Frequently Asked Questions About Bariatric Surgery - Adventist HealthCare

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What is bariatrics?
The study, diagnosis and treatment of obesity and its causes.

What is obesity and what causes it?
Obesity is a disease of fat storage that has been shown to cause many other health conditions. It is generally defined as having a BMI greater than 30 and is multi-factorial, being influenced by genetics, environment, hormones, metabolism, and behavior.

What happens during digestion?
Normally, as food moves through the digestive tract, digestive juices and enzymes arrive at the appropriate place and time to digest and absorb calories and nutrition’s. After food is chewed and swallowed, it travels down the esophagus to the stomach (which can hold approximately three pints of food at one time).

Who is a candidate for weight loss surgery?
Candidates for surgery usually have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 40, which translates into being 100 pounds or more overweight for men and about 80 pounds or more overweight for women. Surgery may also be an option for people with a BMI between 35 and 40 who suffer from chronic or life-threatening complications associated with their obesity including sleep apnea or obesity-related heart disease or diabetes).

How does surgery promote weight loss?
The two ways that surgical procedures promote weight loss are:

  • By decreasing food intake (restriction): Gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass are operations that limit the amount of food the stomach can hold by closing off or removing parts of the stomach. The operations also delay emptying of the stomach.
  • By causing food to be poorly digested and absorbed known as mal-absorption, an expected side effect of gastric bypass.

What are the benefits of surgery?
Surgery greatly improves obesity-related medical conditions. For example, one study showed that the glucose levels of most diabetic patients returned to normal after having weight loss surgery. Most patients loss weight rapidly and this pattern usually continues for 18-24 months after surgery. While many patients regain some of their lost weight, very few regain it all.

What is the risk of complications following surgery?
Between 10 to 20 percent of patients require a follow up procedure to correct post operative complications. Death may occur in rare circumstances.

Is this surgery covered by insurance?
Many insurance companies cover this procedure, however, each insurance policy differs. Some HMOs won’t cover gastric bypass, and some payors consider Laparoscopic band procedures experimental. If you qualify for Bariatric surgery, our staff will work with your insurance carrier to expedite the approval process. You’ll know what your insurance will cover before your surgery. If your insurance does not cover the procedure, financing the procedure and developing a payment plan are good options.

Are there alternative weight loss treatments?
Alternative weight loss treatments include but aren’t limited to:

  • Low calorie diets
  • Increased physical activity
  • Lifestyle changes like stress management and behavior modification
  • Prescribed drug therapies to facilitate weight loss

How can I learn more about Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center’s Bariatric Surgery Program?
Attend one of our information sessions to learn more about bariatric surgery and meet our team of professionals.

Weight Loss Surgery

FREE Weight-loss Surgery Seminar

Register to attend a FREE seminar on the weight-loss surgery options available at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center.

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Contact Us

For additional information about our bariatric surgery program, please contact:

Yulia Eskin, MSN, CRNP-A
Bariatric Program Coordinator
Phone: 240-826-5278

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