Frequently Asked Questions

When you're preparing for weight loss surgery, or interested in learning the opportunities available through surgical weight loss, you likely have many questions.

We've provided answers to several common and frequently asked questions to assist you. 

How long does it take before I can have a bariatric operation?

The minimum amount of time is 3 to 4 months, it depends on the requirements of your insurance company. Some require 3 monthly nutrition visits and some require as many as 6 monthly nutrition visits.

After you have completed all of the requirements of your insurance company and any other requirements from the Weight Management Center your request for approval will be sent to your insurance company. Usually, you will receive approval in a couple of weeks after submission.

Which operation is best for me?

This decision should be individualized and discussed with your Weight Management Center physician.  Your decision may depend on your medical problems and/or your personal preference.  Today a gastric sleeve operation is the most frequently chosen operation. 

However, if you have had type 2 diabetes over 5 years, a gastric bypass operation may be a more effective tool for you to resolve your diabetes. 

A duodenal switch operation may be a good choice for more advanced obesity or for those who have had type 2 diabetes for over 15 years. 

Gastric bands are rarely chosen today because of frequent long-term complications and less predictable weight loss.

Will I have excess skin to be concerned about?

Although this is always a very personal decision, many patients feel they do not have enough excess skin to be of concern.

However, older patients, and patients that are excessively heavy may want to have some excess skin removed by a plastic surgeon. Insurance is likely to pay to have this removed if the excess skin is causing skin fold irritation.

How long will I be in the hospital?

Most patients stay 1 night and return home the day after surgery. Some patients with diabetes that is difficult to control or patients with other issues may need to stay in the hospital 2 nights. 

How long does it take to do these operations?

Most bariatric operations take between 1 and 2 hours.

Why am I required to be on a liquid diet for a few days before surgery

Being on a low-calorie liquid diet for a few days before surgery allows you to use up calories in your liver which results in decreasing the size of the liver.  This makes the operation easier for the surgeon and safer for you.

What will I be able to eat after my operation?

After progressing through the initial diet phases and resuming normal textured foods, you should be able to eat most foods.  However, some foods may not be tolerated long term. 

Your meals will be smaller with an emphasis on choosing healthy foods.  Foods that are high in sugar or fat should be limited to help maximize weight loss results and may not be tolerated after surgery.

Why does type 2 diabetes improve after surgery even before losing weight?

If the appropriate operation is selected, most patients have no evidence of diabetes within 48 hours of bariatric surgery.

Most have normal blood sugars and are off all diabetic medications a few days of surgery. This is because of a change in anti-diabetic hormones and decreased consumption of carbs. 

Over time, as you lose weight, you will lose much of your insulin resistance as well.