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Following are the most frequently asked questions we receive about weight loss surgery along with the answers.
How overweight or old do I have to be to qualify for weight loss surgery?
A measurement called BMI (body mass index) is initially used to determine if someone qualifies. A BMI over 35 with an obesity related medical condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or sleep apnea, usually qualifies as does a BMI over 40 with no related medical condition. Use the body mass calculator to determine your BMI. Weight loss surgery can be performed at Beth Israel Deaconess Milton (BID Milton) on patients aged 18 to 70. If you are over age 70, your eligibility will be determined by the surgeon on a case-by-case basis.
How much does insurance cover for weight loss surgery?
The most important first step is calling your insurance company to ask if weight loss surgery is a covered benefit under your insurance plan(s). Your insurance company is the only one who can inform you what your coverage includes as well as what your deductible, co-insurance and co-pays are for weight loss surgery.
Can I choose which procedure I want to have?
Patient safety is our top priority so unless there is a medical condition which would prevent you from having a certain procedure, we believe it is in your best interest to be able to choose yourself. You will be provided with the opportunity to learn about each procedure we offer and discuss the procedures with our surgeons in order to make an informed decision.
How long before I can have surgery?
Screening for weight loss surgery typically takes two to three months; however, there are additional factors that may contribute to your time in the program, including insurance requirements, your progress on steps before surgery and your safety are all contributing factors in determining scheduling surgery.
Where will the surgery be performed?
The actual operation will be performed at BID Milton which has an experienced team of weight loss surgery experts, is nationally accredited at the highest level and offers minimally invasive robotic surgery. Some pre-surgery and post-surgery appointments will be scheduled at BID Plymouth.
What is the typical length of hospital stay after surgery?
In most cases, patients spend one night in the hospital.
When can I return to work after surgery?
Some patients return to work in as little as two weeks. Others return to work in four to six weeks. Returning to work is different for everyone and depends on what kind of work you do. Physical demands of your job and ability to focus on your liquid and food intake all play a factor in your return to work after surgery.
Will I be able to go out to eat at a restaurant after I have surgery?
Of course! Our dietitians will work closely with you both before and after surgery to provide you with the education to make nutritious choices when you are away from home.
Why do I have to be careful about how much alcohol I drink after surgery?
Alcohol use can be a serious and problematic issue. We find that patients will sometimes transfer their food addiction to alcohol. Alcohol has a lot of calories, and patients will struggle with weight loss. Additionally, patients can be more sensitive to alcohol; getting inebriated more easily and can develop tolerance and addiction.
Will counseling prior to surgery help?
Counseling before surgery to work on eating patterns can set you up for long-term success. Often it is the lack of psychological preparedness that can be a barrier to patient success. For this reason, work with a counselor before surgery can help you to understand your individual relationship to food and what your triggers are. Having an understanding of this can help you to develop new coping strategies and behaviors to manage food in your life in a more healthy way.
How long do I have to follow up with the program after I have surgery?
Ideally we would like you to follow up with us for life, but we do require a minimum of five years. It is important for us to continue to see you long-term so that we can ensure that your vitamin and nutrient levels are within healthy ranges. Plus, we love to see how our patients are doing!
What support options are there for me after surgery?
It is very important to your success to keep your follow-up appointments with your care team. Additionally, our program offers two support groups per month at BID Milton – one for all patients (both before and after surgery patients) and one strictly for patients after surgery. At these support groups, you will have an opportunity to engage in conversations with other patients who have gone through the weight loss surgery process. Resources for recipes, counseling, online support and reading materials are also available through our team as well.
To learn more, watch our free online information session video.
Phone: (617) 313-1440