Frequently Asked Questions

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What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is also known as weight loss surgery. Weight loss is achieved by restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold, causing malabsorption of nutrients in the intestines, or by both. If you have struggled with your weight and have not been successful with diet and exercise, bariatric surgery could be right for you.

Our program offers two weight loss procedures:

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy

Do I qualify for bariatric surgery?

General requirements consist of:

  • Over 18 years of age
  • BMI of 40 or higher
  • BMI between 35 and 39.9 and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, or heart disease
  • Ability to comply with post operative diet / vitamin supplementation and exercise recommendations as well as following the post operative follow up visit schedule

If you are not an ideal candidate for bariatric surgery, you may want to consider our non-surgical medical weight loss program.

Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?

Insurance coverage requirements vary for weight loss surgery, but most insurance companies do cover weight loss surgery. It is important that you call your insurance provider to determine your coverage for weight loss surgery. Our team will submit all necessary documentation needed for approval.

What can I expect before surgery?

After you complete either an online or in-person seminar, verified coverage with your insurance company, you will have an initial consultation with your surgeon. You can expect to have three-to-six months of physician supervised visits, as well as consultations with our dietitian and behavioral health. Our surgeons will order any necessary testing needed prior to surgery. You will also be put on a strict pre-operative diet two weeks prior to surgery.

What can I expect after surgery?

Typically you will spend one-to-two nights in the hospital; you will be discharged on a liquid diet. Your surgeon will monitor how you are tolerating your diet and gradually increase you to a regular diet. You can expect frequent follow-up care with our team. Follow-up care is the key to achieving the best possible outcomes after weight loss surgery. Our program offers quarterly support groups for patients who have had bariatric surgery or who are thinking about having bariatric surgery. View our current support group schedule.

Also, vitamin supplementation after bariatric surgery is a lifelong requirement. After bariatric surgery your body is especially vulnerable to vitamin deficiencies due to the reduced ability of your body to absorb nutrients and the decreased intake of nutrients. Nutritional labs will be monitored as part of your follow-up care.

How much weight can I expect to lose?

How much weight you lose depends on the surgery performed and your commitment to making the necessary lifestyle changes needed for optimal weight loss. Typically, with the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve procedures you can lose up to 65% – 75% of your excess body weight within the first 12-to-18 months.

How do I get started?

If you are interested in weight loss surgery, your first step is to contact your insurance company to verify coverage. Also, make sure you meet the BMI requirements for surgery. Calculate your BMI.

Next, you need to complete either an online seminar or register for a in-person seminar. In-person seminars are held the second Tuesday of every month. If you complete an online seminar, our office staff will be notified and they will contact you to set up an appointment.

If you are interested our non-surgical medical weight loss program, you do not need to complete a seminar. Simply contact our office to schedule your first appointment at 814-467-3653 or

Can I drink alcohol after weight loss surgery?

Alcohol consumption is not recommended after weight loss surgery. Alcohol has a high caloric content, which can inhibit your weight loss. Alcohol can also contribute to postoperative complications, such as marginal ulcer formation. It is important to note that because your metabolism is altered after weight loss surgery, blood alcohol levels increase faster and normalize at a slower rate, leading to excessively high blood alcohol levels after only one drink.

Why do I have to quit smoking before surgery?

You must quit smoking in order to have weight loss surgery. You will have a blood test that will measure the nicotine in your blood. If there is an increased level you will not be able to have surgery. This is very important because smoking increases your risk of postoperative complications such as pneumonia, blood clots, and marginal ulcer formation.

What kind of diet do I have to follow after weight loss surgery?

Following weight loss surgery, it is recommended that patients follow a high protein, low carbohydrate, low fat diet. You will need to avoid using straws and drinking carbonated beverages. It is important to drink at least 64 ounces of fluids per day, and consume 60 to 80 grams of protein per day. Focus on maintaining half cup portion sizes, taking small bites, and chewing thoroughly. Avoid drinking liquids during meals and 30 minutes before and after meals.

Do you perform revisional surgery?

Revisional surgery is typically performed as secondary or follow-up surgery for patients who have previously undergone bariatric surgery and require repairs, adjustments, or other surgical solutions to their operations. There are many reasons why some bariatric procedures do not offer adequate weight loss, such as gastric band failure or enlargement of the stomach pouch. Before a revision procedure is performed, the patient will be examined by the bariatric surgeon to determine the cause of failure and to evaluate for the appropriate treatment options. The surgeon will need to determine if the post operative weight loss failure is due to a problem with the original procedure or the patient’s inability to follow necessary lifestyle changes. The doctor will want to discuss the options and what the patient should expect with the bariatric revision.

Do you manage Lap-Bands?

Lap-bands, or gastric bands, can be evaluated and adjusted in the office and under x-ray. Additionally, we can help with medical management and, if appropriate, discuss with you the option to convert to sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass.