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Bariatric/Weight Loss Surgery
948 48th Street | 3rd floor
Brooklyn, NY 11219
Phone: (718) 283-7403
Fax: (718) 635-7226

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Bariatric Surgery FAQs

  • How long does it take to get ready for surgery?
  • Will my health insurance pay for surgery?
  • Must I attend the support group?
  • How do I decide which procedure is right for me?
  • Are there long-term side effects?
  • Will I be able to get pregnant after surgery?
  • How long is the hospital stay?
  • How soon can I return to work?
  • How much weight will I lose?
  • When can I drive after surgery?
  • Do I have to quit smoking?
  • When may I start exercising?
  • When can I return to sexual activity?

Nutrition FAQs




How long does it take to get ready for surgery?
Preparation time for surgery depends on the patient’s health history, motivation, and insurance company. It is generally not a fast process, with the average time span ranging from one to three months.

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Will my health insurance pay for surgery?

The office will put together a packet of information to submit to your insurance company. This packet will include your nutrition evaluation, psychological evaluation, blood levels, and diet history information. Surgery is only covered if a patient does not have exclusions in their contract and if a case can be made that it is medically necessary.

More information about insurance coverage can be obtained from your insurance company and we suggest you call them directly.

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Must I attend the education seminar?

Yes, every patient must attend the education seminar as the first step in becoming a Bariatric Surgery patient.

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How do I decide which procedure is right for me?
We suggest you do research at the library or online; attending our free education seminars more than once and bring a list of questions; consider your lifestyle and how much weight you need to lose to be healthier.

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Are there long-term side effects?
Long-term negative side effects can usually be avoided by following nutritional guidelines, following up with your doctor and having regular blood levels taken. Communication is key; should something out of the ordinary come up, please make sure the doctor is contacted.

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Will I be able to get pregnant after surgery?
Yes, we have experienced many happy and healthy pregnancies in our patient population. You are actually much more likely to get pregnant after losing weight; however, it is very important that you do not get pregnant during the period of maximum weight loss following your operation (usually 18-24 months). Many women are unable to conceive prior to surgery and are much more likely to get pregnant once they lose the excess weight, if there are not specific medical reasons for their inability to conceive.

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How long is the hospital stay?
Patients who have a Lap-Band are usually discharged in 24-36 hours. Patients who have minimally invasive gastric bypass average a three- to four-day stay. Open procedures or complicated recoveries may require longer hospital stays.

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How soon can I return to work?
Most patients return to work within two to eight weeks, depending upon how strenuous their job is. Healing time varies from patient to patient. Returning to work is usually a little sooner after a laparoscopic procedure.

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How much weight will I lose?
Most Lap-Band patients lose between 40-60% of their excess body weight, while most gastric bypass patients lose 50-70% within 12-18 months. Long-term studies show that there is some weight regain (10-15%) after five years. A few patients will reach their ideal weight, but most do not.

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When can I drive after surgery?
Two weeks after discharge, in most cases.

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Do I have to quit smoking?
Yes. You must quit smoking at least six weeks before surgery because it increases the risk of complications after surgery and slows the healing process.

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When may I start exercising?
You may start walking and climbing stairs as soon as you are able. Gentle exercise such as walking helps the body to heal. More strenuous exercise should be delayed until six weeks after surgery.

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When can I return to sexual activity?
Approximately six weeks after surgery.

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How long will I be off solid food?
The diet for all surgeries progresses from liquids for seven to ten days and then to soft food for six weeks. After that, you can begin incorporating firmer foods.

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What are the best sources of protein?
Soy products, eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, fish and seafood, chicken, turkey, beef, liver, lamb, veal and beans. You may also need to supplement your solid food intake with a protein supplement drink or protein-enriched bar.

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How much protein do I need each day?
During the first 18-24 months you must supplement your protein intake to reach 35-65 grams of protein a day. During rapid weight loss the body will burn valuable muscle unless it is “tricked” into burning fat. Your intake will be too small to be able to get the protein you need from solid food so a liquid supplement will help.

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Will I be allowed to drink alcohol?
We encourage patients to stay away from alcohol and all carbonated beverages after surgery, including beer. Other non-carbonated alcoholic drinks should be avoided for the first year to maximize the benefits of surgery.

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Do I have to take vitamins?
Absolutely. Every surgery that reduces the amount of food you take in and/or the calories absorbed also reduces the amount of vitamins you take in and absorb. You will be given clear guidelines for vitamin intake and blood levels that you will need to monitor for a lifetime.

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Will I get hungry?
Yes, however there is frequently a time early in recovery when you may not feel like eating. You will need to make sure your intake is adequate by following the guidelines in your handbook. You will fill up on much less food much quicker. When you are full, you don’t feel like eating. Overeating will also cause pain and possibly vomiting, which you will wish to avoid.

When you have progressed to solid food, you will find that your appetite does not return as quickly as when you were on soft food and liquids.

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Untitled Document

LEADERSHIP

Sherwinter, Danny MD
Director, Division of
Bariatric Surgery

Adler, Harry MD
Assistant Director, Division of
General Surgery


   
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Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000