The Bariatric Advantage
Weight loss surgery is a major surgical procedure that gives patients the opportunity for a better, healthier and longer life. Bariatric surgery can improve a patient’s overall quality of life by increasing mobility, enhancing self-image and raising self-esteem. The surgery may also improve medical conditions such as diabetes, high-blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and arthritis which are often associated with obesity.
A gastric band or sleeve can help a severely obese person lose a significant amount of excess body weight by limiting the amount of food that can be eaten. A gastric bypass further reduces the absorption of calories, fat and certain nutrients from food.
- After a Sleeve gastrectomy studies suggest that a person can anticipate losing about 65 percent of their excess weight and this usually occurs within the first year after surgery.
- After a Banding procedure, a person can anticipate losing around 45 percent of their excess weight and this usually takes between three to five years after the bariatric surgery.
- After gastric bypass surgery, studies suggest that a patient can anticipate losing up to 80 percent of excess body weight within two years of surgery, and can expect to keep off 70 percent of the excess weight at 10 years.
We’ve streamlined the preoperative process to help you reach your surgery date with as little fuss and drama as possible. After your surgery, we’ll give you the tools and teach you how to use them – but your success depends on you.
Before Your Surgery
Hands-on Help with Appointments and Approvals
One of the most overwhelming aspects of any major medical procedures is logistics – gathering the right documentation, getting insurance approval, scheduling appointments and more.
But don’t worry – we’ve streamlined the process to help you reach your surgery date with as little fuss and drama as possible. Our pre-certification nurse will track and monitor all the testing, paperwork and appointments you’ll need.
Step 1: Medical history
- List of co-morbidities
- Current health status and medications
- Identification of eating patterns and habits
Step 2: Supporting documentation
- Letter of medical necessity from your primary care physician
- Documentation of other weight loss attempts
Step 3: Medical testing
- Nutrition evaluation with monthly follow-up visits
- Diagnostic tests, including upper endoscopy, gall bladder ultrasound, upper GI swallow, chest X-ray; sleep study, mammogram or Pap smear as indicated by physician
- Blood work and vitamin levels
- Additional tests or consults as indicated
Step 4: Insurance approval
- If denied, an appeal will be filed on your behalf
Pre-Operative Check List
To help you navigate the pre-operative process for your bariatric surgery, it is important to meet with physician specialists and other members of the Crozer bariatrics surgery support team. Feel free to download and print out our Pre-operative Check List [PDF] to track your physician appointments.
In Their Words: Life After Bariatric Surgery
As every successful bariatric surgery patient will tell you, one of the most important keys to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a good support network – and Crozer Health’s Bariatric Surgery Support Group gets rave reviews.
We believe that support is crucial to your success and to keep you motivated to conquer the rough spots. That is why we have a monthly Support Group designed and dedicated to YOU. There is no need to register for Support Group just show up! You will be supported by peers that are just starting out on their Journey to ones that have been successful for over10 years.
The ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will depend upon the patient’s physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of surgery the patient underwent. Many patients return to full pre-surgery levels of activity within 4-6 weeks of the procedure.
The modification made to the gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in eating habits that must be followed to achieve successful weight loss. Diets are determined on an individual basis depending on your procedure and how you tolerate each stage. There are five stages to the post –operative diet:
- You’ll be discharged to home on a Stage 1 diet (sugar-free clear liquids).
- At your first post-op visit, we’ll evaluate how you’re doing and advance you to Stage 2 (full liquid diet) providing all the essential nutritional requirements.
- You’ll then contact your dietitian once a week on a predetermined day and time to advance you to Stage 3 (blender-ized diet), Stage 4 (soft diet) and finally to Stage 5 (regular diet with some restrictions for the first six months)
Following the nutritional supplement recommendations after surgery will be critical to your health to prevent long-term complications.
Your dietitian will make sure you have:
- An adequate intake of fluids and protein both of which are essential for optimal outcomes after surgery
- A vitamin regimen that is consistent with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recommendations and tailored to your specific needs
Two months after your surgery, you’ll meet with your dietitian in person to evaluate your progress and make sure you’re getting all your daily requirements.
Our dietitian is available to you at any time before and after surgery – just call the Bariatric Surgery Center at (610) 619-8450.
- Medication, such as Actigall or Ursodial, for six months to reduce the risk of gallstones
- Proton pump inhibitor, such as Nexium or protonix, for three months to protect you from any gastro-esphoageal Reflux that may occur
By incorporating an exercise routine into your daily life, you will benefit from accelerated metabolism and a general feeling of well-being. Life-long nutritional supplementation will be required.
Birth Control and Pregnancy
It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age not get pregnant during the weight loss surgery work up and the first 12-18 months after surgery to allow adequate healing time and prevent nutrition deficiencies
Although short-term effects of weight loss surgery are well understood, there are still questions about the long-term effect on nutrition and body systems. The program offers post-operative patients continued long-term follow-up to monitor your health and success. Scheduled periodic checkups will include laboratory tests that are specific to the needs of the bariatric patient.