Q: What is bariatric surgery?
A: Bariatric surgery is a surgical operation used to achieve long-term weight loss for patients suffering from 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 safely 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/m 2 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 Presbyterian Hospital of Plano will determine if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery. 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: What are the dietary adjustments necessary with bariatric surgery?
A: All bariatric surgeries require dietary adjustments in order for sustained weight loss success. Your surgeon and his staff will discuss the necessary dietary adjustments prior to the procedure.
Q: What are some of the possible complications from bariatric surgery?
A: Both gastric bypass and Lap-Band (adjustable gastric banding) surgeries have possible complications. Click on the links to learn more about the procedures.
Q: How much does it cost to have gastric bypass surgery?
A: Estimated charges for the surgery and hospitalization are approximately $25,000 to $35,000. Additional costs may be accrued for necessary consults before and after surgery. All professional provider fees including the surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiologist, pathologist, internist and other specialist fees are separate from the hospital charges, and you are advised to discuss these fees with his or her office. In addition, charges for care provided by the dietitian and nurse may not be covered by your insurance provider. Patients are responsible for all charges at the time of service unless an authorization for treatment is obtained from the insurance carrier in advance. It is important for you to contact your insurance carrier for your benefit information.
Q: Does Texas Health Dallas offer a support group for bariatric patients?
A: Texas Health Dallas holds supports group meetings the third Wednesday of every month starting at 6:30 p.m. Prior patients, their family members, as well as anyone considering having bariatric surgery are encouraged to attend. Please contact the bariatric coordinator at 214-345-5155 for additional information, or visit TexasHealth.org/dallassupport.
Q: What is the process if I want to have this surgery?
A: If you are interested in weight loss surgery, please contact one of the physicians on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas to schedule an appointment. 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. Insurance specialists will also meet with you to discuss the insurance authorization process. Once approved, you will have routine laboratory evaluations and X-ray examinations. Depending on your medical history, your surgeon may also require further testing with a heart and lung specialist to prepare you for anesthesia. Your surgeon will discuss these requirements with you.
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.