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Bariatrics FAQ

What happens to my excess skin?

The amount of excess skin depends on the total weight loss, age, if the person smokes and how much the skin was stretched. About 25% of patients elect to have plastic surgery after surgery.

What kinds of incisions are made to perform the surgery?

The incisions for an open procedure are different from the laparoscopic procedure. At the Bariatric Information Session you can see pictures of the types of incisions made during gastric bypass surgery.

Is the gastric bypass surgery reversible?

Gastric bypass surgery is reversible, but to reverse this procedure requires additional surgery. Once the procedure is reversed, there is potential for total regain of all weight.

How do I know what type of procedure I should have?

Once you have attended an information session, Dr Perez and his staff, together with you will decide which procedure would suit you best, based on your medical history, personal needs and goals.

Who do I call if I have more questions before deciding if surgery is for me?

You can contact our office and speak to our nursing staff or we can schedule you for a personal consultation with Dr Perez.

What’s my first step to determine if bariatric surgery is for me?

If you have:
1. A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater, are 100 lbs or more over your ideal body weight or have a BMI 35 or greater with 1-2 co-morbidities (illness or illnesses related to obesity)
2. Tried and failed diet attempts
3. A personal ongoing commitment to improve your health and lifestyle
Your first step is to come to a free Bariatric Information Session. You will hear about the different bariatric procedures and you will be      able to ask questions that may help you decide if surgery is an option for you  

How long will I be in the hospital?

Length of hospital stay for either an open or laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is about a three to four days. The time spent in the hospital depends upon the individual, their co-morbidities and complication rates.

Why surgery in the first place?

Weight loss by conventional therapies, such as diet, exercise, behavioral modification, or by anti-obesity medications, have a less than 1% long-term success rate. Weight-loss surgery can help the morbidly obese achieve long-term success.

How much weight can one expect to regain after surgery?

Studies show that gastric bypass surgery has long-term weight loss success. 95% of patients who have had gastric bypass surgery lose and maintain greater than 50% of their excess body weight and maintain this benefit long-term. 85% of patients lose greater than 75% of their excess body weight. 20% of patients achieve their ideal body weight.

What is the difference between being overweight and being obese?

By definition, overweight is a body mass index (BMI) of 25-29 and obesity is defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30. The obese, as compared to overweight, are at far greater risk of obesity-associated disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, respiratory disease and others dangerous diseases.

How much weight can I expect to lose after gastric bypass surgery?

On average, and depending on the individual's motivation, after six months at least 60% of excess body weight is lost and after 12 months at least 75% of excess weight is lost.

Why can’t I keep the weight off myself?

Weight may not stay off, due to many factors in your life.
Not making the right food choices, stress eating, skipping meals, not exercising, family genetics, yo-yo dieting, certain medications,  stress in family life and work life, always putting others first, depression & anxiety, joint pain due to  increased weight leading to a sedentary life style.

What is the youngest/oldest age surgery can be done?

At Holy Cross, patients must be at least age 18 to have the surgery.  There is no pre-set age limit. The decision for surgery is based on a patient’s health condition and medical history. The patient and his/her doctor would decide on an individual basis whether surgery would be beneficial.

How can I know if I'm a candidate for gastric bypass surgery?

Anyone with a BMI of 40 or greater or who is 100 pounds or more overweight is a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. Individuals with a BMI of 35-40 are also eligible for surgery if they have two or more co-morbidities (diseases associated with obesity).

What are the risks of these surgeries?

As with any surgery there are risks and complications. Your surgeon will explain the risk factors or you can learn more about surgical complications by attending a Bariatric Information Session.

What are the different types of surgical weight-loss procedures?

The type of procedure that is appropriate for each individual needs to be determined between the surgeon and yourself. To learn more about what type of surgical weight loss procedures exist, the advantages and complications of these procedures and what is the 'gold standard' procedure, please attend a Bariatric Information Session.

When can I return back to work?

Returning back to work depends on motivation of the individual and the type of tasks performed on the job (ie: heavy lifting). This is one of the topics discussed at the Bariatric Information Session.

Will insurance cover the procedure?

Bariatric surgery is covered by many insurance carriers. This is based on individual policies and medical necessity.  Our team will contact your insurance carrier to see if your particular plan offers coverage and if so what requirements need to be completed for approval.

Dr. Michael Perez

"Obesity is a serious health concern worldwide. Holy Cross Hospital has one of the leading Bariatric surgery programs in the nation, with staff, specialized equipment, and support programs dedicated to the care of Bariatric surgery patients. We've helped thousands of people regain their lives and maintain their health."    

General Surgeon Michael Perez, MD, FACS, Medical Director of Bariatric Services & Board Certified by the American Board of Surgery

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