|How do I know if surgery is right for me? |
Questions for your primary care doctor?
How do I make an appointment to find out more about the surgery?
How long does the surgery take?
How long am I in the hospital?
How long will I be out of work?
What are some possible complications?
How much does the surgery cost?
Lap-Band specific questions?
What is life like after the surgery?
Please Note: These FAQs are general and may not always pertain to your individual case. It's important to ask your physician these questions as well as any others you may have.
1. How do I know if this surgery is right for me?
Gastric bypass may be the next step for people who are looking for a permanent weight loss solution after trying nonsurgical approaches, or, for people who have an obesity-related disease. You may be a candidate for weight loss surgery if you:
Are 100 pounds or more above your ideal weight or have a BMI of 40 or higher
Are diagnosed with at least two other significant illnesses related to obesity. (Consult your physician.)
Have no severe medical, psychological or emotional conditions that would render surgery too risky.
Have no dependence on drugs or alcohol, or have been sober for a year.
Have tried and failed at previous efforts to lose weight.
Understand the seriousness of gastric bypass and the necessity for a lifelong personal commitment to a healthier diet and lifestyle.
Have obesity-related physical problems that interfere with employment, walking or family function
Remember: There are no guarantees for any method, including surgery, to produce and maintain weight loss. Success is possible only with maximum cooperation and commitment to behavioral change and medical follow-up -- and this cooperation and commitment must be carried out for the rest of your life. Sentara offers personalized support following gastric bypass including support groups, counseling, nutrition and fitness programs for a successful weight loss goal. 2. Questions for your primary care doctor should include:
How would I benefit from the operation?
In my current health condition, what are the best options for me?
Am I a candidate for a particular surgical procedure?
What other health considerations should I have regarding surgery?
What are the other steps I should take to prepare for the operation?3. How do I make an appointment to find out more about gastric bypass surgery?
You may talk with one of the physicians
associated with the Sentara weight loss surgery program. They will be happy to tell you more about the surgery and help you decide if it's the right approach to weight loss for you. 4. How long does the surgery take?
The surgery takes around two hours of operating time. This depends greatly on the patient's anatomy and whether they have adhesions inside the abdomen or have had previous surgery. 5. How long am I in the hospital after gastric bypass?
Most patients remain in the hospital three to six days. Minimally invasive gastric bypass surgery usually requires a hospital stay of two to three days. 6. How long will I be out of work?
Most patients return to work between six and eight weeks. Minimally invasive patients may return to work within five to 20 days. Plan carefully with your doctor to decide how much time you can anticipate being away from work. 7. What are some of the possible complications of gastric bypass?
Over one-third of the people who have gastric bypass develop gallstones.
People who have had this surgery are more likely to develop liver problems.
Between 10% and 20% require a second surgery to repair a complication. The most common complication is a hernia. It is also possible for the staples to pull loose (so there is no longer a pouch).
It is possible for a leak to occur from the stomach or intestine into the abdominal cavity. This will result in a serious infection called peritonitis.
There is a very small risk of death from the surgery. About 1 in 2,000 (0.5%) people die from the surgery.
Other risks associated with major surgery include infection in the incision, an abscess inside the abdomen, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
There may be other complications - be sure to discuss concerns with your physician. 8. How much does gastric bypass cost?
Costs may vary greatly for this surgery, particularly on your individual needs and the type of surgery you pursue. A range of $15,000 to $20,000 is probably realistic - and some insurance providers may cover a portion of the cost. If an insurance company pays for gastric bypass, your physician will work with your insurance company to explain the procedure and the indications for the procedure - payment for the procedure is ultimately up to your insurance company. 9. What is life like after gastric bypass?
Patients must stick to strict dietary guidelines for several weeks following gastric bypass surgery. In addition, lifestyle changes must be made permanently. You may find it helpful to join a support group
for the chance to discuss your personal and professional issues. Ask your physician about recommending a support group that will meet your needs.