If diet and exercise fail to help a person lose weight, they may want to consider surgery. Although there is some risk to surgery there is likely a higher risk of staying morbidly obese. According to the National Institutes of Health, surgery is recommended as the only effective approach that provides consistent permanent weight loss in severely overweight individuals. Surgery is recommended for patients who can not lose weight through diet management and have a BMI between 35-39 with a significant comorbidity or if their BMI is 40 or greater. Surgical candidates must be willing to permanently quit smoking if they are smokers and they must be dedicated to a lifestyle change.
The weight loss and subsequent lifestyle changes that come from bariatric surgery have substantial benefits including increased longevity and improved quality of life. Many patients have found that many of their health problems are resolved after weight loss surgery including migraines, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, urinary incontinence, arthritis, acid reflux, sleep apnea and asthma.
Weight loss surgery options include gastric bypass, gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy.
- Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
This procedure uses a silicone band to create a smaller section in the stomach. Digestion and absorption remains normal and the band can be adjusted or fully removed to reverse the procedure. An implantable device is placed around the uppermost part of the stomach. This procedure slows the flow of food so the patient feels full sooner and stays full longer. This surgery does not require re-routing of the small intestine and typically requires an overnight stay in the hospital.
- Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
This procedure limits the amount of food a person can eat by reducing the size of the stomach. A portion of the stomach is removed, but digestion and absorption of nutrients follows a natural course that allows them to be absorbed into the body. This surgery usually requires one to two days in the hospital.
- Gastric By-Pass
This procedure uses the restrictive technique of reducing the stomach size to create a quicker sense of fullness with a decreased absorption. We bypass a portion of the small intestine to create a 15-30cc stomach pouch. This is a time-proven gold standard approach in bariatric surgery providing excellent long term weight loss. This surgery requires two day hospitalization.
After surgery, patients can’t lift more than 15-20 pounds for 30 days. Time away from work is individualized depending on requirements of your job, your recovery and your surgeon’s recommendation.
As with all surgeries there are risks. However with bariatric surgeries, major complications are less than 0.5% and minor complications may occur in 5-15% of the cases.
To be considered as a surgical candidate, these qualifications should be met:
- Be between 21 and 70 years of age
- Have a Body Mass Index of 40 or above OR
- Have a Body Mass Index of 35-40 with significant associated health problems
- Have made a serious past attempts to lose weight
- Are dedicated to drastic lifestyle changes and follow-up appointments
- Does not have alcohol, drug or emotional problems
- Be aware of and understand the surgery and associated risks
You will meet one on one with a registered dietician before your surgery. The dieticians are available to answer any questions before and after your surgery.
Basic Bariatric Principles to Aid your Success
- Eat slowly and chew food thoroughly (25 times)
- Smaller portions – 3 meals daily
- Avoid high fat foods
- No simple sugars (honey, molasses, fruit juice, candy, cookies, cakes, soda, sweet tea, other sweetened beverages)
- Don’t drink and eat at the same time
- Stop eating before or when you feel full
- Drink plenty of fluids
- No carbonated drinks/no bubbles
- Eliminate caffeine
- No drinking from a straw
Would insurance cover my bariatric surgery?
- Chesapeake Regional accepts most major insurance plans, and our insurance specialists will be happy to guide you through the approval process.
- For questions concerning whether your policy will cover bariatric surgery, please contact Melissa Mounie, bariatric program coordinator at 757-312-3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please have with you the patient's full name, DOB, policy ID and group number.
Are there any self pay Options available?
- Big weight-loss results. Low monthly payments.
- Don’t let finances get in the way of reaching your weight-loss goals. The Weight-Loss Self-Pay program at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center lets you enjoy all the life-changing benefits of weight-loss surgery as you pay the cost in low monthly installments.
- Chesapeake Regional Medical Center has some of the lowest bariatric self-pay rates in the region.
What is included in the price?
- Pre-surgical office visits with Chesapeake Regional Medical Center physicians
- A bariatric weight-loss procedure, including physician and hospital fees for up to a four-day stay
- All fees for associated services including anesthesia, cardiology, radiology and pathology
- Post-surgical follow-up visits for two months after surgery
- Free nutritional counseling