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Bariatric Surgery FAQs

How long will I be out of work?
Patients are often able to return to work in three weeks although some have had to take more time off due to fatigue. Rapid weight loss causes fatigue.

Will I be able to go home alone or should I arrange for someone to stay with me? If so, for how long?
You should arrange to have a support person stay with you for a few days after the procedure. Although you probably won't feel poorly, it is nice to have someone there in case you were to need something.

How long will I be in the hospital?
The normal hospital stay is overnight.

Does my insurance cover this procedure?
Most insurance companies cover this procedure. It is best to check with your individual insurance company as to whether you have the benefit of gastric bypass surgery.

How long does the process take?
There are many tests and procedures one has to go through before undergoing weight-loss surgery. We want to make sure you are in the best shape possible before having this surgery. The process can take as little as three months and as long as seven months.
Learn about the preoperative timeline for additional information.

I understand that after weight-loss surgery, some food are real "no no's," like soda. Why?
Soda and any drink that is carbonated tends to make your new pouch stretch, thus allowing you the ability to consume more food.

Why do we have to worry about the amount of carbohydrates we take in? How many grams should I eat?
In the course of a day, one should stick to 30 grams of carbohydrates a day. Even though this operation causes malabsorbtion, carbohydrates are easily absorbed.
Read more about dietary guidelines after surgery.

How important is exercise? People seem to be losing weight even though they tell me they don't do any type of exercise at all. How come? When can I start exercising?
Exercise is essential to your health and your new lifestyle. It not only helps with your weight loss, it helps firm up the skin as you lose weight as well as keeping you healthy. This is a multifactorial, multidisciplinary program. Exercise, proper eating and a necessary vitamin regimen are all components of a successful patient.

Holy Cross Hospital offers a self-paced "Movement, Stretch and Strength" class to pre- and post-bariatric surgery patients. The class helps to increase lung capacity, flexibility and strength. It helps patients get in shape for surgery and successfully move beyond surgery. Your physician must provide permission for you to participate in this class.

For upcoming dates and to register, visit our classes and events section or call 301-754-8800.

Will my stomach always remain small and tolerate no more than three ounces per meal?
No, the stomach is a muscular organ and can expand like any muscle in the body. It is not uncommon for patients to be able to tolerate six ounces of food two to three years after weight-loss surgery. However, most patients keep their weight off because they have learned to eat healthier and also are often more active than prior to bariatric surgery.

Will I require vitamin supplements after weight-loss surgery?
Patients undergoing weight-loss surgery will require vitamins for the rest of their lives.

Will I lose hair?
Due to reduced nutritional intake (especially protein) a large number of patients experience thinning hair (30 to 50 percent). This usually occurs during the period of reduced food intake (for three to seven months after surgery). Nearly all patients see a significant improvement with return toward normalcy when proper dietary intake is improved (six to 12 months after surgery).

Will I need plastic surgery after my weight-loss surgery?
Because of extreme weight loss, 40 to 50 percent of patients suffer from excessive abdominal skin. If it is large enough and is bothersome to the patient, they may be candidates to undergo plastic surgery to correct the condition.



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