Our caring medical team is here to answer your questions and assist you in any way we can. We recommend that you start by learning all you can about weight loss surgery by watching our free, informational weight loss seminars. The next step is to set-up an appointment with Dr. Domkowski. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your medical condition and determine if you are a good candidate. The surgeons at Steward Weight Loss & Surgical Specialists have successfully performed hundreds of bariatric surgeries.
Many of our patients chose either the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or the laparoscopic gastric bypass. These are very safe operations and have a great long term weight loss profile. The metabolic benefits include resolution of type II diabetes, hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea.
How do I know if I qualify for weight loss surgery?
Weight loss surgery may be right for you if:
- Your BMI is 30 or higher.
- Your BMI is 30 or higher and also suffer from one or more health problems such as type II diabetes or hypertension.
- You have been overweight for more than 5 years.
- Your serious attempts to lose weight have had only short-term success.
- You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity.
- You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle.
- You do not drink alcohol in excess.
We recommend that you set-up an appointment with one of our doctors for a consultation as soon as you have watched our free online seminar.
Will health insurance cover my bariatric surgery?
Many private insurance companies provide coverage for the laparoscopic gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Some insurance companies require a 6-month physician supervised weight loss program prior to approving surgery. Our office will provide 6 months of consecutive monthly physician visits that address this requirement. Otherwise, surgeries are approved after patients complete all necessary steps in our program. This includes a psychological and nutritional evaluation. Sometimes medical clearance is also needed prior to surgery.
Coverage depends on an individual’s policy. This in turn is determined by your employer. If you work for a medium to large size company encourage your employer or human resources department to have a bariatric benefit added to the insurance policy. Bariatric surgery positively benefits the health of a company.
How much does each operation cost if my insurance does not cover it?
Sebastian River Medical Center does offer private pay prices for patients without insurance coverage for bariatric surgery. Prices vary depending on the type of surgery you undergo, but all surgeries include 6 months of follow up visits with the bariatric surgeon. If additional testing or procedures are needed after surgery the price increases. Contact our office at 772-581-8003 for more specific information on surgery pricing.
Which surgery is best for me?
People considering bariatric surgery have typically done a great deal of research prior to making a decision about which surgery to choose. In fact, it has been estimated that the average person takes 2-3 years before making a decision for bariatric surgery. Therefore, most patients have a pretty good idea which surgery they want when they come and see us in the office. Determining which operation will give you the best long-term success depends on several factors: Initial BMI, goal BMI, existing comorbid disease such as a type II diabetes, hypertension, and fatty liver disease. In addition, age and level of daily activity also influence which surgery to choose. We will go through all options with each patient. You and your bariatric surgeon will make the best decision together that will give you the long-term success both from a health and weight loss perspective.
How long does it take for me to recovery from bariatric surgery?
It varies per patient and depends on which surgery you undergo. Patients undergoing the lap sleeve or gastric bypass typically are in the hospital 2 days and are fully recovered within three weeks.
What if you have already had bariatric surgery?
All patients that have already had bariatric surgery should be following up long term with a bariatric surgery center. Whether you had the gastric bypass ten years ago or a similar surgery, you really need follow up. This helps optimize long term success and monitor important nutritional and mineral levels in your body. Our providers are happy to see patients that have had their bariatric surgery somewhere else, and need follow up. call our office today at 772-581-8003 and schedule an appointment.
Is weight loss surgery safe?
Surgical weight loss procedures have been proven to be safe. It can be as safe as many standard general surgical procedures. What is often overlooked is the risk of morbidity and mortality from continuing to live with morbid obesity, especially with conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol.
What are the most common risks?
There are risks with every surgery and patients should discuss all risks with their physician. Risk specific to weight loss surgery are minimal. Risk exists for all surgical procedures including bleeding, infection, blood clots, and dehydration. All risks should be discussed with your physician during your consultation and visits.
There are risks with every surgery and patients should discuss all risks with their physician.
People tell me surgery is the easy way out.
Surgery is NOT the easy way out. Changing biology, new metabolic set points as people age, genetics, and years of dieting all affect weight, making it more and more challenging to lose weight and keep it off. Many people find they lose the weight only to put it back on again and then some additional weight, creating the yo-yo effect.
Surgery combined with permanent lifestyle changes can help you to achieve and keep your weight loss goals and live a healthier lifestyle. After surgery, it will be critical to take your vitamins, maintain hydration, always place protein first when choosing foods, practice appropriate food portions, and increase physical activity.
Always consult your physician on the level of physical activity that is appropriate for you.
Will I regain the weight I initially lost?
Statistics demonstrate that as many as 50% of patients may regain 5% back after two to three years. However, they remain successful in their long-term weight loss efforts. “Successful” weight loss is defined as greater than or equal to 50% of a person’s excess body weight. Take your BMI and compare it to a normal BMI. Half, or 50%, of that difference, is the amount of weight that is expected from bariatric surgery. Regaining 50% of excess weight that was lost is rare.
There are many reasons for which patients regain weight. Most of these reasons are behavioral. This may include stress, loss of a loved one, loss of employment, or economic hardship. In these cases, individuals may turn back to bad eating habits as a coping mechanism. Patient who has had the procedure done incorrectly may also experience weight regain.
Do I have to take supplements or vitamins after surgery?
The type of surgery will dictate the required vitamins and supplements.
Are their food restrictions after surgery?
Patients can eat their favorite foods after surgery, but their bodies will be completely satisfied with a small portion. After returning to a regular diet, a patient will consume between 1-3 ounces and feel very full – this is when the patient should stop eating. The daily approximate calorie intake will be between 800-1000 calories daily.
Patients should avoid carbonated beverages due to the increased gas, alcoholic beverages as well as any sugary drinks. Foods high in protein are encouraged to be eaten first before carbohydrates such as bread, rice, and pasta which will fill patients up too quickly.
It is important to note that successful patients do, on occasion, treat themselves and still enjoy a healthy active lifestyle with a new and improved relationship with food.
How long does recovery take?
Recovery time is different for everyone. Most patients spend one night in the hospital and leave the next morning. It is recommended to take a week to two weeks off from work. This will be addressed on an individual basis in consult with your physician. Time from work will allow you to get used to your dietary program.
Will my medical issues be resolved after surgery?
Weight loss surgery has shown to have considerable improvements or resolution of many health conditions. Patients have seen resolution of or improvement in medical conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Sleep apnea
- Joint pain
Every patient is different and will have a different outcome regarding the resolution or improvement of health conditions. It is important to discuss all your current health conditions with your physician prior to surgery.
Can I exercise after surgery?
Exercise is encouraged but every individual is different, so it is important to discuss your exercise goals with your physician and the bariatric team. As with any surgery, there are physical restrictions during a specified time before returning to an exercise routine. Your bariatric team can help guide you on this journey.
Is hair loss associated with weight loss surgery?
Bariatric surgery decreases calorie intake. As this happens, the body craves protein and protein turnover is reduced. Hair has one of the most rapid protein turnovers within the human body. Telogen Effluvium is hair loss following bariatric surgery. This occurs because hair follicles remain in the resting phase. Hair follicles typically do not stay in the resting phase for more than six months and hair will grow back sometimes healthier and thicker than before. The best way to prevent hair loss is to strictly follow the post-surgical dietary guidelines.
Will I have excess skin after weight loss surgery?
This is a concern after weight loss surgery. It is important to follow the post bariatric intake program and stay hydrated. Once cleared to go back to exercising, it can be discussed if a strength training program may be of benefit and assist to tighten the skin.
Plastic surgery options can be discussed with your physician.
What should I bring to my appointment?
- Your patient information forms.
- Medical Information: Please bring copies of any letters or medical records from other health care providers. Medical records for the past 5 years are necessary to file for insurance and to give the doctors a complete medical history.
- Physician Recommendation: If filing for insurance, please provide a written recommendation for weight-loss surgery from your primary care physician.
- Diet / Weight-Loss Info: Any documentation proving you participated in any diet / weight loss attempts. (This includes office notes, receipts, or prescriptions.)
- Insurance card
- Driver's License
- Physician Referral: If your insurance plan requires a referral for this consultation, please contact your primary care physician and have one faxed to our office fax at 772-581-8003 before your appointment.
- Certificate of Completion for Online Seminar