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Is It Time To Consider Bariatric Surgery?

Posted on August 4, 2023 at 10:45 AM by Iowa Weight Loss Specialists

Are you a patient participating in a medical weight loss program and not achieving ideal results or improvement of significant health conditions? Are you fearful that your weight could negatively impact your health and quality of life in the future? Have you been told by a doctor that you should lose weight to improve a specific health issue?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, now might be a great time to consider gastric sleeve surgery, or “gastrectomy”. While medications continue to evolve and improve, metabolic surgery is still considered superior for disease improvement and improved quality of life, especially in patients whose BMI is greater than 35 kg/m2.  (Calculate BMI)

 

Here are some common concerns and items to consider when deciding if bariatric surgery is the right choice for you:

 
How much does it cost and will my insurance cover it?

Insurance coverage for bariatric surgery continues to improve as the procedures have been proven to be safe and effective for long-term weight loss. Out-of-pocket costs vary based on your out-of-pocket maximums, deductibles and overall coverage. With the assistance of our team of insurance specialists, we can help patients navigate their insurance coverage and costs. A cash pay option is available as well.

 
I don’t think I qualify.

Based on its effectiveness in improvement of disease, namely diabetes and metabolic syndrome, you may not have to be extremely obese to qualify for surgery. Insurers continue to add qualifying criteria that make it easier than ever to qualify for surgery based on certain health conditions and BMI.

 
What is the recovery time?

Most patients are able to return to work and normal activity within a week or two after surgery. The surgery involves an overnight stay in the hospital and no lifting greater than 10 lbs. for 6 weeks after surgery. Our team of Registered Dietitians can help patients adjust their diet stages in the time after surgery to help fit their lifestyle.

 
It seems so extreme.

The gastric sleeve surgery is almost always done laparoscopically and surgery risk is very low. While the procedure is not reversible, it is very low in complications. The complications from carrying excess weight over the long term far outweigh the risk of this minor procedure.

 
I wish I had done it sooner.

In follow-up visits with patients after surgery, this is a very common statement. Within the first year after surgery, most patients lose about 60% of their excess body weight and are living life to the fullest with less pain, less medication and improved energy and stamina.  

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