Surgical Weight Management FAQ
Catawba County Bariatric Services
The following are some of the most common questions about weight-loss surgery.
Catawba Valley Medical Center Surgical Weight Management Center also hosts
informative monthly seminars to answer your questions and introduce you
to people who have undergone weight-loss surgery.
What health issues can weight loss surgery help to improve or resolve?
Health issues that often improve or resolve following weight loss surgery
include diabetes, heart disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, sleep
apnea, high cholesterol and weight-induced arthritis.
Bariatric surgery patients have significantly reduced rates of developing
diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, and pulmonary
Patients also benefit from improved social and employment opportunities,
self-image, self-confidence, ability to interact with others, and the
capability to participate in recreational and physical activities, which
lead to a higher quality of life.
Will insurance cover surgery?
Coverage depends on your individual insurance plan. You can learn more
about working with your insurance company at our information seminar.
If you do not have insurance coverage, learn more about the financial
options available to you by calling our office at 828.326.2082.
How soon will I start to lose weight?
You will start losing weight immediately after surgery but you may not
notice any loss until the second week. The weight loss after gastric bypass
and the sleeve gastrectomy is initially rapid, with a slowing about nine
months after surgery. At the four-week follow-up visit, we typically see
around a 15-20 pound weight loss. This depends on how much the starting
weight was. The heavier the starting weight, the more weight that is lost.
Can I regain weight?
With the gastric bypass and the sleeve gastrectomy, weight-loss continues
up to 18 months and then plateaus. Depending on the size of the stomach
pouch and the type of food eaten, some patients can experience a 20 to
30 pound weight regain after two years. That is why it’s very important
that you use the stomach pouch as a tool, and follow the instructions
given to you by the dietitian on how and what to eat.
How long before I can return to work?
The answer to this question is, it depends. It depends on the procedure
you have and the type of work that you do. If you have a relatively sedentary
job and do not do a lot of heavy lifting (greater than thirty pounds),
you are usually able to return to work within one to two weeks after surgery.
If you have a more physical job, then you may need to be off as long as
Will I require vitamin supplements after weight loss surgery?
Patients undergoing bariatric surgery will require a daily vitamin supplement
for the rest of their lives.
What is “dumping syndrome”?
Eating simple sugars (such as sugar, honey, and corn syrup) or high-fat
foods can cause dumping syndrome in patients who have had gastric bypass
surgery. This occurs when these products are “dumped” from
the stomach into the intestine at a rapid rate. Water is pulled into the
intestine from the blood stream to dilute the sugar load. This flush of
water causes symptoms that can include diarrhea, rapid heart rate, hot
flashes or sweating and clammy skin and dizziness.
Will I need plastic surgery after my weight loss surgery?
After a large amount of weight loss, you may find yourself with excess
skin in various places. Plastic surgery may be an option 18-24 months
following surgery once your weight has stabilized. This is typically performed
by a plastic surgeon experienced in this field. The plastic surgeon will
evaluate you and decide with you what areas need “tightening”
up. Unfortunately, this is cosmetic surgery and not covered by insurance,
however, there are many plastic surgeons that are flexible and may offer
a discount or work out a payment schedule with you.
What impact does bariatric surgery on resolving Type II Diabetes?
Bariatric Surgery has been shown to improve or resolve Type II Diabetes.
Immediately after bariatric surgery, blood sugar levels improve and diabetic
medications may be stopped, even before significant weight loss.
Recent studies show that Gastric Bypass improves diabetes not only through
rapid weight loss, but also by bypassing a portion of the small intestine
from the flow of nutrients. This means that gastric bypass surgery improves
diabetes even before weight is lost.
Almost 90 percent of obese patients who undergo gastric bypass are free
from diabetes one year after surgery. These results are typically persistent
for the rest of life, as long as a healthy body weight is maintained.
Where Can I Learn More About Weight Loss?
You can learn more about weight loss by signing up for our
weight management seminar. You can also find more information on the following sites:
Feel free to contact us
with any additional questions.