Carolinas HealthCare System

FAQ

Bariatric Surgery FAQ answered.
How long does the surgery take?

Most cases require about 2 hours of actual operating time. This can be quite variable and depends upon a patient's anatomy and whether they have adhesions inside the abdomen and whether there has been previous surgery.

How long am I in the hospital? 

Most patients remain in the hospital until the second post-operative day for the gastric bypass. Many adjustable gastric banding patients are discharged on the same day as their surgery. If there are circumstances that require continued monitoring or therapy the stay can be prolonged. Some patients are ready to leave the first post-operative day but this is relatively rare. You are required to remain in the area for a full week after your surgery.

How long does the process take once I have had an appointment?

That depends upon whether the other elements of the workup have been completed. The time it takes to obtain appointments for the pre-op workup will make a difference in how long it will be before we can send your insurance letter requesting prior approval. The turn-around time for insurance letters appears to be one to two weeks. We will contact you once we receive your letter of approval from the insurance company. You may receive your letter before you do but we will contact you as soon as we receive our authorization number in order to proceed with posting your surgery.

Has the surgery ever been cancelled or stopped?

One surgery was cancelled because of incomplete documentation pre-operatively and one surgery was stopped because of unexpected findings at surgery and will be completed at a later time.

How long will I be out of work?

Different people recover at different rates. You will be expected to walk in the halls the evening after your surgery and on a regular basis in the following days. Many people find they are ready to return to work in 2 weeks. Some feel they can return earlier, some later.

Is there another treatment option for those who don’t qualify for surgery?

Carolinas HealthCare Systems offers several outstanding options for those who don't need bariatric surgery. Our non-surgical option (hyperlink to non-surgical weight loss) offers customized weight management program that offers maximum weight loss success combined with long-term maintenance that improves your health and keeps the weight off.

Which types of weight loss surgery are performed at Carolinas HealthCare System?

We offer three procedures. Adjustable gastric band, the Gastric sleeve and the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Why should I consider surgery at Carolinas HealthCare Systems?

Our program is one of the few centers to be designated a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. We have performed hundreds of successful bariatric surgeries that have been complemented with a full range of lifestyle and lifelong bariatric support programs, from ongoing education to customized exercise and nutrition programs designed by some of the leaders in bariatric medicine. We offer a comprehensive follow-up program, with a multidisciplinary team of experts, to ensure you have the greatest chance of success in changing your life through weight loss surgery and weight management.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Bariatric surgery can lead to massive weight loss. Long term, you can expect to lose a minimum of 50% of the excess weight and often much more. Along with increasing your lifespan, you'll find that your chances of serious complications such as diabetes, heart disease, vascular disease, lipid abnormalities, blood pressure, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, asthma, fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, back pain, intracranial hypertension, urinary stress incontinence, GERD and other GI disorders, the risk for cancer, fertility, depression and anxiety are greatly reduced because of your surgery and corresponding weight loss.

Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?

All insurance coverage is different, so this depends on your individual insurance plan. We will ask you to bring your Photo ID and Insurance Card to one of our FREE Bariatric Information Sessions. This will allow our Insurance Coordinator to review your insurance plan and assess your coverage before any surgery is scheduled.

What kind of foods can I eat after surgery?

Most people who have had a gastric sleeve or adjustable gastric band procedure can eat all the foods they enjoyed before the surgery, but in smaller portions. With gastric bypass, some individuals will experience what is commonly known as "Dumping Syndrome" which causes extreme discomfort when you consume food or beverages that are high in sugar. As such, you'll want to avoid these in your diet.

Will I ever gain weight after surgery?

There are many factors at play with obesity. The disease itself can cause biological changes within your body that can make you more susceptible to weight regain. However, it is extremely rare for you to regain all the weight you lost and with proper nutrition and lifestyle changes, you should be able to keep your weight off for a lifetime if you have the desire and motivation.

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