Questions & Answers about Weight-Loss Surgery

I am interested in having a weight loss operation. Where do I go from here? 
Click here to register for a Weight Loss Surgery Seminar or call 402-572-3663. Seminars are offered twice a month.

What do I bring to the seminar? 
Bring your insurance card, names and addresses of your physicians, and scheduling calendar with you to the seminar. A copy of your insurance card will be taken at the seminar and an appointment with the bariatric coordinator will be made. We recommend that you bring your support person or family member with you to the seminar. 

Click here to register for a Weight Loss Surgery Seminar or call 402-572-3663. Seminars are offered twice a month.

How do I know if my insurance covers the surgery? 
You may want to call the customer service number at your insurance company to see if your policy covers weight loss surgery. Some insurance policies exclude any type of weight loss surgery. Most policies require that the surgery be medically necessary. Most companies also have medical information that is required before a coverage decision will be made. This may include a psychological evaluation, medical records, and/or a medically supervised diet and exercise program. 

Click here to learn about weight loss surgery and insurance.

What if my insurance company excludes weight loss surgery? 
If there is a written exclusion on your insurance policy, contact the bariatric office to see what options are available. The surgeon's office and hospital have other options for individuals not covered under their insurance policy. 

Click here to learn about weight loss surgery and insurance.

What kinds of weight loss surgery are available? 
Laparoscopic or open Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and laparoscopic gastric banding are offered at Immanuel Medical Center. The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is offered at Immanuel Medical Center. 

Click here to research the available weight loss surgeries.

Do I need a special diet or supplements after the gastric bypass operation? 
Yes. Your diet will change considerably after weight loss surgery. The bariatric dietician and coordinator will review this diet with you. Basic dietary guidelines are no carbonated beverages, no foods high in sugar or fat, taking smaller bites and chewing well, and sipping fluids. Gastric bypass patients are required to take a bariatric multivitamin usually 2 to 4 times to day. Gastric banding patients need to take a good one-a-day vitamin. 

Who should not have weight loss surgery? 
Choosing to have weight loss surgery is a very serious choice. People who suffer from depression, bipolar disease, or schizophrenia should be under the care of a psychiatrist and be stable before weight loss surgery. Weight loss can exaggerate these conditions. To qualify for a Gastric Bypass, you will need to be medically categorized as morbidly obese. 

Check the BMI calculator to find out what category you fall into.

Click here to to learn more risks of weight loss surgery.

After weight loss surgery, when do I follow up with the doctor? 
Follow up visits are required one week after surgery, one month after surgery, and then every three months for the first year, then every 6 months for life. We have found that regular follow-up is essential for long term success. It is also strongly encouraged that you follow up with your primary care doctor on a regular basis as well. You medication requirements may change after surgery. Patients who have the gastric banding will see the surgeon one to two weeks after the surgery and then about every two to three months for band adjustments.

How long is the hospital stay for gastric bypass or the gastric banding operation? 
For gastric bypass the hospital stay is usually 2-3 days. The hospital stay for the lap band is about 12-24 hours.

How much weight can I expect to lose with weight loss surgery? 
Most patients will lose 50-70% of their excess body weight; some patients can lose more. The gastric bypass operation will limit the amount of food you take in, decrease the amount of calories consumed and make it so that you eat less but still feel satisfied. The gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy will decrease the amount of food that can be consumed. However, any weight loss operation will not do two very important things. It cannot make you exercise nor will it make you choose healthy foods to consume. This surgery is used as a tool to assist you with your weight loss goals.

Can I eat whatever I want after weight loss surgery? 
The diet after gastric bypass and gastric banding is similar. The diet starts with a full liquid to soft and then to a regular diet. The diet progression will be discussed when you meet with the dietician and coordinator. Many persons have food intolerances such as soft breads or rice. Gastric bypass surgery causes food to be moved from the small stomach pouch straight into the small intestine. Drinking fluids with meals, high fat and high sugar foods can irritate the small intestine and produces an unpleasant feeling along with abdominal cramping, sweating and lack of energy. 

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