Frequently Asked Questions About Bariatric Surgery -Reliant

Our site may not work properly for the older browser you're using. Please upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.

doctors & locations MyChart
Urgent Care

Reliant Medical Group Southboro Medical - Now a part of Reliant Medical Group (800) 283-2556 (508) 481-5500

Please click on a question below:

Is Bariatric Surgery Right for Me?
What is bariatric surgery?
What is BMI (Body Mass Index)?
What are the health risks of morbid obesity?
Do I qualify for the bariatric surgery program?
Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?
How long does it take before I have surgery?
How many appointments will I have to make?
How much weight can I expect to lose?
How successful is bariatric surgery?
What are the health benefits of bariatric surgery?
What are the possible complications/side effects of bariatric surgery?
What if I want to get pregnant after bariatric surgery?
What support will I receive after surgery?

Is Bariatric Surgery Right for Me?

Talk with your surgeon about the different surgical treatments, as well as the benefits and risks.

Remember:

  • Bariatric surgery is not cosmetic surgery.
  • Bariatric surgery does not involve fat removal by suction or surgical removal.
  • Bariatric surgery is a commitment to long-term lifestyle change that includes diet and exercise.

TOP

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is also known as weight-loss surgery. Weight loss surgery is provided for people who have struggled with their weight and have not been successful through diet and exercise. Paul Arcand, MD, Director of the Bariatric Surgery Program and Michael Potter, MD are the surgeons performing bariatric surgeries at Saint Vincent Hospital.

Surgeries offered by our program:

TOP

What is BMI (Body Mass Index)?

The National Institute of Health states that Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight for both adult men and women.

bariatric_faq_bmi_indicators

TOP

What are the health risks of morbid obesity?

bariatric_faq_women_obesity

* Compared to people with a healthy weight.

* A Note on Relative Risk
The chart refers to “relative risk,” which compares how likely an event is to occur to a person versus another person. The chart shows how much more likely a person with morbid obesity is to develop cancer or die from cancer versus a person with a healthy weight.

Women living with morbid obesity have 50% to 100% higher mortality rates than women with a healthy weight.

bariatric_faq_women_cancer

* Compared to people with a healthy weight.

bariatric_faq_men_obesity

* Compared to people with a healthy weight.

Men living with morbid obesity have 50% to 100% higher mortality rates than men with a healthy weight.

bariatric_faq_men_cancer

* Compared to people with a healthy weight.

* A Note on Relative Risk
The chart refers to “relative risk,” which compares how likely an event is to occur to a person versus another person. The chart shows how much more likely a person with morbid obesity is to develop cancer or die from cancer versus a person with a healthy weight.

TOP

Do I qualify for the bariatric surgery program?

Talk with your primary care physician who can refer you into the program. You are eligible to enter the Bariatric Surgery Program if you meet the following criteria:

  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more (Click here to calculate your BMI)
  • A BMI of 35 -40 along with additional health problems such as:
    • Diabetes
    • Sleep apnea
    • Severe joint disease
    • Cardiomyopathy

TOP

Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?

Reliant Medical Group accepts most health insurances.

  • Review your insurance policy for severe obesity management.
  • Request the policy/contract from your employer or insurance company and ask that they highlight the sections in your plan that discusses the exclusions.
  • Call your insurance company and ask, “Do I qualify for bariatric surgery?”
  • Ask your insurance company if there are specific criteria to qualify for surgery.
  • Ask you insurance company if they cover each part of our program.
  • Pre-approval is usually required for weight-loss surgery.
  • To receive more information on working with your insurance provider towards weight-loss surgery, visit http://www.obesityaction.org/educational-resources/brochures-and-guides/oac-insurance-guide.

TOP

How long does it take before I have surgery?

The Reliant Medical Group Bariatric Surgery Program is not a “quick fix” for weight loss. Perhaps the questions to ask are:

  • Are you ready to make changes for the rest of your life?
  • Are you committed to making the necessary lifestyle changes before and after surgery?

Also, time is needed for appointments with doctors, surgeons, psychologists, physical therapists and dietitians. The time from when one enters the program to their surgery date varies from one patient to another.

TOP

How many appointments will I have to make?

The Reliant Medical Group Bariatric Surgery Program is a complete program that requires time for appointments with doctors, psychologists and dietitians. You may also work with physical therapy. After attending the Bariatric Introductory Session at Saint Vincent’s Hospital, you will:

  • Meet with a Bariatric Internist (doctor) for a consult.
  • Attend a group session and individual meetings with a dietitian.
  • Meet with a psychologist for an initial assessment and then attend a six-week group session (additional appointments may be required).
  • You may also choose to go to the Bariatric Bootcamp

These appointments will help you achieve lifestyle changes including required weight loss. This will demonstrate your commitment to long term changes and will optimize your success.

TOP

How much weight can I expect to lose?

How much weight you lose after surgery depends on the type of surgery performed and your level of commitment to nutrition and exercise goals. If you choose the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, you may lose up to 65 percent of your excess weight within one year of surgery.

TOP

How successful is bariatric surgery?

Studies show that bariatric surgery can improve and resolve many co-morbid conditions. A review of more that 22,000 bariatric surgery patients showed:

  • Improvement in or complete resolution of conditions including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea
  • 61.2% reduction of excess weight

 

bariatric_faq_five_year

*Success measured as a loss of 10% of initial body weight.
** Weight loss is not maintained once treatment ends.
*** Success measured as a loss of 50% of excess body weight (equivalent to loss of approximately 20% to 25% of initial body weight).

TOP

What are the health benefits of bariatric surgery?

Weight loss surgery has been shown to improve a number of health conditions. The table below gives examples of health condition that were resolved or improved by weight loss surgery. (Percentages refer to the % of Resolved or Improved cases.)

bariatric_faq_health_benefits

TOP

What are the possible complications/side effects of bariatric surgery?

As with any surgery, there are immediate and long-term complications and risks. Possible risks can include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Complications due to anesthesia and medications
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Dehiscence (separation of areas that are stitched or stapled together)
  • Infections
  • Leaks from staple lines
  • Marginal ulcers
  • Pulmonary problems
  • Spleen injury
  • Stenosis (narrowing of a passage, such as a valve)
  • Death

Other side effects may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Gallstones
  • Need to avoid pregnancy temporarily
  • Nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, excessive sweating, increased gas, and dizziness

TOP

What if I want to get pregnant after bariatric surgery?

Most doctors recommend that women wait at least two years after the surgery before pregnancy. Approximately two years after surgery, your body should be fairly stable (from a weight and nutrition standpoint), and you should be able to have a healthy pregnancy. Consult your surgeon as you plan for pregnancy.

TOP

What support will I receive after surgery?

After surgery, you will continue to work with your team. Our program offers a monthly support group for patients who have had bariatric surgery. Support groups give patients an excellent opportunity to talk about personal issues. Most patients learn, for example, that bariatric surgery will not resolve personal relationship issues. Most bariatric surgeons who frequently perform bariatric surgery will tell you that ongoing support after surgery helps to achieve the greatest level of success for their patients. Patients help keep each other motivated, celebrate small victories together, and provide perspective on the everyday successes and challenges that patients generally experience.

The Reliant Medical Group Bariatric Surgery Support Group meets from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the first floor in Conference Room C located at:

Saint Vincent Hospital
123 Summer Street, Worcester
(Parking will be validated)

For questions please call 508-368-3190. Please note that this meeting is free of charge.

Bariatric Surgery Support Group 2014 Schedule

2nd Thursday of the month

January 9
February 13
March 13
April 10
May 8
June 12
July 10
August 14
September 11
October 9
November 13
December 11

TOP