Open Accessibility Menu

Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

There’s no such thing as a dumb question. Really. Here are some general questions we’re often asked that you may be wondering about, too:

Can weight loss surgery prolong my life?

According to a very important research study from 2007, the answer is YES, bariatric surgery can definitely prolong your life.

Can bariatric surgery help resolve other medical conditions?

The science doesn’t lie. Research shows that weight loss surgery can improve or resolve health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), obstructive sleep apnea, joint pain, lipid disorders, reflux, and many more co-morbid conditions. Data even shows a reduction in rates of certain cancers.

How young can you be for bariatric surgery?

Generally accepted guidelines from the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicate surgery only for people 18 years of age and older.

How old is too old?

You’re only as old as you feel. We accept people into our program by health age, not chronological age. It’s all about understanding and managing risk-to-benefit ratios. The risk of surgery in older folks is increased, but so are the benefits — especially in terms of improved overall health and quality of life. Plus, we think our older patients are rock stars!

Is bariatric surgery dangerous?

Every surgery comes with risks. Thankfully, bariatric surgery has relatively low surgical risks. Many people fear weight loss surgery, but that’s mostly a holdover from when the procedure was first performed many years ago in an open fashion. With current laparoscopic techniques, bariatric surgery is safer than having your gallbladder removed. (The mortality rate for bariatric surgery is just 0.25 percent. For gallbladder surgery, it’s 0.7 percent.)

How do I prepare for bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is generally safe, in part because we take our time preparing you for surgery. It’s like running a marathon. You wouldn’t just go out and run 26.2 miles without training first. You’d prepare for it. In the six months leading up to your surgery, you’ll meet with various doctors — including your primary care doctor, a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, and a psychiatrist — who will prepare you for your procedure. You will also have multiple tests ordered, all to get you ready for surgery.

Post-surgery questions

After your surgery, our team will give you detailed instructions and information about your recovery. To give you a sense of what to expect, we’ve outlined some of the more common questions we’re asked.

How long do I have to stay in the hospital?

The average hospital stay for sleeve and bypass surgery is one to two days.

How soon will I be able to walk again?

We want you out of bed and moving almost immediately after surgery. This decreases the rate of lung infections, and early walking also increases the return of bowel function.

What happens if there’s a leak or complication from the surgery?

If leaks or complications happen, we’ve got you covered. We have all the necessary equipment and personnel to take care of you. As a matter of fact, we regularly care for patients from other states and even other countries who are experiencing bariatric surgery complications. It’s just another area where we thrive.

Will I have excess skin hanging off of me?

Everyone’s experience is different. Not all patients have excess skin after surgery, but some do. Patients who have more muscle mass will have less excess skin — that’s one of the reasons why we stress the importance of exercise once the weight starts coming off. If you are left with excess skin that makes you uncomfortable, we offer plastic surgery skin procedures to resolve this issue.

Will I regain the weight?

Again, everyone’s different. Most patients don’t regain the weight after surgery, but some do. To help set you up for success, we arrange for you to meet with one of our registered dieticians and physical therapists before surgery. If you can lose weight before surgery, you’ll be more apt to keep the weight off. However, if you do regain the weight, we offer various revision surgeries to get you back on track.

What are the known vitamin issues I’ll have after the procedure?

Not to sound like a broken record, but everyone’s different. Some patients require vitamin supplements after bariatric surgery, and some don’t. For example, sleeve gastrectomies have a lower requirement for vitamin support, while gastric bypass surgeries have a higher need. That said, we don’t just abandon you after surgery. We provide follow-up care for life. Your bariatric team and primary care doctor will monitor you closely for years following surgery to ensure no deficiencies develop.