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Bariatric and Metabolic resources for a healthier life

EducLearn about weight loss surgery options to lose weight

SURGEON FINDER

How do I know if I’m eligible for bariatric and metabolic surgery?

Bariatric and metabolic surgery requires a commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle. You will need to meet specific criteria to ensure that you medically qualify for surgery. Only you and your surgeon can evaluate your situation and decide if surgery is right for you.

Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery may be right for you if:

  • You have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or a BMI greater than 35 and one or more obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. For someone 5 feet, 4 inches, that means a weight of at least 235 pounds. For someone 5 feet, 9 inches—at least 270 pounds.
  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You have one or more obesity-related conditions (known as comorbid conditions), such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • You've been unable to lose weight and keep it off through traditional methods like diet and exercise.
  • You're ready to commit to a healthy, active lifestyle.
  • You don't have medical conditions that could cause serious complications during or after surgery.
  • You understand the surgery benefits, risks, and complications, and you have a full understanding of what to expect.

How do I select a bariatric and metabolic surgeon?

Choosing the right bariatric and metabolic surgeon may be the most important decision you make. The surgeon who performs your weight loss procedure will also be part of your support team for years to come, so it's important for you to feel at ease with him or her.

Some of the most important considerations when choosing a surgeon include:

  • Center of Excellence (COE) designation
  • The surgeon's experience performing gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric banding.
  • Your confidence in the bariatric and metabolic surgeon.
  • The surgeon's commitment to your success.
  • The staff at the surgeon's office.
  • Whether the surgeon is part of your insurance network.

Learn more about choosing a bariatric and metabolic surgeon.

The best way to find a bariatric and metabolic surgery program: Attend an information seminar

To find a surgeon who meets your needs, we encourage you to attend one or more information seminars in your area. Each seminar is hosted by a trained surgeon at a bariatric and metabolic clinic that offers gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric banding. There's no pressure to make a commitment—and no better way to get the answers you're looking for.

If you don't feel that the bariatric and metabolic program hosting the seminar fits your needs, we encourage you to attend another seminar in your area. Some people find it helpful to attend more than one before selecting a surgeon.

Read the Insurance and Financing section to learn more.

Do I have bariatric and metabolic surgery insurance coverage?

Although we can't tell you if you have coverage for bariatric and metabolic surgery, we can help you understand how to work with your insurance provider to determine if you have bariatric and metabolic surgery insurance coverage.

Read the Insurance and Financing section to learn more.

How will I pay for bariatric and metabolic surgery?

Before you spend time researching your financing options, find out whether your insurance plan will pay for the surgery. Many health insurance plans, including Medicare and most Medicaid plans, cover bariatric and metabolic surgery. However, health insurance plan coverage varies, so it's important to examine the coverage provided by your plan.

We can help you understand how to work with your insurance provider to determine your bariatric and metabolic surgery insurance coverage.

If you don't have health insurance, or if after working with your insurance provider you determine that you don't have bariatric and metabolic surgery insurance coverage, you still have options. Many patients use bariatric and metabolic surgery financing to cover out-of-pocket costs. Because bariatric and metabolic surgery is an investment in good health and better quality of life, you may also consider the procedure to be worth the cost even without insurance. Learn more about the cost of bariatric and metabolic surgery.

Many lenders can provide bariatric and metabolic surgery financing. Some financing options include:

  • Credit card
  • Personal line of credit
  • Home equity line of credit
  • Mortgage

Learn more about your bariatric and metabolic surgery financing options.

Why are diet and exercise so important after having bariatric and metabolic surgery?

By altering the anatomy of the stomach and/or intestine, bariatric surgery affects hormonal signals, resulting in decreased appetite, increased feelings of fullness, increased metabolism, and healthier food preferences. These positive changes allow your body to lose weight without the internal fight to return to the higher set point. However, without regular exercise and a healthy diet, it is unlikely that you will achieve your weight loss goals. Exercising regularly will maximize the amount of weight you lose and help to improve your health. By building muscle through strength-training exercises, you may lessen the amount of skin sag you experience after losing weight. Following the instructions of your healthcare team for healthy eating will put you on the path to success.

GASTRIC BANDING

What are the benefits of gastric banding?

Significant weight loss

Based on Ethicon Endo-Surgery Curved Adjustable Gastric Band clinical trial data, patients have been shown to lose an average of 41% excess body weight in 3 years.9,10

Improved health

Clinical trials have shown that gastric banding can resolve or improve most common health conditions associated with obesity.

Health Problem % of Gastric Band Patients
Type 2 Diabetes Controlled 20-59%11,12,32,33
High Blood Pressure Resolved 42%13
High Cholesterol* Improved 71%13
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Resolved 45%12
Acid Reflux/GERD Resolved 32.3%14

Cost savings over time

A recent study showed that laparoscopic bariatric and metabolic surgery can pay for itself in about 2 years. One important reason is that bariatric and metabolic surgery may help to improve or resolve conditions associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol11, so patients save money on related prescription drugs, doctor visits, and hospital visits.15

Quality-of-life improvements

Clinical studies of laparoscopic bariatric and metabolic surgery patients found that they felt better, spent more time doing recreational and physical activities, benefited from enhanced productivity and economic opportunities, and had more self-confidence than they did prior to surgery.11

What are the benefits of the Ethicon Endo-Surgery Curved Adjustable Gastric Band?

Proven weight loss results

The band is shown to help patients achieve and maintain a healthier weight.

  • Proven results: Patients in a 3-year clinical trial lost a mean of 40% of their excess weight at 1 year and 43% at 3 years.16

Improved health

Clinical trials have shown that gastric banding can resolve or improve most common health conditions associated with obesity.

No adjustable gastric band is safer or more effective.16 The Ethicon Endo-Surgery Curved Adjustable Gastric Band is supported by more than 20 years of worldwide clinical experience and ongoing innovation.

Minimally invasive surgery

The band is implanted using laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery, which involves small incisions in the abdomen. That usually means a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures.

Reversible

Because adjustable gastric banding surgery does not permanently change the anatomy of the stomach and intestines, the band can be removed if necessary. Please keep in mind that reversal surgery is not simple, and weight gain is usually observed in people who have the band removed and who do not continue a healthy eating regimen.

These are just a few of the benefits of the band. Read about gastric banding benefits to learn more.

How long does it take to recover from the procedure?

The recovery process varies from person to person and can take 6 to 8 weeks. Patients progress from a liquid diet to solid foods during this time and are encouraged to gradually increase their physical activity. For more information about diet, physical activity, and pain after surgery see bariatric and metabolic surgery recovery expectations.

What are the risks and complications of gastric banding?

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications that can occur with gastric banding.
Please see risks associated with gastric banding.

How often will my gastric band have to be adjusted?

There is no set schedule for band adjustments because each person's needs are different. Listening to your band (that is, paying attention to physical signs and symptoms) and tracking your weight loss will help you to know when it may be time for an adjustment. Periodic adjustments to your band will ensure that you feel satisfied when you eat and keep losing weight gradually, about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Is there a chance that the band could slip off my stomach?

Migration of the implant (band erosion, band slippage, or port displacement) is a risk associated with gastric banding. However, as the widest band available (23 mm), the Ethicon Endo-Surgery Curved Adjustable Gastric Band is designed to decrease the potential for band slippage.16

If I have a gastric band, will it interfere with my getting pregnant?

The band is only implanted around your stomach; therefore, the band should not affect the function of your reproductive organs or fertility. After you become pregnant, the band may be loosened so that you and your baby can get enough nutrients. Consult your doctor for more information.

As I lose weight, how often will the band have to be replaced with a smaller size?

The band is one-size-fits-all and can be adjusted to fit the needs of each patient.

How much weight can I expect to lose with the Ethicon Endo-Surgery Curved Adjustable Gastric Band?

Results vary from patient to patient, but patients in a 3-year clinical trial:

  • Lost a mean of 40% of their excess weight at 1 year and 43% at 3 years.16
  • Were able to reduce their (average) body mass index from 44 to 36 in the first year after surgery. Patients were able to maintain their reduced body mass index through their third year.1

What can I eat after I get the band?

Immediately after bariatric and metabolic surgery, you will be on a clear liquid diet. As you recover, you will begin eating soft foods and progress toward solid foods.

Patients are usually advised to eat several small, high-protein meals each day and to avoid raw vegetables, fruits with skin, nuts, popcorn, tough meats, stringy foods, and crusty bread, like bagels and pretzels. Including these foods in your diet after bariatric and metabolic surgery may block your stoma (the small opening between the upper and lower stomach pouches).

Can a gastric band be removed?

A gastric band is intended for long-term use. Because adjustable gastric banding surgery does not permanently change the anatomy of the stomach and intestines, the band can be removed if necessary. However, please keep in mind that reversal surgery is not simple, and weight gain is usually observed in people who have the band removed and who do not continue a healthy eating regimen.

GASTRIC BYPASS

What are the benefits of gastric bypass?

Proven weight loss

Patients have been shown to lose an average of 62% excess body weight in 3 years.17,18

Improved health

Clinical trials have shown that gastric banding can resolve or improve most common health conditions associated with obesity.

Health Problem % of Gastric Band Patients
Type 2 Diabetes Controlled 60-84%8,11,12,17,32,34,35
High Blood Pressure Resolved 66%19
High Cholesterol* Improved 94%11
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Resolved 76%12
Acid Reflux/GERD Resolved 72%20

Reduced healthcare costs

A recent study showed that bariatric and metabolic surgery can pay for itself in about 2 years. One important reason is that bariatric and metabolic surgery may help to improve or resolve conditions associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol,11 so patients save money on related prescription drugs, doctor visits, and hospital visits.15

Quality of life improvements

Clinical studies of laparoscopic bariatric and metabolic surgery patients found that they felt better, spent more time doing recreational and physical activities, benefited from enhanced productivity and economic opportunities, and had more self-confidence than they did prior to surgery.11

How long does it take to recover from the gastric bypass procedure?

Gastric bypass recovery times vary from patient to patient. One study reported that patients were able to leave the hospital after 2 days and return to work after 21 days.20 Learn more about recovery expectations for gastric bypass.

What are the risks and complications of gastric bypass?

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications that can occur with gastric bypass. Read about gastric bypass risks and complications for more details.

How much weight can I expect to lose with gastric bypass?

Weight loss varies among patients. One review of clinical data showed that gastric bypass patients lost 61.6% of their excess weight in the first year after surgery.11 Having bariatric and metabolic surgery can also help improve your health and quality of life.

What can I eat after gastric bypass surgery?

Gastric bypass patients can eat a wide variety of foods, in small portions. A typical meal in a bariatric and metabolic surgery diet includes protein-rich foods such as lean meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products (yogurt and cheese), starches and whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eating protein helps you feel fuller longer.

You're advised to avoid desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients. Eating high-sugar, high-fat foods can lead to dumping syndrome, an unpleasant side effect. It's also recommended that you avoid raw vegetables, fruits with skin, nuts, popcorn, tough meats, stringy foods, and crusty bread (bagels and pretzels), which may block the opening of your stomach.

Learn more about getting proper nutrition after gastric bypass.

SLEEVE GASTRECTOMY

What are the benefits of sleeve gastrectomy?

Significant weight loss

Patients have been shown to lose an average of 66% excess body weight in 3 years.18,21

Reduced healthcare costs

A recent study showed that bariatric and metabolic surgery can pay for itself in about 2 years. One important reason is that bariatric and metabolic surgery may help to improve or resolve conditions associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol,11 so patients save money on related prescription drugs, doctor visits, and hospital visits.15

Quality-of-life improvements

Clinical studies of laparoscopic bariatric and metabolic surgery patients found that they felt better, spent more time doing recreational and physical activities, benefited from enhanced productivity and economic opportunities, and had more self-confidence than they did prior to surgery.11

How long does it take to recover from the sleeve gastrectomy procedure?

One study showed that patients often leave the hospital after 2 to 5 days.22 Recovery times vary, and recovery may take up to 6 or 8 weeks.

What are the risks and complications?

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications that can occur with sleeve gastrectomy. The sleeve gastrectomy risks and complications page provides all of the details.

How much weight can I expect to lose with sleeve gastrectomy?

Patients have been shown to lose an average of 66% of their excess weight in 3 years.18,21

What can I eat after a sleeve gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy patients can eat a wide variety of foods, in small portions. A typical meal in a bariatric and metabolic surgery diet includes protein-rich foods such as lean meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products (yogurt and cheese), starches and whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eating protein helps you feel fuller longer.

You're advised to avoid desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients. High-sugar, high-fat foods can derail your attempts to lose weight. You'll also want to avoid raw vegetables, fruits with skin, nuts, popcorn, tough meats, stringy foods, and crusty bread (bagels and pretzels), which may block the opening of your stomach.

Learn more about getting proper nutrition after sleeve gastrectomy.

If I have sleeve gastrectomy, will it interfere with my getting pregnant?

It is possible to have a safe and healthy pregnancy after sleeve gastrectomy. Most doctors recommend waiting at least 1 year after the surgery before starting a pregnancy.52