Q: How much weight will I lose?
A: Weight loss varies depending upon your pre-operative weight and your commitment to following the diet/exercise recommendations after surgery. On an average, people lose approximately 65 to 75 percent of their excess body weight. That means if you are 100 pounds over your ideal body weight, you should lose an average of 65 to 75 pounds. If you were 200 pounds over your ideal body weight, you should lose an average of 130 to 150 pounds.
Q: Are patient education sessions offered if I'm interested in learning more about this surgery?
A: Yes. Free information seminars are offered each month to help you learn more about bariatric surgery procedures offered at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. These seminars provide the opportunity for you to meet physicians on the medical staff who perform bariatric surgery and to ask questions about the procedures.
Q: Does Texas Health Arlington Memorial offer a support group for bariatric patients?
A: A support group, facilitated by a licensed health care provider is available for bariatric patients regardless of where they had their original procedure. These groups provide a safe and supportive atmosphere for gathering information, asking questions and finding encouragement and emotional support. Past history has shown us that those who participate regularly in structured support groups have a better initial weight loss and tend to more easily avoid weight re-gain.
Q: What is bariatric surgery?
A: Bariatric surgery is a technique to achieve long-term weight loss for morbid obesity. Bariatric surgery is not a cosmetic procedure such as liposuction, but rather is a surgical procedure used to decrease the size of the stomach and/or gastric reservoir to modulate eating behavior. There are several different types of bariatric weight-loss surgical procedures, but they are known collectively as "bariatric surgery."
Q: What is morbid obesity?
A: Morbid obesity, or clinically severe obesity, is defined as a condition in which the level of obesity greatly interferes with normal activities or bodily functions. Medically speaking, this correlates to having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 kg/m2 or with being 100 pounds or more overweight. Unfortunately, once patients reach the level of morbid obesity, non surgical methods such as medications, diet modification and exercise have poor long-term success rates.
Q: What makes one eligible for weight-loss surgery?
A: Through consultation with your physician, surgeons on the medical staff at Texas Health Arlington Memorial will determine if you are a candidate for weight-loss surgery. However, in order to be considered, patients generally must:
- Be 18 to 65 years old
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 40 kg/m2 or an average of 100 pounds overweight, or have a BMI of more than 35kg/m2 with one or more additional health problems associated with obesity
- Have had only short-term success at serious and multiple attempts to lose weight
- Be committed to making substantial changes in eating habits and lifestyle and to long-term follow up with your surgeon
Q: Does insurance cover weight loss surgery?
A: Many insurance companies do cover the procedure. However, it's important to call the customer service number on the back of your card to check. Tell them you want to know if you have benefits for "Gastric Bypass Surgery - procedure code 43644." They should be able to tell you a) if it's a covered benefit, and b) what requirements must be met prior to approving you to have the surgery.
Q: What are the dietary adjustments necessary with bariatric surgery?
A: Gastric bypass surgery reduces the size of your stomach and limits the absorption of some nutrients. Therefore it is necessary for patients to reduce their portion sizes, make better food selection choices and take vitamin and mineral supplementation for life.
Q: Will this surgery automatically cause me to lose weight while I eat anything and avoid exercise?
A: No. Surgery is only a tool and the beginning of a new process and new life. After surgery, you will need to follow a progressive diet that is low in fat and sugar. Diet and exercise is still how weight loss and weight control are accomplished. You must commit to a change in your dietary habits and an exercise regime for maximum success.
Q: What is the process if I want to have this surgery?
A: If you are interested in weight-loss surgery, the first step will be to attend an informal information seminar where you will meet the surgeon, learn about the program and have your questions answered. This is usually followed by an in-office consultation which includes a thorough medical and physical examination. Depending on your medical history, your surgeon may also require further testing with a heart and lung specialist to prepare you for anesthesia. You will then meet with the Bariatric Program Coordinator, who will review the insurance authorization process with you and help you coordinate consultations with the program's psychologist, dietitian and fitness specialist. Ten days prior to surgery, you will attend an extensive 3 to 4 hour pre-operative educational class. Immediately following the class you will have an appointment in our pre-assessment center which will include signing consent forms, lab work, chest X-ray and EKG.
Q: Once I decide this is something I want to do, how long before I can have surgery?
A: The entire process from the initial point of contact to the day of surgery can vary. The length of time depends on how quickly you schedule and complete any necessary appointments and testing. The time before surgery is also affected by the insurance authorization process. The entire process takes between one to three months on average. Please understand each person's needs are different.