Most patients undergoing bariatric surgery have many questions about the procedure, weight loss and after care. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and corresponding answers. If you have any additional questions that are not covered below, please contact us. We are happy to assist you in any way we can.
If you have questions that aren't answered here or just want to talk to someone about your decision, call one of our convenient locations.
Why should I consider having weight loss surgery?
Most patients that consider weight loss surgery have attempted to lose weight through diet and exercise and have either been unsuccessful in losing enough weight or have lost weight only to regain it. It is estimated that less than 5% of patients on a medical weight loss program will lose the weight and keep it off. A study from the National Institutes of Health shows that more than 90% of all patients in these programs regain their weight within one year.
While weight loss surgery does carry risks, for a number of patients, the risks associated with the surgery itself pale in comparison to the effects of prolonged condition of morbid obesity. Morbid obesity is a chronic and complex disease that has a large number of associated conditions, such as: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, depression, infertility, and higher occurrence rates of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
I am considering weight loss surgery. Where do I start?
This website contains quite a bit of information, but the best way to find out where to start or what your next step is would be. If you’re ready to take the first step and learn more about your weight loss options, call us at (813) 657-2263 or fill out our contact form today and one of our experienced staff members will be able to personally guide you through the every step of the process step by step.
What weight loss surgeries do you offer?
We offer several surgical weight loss options, including Gastric Banding/LAP-BAND®, Gastric Banding/Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass/Roux-En-Y. We perform these operations using minimally invasive and robotic-assisted techniques whenever possible.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes, we accept most insurance. We will be happy to call your insurance company on your behalf to see if you have coverage for weight loss surgery. You can learn more about the general insurance process on our Insurance Information page or by contacting us with any questions you have.
Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?
For insurance patients, you must have a BMI of 40 or greater, or have a BMI of 35 or greater with a qualifying comorbidity (a condition caused or worsened by your excess weight) such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, etc.
In 2011 the FDA expanded the use of the LAP-BAND® system to patients with a BMI as low as 30 with a qualifying comorbidity. We will follow their recommendations for any patients that wish to pay out-of-pocket, but at this point in time there are no insurance companies covering any bariatric surgery for patients with a BMI under 35.
What will my insurance company require to approve my surgery?
Each insurance company and individual policy has different requirements and even different policy holders within the same company can have different requirements. Our Insurance Information page gives a general overview of insurance requirements. If you contact us, we will verify your specific insurance policy’s requirements.
Do you have a “program fee” or any other hidden costs?
No. We have not injected hidden fees into our program. You will only be responsible for your copays and/or deductibles as determined by your insurance company and the cost of the liquid diet required before surgery. This is not billable to your insurance and usually costs between $100-$300 depending on how long you need to be on it.
The only expense that will not be filed to your insurance is the liquid diet prior to surgery which will cost $100-$300, depending on the length of time you will need to be on it. Please see our Insurance Information page or contact us for more information.
Why will I need to be on a liquid diet prior to surgery?
The liquid diet prior to surgery is important for two reasons: you will lose weight while on it and it will usually decrease the size of your liver. Both of these can make your surgery less complex, faster, and safer.
How long will it take to get my surgery?
The amount of time until your surgery will depend upon a number of variables. A patient that is paying for their surgery out-of-pocket can usually receive their surgery in as little as 4-6 weeks since they are not required to meet any insurance criteria.
Patients that wish to use their insurance will need to meet their carrier’s requirements for coverage. Since each insurance company has different requirements, the span of time ranges from as little as 6 weeks to as long as 7 months.
Our goal for insurance patients is to ensure that your surgery is approved by your insurance company the first time it is submitted. Our experienced staff can tell you exactly what will be needed to accomplish this. Please see our Insurance Information page or contact us for more information.
How long will I be in the hospital?
This depends upon which surgery you have, your general health, and your surgeon’s recommendations. If you have the LAP-BAND®, you will usually go home the same day, although some patients will be required to spend the night. If you have the sleeve gastrectomy, you will spend 24 hours in the hospital at minimum, although some patients will be required to stay longer.
What will I be able to eat and not eat after my surgery?
The specific foods you can and cannot have post-operatively will be determined by your surgeon. For more information regarding general post-operative dietary guidelines, please see our Succeeding with Your Weight Loss Surgery page.