Below are answers to frequently asked questions we receive from our surgical weight loss candidates. If you have other questions, please call 302-430-5454 or register for one of our free informational seminars.
Weight loss surgery is available at Bayhealth for adults age 18 or older, who, generally speaking, are approved by consensus of our multidisciplinary team and typically:
Are healthy enough to undergo major surgery
Do not have drug or alcohol problems
Do not have uncontrolled psychological conditions
Do not use tobacco
Meet BMI criteria: Typically BMI of 35 with health conditions or 40 (depending on insurance provider)
Have failed at other attempts at medical weight loss
Understand the surgery and its risks
The decision to undergo bariatric surgery should be made after all other weight loss attempts have been exhausted. Most important, Bayhealth Bariatric Program patients must be dedicated to the lifestyle changes and lifetime follow-up necessary to get the optimal outcomes from their weight loss surgery.
There are a series of clearances that will need to happen prior to surgery that are dictated by your insurance company. If you do not have coverage, we offer financing.
Depending upon your insurance plan, there may be exclusions for weight loss treatments, including surgery. Other plans will have certain requirements before surgery is covered, such as a medically supervised diet history and/or psychological evaluation. Every plan’s requirements are different. You should call your insurance company to learn more. Obtain a printed copy of the insurance company’s requirements, and document all contacts you have with the insurance company.
The laparoscopic Roux en Y and Sleeve Gastrectomy procedures often require a hospital stay of 1-2 days. Lap-Band® patients may go home the same day.
If the work you perform is sedentary, you can probably return to work in 2 weeks. If your work requires physical labor, you can probably return in 3-6 weeks. You should be able to return to normal activities in 1-2 weeks, compared with four to six weeks for traditional surgery.
You may experience hair loss or hair thinning in the 3-5 months following your surgery. However, this is usually a temporary condition.
The amount of food you will be able to eat will change significantly. Immediately after surgery, food intake is limited to 1-2 fluid ounces per meal to allow the stomach to heal properly. You will be provided with clear instructions for your diet.
You will need to take vitamins for the rest of your life. Immediately after surgery you will begin taking a chewable multi-vitamin daily, as well as vitamin B-12 and calcium citrate.
Weight loss results vary with each individual.
The stomach pouch is designed to hold approximately one ounce. In the first few months, it is rather stiff due to natural surgical inflammation. Around 12-18 months after surgery, the stomach pouch expands a bit as the inflammation subsides. Most patients end up with a meal capacity of about 4-6 fluid ounces.
Many medications (for blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) may be stopped at some point after bariatric surgery. Most medications will continue to work effectively after surgery.