Weight loss surgery is a tool that can reduce excess weight, which may improve quality of life, longevity, and decrease the risk of many weight related medical conditions. Surgery promotes weight loss by restricting food intake or by changing the digestive process. For people with morbid obesity, weight loss surgery is often the most successful way to achieve weight loss and keep it off. Only one out of 20 people who are morbidly obese will lose weight and keep it off with diet and exercise alone.
Weight loss surgery may result in improvement or resolution of many serious diseases and conditions associated with obesity. These include:
- Type II Diabetes
- Gastroesophageal Reflux
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Certain types of Cancer
It is our philosophy that patients need to be fully informed of the risks and benefits of both the surgical and medical treatments for obesity to make informed decisions. Patients referred to our program are thoroughly evaluated to ensure that the most appropriate weight management approach is selected for them.
All surgical procedures have risks, particularly when a patient is obese. It is important to know that bariatric surgeons with more experience performing weight loss surgery techniques report fewer complications. Potential complications will be extensively reviewed during the evaluation.
Surgery should never be the first option for weight loss. There are multiple options for weight loss including diet and exercise, medications, and surgery. You should talk with your physician and surgeon to better determine if surgery is the best option for you.
Surgical Weight Loss Treatment Options
The Borgess Bariatric Center offers the latest and safest weight loss surgery options
- Sleeve Gastrectomy
- Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
- Revisions of previous weight loss surgeries
In addition to these procedures, we are continually evaluating new techniques that will benefit our patients in their weight loss journey.
Surgical Weight Loss FAQs
Who Qualifies for Weight Loss Surgery?
The National Institutes of Health set criteria to determine who will qualify for weight loss surgery.
- Patients with a BMI greater than 40 qualify for surgery
- Patients with a BMI from 35-39.9 with weight related health conditions may also qualify for surgery.
- Patients also have had to try losing weight by other methods before pursing surgery.
What is the difference between a laparoscopic procedure and an open procedure?
Laparoscopic surgery involves small incisions. An open surgery requires one large incision. Laparoscopic procedures are less invasive which can limit certain complications, such as wound infections and hernias. It can also shorten your hospital stay and help you recover more quickly.
How do I get started with a weight loss program at the Borgess Bariatric Center?
If you are considering surgery, the seminar will help you learn about:
- Surgical options
- Lifestyle changes
- Insurance coverage
- Our surgeons and staff
- How to get started
After completing the seminar, what is next?
The surgeon’s office will contact you for your initial appointment. Preparation for surgery includes:
- Surgeon evaluation
- Dietitian evaluation and classes
- Medical weight management
- Behavioral evaluation
- Fitness 101 class
- Pre- and post-support groups (find dates and times on our website)
- Clearances from cardiac, pulmonary, diabetes and other specialties if needed
Will my insurance cover the procedure?
Many insurance companies cover weight loss surgery, but each insurance has their own pre-operative requirements. Before you come in for your first appointment, please call your insurance company to find out if weight loss surgery is covered. We will provide the procedure codes your insurance plan will need to make an evaluation.
Can someone come with me to my appointments?
Absolutely. We encourage you to bring a support person with you. Surgery is a lifestyle change, so having a support person over 18 years old with you through the process is very helpful. Please, no children.
What happens at the behavioral evaluation?
We provide individual assessments and counseling that focus on changing unhealthy thought patterns, teaching healthy coping skills and positive reinforcements, and preventing obstacles based on your past, for weight loss success. Family counseling is also available to increase social support in your weight loss journey.
Do you offer support groups?
We have support groups several times a month. These are helpful for patients both before and after surgery. You are welcome to bring a friend or support person with you to these groups.
Are some people unable to lose weight even after weight loss surgery? Can a patient regain their weight?
Every person is different and responds differently to different treatments. Weight loss surgery is a tool to help you lose weight. No matter which procedure a person chooses, each of them requires a lifestyle change to be successful. This includes following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, following-up regularly with the bariatric providers, attending support group meetings, and one-on-one psychological support as needed. There have been cases where patients do not lose the amount of weight they expected or have gained some of their weight back. Typically, a person’s success is directly related to their commitment to the post-surgical program and recommendations. The surgical process is only part of the overall equation. It is the long-term lifestyle changes that keep patients at a healthy weight. We have a dedicated team to help you stay committed to your new lifestyle.