Frequently Asked Questions
You have questions... no one should make such an important decision without learning as much as they can. We put together a list of questions we get most often from patients. We hope this will answer the ones you have.
If you still want more information, contact Aria's Comprehensive Center for Bariatric Surgery at 215-612-5001 to make an appointment for a consultation.
Support groups are also available for pre- and post- operative patients that provide the encouragement and information for those dealing with obesity. Schedules are available online for our support groups. A Frequently Asked Questions page is also available to answer some of the questions you might have right now.
1. How do I know if I am a candidate for bariatric surgery?
Per guidelines from the National Institute of Health (NIH) you qualify as a candidate for bariatric surgery if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than or equal to 35 with a weight-related health condition such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. If your BMI is greater than or equal to 40, you qualify regardless of a related health condition. You can measure BMI right now on the Aria Health Comprehensive Center for Bariatric Surgery website (insert link on website).
In addition, you must be willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes (primarily pertaining to diet and exercise) and be cleared by our bariatric team for surgery.
Next, you need to fall between the minimum and maximum age limitations (18 and 65, respectively) for bariatric surgery.
Finally, you should to check with your insurance company if you have benefits covering the entire or partial cost of bariatric surgery.
2. How do I know which surgery is right for me?
When you meet with our surgeons they will discuss your entire medical history and make a recommendation based on this as to which surgery would be an option for you. You may have the option of either one or all of the surgeries we perform at Aria – adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass. This will be explained and discussed with you in detail at our free seminars and also individually during your consultation.
3. What would make me a non-candidate for bariatric surgery?
There are various reasons why a patient might not be a candidate for bariatric surgery, including age (you must be between the ages of 18 and 65), alcoholism, drug addiction, unwilling to make recommended lifestyle changes, untreated psychological conditions, or a BMI less than 35.
4. What are my surgery options?
At Aria we perform adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass.
5. What are the benefits of bariatric surgery?
Weight loss is an obvious benefit. Many patients report improved self esteem, improved body image, more confidence, and a greater ability to move more after surgery.
In addition, it is possible that patients may come off medications for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Those with sleep apnea may not have to wear a CPAP or BiPAP machine.
6. How do I find out more information?
Attend one of our free information seminars listed on the Aria Health Comprehensive Center for Bariatric Surgery website or call 215-612-2659 for Ciara Ferguson, our Bariatric Program Coordinator.
7. Are there risks involved?
As with all surgeries there are risks involved. These are discussed in detail at our seminars and also during your individual consultations with our team.
8. What is the process leading up to surgery?
During your initial consultation you will meet one of our surgeons. Following that appointment or on another day you will have individual consultations with our psychologist and dietician. You will continue to see our dietician monthly for three to six months depending on your progress and insurance requirements (some insurance companies require you to meet with a dietician monthly for three or six months).
You will see the psychologist at least once more prior to surgery or more frequently if you needed based on feedback from you and recommendations of the psychologist.
You will meet with surgeon again to discuss the surgery, risks, and benefits and to sign your consent to the procedure.
9. How long is the process leading up to surgery?
The length of the process depends on your progress and your insurance company. On average it can take three to six months to go through our education process to be prepared for surgery.
10. How long will I be in hospital?
Your hospital stay will be two to three days depending on the type of surgery and your post-operative progress. Surgery is performed laparoscopically, so recovery should be faster than a traditional open surgery.
11. Will I have to change my diet?
Yes. You will have to establish a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life in order for the surgery to be successful. Our dieticians work with you one-on-one to help you adopt a healthier diet. In addition, vitamins are mandatory after surgery.
12. I have a psychologist. Why do I need to see yours?
Our psychologist works in conjunction with your mental health provider. The professional we provide focuses on being a motivational coach both during and after surgery to help get you ready psychologically for surgery.
13. What happens after surgery?
At Aria Health, a life-changing procedure like bariatric surgery isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. We provide lifelong follow up to celebrate successes and help you through any difficult times you may have.
We schedule post-operative appointments at two weeks, one month, three months, six months, nine months, and one year after your surgery. After that, we schedule appointments with you every year on the anniversary of your surgery (surgiversary). We may see you more often if needed. Follow-up sessions with our dieticians and psychologist may be more frequent if you request this.