FAQs

Bariatric Surgery FAQ:

  1. How do I know if I am eligible for surgery?
    • Eligibility for bariatric surgery is dependent on an individual’s body mass index (BMI) and the presence of any co-morbidities. You may qualify for surgery if you have a BMI of 40 or greater, or if your BMI is at least 35 with other obesity-related health problems.
    • Some examples of these health problems include diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and sleep apnea.
  1. Are there complications with bariatric surgery?
    • As with any surgery, there are risks with bariatric surgery. However, post-operative complications such as dumping syndrome, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies can be avoided if the correct diet is followed and you are compliant with vitamins and minerals for the rest of your life.
  1. How much weight will I lose after bariatric surgery?
    • Gastric sleeve: Approximately 60% of excess body weight on average of 12 to 18 months after surgery.
    • Gastric bypass: Approximately 70-80% of excess body weight within 12 to 18 months after surgery. There is an average weekly weight loss of 5-15 pounds in the first few months.
    • Duodenal switch: Loss of 85-100% of excess body weight; it is possible to lose up to 150 pounds.
  1. Can I still get pregnant after bariatric surgery?
    • Obesity can make it difficult to become pregnant. Bariatric surgery can help with fertility. However, it is recommended that you wait to become pregnant until your weight is stable. Rapid weight loss and vitamin/mineral deficiencies can be harmful to the developing baby.
  1. Does having weight loss surgery improve other health and medical problems?
    • Surgery and lifestyle changes post-operatively can improve the majority of obesity-related health problems. However, bariatric surgery is not a magical procedure that cures all medical issues. Dietary and lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery are necessary to prevent weight regain and avoid nutritional deficiencies.
  1. Why is a pre-op diet needed before bariatric surgery?
    • To shrink the liver! The liver lies on top of the stomach, which is where surgery will be performed. This helps your surgeon with performing the surgery.
    • Make sure to discuss any medication use with your primary care physician or other doctors/health care professionals before starting the pre-op diet, and especially before surgery.
  1. What are the reasons for a strict post-op diet after weight loss surgery?
    • To avoid the side effects and complications from surgery.
    • To allow your stomach to heal without being stretched by the food you eat.
    • To get you used to eating smaller amounts of food that your new stomach can comfortably and safely digest.
    • To help you lose weight and to avoid gaining weight.
  1. Why do I need to take a bariatric multivitamin?
    • A bariatric or pharmaceutical grade multivitamin is designed specifically for your nutritional needs following surgery. You will not be able to obtain all the nutrients you need from food alone.
    • These vitamins meet the research guidelines in terms of dosing and are from the best absorbable sources of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, most vitamins found in drug stores are not formulated in the same manner.
    • Non-compliance with vitamins can result in complications which include, but are not limited to: memory loss, hair loss, and fatigue.
  1. What multivitamin is recommended for me after surgery? Where can I purchase these vitamins?
    • We recommend a Bariatric Advantage Chewable Multi EA for the first 4-6 weeks post-operatively.
    • Following that, you can switch to the Bariatric Advantage Ultra Solo Capsule Multivitamin.
    • The dose of both of these vitamins is dependent upon what surgery you had.
    • You can purchase your vitamins at the Nova Bariatrics clinic, on the Nova Bariatrics website, or on the Bariatric Advantage website.
  1. What foods/beverages should I avoid when I am able to eat again after bariatric surgery?
    • Processed foods such as crackers, cookies, and chips
    • High fat/fried foods such as pork ribs, bacon, or sausage
    • Full fat daily foods such as whole milk, regular cheese, heavy whipping cream, etc.
    • High sugar foods and beverages such as juices, sodas, or desserts

*These foods/beverages may cause diarrhea, cramping nausea, and/or impede weight loss.