Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Bariatric Surgery

Experts at the UH Nutritional Health & Bariatric Surgery Center are happy to help patients get answers to their questions about weight loss surgery. The following are commonly asked questions with reliable answers from our top weight loss team:

What are the main contributors to obesity?
Behavior, environment and genetics are the main contributors to obesity.
What do Body Mass Index (BMI) numbers really mean?

BMI numbers generally fall into the following categories:

  • Acceptable range: 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight: 25-29.9
  • Obesity: 30-34.9
  • Severe obesity: 35-39.9
  • Morbid obesity: 40-49.9

Patients that fall into the obese categories typically qualify for weight loss procedures. Many insurance companies cover bariatric surgery for patients with a BMI over 35 who have other health related complications, or for individuals with a BMI over 40. Individuals should consult with their insurance company to inquire about their individual weight loss surgery coverage.

Why should someone choose University Hospitals?
We provide personalized service and expert care, along with:
  • The benefits of an accredited Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence through the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)
  • Pre- and post-operative care available at convenient community locations
  • Board-certified laparoscopic surgeons and endoscopic doctors
  • Minimally invasive techniques for all surgeries
  • No program fees
  • Support from an experienced staff that includes insurance specialists, bariatric nurse coordinators and registered dietitians
  • Monthly support groups
  • Experience and expertise; our program physicians have performed thousands of weight loss procedures and remain at the leading edge of technical skill and research
What assistance does UH provide to patients after the bariatric surgery?
Each patient receives regular follow-up visits with his or her surgeon, nurse and dietitian. Our team of experts is available every step of the way to help individuals achieve the best possible outcomes during this crucial time. We also provide monthly support group meetings to help individuals achieve long-term success.
How will the weight stay off after bariatric surgery?
Long-term weight management requires a life-long commitment to healthy eating and physical activity. Weight loss surgery is a powerful, proven tool to help ensure long-term success.
What are the surgical choices?
The UH Nutritional Health & Bariatric Surgery Center offers gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. In addition, our experts can revise a previous weight loss operation if problems arise. The surgeon and the patient work together to review each procedure and determine the best solution to meet his or her unique needs.
Will a patient need plastic surgery after extensive weight loss?
A number of our patients choose to have plastic surgery. Our team of plastic surgeons at University Hospitals have the experience and expertise needed to perform the latest cosmetic procedures requested by bariatric patients.
What are the true benefits of weight loss surgery?

Significant weight loss that results in a substantial improvement in quality of life. Also, patients can expect to improve or resolve a variety of other health issues, including:

Most patients experience a significant reduction in medications they take every day.

How effective is weight loss surgery?
Surgery is the only proven, sustainable method of long-term weight loss. On average, patients lose 50 to 75 percent of their excess body weight. With appropriate lifestyle modifications after surgery, most patients keep the weight off. The amount of weight can vary based on the surgical procedure chosen and patient compliance.
What will scarring and recovery be like?
Scarring is minimal in laparoscopic surgeries. Our surgeons make one to six small incisions which result in less pain, fewer complications and a quicker recovery. Most patients leave the hospital in as little as one or two days, and most can return to work shortly after surgery. Endoscopic procedures do not require incisions and there is no scarring after surgery.
What are the keys to success with bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a tool, not a cure. Patients must continue to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly in order to achieve long-lasting success.
How does a patient coordinate coverage with the health insurance provider?

Each patient should check with his or her insurance company to determine if weight loss surgery is a covered benefit. Our insurance specialists are available to help patients every step of the way.

We help patients identify and gather all the paperwork required to obtain insurance approval for surgery.

What medical tests are needed before bariatric surgery?
Medical testing requirements vary from patient to patient. We conduct a detailed evaluation of each individual and order the tests that help ensure their procedure is performed using the safest, most effective approach.
How long will the prequalification process take?
The time it takes for patients to get approved for surgery varies. An individual’s insurance company requirements and personal medical history may slow down the process. Our program is designed to guide patients to surgery as quickly and safely as possible.
What are the payment options?
UH Digestive Health Institute’s Nutritional Health & Bariatric Surgery Center accepts payment from most major insurance companies.

Information Sessions for Weight Loss Surgery

Interested in weight loss surgery? Get started: Attend a free information session, either in-person or online.
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