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Bariatric Surgery Facts

Struggling to shed excess weight can be daunting, and bariatric surgery might just seem like the answer, know these bariatric surgery facts before you have weight loss surgery. We will provide all the necessary information you need about bariatric surgery – from understanding its process, anticipating life after surgery, breaking down common concerns often associated with bariatric surgery and much more.

Key Takeaways

    • Eligibility Criteria: Bariatric surgery is primarily for those with a BMI of 35 or higher, or a BMI of 30 – 34.9 with associated health issues. The main goal is overall health improvement, not just weight loss. 
    • Weight Loss Outcomes: Post-surgery, over 95% of individuals lose more than half of their excess weight. However, a small percentage might regain some weight over time. Proper diet and exercise with a consistent supplement regimen can help maintain weight loss.
    • Cost Implications: The surgery can be expensive in the United States, ranging between $15,000 and $25,000, with the exact amount varying based on the type of surgery and location. Some insurance companies might cover a portion of the costs if the surgery is deemed medically necessary.
    • Affordable Bariatric Surgery: Choosing a medical tourism provider such as Be Slim Bariatrics (BSB) can reduce your expenses by up to 75% compared to bariatric clinics in the United States.
    • Pre-Surgery Preparations: Before undergoing weight loss surgery, patients undergo an initial evaluation to determine their suitability. This includes a comprehensive health history review, preoperative diet counseling, and gaining a clear understanding of weight loss surgery types and benefits. The steps can vary depending on the bariatric provider.
    • Post-Surgery Lifestyle: After bariatric surgery, patients need to make significant dietary adjustments, engage in regular exercise, and adhere to a strict regimen of bariatric supplements to ensure successful weight loss and overall health.
    • Potential Side Effects: Common side effects post-surgery include hair loss, digestive issues, and nutrient deficiencies. There’s also the risk of ‘Dumping Syndrome’ if one consumes high sugar or fat foods too soon after the surgery.
    • Choosing the Right Surgeon: It’s crucial to select a bariatric surgeon with extensive experience and training in bariatric surgery. The surgeon should be bariatric board certified, have great reviews, be communicative, and have a proven track record of successful surgeries.

By understanding these key aspects, individuals can make informed decisions about bariatric surgery and embark on a transformative journey towards better health.

Understanding Bariatric Surgery

This section unpacks basic aspects of bariatric surgery including who qualifies for such procedures, the weight loss expectations after the surgery, and its associated costs.

Eligibility for Bariatric Surgery

To qualify for bariatric surgery, According to ASMBS, generally, your body mass index or BMI should be 35 or above. Additionally, individuals with a BMI ranging from 30 to 34.9 can also be considered for weight loss surgery if they face health risks due to their weight. The primary objective of the surgery isn’t merely weight reduction; it’s about achieving an overall healthier state. 

It’s essential to consult with a bariatric provider, like BSB, who can assess your specific situation, taking into account other factors like age, overall health, and any existing medical conditions. 

Woman who lost weight after bariatrics surgeryWeight Loss Expectations with Bariatric Surgery

Following bariatric surgery, the majority of individuals experience significant weight loss. Remarkably, over ninety-five percent manage to lose at least half of their excess weight and keep it off. Those who undergo gastric bypass, in particular, typically see a reduction of about seventy percent initially. 

While these results are encouraging, it’s worth noting that a small percentage, around five percent, might experience some weight regain two years or more after bariatric surgery. Maintaining a balanced diet and consistent exercise routine can help mitigate this potential weight rebound.

Cost of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery can have a high price. It often costs between $15,000 and $25,000 for bariatric surgery in the United States. But the exact amount depends on many things. For example, the kind of surgery you choose is one factor.

Where you live also matters as prices differ from place to place. Some health insurance companies might help cover part of the cost for this type of surgery too if it’s needed to treat serious weight-related problems like diabetes or high blood pressure. You can save nearly 75% of that cost just by opting in a medical travel program, like Be Slim Bariatrics. Same quality of service, better pricing!

Pre-Surgery Considerations for Bariatric Patients

Before you proceed with bariatric surgery, there are crucial factors to think over. The process kicks off with an initial evaluation, where the medical team examines your health history and readiness for the weight loss procedure.

Pre-surgery responsibilities include fulfilling any necessary dietary changes or other pre-operative mandates directed by your surgeon. Addressing common concerns such as anxiety and fear is paramount for a comforting journey through weight transition.

Bariatric Surgery Evaluation processInitial Evaluation Process

Bariatric surgery is one big step to a healthy life. Before this step, comes the initial evaluation process. Here’s what it involves for most bariatric providers in the United States:

  1. You will meet with a group of health professionals. This group includes a surgeon and a dietitian.
  2. These experts perform various medical test. They do a full body check-up and learn about your eating habits through a nutrition assessment.
  3. After the check-up, you will know what has to be done next. They will provide you with a list of meetings or tests that need to be done before surgery.
  4. The period from your first visit to the day of bariatric surgery might last four to seven months.

However, it may differ for some people due to their insurance company’s rules or if extra medical checks are needed. The cost for this surgery changes with different factors such as the type of surgery chosen and if any problems occur after the surgery. If opting for a medical travel program, like BSB, the process differs because of location. Here is the bariatric surgery process for BSB patients.

Pre-Surgery Responsibilities for Bariatric Patients

Getting ready for bariatric surgery can seem tough. But knowing what to do can make it easier. Here are some things you need to take care of:

  1. Be current on doctor check ups. It is important for you to know the state of your health.
  2. Follow the diet plan your assigned bariatric nutritionist gives you. This is important as it helps prepare your body for surgery.
  3. Be honest when filling out your health form about any drugs or supplements you take.
  4. If you smoke, try hard to quit before the operation. If you are having troubles doing so, let your patient coordinator know.
  5. You may be asked for lab work or special clearances before surgery. Ensure to get those completed in the time frame provided.
  6. Your mental health matters too, so your bariatric surgeon might ask you to chat with a mind health expert.
  7. Ensure to have your paperwork and payment into your bariatric provider on time to not delay your surgery date.
  8. Don’t forget to exercise! It’s good for everyone, but especially for those getting weight loss surgery.
  9. Always follow instructions from your surgeon and healthcare team.

Post-Surgery Lifestyle Changes for Bariatric Patients

Adapting to life after bariatric surgery involves critical dietary changes, consistent exercise routines, and a strict regimen of vitamins and supplements — together playing a pivotal role in maintaining successful weight loss.

Dietary Adjustments After Bariatric Surgery

You need to eat smaller meals after bariatric surgery. Here are other changes that you might have to make:

  • Cut down on sugars and fats
  • Eat more protein-rich foods
  • Cook food in ways that do not add too much fat
  • Spend the right amount of time eating
  • Do not drink too many liquids during meals.
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements every day

Exercise After Bariatric SurgeryExercise After Bariatric Surgery

Starting to exercise after bariatric surgery can significantly enhance your weight loss journey. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Begin with Walking: For the first six weeks post-op, limit your exercise to walking. It’s a gentle way to get your body moving without putting too much strain on your surgical site.
  • Stay Consistent: Aim for consistency rather than intensity. It’s more beneficial to walk a little every day than to push yourself too hard and then need several days to recover.
  • Incorporate Strength Training: As you progress beyond the initial six weeks, consider including strength training exercises to build muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat, even at rest, which can aid in weight loss.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. This is especially important as your body will be adjusting to its new size and might require more hydration.
  • Join a Group or Class: After the initial post-op period, consider joining a fitness class or group. This can provide motivation, structure, and a sense of community.
  • Listen to Your Body: If you feel any pain (other than typical workout soreness) or discomfort, stop and consult with your healthcare provider. It’s essential to ensure you’re not pushing yourself too hard too soon.
  • Set Goals: Setting small, achievable goals can help keep you motivated. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how minor they might seem.

Always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen, especially after undergoing surgery.

Potential Side Effects and Risks

Bariatric surgery, like any operation, isn’t without its potential downsides — common side effects range from mild discomfort to nutritional deficiencies while ‘dumping syndrome’ could present a more uncomfortable challenge; moreover, the possibility of regaining weight is another crucial element to be mindful of.

Bariatric Complications 

Many people worry about how safe bariatric surgery is. Yet, it’s good to know that these surgeries are very safe. Fewer than 3 out of every 100 people have problems during weight loss surgery. According to the National Library of Medicine, in gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and mini gastric bypass patients that were studied a total of 3.13% had postoperative complications. 

These complications were as followed:

  • Post-operative bleeding (0.75%) 
  • Nutritional deficiency (0.75%)
  • Leaks (P = 0.009) 
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (P = 0.019)
  • Marginal ulcers in OAGB (P = 0.000)
  • Intestinal obstruction in RYGB (P = 0.001) 
  • Nutritional complications (P = 0.000)

Clearly, such complications are infrequent, and their severity can vary. The health benefits of bariatric surgery often outweigh the potential risks.

Top 10 Common Side Effects of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery, while beneficial for many in terms of weight loss and improved health, can come with a range of side effects. It’s essential to be aware of these potential issues to manage and address them promptly. Here are some common side effects that patients may experience after undergoing bariatric surgery:

  1. Nausea and Vomiting: Some patients may feel nauseous or even vomit after eating, especially if they eat too quickly or consume foods that their new stomach can’t handle. Pace yourself and stick to your post op diet phases.
  2. Dumping Syndrome: This occurs when food moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine, leading to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness. This happens especially when eating foods high in sugar. Stick to the diet plan.
  3. Nutritional Deficiencies: Due to the reduced food intake and changes in digestion, patients might face deficiencies in essential nutrients like iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and others. Ensure to take a bariatric multivitamin regularly. 
  4. Dehydration: It’s crucial to stay hydrated after the surgery, but some patients might find it challenging to drink enough fluids,Dehydration after bariatric surgery leading to dehydration.
  5. Constipation: Changes in diet and reduced fluid intake can lead to constipation in some patients.
  6. Hair Loss: Some patients may experience temporary hair loss due to reduced protein intake and other nutritional deficiencies.
  7. Gallstones: Rapid weight loss can increase the risk of developing gallstones. If possible, opt to get your gallbladder removed during your weight loss surgery operation.
  8. Mood Changes: Hormonal changes, coupled with the emotional impact of surgery and lifestyle adjustments, can lead to mood swings, depression, or anxiety.
  9. Skin Changes: Rapid weight loss can result in excess skin, which might require surgical removal for cosmetic reasons. If you are in need of excess skin removal fill out this cosmetic surgery health form.
  10. Gastrointestinal Issues: Some patients might face issues like acid reflux, ulcers, or gastritis.

It’s essential to maintain regular check-ups with your healthcare provider after the surgery to monitor and address any side effects. Remember, while these side effects are common, not everyone will experience them, and many can be managed with proper care and guidance.

Understanding 'Dumping Syndrome'Understanding ‘Dumping Syndrome’

‘Dumping Syndrome’ is a term you may hear after bariatric surgery. It means food moves too fast from your stomach to your small bowel. This can happen if you eat food high in sugar or fat soon after surgery.

You might feel sick to your stomach or even throw up. You could also get weak, and dizzy and have belly pain or loose stools (diarrhea). These things can be scary but eating smaller meals and staying away from sweets can help a lot.

And remember, it’ll get better over time as your body gets used to its new way of working with food!

Possibility of Regaining Weight after Bariatric Surgery

After your weight loss surgery, you might gain some weight back. Most people put on about 5% of the weight they lost after two years. It’s normal and happens. But sticking to a healthy diet, consistently taking your bariatric supplements, and sticking to an exercise routine can help keep this to a minimum.

Regular check-ups with your doctor will keep track of any weight changes. The aim is not just losing pounds but keeping them off for good! So don’t worry too much if you see a few extra pounds on the scale from time to time; it’s part of the journey.

Choosing the Right Bariatric Surgeon

Picking the right bariatric surgeon is a key step in your weight loss journey. The best bariatric surgeons have lots of training and experience with weight loss surgery. They are kind, listen well, and take time to answer your questions. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a bariatric surgeon:

  • Board Certification: Ensure the surgeon is board-certified in general surgery and in bariatric surgery. This certification indicates that the surgeon has undergone rigorous training and meets specific standards set by medical boards. BSB surgeons have both certifications.
  • Experience and Specialization: Look for a surgeon who specializes in bariatric surgery and has performed a significant number of procedures. Experience can play a vital role in reducing potential complications.
  • Hospital Affiliation: Check which hospitals the surgeon is affiliated with. It’s essential to choose a hospital with a good reputation and one that’s equipped to handle potential complications. BSB uses Ciba Hospital. State of the art and safety is their number one priority.
  • Patient Reviews: Read bariatric reviews and testimonials from previous patients. This can give you insights into the surgeon’s bedside manner, professionalism, and the overall patient experience.
  • Before-and-After Photos: Some surgeons may have a portfolio of their  bariatric surgery before-and-after photos. These can give you an idea of the results you can expect.
  • Consultation: Schedule a consultation with potential surgeons. This will allow you to ask questions, understand the procedure, and gauge your comfort level with the surgeon.
  • Multidisciplinary Approach: A good bariatric surgery program will have a team approach, including dietitians, and support group options, to ensure comprehensive care. BSB has a multidisciplinary approach. 
  • Continued Support: Post-surgery support is crucial for long-term success. Check if the surgeon’s bariatric facility offers support groups, follow-up consultations, and other resources to help you after the surgery. BSB does all of this for their patients.
  • Insurance and Costs: Ensure the surgeon accepts your insurance. If you’re paying out-of-pocket, get a clear understanding of all costs involved, including pre-surgery evaluations, the surgery itself, and post-operative care. Look for all inclusive packages.
  • Professional Memberships: Membership in professional organizations, such as the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), indicates that the facility is committed to staying updated with the latest advancements in the field. BSB has this, among other memberships and accreditations. 
  • Talk to Other Patients: See if the bariatric facility has an online support group and join! Ask other patients about your assigned surgeon. 
  • Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, choose a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable and confident. Trusting your surgeon can make the entire process smoother and less stressful.

Remember, bariatric surgery is a significant decision, and it’s essential to take your time researching and selecting the right surgeon for your needs.

Embarking on a Healthier Journey with Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery offers a promising path for those seeking a transformative change in their health and well-being. As with any significant medical decision, it’s essential to be well-informed, prepared, and supported throughout the journey. From understanding the basics of the surgery to post-operative care, every step is crucial in ensuring a successful outcome.

By arming yourself with the facts, you can approach bariatric surgery with confidence and clarity. Whether it’s determining your eligibility, understanding the costs, or selecting the right surgeon, each decision plays a pivotal role in your weight loss journey. With the right guidance, support, and commitment, bariatric surgery can be the catalyst for a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.

Remember, the journey doesn’t end with the surgery. It’s a lifelong commitment to healthier choices, regular check-ups, and continuous learning. Embrace the journey, celebrate every milestone, and always prioritize your health and well-being. Your transformative journey towards better health awaits!

Bariatric Surgery FAQs

  1. What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery refers to a group of procedures aimed at helping individuals lose weight by making changes to their digestive system, primarily by reducing the size of the stomach or rerouting the small intestines.

  1. Am I a candidate for bariatric surgery?

Candidates typically have a BMI of 35 or higher, or a BMI between 30 – 34.9 with associated health issues. It’s essential to consult with a bariatric provider to assess your specific situation. Fill out a health form to see if you qualify for bariatric surgery.

  1. How much weight can I expect to lose after the surgery?

Over 95% of individuals lose more than half of their excess weight post-surgery. However, results can vary based on the type of surgery and individual commitment to post-operative guidelines.

  1. Are there any side effects or risks associated with bariatric surgery?

Yes, common side effects include nausea, digestive issues, and nutrient deficiencies. There are also potential complications like ‘Dumping Syndrome’ and the risk of regaining weight. It’s crucial to be informed and prepared. Despite these side effects, the health benefits do outweigh these side effects.

  1. How long is the recovery period after surgery?

Recovery time can vary based on the type of surgery and individual factors. Generally, patients can return to normal activities within 3-6 weeks.

  1. Will my insurance cover the cost of bariatric surgery?

Some insurance companies might cover a portion of the costs if the surgery is deemed medically necessary. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider for specifics.

  1. What dietary changes are required after the surgery?

Post-surgery, patients need to make significant dietary adjustments, including eating smaller meals, reducing sugar and fat intake, and increasing protein consumption. A registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance.

  1. What is ‘Dumping Syndrome’?

‘Dumping Syndrome’ occurs when food moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine, leading to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. It’s commonly triggered by consuming high sugar or fat foods too soon after surgery.

  1. Can I regain weight after bariatric surgery?

While most patients maintain their weight loss, a small percentage might regain some weight over time. Adhering to dietary guidelines, exercising regularly, and attending follow-up appointments can help mitigate this risk.

  1. How do I choose the right bariatric surgeon?

Selecting a bariatric surgeon with extensive experience, board certification, and positive patient reviews is crucial. It’s also essential to feel comfortable and confident with your chosen surgeon.

  1. Are there alternatives to bariatric surgery for weight loss?

Yes, there are non-surgical weight loss methods, including diet, exercise, medications, and lifestyle changes. However, for those with significant weight-related health issues, bariatric surgery might be the most effective option.

Are you ready to take control of your health and happiness? BSB’s team of expert, board-certified surgeons specialize in transformative weight loss procedures, operating in the most advanced and modern hospitals in Tijuana, Mexico, which meet or exceed U.S. standards of care. We can also help you arrange financing options.

 So take the first step today. 


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