Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a candidate for bariatric surgery?

You may be a candidate for bariatric surgery if you need to lose 80 to 100+ pounds, and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40 and suffer from obesity-related health problems.

What are the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery?
The biggest benefits of bariatric surgery include weight loss and improved health. The risks of bariatric surgery vary by procedure. The following list is not all-inclusive, but offers some examples of the potential risks of bariatric surgery procedures:
  • Acid reflux
  • Anesthesia-related risks
  • Chronic nausea and vomiting
  • Dilation of esophagus
  • Inability to eat certain foods
  • Infection
  • Obstruction of stomach
  • Weight gain or failure to lose weight
Risks vary by procedure, and your bariatric surgeon will make sure you understand the risks and complications of your specific procedure.
How much weight can I expect to lose after surgery?
It depends on the procedure. Results can vary. Long-term weight stability depends on diet and exercise.
Does insurance pay for bariatric surgery?

Most insurance companies cover the costs of laparoscopic gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgeries. You must meet any additional requirements for coverage. Review your insurance policy to see if it covers weight loss surgery.

What happens during bariatric surgery?
It depends on the procedure you and your surgeon decide is the best option for you.

Surgical Options

Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y)

The stomach is divided, forming a small pouch which is connected to the intestine. The pouch is about the size of a golf ball, and results in the best weight loss, averaging 50-80% decrease in excess body weight and can help cure diabetes.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

This newest procedure is in between the bypass and band, in terms of effectiveness and safety. A section of the stomach is removed, which reduces stomach capacity without bypassing the intestines or causing gastrointestinal malabsorption. Weight loss is slower than gastric bypass; expect to lose 50-70% of excess body weight within twelve months after surgery.

How long is the hospital stay for bariatric surgery?
It depends on the procedure, and each individual. (Hospital stays can vary)
Is bariatric surgery reversible?
It depends on the procedure.
Can I still get pregnant after bariatric surgery?

Obesity can make it difficult for some women to become pregnant, so bariatric surgery may actually help with fertility.

If you want to become pregnant, you should wait until your weight stabilizes — about 18 to 24 months following surgery — because rapid weight loss and nutrition deficiencies can be harmful to a developing fetus.

What is the diet like after bariatric surgery?
Your bariatric surgeon and WINH team will advance you through the diet phases post-surgery:
  • Clear liquid diet
  • Full Liquid diet
  • Adaptable, soft diet
  • Stabilization diet
Is it possible to regain the weight I lose?

Yes, absolutely. Bariatric surgery is not a magic bullet, nor is it the only portion of your weight loss journey. Anyone can regain weight they lost and inherit the problems associated with it. To be successful, you must adopt a lifelong commitment to maintaining a healthy weight through good nutrition and exercise.

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For more information on any of our programs, please contact a WINH bariatric representative at winh@lrgh.org or (603)527-2946.