Questions and Answers About Bariatric Surgery

Will my health insurance pay for bariatric surgery?
Some insurance companies do have exclusions in their policies for weight loss surgery. An exclusion means that they will not pay for the surgery even if it is proved medically necessary. However, more and more insurance carriers now provide some coverage for bariatric surgery and will at least pay a portion. We can help you determine what your benefits are, so that right from the start you know what your surgery will cost.

How do I know if weight loss surgery will be successful for me?
Only you can decide if bariatric surgery is right for you. Surgery is only a tool, since strict adherence to dietary, exercise, and lifestyle changes are essential to long-term success. Weight loss surgery will only succeed when you make a life-long commitment to these changes. However, if you are motivated to make these changes, surgery can have a great impact on your life, likely improving the quality and longevity of life.

With the gastric bypass, how big will my pouch be?
The newly created pouch will be about the size of your thumb, with the capacity to comfortably hold about 2 ounces. With time, the pouch will enlarge to 6 to 8 ounces, but it must be carefully managed so that it does not enlarge too much too soon. That’s why it is important to follow your dietary and nutrition guidelines that we carefully outline for you.

Is it possible to dine out and stick to your diet after your bariatric surgery?
Dining out can be a challenging event for anyone watching their diet, so it is important to be very deliberate dining out following your  bariatric surgery. However, eating out is a reality for most of us today. We have plenty of tips and advice on how to successfully “dine out” without compromising weight loss.

What does an adjustment involve with my Lap-Band?
In the first year, most patients will need 5 or 6 adjustments.  If you are feeling constantly hungry and no weight loss is occurring it is likely time for an adjustment.  Alternatively, if you are not able to eat much of anything without feeling uncomfortable of vomiting, your Band may be too tight, also requiring an adjustment.
During each adjustment, a specialized “fill” needle is placed into the port and sterile saline is either added (tightening the band) or deleted (loosening the band) depending on your individual needs.

Can I get pregnant following weight loss surgery and is it safe?
Yes, pregnancy can be very safe following surgery. It is recommended that a woman wait until she is 1 year to 18 months post-operative before getting pregnant to assure that her weight has stabilized. If a bariatric surgery patient does become pregnant, it is important that labs are monitored regularly to ensure that vitamin or mineral deficiencies do not occur.

Why should I choose a multidisciplinary program?
A team approach to treatment results in better long-term outcomes for patients. At CBSI, people who are candidates for bariatric surgery will undergo a thorough team evaluation prior to any treatment.  In addition, patients will have extensive follow-up by both the surgeon and other health professionals as they progress. Such an approach is associated with long-term successful weight loss.

Bariatric surgery requires a long-term commitment to positive change on the part of the patient; eating habits, physical activity habits, and overall lifestyle habits will undergo significant modification. The patient must be prepared and ready for such a challenge. Utilizing such a team approach to bariatric surgery increases the likelihood of success in achieving desirable and realistic weight loss, as well as improvement and satisfaction in daily life for the patient long-term. We also provide and encourage involvement in a support group to assist patients in continuing to maintain their modified lifestyle they have chosen.

What is the value of the CBSI Support Group?
The 3rd Wednesday of each month, CBSI holds a support group for its patients. It generally follows an education seminar on a topic of interest to most bariatric surgery patients (ie, Dealing with New Body Image, Role of Plastic Surgery, Physical Therapy/Exercise Advice), and it is facilitated by our bariatric surgery professionals. It is a wonderful opportunity for our patients to gain insight and guidance as they journey through this major change in life.

Participation in the CBSI bariatric surgery support groups is strongly encouraged. Support groups are a valuable aid in learning and feeling comfortable with modifications in your daily habits and lifestyle. Talking and sharing with other patients helps you realize any limitations you may feel, and that these limitations likely pale in comparison to those experienced by the person who continues to be morbidly obese. Bring your family and friends as well, as support groups can be a great source of support and encouragement to them as they assist you in achieving your goals.