Top 7 Frequently Asked Questions About Weight-Loss Surgery

A doctor answers a female patient's questions about her upcoming procedure,

Imagine… you’ve always struggled with your weight and after trying countless weight-loss strategies, you finally start thinking about weight-loss surgery. The prospect of a healthier future is exciting, but you can’t help but feel intimidated by the process. With so many unknowns you may feel lost and overwhelmed, making it difficult to take the next steps forward.

Fortunately, Surgical Weight Control Center is here to answer your most frequently asked questions about weight-loss surgery. With this article, our goal is to help you feel empowered during your weight-loss surgery journey and give you the ability to make informed decisions about your health and well-being.

Weight-Loss Surgery Explained

Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery or surgical weight loss, is a medical procedure that makes changes to the patients’ digestive system to help them lose weight. It typically involves reducing the size of the stomach or bypassing portions of it to limit the amount of food that can be digested.

Weight-loss surgery can be a very beneficial (and, depending on the procedure, noninvasive) weight-loss option. It is usually recommended to those who have been unable to lose weight from traditional weight-loss methods.

Normally, those who undergo weight-loss surgery also see improvements in other weight-related conditions.

Top 7 Questions About Weight-Loss Surgery

What are the four types of weight-loss surgery?

Generally, there are four types of weight-loss surgery. They include:

  • Gastric bypass surgery: Gastric bypass involves creating a small pouch at the top of your stomach and adding a bypass around a segment of your stomach and small intestine. This limits the amount of food you can eat and reduces the absorption of nutrients.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy: In this procedure, 60-80% of the stomach is removed, leaving a small sleeve-shaped stomach instead. This is usually offered as an alternative to those at a higher risk for gastric bypass surgery.
  • Adjustable gastric banding: The gastric band system involves placing an inflatable band around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch. It helps you lose weight by using an adjustable band that limits the amount of food your stomach can hold.
  • Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch: In this procedure, the surgeons remove a large portion of the stomach and reroute the small intestine to bypass most of the stomach and small intestine. This limits the amount of food you can eat and reduces the absorption of nutrients.

Is bariatric surgery safe?

Generally speaking, bariatric surgery is considered safe. Like any surgical procedure, however, it does carry some risks.

The safety of bariatric surgery depends on multiple factors, such as the patient’s overall health and the type of weight-loss surgery performed. Complications may include infection, bleeding, blood clots and negative reactions to anesthetics.

However, there are some ways to minimize these risks. Pay close attention to your healthcare provider’s recommendations and follow post-operative care instructions while in recovery.

How do I qualify for weight-loss surgery?

Weight-loss surgery requirements vary depending on the specific procedure and healthcare provider. Common requirements, however, include:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI): For most weight-loss surgeries, patients must have a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressures.
  • Failed attempts at non-surgical weight-loss methods: Weight-loss surgery is usually recommended to those who have tried and failed to lose weight through non-surgical methods, such as diet and exercise.
  • Age: Age is another important factor in weight-loss surgery, with most providers requiring patients to be at least 18 years old.
  • Overall health: Healthcare providers usually require that patients be in good health overall before undergoing weight-loss surgery to minimize complications. As a result, patients are usually required to take medical evaluations and tests to assess the person’s fitness for surgery.
  • Commitment to lifestyle changes: Good candidates for weight-loss surgery should be committed to making long-term lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating and regular exercise.

What are the benefits of joining a weight-loss program?

If other weight-loss attempts have failed, weight-loss programs can provide several benefits.

Weight-loss programs provide a structured environment and personalized plans tailored to each person’s needs and goals. They equip patients with professional guidance and educational resources on nutrition, exercise and health habits.

Weight-loss programs can also help patients stay accountable and motivated to reach their goals. This can help them stay on the right path and make the decisions that will lead to long-term lifestyle changes.

Is weight-loss surgery covered by insurance?

Weight-loss surgery insurance coverage varies based on the insurance provider and the specific program and surgery you’re exploring. While most providers will try to work with your insurance to determine coverage, it’s always best to check ahead of time.

How long is the recovery period after weight-loss surgery?

Compared to other surgical procedures, the recovery period for weight-loss surgery is relatively short. Usually, you can expect to be discharged from the hospital 2-3 days after your procedure. After that, you can expect to be involved in post-surgery care, pain management and follow-up appointments.

Will I have to make any lifestyle changes after weight-loss surgery?

After weight-loss surgery, you can expect to have to make certain lifestyle changes. Your doctor will typically recommend a healthy eating plan, regular exercise and behavioral changes to support your weight-loss goals.

After surgery, your stomach will have a reduced capacity. This means that your eating patterns will have to change as well. Your doctor may recommend eating smaller portions on a more frequent basis and emphasize nutrient-dense foods in your diet.

In addition to this, as previously mentioned you may notice improvements in your pre-existing health conditions. These improvements may lead to other lifestyle improvements.

Overall, weight-loss surgery has the potential to completely reshape your life.

Reshape Your Tomorrow

If you’ve struggled with other weight-loss methods, change is possible with the right treatment and an experienced team by your side.

Surgical Weight Control Center in Las Vegas offers effective, noninvasive surgical weight treatment options. We provide you with long-term management to help you reshape your tomorrow, take control of your lifestyle and regain your health.

To learn more about your options, reach out to us at 702-313-8446, sign up for one of our seminars, or get in contact with us today.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.

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