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Highland Hospital / Bariatric Surgery Center / Your Questions Answered

Your Questions Answered

There is a lot to learn when considering weight-loss surgery. Some of the commonly asked questions with their answers are listed here. Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you have others.


How do I know if weight-loss surgery is for me?

Weight-loss surgery is one step in a life-long journey. It’s important for you to learn all you can about the steps on the journey, attend an educational seminar and talk to your doctor, those who support you and the surgeons and staff at the Highland Bariatric Surgery Center to decide if this is the right option for you.


Why is Highland the best program?

The Bariatric Surgery Center at Highland has a proven history of being the first and the most comprehensive center in the region with the finest, most experienced surgeons. The Center is nationally accredited and more than 6,000 weight-loss surgeries have been performed here.


How does the process work?

Patients must attend a preliminary educational seminar to learn about the process. You can register here. Please sign up for a seminar given by the surgeon of your choice. It will be about six to nine months from the time you attend your first weight-loss seminar to the time of surgery. Steps along the way include a visit with your physician, several nutritional consultations, a psychological screening, consultation with your surgeon and the surgery. You will also have several office visits after surgery and annually after that.


How long do I follow a lifestyle meal plan?

From the time you make the decision to have weight-loss surgery it is important that you begin to eat healthier and be more active. We don’t refer to it as a “diet.” It is truly a lifestyle meal plan.  Our dietitians will help you devise a plan that works for you.


What will the psychologist ask me?

Your interview with the psychologist will help you determine if you have any issues that should be resolved before you embark on a weight-loss journey. The psychologist will identify any active psychosis, untreated depression, eating disorders, emotional eating issues and screen for alcohol/drug abuse. This consultation will also look for factors such as the impact this journey will have on you, your family and other support persons in your life.


How long will the professionals at the Bariatric Surgery Center at Highland support me?

We commit to a lifetime of support for you. It’s important that you schedule follow-up appointments with us after surgery and have annual physical exams. We also offer a monthly support group where you and other patients can share your success and challenges.


How much weight can I expect to lose?

Some of that depends on how much you need to lose.  During the Rapid Weight Loss phase after surgery- the first 12-18 months- you should lost 60-80% of your excess weight if you follow the guidelines of how to eat, what to eat, what combination of foods are best and what time to eat.


Do I have to be on a liquid diet at any point?

As with all surgeries you will be required to be on a clear liquid diet the day before surgery. After surgery for seven to ten days your meal plan will include such items as protein drinks, milk, yogurt, pudding and cream soups. Then you will gradually progress to solids.


Will I be hungry all the time?

The surgeries and the recommended meal plans are designed to assure that you are well nourished and do not feel hungry.


Are there any foods I will never be able to eat again?

We recommend that you eliminate carbonated beverages because they cause air pockets that take up space in your system where you need to have room for nutritional foods. There are other foods with potential problems like nuts, popcorn and red meat. Those foods should only be eaten if they are cut and chewed into small pieces for better digestion. Oranges can also be a concern if they are not chewed very carefully. All food should be chewed into applesauce consistency. It’s important to follow the meal plans, chew your food carefully and stop eating when you are satisfied.


What are the risks of surgery?

There are risks involved in all surgical procedures.  Talk to your surgeon about these risks and any that might be specific to your health history.


What is recovery time after surgery?

After surgery, most patients are in the hospital for one or two days and are able to drive when they are off pain medication. Many can return to work after two weeks, though individuals who perform heavy lifting may be out of work for up to two months following surgery.


Is it possible for my new pouch to stretch?

It is highly unlikely that this will happen if you follow the recommended recovery process and meal plan. Always stop eating when you feel full.


How much exercise will I have to do?

Exercise is a key factor in being successful. After surgery we recommend you build up to 150 minutes per week or about 30 minutes/five days a week. Your exercise program can be as simple as a walking or taking classes at a gym.


Will my insurance cover everything?

Coverage will depend on your insurance carrier. We will work with you to ensure you have the right information to submit for determination of coverage.


Can I talk to others who have been on the weight loss journey?

We offer a monthly support group for our patients and their weight-loss partners. You are welcome to attend any of those meetings even if you are not yet a patient in our program.  We also have a Facebook page where you can connect with others.


When is it safe to become pregnant?

Women have an increased chance of becoming pregnant after surgery, but it is difficult to maintain a healthy pregnancy during the first year after surgery during the rapid weight loss phase. So it is advisable to post pone pregnancy plans for at least one year after surgery or until your weight is stable.


Are there age requirements to qualify for surgery?

Our Center cares for patients between the ages of 18 and 65. Those older than 65 are considered on an individual basis but we do not accept patients younger than 18.


Can I smoke after surgery?

We do not accept patients who smoke or have substance abuse issues and it is not advisable to adopt those behaviors after surgery.


How can I best communicate with the Highland Bariatric Center?

All UR Medicine facilities like the Highland Bariatric Surgery Center offer MyChart, a secure online access to portions of your medical record. You can schedule appointments, read test results and more by signing up for MyChart. Sign-up for MyChart