Weight Loss Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to some common questions about weight loss surgery and how to know if it's right for you:
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Who is a candidate for weight loss surgery?
You're a candidate for weight loss surgery when you have a body mass index (BMI) between 35 and 40 with an associated health condition like diabetes, hypertension or sleep apnea, or have a BMI of 40+ with or without any associated health conditions.
What is body mass index (BMI)?
Your body mass index measures your weight in relation to your height: The resulting number determines whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.
What types of weight loss surgeries do you perform?
We perform sleeve gastrectomy, LAP-BAND®, gastric bypass and weight loss revisional surgeries (for returning patients). We'll help you decide which surgery is best for you during your consultation with our surgeons.
What kind of success rate can I expect?
Approximately 70-80 percent of patients who have weight loss surgery experience long-term success. But remember: Permanent weight loss is a lifestyle change, and you'll need to follow the dietary guidelines throughout the months and years following the procedure. Most patients lose weight steadily during the first year; many will actually lose more than 100 pounds during that time. Some patients lose weight for as long as two years following the procedure and may lose more than 200 pounds during that time.
How long will my procedure take — and how long will I be hospitalized?
Typically, these procedures last from one to two hours, although in some cases the time might be longer. You will need to remain in the hospital anywhere from one to three days. As a whole, most patients miss between one and three weeks of work, depending on the type of surgery and their overall health.
Do I have to be in good health to qualify for the surgery?
No. Many patients are actually in poor health because of diseases caused by their obesity, like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, lung problems and kidney difficulties.
Will I need any preoperative tests?
Yes, there are a series of preoperative tests that are required before the surgery. During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss them with you.
After my consultation, how long will it be before I can undergo the surgery I've selected?
The waiting period is about two to six months, depending upon precertification approval.
Is weight loss surgery covered by insurance?
Most but not all insurance companies will cover bariatric surgery; please check with your particular carrier. Typically, your insurance company will review your medical and dietary history before you get approved.
How will my diet change after surgery?
Generally, after surgery, you should eat three small meals and two snacks a day, for a total of about 1,000 calories. Your first meals after surgery will be liquid, and then small portions of puréed foods will be introduced. Finally, small portions of healthy foods will be part of your regular diet. Foods high in sugar and other carbohydrates should be avoided.
Do I need special care when I arrive home?
Most patients do not need any special assistance after discharge. A small number of patients with physical disabilities before surgery may require extra assistance.
Are there postsurgical follow-up meetings to guide me?
Yes, your operating surgeon and a nutritionist meet with you together during postoperative visits designed to help you keep the weight off by living a healthy lifestyle: It's all an important part of our team approach to care.
What can I do about any loose skin that develops after my weight loss?
Start your weight loss journey today! Call (516) 374-8631 to register for a FREE informational seminar.
We can arrange for a consultation with a skilled plastic surgeon for any loose skin removal you may require. Plastic surgeons are also part of our team and work with your bariatric surgeon to make your care as comprehensive as possible.
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