Learn More about Bariatric Surgery – FAQs
Q: What are the effects of obesity?
A: The effects of obesity range from physical to mental, and can include elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea and mental illness, such as depression. Learn more about the effects of obesity.
Q: How many people are obese?
A: It is believed that over 30% of Americans twenty and older are obese according to a CDC study.
Q: What is the cost of obesity?
A: The CDC estimates that obesity accounts for over 9% of all health expenditures in the US – even more than smoking. In real terms, the cost of obesity may be approaching $150 billion each year.
Q: Am I a candidate for bariatric surgery?
A: Every insurance option, including Medicare, has different criteria for qualification. Generally speaking, you must have a BMI of over 40, or 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 surgery.
Q: What are my other options?
A: While bariatric surgery is the only proven long-term weight loss solution, a proper diet and exercise regimen should be followed for everyday health.
Q: How much does surgery cost?
A: 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.
Q: How do I pay for bariatric surgery?
A: 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.
Q: What if insurance denies my claim?
A: 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.
Q: How much weight will I lose?
A: 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.
Q: Will my high blood pressure be resolved?
A: In many cases, high blood pressure will go into remission.
Q: Will my diabetes be resolved?
A: In most cases diabetes will go into remission.
Q: Will my high cholesterol be resolved?
A: In most cases high cholesterol is significantly improved or resolved.
Q: What procedure is best for me?
A: 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.
Q: How long does the surgery take?
A: 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.
Q: How long will I be in the hospital?
A: 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.
Q: How long must I take off work?
A: 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.
Q: Are there any complications?
A: 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.
Q: What do I do about excess skin?
A: 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.
Q: Will I have to make regular office visits?
A: 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.