weight loss be quick?
The amount of weight you lose—and how fast you lose it—depends on what weight-loss surgery you have and your commitment to following the program. Patients who have adjustable gastric banding (Lap-Band) procedures usually lose weight more slowly the first year than those who have gastric bypass (RYGB), vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). Typically, the average patient loses between 60 to 80 percent of his or her excess body weight after RYGB and between 60 to 70 percent after VSG. Weight loss with gastric banding is less predictable. The amount of weight loss also depends on your age, gender, starting BMI and your ability to adhere to lifestyle changes necessary to make surgery a success.
How long will I have to stay in the hospital after surgery?
Your hospital stay will depend on the type of weight-loss surgery you have. Generally, hospital stays are between 1 to 5 days depending on the surgical procedure.
How much the surgery cost me?
Your insurance cover the surgery cost, you have to pay additional out of pocket, some people use their super to cover meanwhile others choose to self-pay the costs, my accountant is happy to provide you with a quote that includes the surgeon, and hospital fees, with no surprises (not including the anesthetist gap).
Can I become pregnant after weight-loss surgery?
Weight-loss surgery has actually been linked with producing a sudden positive change in fertility. After bariatric surgery, women with fertility problems linked to obesity may begin ovulating regularly for the first time in years. However, women should avoid pregnancy for at least 18 months after surgery. Please discuss any pregnancy plans with your surgeon during one of your scheduled appointments.
Does Medicare cover obesity surgery?
Will I need plastic surgery if I have obesity surgery?
The consequence of sagging skin after massive weight loss from obesity surgery is the result of prolonged stretching of the skin over time from morbid obesity.
Your individual appearance depends upon several things, including how much weight you lose, your age, your genetics and whether or not you exercise or smoke. Generally, loose skin is well-hidden by clothing. Many patients wear compression garments, which can be found online, to help with “appearance.”
Some patients will choose to have plastic surgery to remove excess skin. Which is part of our practice, I do recommend waiting at least 18 months, but you can be evaluated before that. Plastic surgery for removal of excess abdominal and breast skin is often covered by insurance for reasons of moisture, hygiene and rash/skin issues. Arms and other areas may not be covered if they are considered “purely” cosmetic by your insurer.
How often will I need to see the doctor after my surgery?
Your surgeon must medically supervise any surgical weight-loss procedure. We see our patients frequently after surgery to monitor your progress. After your weight-loss goals are met, we will see you once per year for the rest of your life, you do not need to pay for your first-year visits.
Are there special dietary requirements after surgery?
Yes. During your pre-op nutrition education classes, our nutritionists will give you details about the eating habits that minimize discomfort and promote the best outcomes.
The two weeks before surgery you have to avoid sweets and carbohydrates, and your surgeon will advise you to replace two of your regular three daily meals with Optifast.
Why is exercise so important?
When you have bariatric surgery, you lose weight because the amount of calories you are able to eat is much less than your body needs to operate. As a result, your body has to make up the difference by burning unused tissues. Your body will burn any unused muscle first before it begins to burn the precious fat it has saved. If you do not exercise daily, your body will consume your unused muscle, causing you to lose muscle mass and strength. Daily aerobic exercise, as well as regular strength training, will communicate to your body that you want to use your muscles and force it to burn the fat instead.
Can I have obesity surgery redone if I regain weight?
Yes, your options are partly limited by the type of obesity surgery that you had to begin with, as well as other factors. There are a few options for revision surgery.
Are there online obesity support groups for people who are having/have had surgery?
BariatricPal, ObesityHelp, and Thinner Times are a few of the most widely used online support groups for obesity surgery patients. These communities are very active, and there are dedicated groups for each of the different surgical procedures.