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Ascension St. Vincent's Weight-Loss Services Southside

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Bariatric Surgery FAQs
Our care teams at Ascension St. Vincent's Weight-Loss Services Southside answer your frequently asked questions about surgical weight-loss.

Choosing to get bariatric surgery is an important decision. You should know what to expect and how to prepare for your weight-loss journey. Before your first consultation with a bariatric surgeon, please review our frequently asked questions. We provide you with answers about the types of bariatric surgery, dietary guidelines, recovery and more.

What is a laparoscopic procedure?

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that uses small incisions. This surgical technique helps to lower your risk of complications (infections, hernias,etc.) and shorten your recovery time.

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 may lower your risk of complications and help shorten your recovery time.

What is Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery?

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is a type of weight-loss surgery, often done as a laparoscopic procedure. This surgery reduces the size of your upper stomach to a small pouch about the size of an egg. Your surgeon staples the upper section of the stomach reducing the amount of food you can eat. The pouch is directly attached to part of the small intestine called the Roux limb. This forms a “Y” shape. When you eat, food will bypass the rest of the stomach and upper part of your small intestine. This surgery reduces the amount of fat, calories, vitamins and minerals you absorb from foods.

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, and patients with a BMI from 35-39.9 with weight related health conditions may also qualify for surgery. You must also have tried to lose weight by other methods before pursuing a bariatric procedure.

Are there things that I will need to do before my surgery?

Yes. When you come into your consultation, you will meet with one of our surgeons and a patient navigator. Your patient navigator will let you know what you need to complete before surgery.

How long will I be in the hospital?

Most patients spend between two to five days in the hospital following bariatric surgery. Laparoscopic bariatric surgery usually requires a shorter hospital stay. Your surgeon will decide when you are ready to leave based on your progress.

How long will I be off work post-surgery?

Everyone’s recovery period is different. Your downtime is based on the type of surgery and type of work you perform. Your care team will talk to you about recovery during the pre-surgical preparation process.

Will I have a lot of pain or discomfort?

Post-surgical pain is to be expected. Our care teams will personalize your pain management based on your specific needs.

Do I have to follow a special diet after surgery?

You will meet with a registered dietitian and attend education classes prior to surgery. Special diets will be discussed during these visits. Every patient follows a diet progression of liquid, pureed, soft and solid foods

Will I have hunger pains?

Every person’s journey is different. We will provide you with tools, resources and education to help make sure that your journey is comfortable and successful.

Do I have to exercise right after surgery?

You will start walking shortly after surgery. Your surgeon will work with you to determine the timing and level of activity necessary for a successful weight-loss journey.

Will I have to take vitamins?

All procedures require a lifetime vitamin supplementation. Our dietitians will help customize your vitamin regimen.

Will the results of bariatric surgery last?

No matter which procedure you choose, each of them require lifestyle changes to be successful. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, follow-up appointments with a weight-loss specialist, attending support groups, 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. Your success is directly related to your commitment to the post-surgical program. Surgery is only one part of the process. Long-term lifestyle changes keep you at a healthy weight. Our dedicated care teams are here to help you every step of the way.