Who qualifies for bariatric surgery?A key indicator of necessary treatment is the patient’s body mass index (BMI). We also consider the patient’s overall health, lifestyle and personal preferences. Typically, patients with a BMI of 35 or less are considered candidates for non-surgical medical treatment. Patients with a BMI of 36 or greater who have significant associated health conditions, or patients with a BMI of 40 or higher, are generally candidates for surgery.
Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?Because morbid obesity is considered a medical condition, insurance will cover most surgeries if a legitimate medical reason to perform the surgery is given with reasonable expectations that the patient's health will improve with weight loss. Because each insurance provider supplies a range of policies, it is necessary for each person to obtain the insurance information pertinent to his or her own policy. With a small amount of information from you, St.Vincent can contact your insurance company to obtain the specifics on your policy.
How does St.Vincent help prepare patients for the surgery?Before the surgery, patients attend an educational class that covers detailed information on what will happen during their hospital stay and how to make crucial lifestyle and dietary changes following the surgery.
Does St.Vincent provide support to patients after the surgery is over?Continued consultations with our registered dietitians are available indefinitely at no additional charge to St.Vincent bariatric patients. In addition to these consultations, a special support group is conducted monthly by our dietitians, focusing specifically on dietary issues. Patients also have the option of scheduling one-on-one appointments.
What dietary and lifestyle changes are recommended to bariatric patients after surgery?Here are a few of the tips we generally give our patients:
Will I be able to stop worrying about weight problems after the surgery?Surgery will not cure obesity, but it will provide the tools necessary to manage it. If you succeed in doing so, it should improve your health and possibly eliminate life-threatening medical problems.
Will I be able to eat whatever I want after surgery?You will be limited in your food choices during the initial healing time after your surgery – usually about six weeks.
Is it true that the body won't tolerate certain foods afterward?Once you begin eating a wide range of foods again, you may experience some new food intolerances. These experiences vary among individuals.
You may be intolerant to such foods as:
How much weight can I expect to lose?To reach the optimum weight loss, you must reduce your caloric intake. By the end of the first year following surgery, you will be eating approximately the same amount of food normally prepared for a child's plate.
With the help of our dietitians, you will:
Will eating less food as a result of surgery have any negative effects on my health?The reduction in the amount of food you consume will require the addition of vitamin and mineral supplements for you to remain healthy for the rest of your life.
Why consider weight reduction surgery if there are risks involved?Being severely obese greatly increases risk of death from a number other causes. Many people develop severe physical problems due to obesity that become unmanageable towards the end of their 30s. Bariatric surgery, however, can provide patients with the long-term health benefits and quality of life improvement that justify the surgery.
How long is the surgery and hospital stay?The length of time will vary. The surgical procedure used, along with your physical condition, will determine how long the process will last.
When will I be able to go back to work?Many people return to work within four weeks after surgery. Some patients may have to wait longer due to other health concerns, or if their work requires heavy lifting.
Will I have to come back in for surgery again after I lose the weight to have the surgery reversed?No, normally patients do not need another surgery. Your body will naturally adjust to the changed lifestyle and eating habits. The surgery is intended to be permanent.
Will the surgery affect my ability to have children?Bariatric surgery results in weight loss that frequently helps patients in becoming pregnant. In fact, many patients who have previously been told that they were unable have children successfully deliver a healthy child after bariatric surgery.
Will I have to have cosmetic surgery afterward?Most patients do not choose to have cosmetic surgery. Insurance companies rarely pay for cosmetic surgery unless it is medically required.