That’s a difficult question to answer, every patient is different, every patient’s motivation is different, and no two patients are going to have the exact same anatomy or outcome. Does effective mean you lost the exact amount of weight you intended to lose? Does it mean you are skinnier than your friend? Does it mean you now fit into the jeans from high school you’ve kept around hoping you’d get back in them one day? The effectiveness of your procedure depends not only on Dr. Barnes and the program he has developed, but it depends a lot on you, and your commitment to your own weight loss goals.
From a statistical standpoint, the maximum weight loss occurs within the first 10 months after surgery.
- Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass an average of 75 to 80% of excess body weight occurs, many achieve 100%. Overall >95% lose greater than 50% excess body weight.
- Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy an average 60 to 70% with some achieving 100% excess weight loss.
You can prepare by taking the appropriate lifestyle changes necessary during the months prior to surgery. In our program you will meet with a registered dietitian every time you come to the office, she will educate you on diet and exercise. Take the information you learn and apply it to your everyday routine before surgery. Start working out or exercising more, get up and take a walk after dinner, go to the park play with your kids, etc. Including the lifestyle changes you plan on making after surgery into your life before surgery will greatly help in preparing you for surgery.
Make sure you have a strong support system whether that is your spouse, or your kids, maybe your best friend, or another patient who happens to be going through the program at the same time. Having people in your life to motivate you and support you is extremely important. Those people will be able to pick you up and encourage you to workout when you just aren’t feeling like it, they will be there for you when you get frustrated or when you really feel like cheating on your diet. Bariatric surgery is a lifestyle change, and for that change to be as seamless as possible, the people in your life need to know what you are going through. That’s not to say you should tell everyone you know, “Hey, I’m having bariatric surgery!!” but you will need a few people on your team, cheering you along throughout the process.
Yes. All of our patients are required to either pass a stress test, which can be administered during clinic in the office, or see a cardiologist and obtain pre-operative cardiac clearance. Often times, bariatric surgery improves most problems related to heart disease including; high blood pressure, coronary disease, vascular disease, high cholesterol, and lipid problems.
When filling out your paperwork, be sure to list all cardiac-related problems; personal and family. If you are on blood thinners of any type, let Dr. Barnes know, and expect special instructions before and after surgery.
Yes! Many women are much more fertile after surgery. Statistics show birth control pills are not as effective in heavy patients. They are also not reliable during the time your weight is changing. When losing weight quickly, menstrual periods can be very irregular, and you could end up pregnant when you least expect it. For this reason it’s important to practice other methods of birth control during your medically supervised weight loss period and for the first year after surgery. In addition, some patients who previously were unable to become pregnant will be able to soon after the surgery.
Dr. Barnes recommends waiting 12 months after surgery before actively trying to get pregnant. You have to remember, you chose to have bariatric surgery and during your weight loss journey you need to focus on yourself, you need to get to a healthy weight where you are comfortable and happy before trying to get pregnant.
Kids born after their mothers’ surgery are LESS likely to be affected by obesity later in life, due to activation of certain genes (epigenetics) during fetal growth. There is also less risk of needing a C-section.
Many patients have some loose or sagging skin, its often more temporary than expected. Between 6 and 18 months, you will experience the most changes. Every patient is different; your physical appearance depends on several things; age, genetics, smoking, or non-smoking, how much weight you lose, and how often you exercise. Generally, lose or excess skin can be well-hidden by clothing, though many patients choose to wear compression garments (which can be purchased online).
Some patients may need plastic surgery to remove excess skin, many surgeons recommend waiting until at least 18 months post-op or maintaining a healthy consistent weight for 6 months, before proceeding with skin removal surgery.
Plastic surgery can be covered by insurance if it’s medically necessary. Removal of abdominal or breast skin for reasons of moisture, hygiene, and rash issues, could be covered by insurance. Other areas of the body including, arms may not be covered because they are considered purely cosmetic. Contacting a plastic surgeon postoperatively for a consultation is never a bad idea, their office will be able to help you figure out your insurance benefits when the time comes!
No, and yes.
One of the benefits of the RNY gastric bypass and the sleeve gastrectomy is the massive reduction in grehlin production resulting in decreased hunger for months and sometimes longer after the surgery. (Grehlin is a hormone that is released by the stomach, travels to the brain, and puts the thoughts of eating into your mind) This makes dietary changes much easier in the postoperative period.
You don’t need to specifically go on a diet after the procedure. You need to change your diet; you need to have a better healthier relationship with food. These changes are much easier with a decrease or absence of hunger. Food won’t be a source of comfort anymore, it needs to be thought of as what it is, its nutrition. Its fuel for your body, it gives you the energy you need to workout, walk around, to get up in the morning. It's not a crutch, it's not a comfort, it’s a resource you use to provide for your body and your new lifestyle.
You will need to exercise. Don’t think of exercise as spending an hour in the gym sweating till you can’t sweat anymore. Exercise can be found in many different forms of activity; it can be walking the dog, it can be swimming laps in the pool, it can be playing with your kids, or joining a rec soccer league, it can be walking around your office building with coworkers before you all go to lunch, or you could walk to lunch. There are multiple forms of exercise that get your up and moving, find something you love to do, and commit to it. Be active, participate, and move around, after all, a more active healthier lifestyle is one of the biggest benefits of bariatric surgery.
We accept care credit as a form of financing your surgery. Local and national banks also have loan programs available to cover the cost of health expenses in regard to bariatric surgery. Repairing a hernia and adding a bariatric procedure at the same time is also a way to help minimize costs.
Contact our office directly to gather information on what other financing options might be available to you.
This is the period of time leading up to your surgery where you are required to do monthly visits, and weigh-ins to make sure you are properly educated and complying with the guidelines your insurance company has set in place. Every insurance company has different requirements in regards to the medically supervised weight loss period, some insurance policies require 3 months, and some require 6 months. There are even a few plans that require 12 months.
Contact our office directly to gather information regarding your plans specific requirements for the coverage of bariatric surgery.
Some insurance plans/policies require this type of documentation; either from Dr. Barnes, or a primary care provider before approving surgery. Many plans will just accept the initial consultation note from Dr. Barnes. Its best to find out from your insurance company directly what they are expecting in terms of a letter of necessity.
Typically if an insurance company wants of letter of necessity, they are looking for information pertaining to you current weight, height, BMI, other problems related to obesity, your past success or failures in regards to diet history, and why the physician feels surgical intervention is appropriate at this time.
If your insurance company requires a letter of necessity from a primary care doctor. Our office will be able to give you a sample letter, or help you convey what you need to your primary care doctors office.