Does bariatric surgery work?
Bariatric surgery is a tool for weight loss. Often it is misconceived as a magic procedure or a fix-all solution to lose weight. Bariatric surgery controls hunger, reduces appetite, increases satiety, makes you full after eating a small meal, possibly reduces cravings and changes the hormonal environment in your body for the better and improves metabolic health. It puts you on the path for a successful long term weight loss, health and activity. As long as the individual who gets weight loss surgery complies with the program and advice given by medical professionals, the surgery will be effective and successful long term. If utilized correctly, bariatric surgery as a weight loss tool can be very effective.
I’m worried about the risks of bariatric surgery
Complications and risks: as with any surgery there are operative and long-term complications and risks associated with weight loss surgical procedures that should be discussed with a doctor. Complications are uncommon however. Our practice and Dr. Ganta has performed over 3000 bariatric procedures with minimal complications. We take every precaution possible to minimize risks. Possible risks include but are not limited to:
- Leakage from staple or suture lines
- Complications due to anesthesia and medications
- Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)
- Marginal ulcers
- Pulmonary problems
- Injuries to other organs
- Band slippage or erosion (for adjustable gastric bands)
- Possible gallbladder stones
What are the routine tests before surgery?
Basic blood work, EKG, chest x-ray are common. Testing varies between patients. Further testing could include any number of additional blood tests as well as more elaborate studies such as an endoscopy, upper GI radiologic studies, sleep study, cardiology evaluation or monitoring studies to investigate for reflux.
Will my insurance cover the procedure?
Many health insurance plans, including Medicare & Tricare cover bariatric surgery if certain criteria are met. However, health insurance plan coverage varies, so it’s important to examine the coverage provided by your plan. Most plans have their own criteria that need to be met. Though Bariatric surgery is sometimes looked at as elective, it is not cosmetic, and has a high coverage rate for those who qualify. The staff at NuSelf are experts with this process and will help you the best we can.
How will be my life after surgery?
Life after surgery varies for the vast majority of patients is much better than before. In fact many patients state that if they knew how life after surgery would be they would have done it much sooner. Most people would have to make some adjustments to their diet so that they are able to make healthy choices. Patients who have had the laparoscopic procedures may be able to return to normal activities within one to two weeks.
Will I have to change my diet forever?
Immediately following surgery you will be on strict diet plans in order to allow for healing and adjustments to your gastrointestinal tract. These guidelines vary based on procedure, so please follow the exact one Dr. Ganta gives you. You will be on a modified diet for about 6 weeks after the surgery. Most patients resume eating normal solid foods between 6 weeks and 3 months and have no problems. Weight loss surgery is a tool, eating healthy and making health conscious decisions will go a long way to help you succeed, alongside the surgery.
Can I afford the procedures?
Many patients have insurance coverage for the procedures as long as required criteria are met. Some patients do not have coverage for the procedures and patients finance and self pay the procedures. Our office will help you with financing options and guide you through the process so you can make the best possible choice for you. Cost of surgery generally is less than a car loan payment for about 4 or 5 years. Your health and longevity are for more valuable than a car. Patients who invest on themselves and self pay the surgery report back to us that that is the best decision of their life.
I have failed many diets before. I do eat fairly good. Will the surgery still work for me?
The answer is Yes. Almost all of the patients who had successful long term weight loss have tried and failed diets before and they did make many lifestyle changes prior to surgery but were unable to lose meaningful weight without surgery. The procedures help with portions, hunger, metabolism, hormones and many other aspects to help patients lose weight successfully.
How do I know which procedure is right for me?
The most common bariatric procedures are the Gastric sleeve, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, and duodenal switch. Different factors such as gender, height and weight, age, activity levels, discipline levels, emotional habits, if you have diabetes or have other medical conditions, financial support, how permanent you want the procedure to be, and post-op support network all play a role into which procedure would be best for you. The best way to determine if you would benefit from gastric sleeve procedure would be to meet with Dr. Ganta in a free evaluation or a full consultation.