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Bariatric Surgery News


If struggling with your weight is a constant battle, it doesn’t have to be anymore. Contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation. Discover the NEW you!!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Weight Related Questions:

Treatment Related Questions:

 


What is obesity?

Obesity results from the excess accumulation of fat that exceeds the body's skeletal and physical standards. According to the American Obesity Association, obesity is a disease. Obesity is defined as being 20% or more over ideal weight (BMI >25). Ideal weight is the weight associated with the longest life. Ideal weight tables show the ideal weight as it relates to gender and height. There are different tables and some controversy over what actually is ideal weight. You also need to understand how the terms "Obesity" and "Morbid Obesity" are used to determine your eligibility for weight loss surgery. Morbid obesity is a chronic disease, meaning that its symptoms build slowly over an extended period of time. Obesity becomes "morbid" when it reaches the point of significantly increasing the risk of one or more obesity-related health conditions or serious diseases (also known as co-morbidities).

Doctors need a method to determine the general healthiness of a patient, and that's where BMI comes into play. BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It's a scientific method that uses your weight and height ratio to calculate your body fat percentage. BMI is derived by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height in meters. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used by Doctors and Health Insurance companies to screen for weight categories (obesity or morbid obesity) that may lead to health problems. Click here for the categories and to use our BMI calculator. Please visit your doctor for an accurate reading.

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What diet plan or pill works the best?

We suggest that you ask your primary physician to get more information about any diet plans, weight loss products and specific bariatric surgical procedures such as gastric bypass and the gastric band. When you come to our medical center, we assume that you are have tried to change your behavioral factors (diets and exercise) without success and are interested only in treatments (bariatric surgery) that address the biological factors in your body that are outside your control. Contact us if you would like to make an appointment.

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What is morbid obesity?

Morbid obesity is a much more severe form of obesity. A person who is 100 or more pounds overweight or twice the ideal body weight and has a BMI of 40 or a BMI of 35 with multiple co-morbidities is morbidly obese.


Morbid obesity is a common condition that can have profoundly negative health and social consequences. It is considered a serious disease and has been linked to shortened life expectancy. Most morbidly obese patients are candidates for the various forms of weight loss surgery (gastric band, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy among others). According to
C. Everett Koop, M.D. former Surgeon General of the United States, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in America! And more and more insurance companies are realizing that weight loss surgery is not a cosmetically motivated treatment but instead a life saving weight loss surgery treatment making weight loss surgeries such as gastric bypass or Lap Band financially affordable to those in need.

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What is the difference between overweight and obese?

An adult is considered "overweight" when he/she is above a healthy weight, which varies according to a person's height. An individual is overweight when their BMI is between 25–29.9. The standard used by researchers to define a person's weight according to their height is "body mass index" (BMI).

An adult with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. For example, for a 5'4" woman, this means that she is 30 or more pounds over her healthy weight.

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I am obese with health problems, can you help me?

Our Bariatrics Program is designed exactly for you. We walk you through the process of educating yourself so that you can make informed choices about various weight loss surgery procedures. Many of us don't want to know the facts about our health but it can be a matter of life and death! So spend a little time and read these sections starting with: "Understanding Obesity ", "Weight Loss Surgery Risks & Benefits ", and "Weight Loss Surgery Options ".

Once you gain a better understanding about yourself and your options you need to take the initiative contact us so we may contact you and make an appointment.
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Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute guidelines, assessment of overweight involves using three key measures:

  • body mass index (BMI)

  • waist circumference

  • risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity

The BMI is a measure of your weight relative to your height and waist circumference measures abdominal fat. Combining your BMI and your waist circumference with information about your additional risk factors yields your risk for developing obesity-associated diseases and determines whether you are a candidate for weight loss surgeries such as gastric bypass surgery, the gastric band or other weight loss procedures. So your BMI is a good number to start with in identifying your risk due to your weight. To find out what your BMI is click here.
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Can you do my lap band or gastric bypass surgery?

Our Bariatrics Team can do your weight loss surgery. Just fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you.

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What are some of the reasons why a doctor might not treat me?

Most treatment facilities will delay surgery, exclude from further consideration for surgery, or even cancel a scheduled operation for any patient who does not meet their minimum standards or who fails to follow through with instructions. Some exclusion criteria may include the following:

  • BMI is too low.

  • Failure to keep a scheduled pre-operative seminar or appointment without advance notification. The lack of commitment might identify the patient who won’t follow through with post-operative visits and instructions.

  • Failure to comply with sample menus and diet assignments.

  • Failure to recruit and bring along a support person.

  • Failure to stop smoking 6 weeks before surgery (a blood test for nicotine can be checked prior to surgery).

  • Risk is too high due to existing co-morbidities, (health problems) adding increased risk of complications during and after the surgery.

  • Perceived lack of understanding of or commitment to the life-long dietary restrictions created by weight loss surgery.

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I live out of state, can I still have my weight loss surgery done by The Bariatric Team?

Absolutely, we have many patients fly in from out of state to have weigh loss surgery done here. We can set up reservations for your entire stay.

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My child is obese, nothing seems to work, what should we do?

It is generally recommended that you take your child to your pediatric doctor and have a complete a physical assessment done to insure the obesity is not caused by physical problems. If there are no physical problems identified by your pediatrician, they will usually recommend the modification of external factors. Here are some very basic ways to do this:

  • Set a reasonable weight-loss goal Initially, 5 to 10 lb, or a rate of 1 to 4 LB per month.

  • Obtain a dietary management prescription specifying total number of calories per day and recommended percentage of calories from fat, protein and carbohydrates from your pediatrician.

  • Begin physical activity according to child's fitness level, with ultimate goal of 20 to 30 minutes per day (in addition to any school activity).

  • Support your child's behavior modification process through self-monitoring, nutritional education, stimulus control, modification of eating habits, physical activity, attitude change, reinforcements and rewards.

  • Review your families activities and television viewing patterns; involve everyone in nutrition counseling.

There are comprehensive weight management programs for children and adolescents which should be attempted before weight loss surgery is even considered. One such facility is the Cincinnati Weight Management Center at the Children's Hospital Medical Center.

But not all children succeed in the behavior modification fight against obesity. When supervised behavioral and nutritional weight control strategies do not result in sustained success, bariatric surgery may be an option - consult your doctor.

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What is the cost of weight loss surgery?

Gastric Bypass surgery usually requires a 2-4 day hospital stay and 3-6 weeks recovery time depending upon the type of work you do. The cost of bariatric operations can vary but usually cost around $25,000 and although many patients have had to fight for coverage, more insurers are beginning to pay, recognizing that the surgery can save them money in the long run. In the case of open surgery or if there are complications, recovery may take longer.

Some patients may choose to pay for the weight loss surgery themselves. We have negotiated a package price which covers surgery and hospital stay at a very reasonable cost.
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Will my insurance cover weight loss surgery?

We can check whether your insurance will cover your surgery. Insurance companies are constantly changing what they cover and don't cover. The Obesity Law and Advocacy Center has laid out 10 basic steps to provide some fundamental guidance to both patients and practitioners who want to get insurance claims approved the first time! (Read the article) Many health insurance companies will cover much of the cost for gastric bypass procedures. We recommend you contact us and we will contact your insurance company for you. There is more involved than just determining whether you are covered for weight loss surgery, it often limits you to in-network hospitals and surgeons and can require "centers of excellence". Out-of-pocket expenses also vary. We can determine this for you.

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What if I don't have health insurance?

If you do not have insurance, don't give up! You still may have options available in obtaining treatment. One is simply finding a way to pay for the surgery yourself. Health Care Financing is available for those who qualify. We have negotiated a package price which covers surgery and hospital stay at a very reasonable cost. Contact us and we can see if we can help you.

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How safe is the LAP-BAND® System or gastric bypass surgery?

Like every operation, there is a risk. Because you may already have health-related problems, there is an increased risk of complications. Your doctor should thoroughly screen you to make sure that there are no surprises on the operating table. For detailed information on the risks and benefits of weight loss surgery, review this part of our website.

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How long will I be in the hospital after laparoscopic weight loss surgery?

Your stay will usually be 1-3 days depending on your circumstances.

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Can all types of bariatric surgery be performed laparoscopically?

Theoretically all kinds of surgical procedures for obesity such as laparoscopic gastric bypass, the LAP-BAND® (laparoscopic adjustable banding), gastric bypass, and other weight loss procedures can be performed laparoscopically (also called minimally invasive surgery), because it is performed through very small incisions and because postoperative hospital stay is shorter and recovery is quicker.

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When can I go back to work after the weight loss surgery?

This really depends on the type of weight loss surgery you have and the type of job you do. For LAP-BAND® surgery the procedures are usually done laparoscopically and don't require stapling or rearranging of your stomach anatomy, thus your hospitalization is usually less than 24 hours. And your recovery can be as little as a few days. For gastric bypass surgery, most patients can proceed with a regular activities after 6 weeks. If you work in a low-impact office, you may be able to go back to work after 3 weeks or sooner. If you are a construction worker, you may be able to go back after 6 weeks. Each patient heals on their own time, so everyone will recover on their own time.

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Will I still be able to get pregnant?

Most doctors will strongly recommend for you to not get pregnant after your first year of the operation. Most of the excess weight is lost during this time. Your fetus' health may also be endangered.

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Can I drink alcohol?

Alcohol has a high number of calories and breaks down vitamins. Please consult your physician regarding use of alcohol.

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What can I do about extra skin and stretch marks?

Many patients opt for plastic surgery or the tummy tuck procedure, but we recommend you wait until you reach your ideal body weight before any plastic surgery.

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How soon can I exercise after the gastric bypass surgery or LAP-BAND® operation?

After the gastric bypass surgery, most doctors recommend you exercise to help you lose the weight more quickly. Regular exercise can usually proceed after 6 weeks, but consult your doctor.

If the lap band surgery is performed laparoscopically, patients typically spend less than 24 hours in the hospital. It takes most patients about a week to return to work and a month to six weeks to resume exercising. In the case of open surgery or if there are complications, recovery may take longer.

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Do I have to take medicine after surgery?

Your body needs to receive the proper vitamins in order to survive. Our Doctors will also go over with you any medicines you need to take. Most patients actually stop taking their medication from pre-surgery because they are healthy!

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What kind of foods will I be able to eat and drink?

Gastric Bypass: Usually right after the operation, you are put on a strict menu of liquid foods. You will be on a strict diet plan while you heal. The doctor will let you know what foods you will be able to eat and when you start eating them. Most patients become lactose intolerant after the operation. We will work with you after the operation to change your diet and show you which foods are good for you and which are not. You will eat whatever you want, but in small portions. Even so, your appetite will feel satiated, and you will not feel hungry. The basic rules are simple, and easy to follow:

  • Eat 2 -3 meals per day, no more.  Protein, in the form of lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish), and other low-fat sources, should be eaten first, and should comprise at least half the volume of the meal eaten.  Foods should be cooked without fat, seasoned to taste.  Avoid sauces, gravies, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, and junk foods.

  • Never eat between meals - nothing.  Do not drink flavored beverages, even diet soda, between meals.

  • Drink 2 -3 quarts, or more, of water each day.  Water must be consumed slowly, 1 -2 mouthfuls at a time, due to the restrictive effect of the operation.

  • Exercise aerobically every day, for 20 minutes at least (one mile brisk walk, bike riding, stair climbing, etc.).  We encourage weight/resistance exercise 3 - 4 days per week.

When each meal is satisfying, this is not a diet, but a style which you can easily achieve, and which will result in rapid weight loss followed by weight maintenance.

 

LAP-BAND® Treatment: After your stomach has healed, you may eat most foods that don't cause you discomfort. However, because you can only eat a little it is important to include foods full of important vitamins and nutrients. Again, your appetite will feel satiated, and you will not feel hungry. If you do eat foods that contain a lot of sugar and fat or drink liquids full of "empty" calories, such as milkshakes, the effect of the lap band may be greatly reduced or even canceled.

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How fast will I lose the weight after weight loss surgery, and is it dangerous?

Studies have shown that gastric bypass patients lose weight faster in the first year than LAP-BAND® System patients. Most of the weight will be lost in the first six months. Some patients have even been able to loose weight for up to two years after the surgery. After 3 years, however, many LAP-BAND® System patients have achieved weight loss comparable to that of gastric bypass patients. Weight loss surgery is a tool to help you loose weight, and exercise and diet will help you achieve your ideal body weight. Losing weight this fast is generally not a dangerous procedure if you maintain your vitamin supplements and diet. If you undergo the LAP-BAND® procedure, your weight loss will be slower but you can achieve a similar result.

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Can I get this weight loss surgery reversed?

The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Band is reversible and does not modify your internal anatomy. Gastric bypass is designed to be permanent, after all you intend to lose the weight and keep it off for the rest of your life! It is possible to reverse a gastric bypass but you will also be reversing your weight loss and will soon be back to the weight you were originally. But ask your doctor about your specific procedure.

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Does the LAP-BAND® System require frequent visits to the doctor after surgery?

Check-ups with your doctor are a normal and very important part of the LAP-BAND® System follow-up. Many surgeons see their patients weekly or biweekly during the first month and every 4 to 12 weeks for the first year. Adjustments may be performed during some of these visits. It is typical for follow-up visits to be scheduled every 3 to 6 months during the second and third year, depending on the individual case.

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