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Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery FAQ

Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?

Weight loss surgery is recommended for people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater (approximately 100 pounds over the ideal body weight for men or 80 pounds for women) or those who have a BMI between 35 and 40 and at least one significant obesity-related medical condition, such as sleep apnea, diabetes or heart disease.

Do I need a doctor’s referral to get started?

Your health insurance may require a physician referral. Attend our Bariatrics 101 class and we'll help you find the answer based on your coverage. To learn more or to register, click here.

What does bariatric surgery cost?

Our team at the Bariatric Weight Loss Center at NGMC can help you estimate how much surgery would cost for you. The cost of weight loss surgery varies depending on each patient's unique situation. Factors that can affect cost include:

  • the type of surgery performed
  • which physician performs the surgery
  • which insurance companies are involved
  • any discounts that may be available for self-pay patients
  • many other factors

Does insurance cover weight loss surgery?

It depends on the individual insurance carrier and whether or not weight loss surgery is offered in your policy.  If your policy covers weight loss surgery, your insurance provider can tell you what health requirements are necessary for coverage. 

Attend our Bariatrics 101 class and we'll help you navigate the insurance process. To learn more about Bariatrics 101 or to register, click here.

How do I get started?

We encourage anyone who is interested in weight loss surgery to attend Bariatrics 101, a free class offered on the first Friday of every month.

At these educational sessions, you will learn about:

  • the surgical procedures available
  • risks and benefits of procedures
  • insurance and payment options
  • life after bariatric surgery
  • much more

 To learn more about Bariatrics 101 or to register, click here.

What foods can I have after weight loss surgery?

The dietary requirements immediately after surgery will be discussed at great lengths by your surgeon and dietitian and can vary depending on the patient and procedure. 

However, you can expect to be on a liquid diet immediately following surgery.  Your surgeon will determine the next dietary level after this point, and their dietitian will be available for guidance on specific dietary requirements and necessary food items.
In general, you will want to stay away from foods that contain high sugar, high fat. Click here to learn more about the bariatric surgery diet.

Is bariatric surgery safe?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks.  However, the risks are minimal when compared to untreated conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, which are all medical conditions that are associated with obesity. 
We encourage you to talk more with your physician and/or the bariatric surgeon you choose, as the risks can vary based on procedure and patient health.

Will I ever need to go on diet again?

The goal of bariatric surgery is for you to never “diet” again.  If you follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding dietary requirements and have adopted a healthy eating pattern, along with a healthier lifestyle, you should be able to maintain your weight loss.  Not following the guidelines for eating properly and exercising puts you at risk for weight regain.

How long after surgery until I can return to work or usual activities?

Recovery time varies based on procedure and patient health, as well as the level of activity required to return to your normal everyday activities.  Your surgeon will discuss this with you to determine the appropriate timeframe for recovery.

What kind of support is available or recommended after surgery?

The Bariatric Weight Loss Center offers support group meetings twice a month.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.  In fact, as part of your pre-surgery requirements, you will be required to attend these meetings. 
Statistics have shown patients who attend support groups on a regular basis remain successful in their weight loss journey.  Click here to learn more about our Bariatric Surgery Support Group meeting times.

What can I do if I start to regain weight? 

If you had your weight loss surgery at least one year ago and have either started to regain weight or are afraid you might, the Bariatric Weight Loss Center at NGMC invites you to get the support you need from our Bariatric Surgery Support Group.

What is life like post-bariatric surgery?

Recovering from bariatric weight loss surgery requires a commitment to making changes to both your diet and your everyday lifestyle. Click here to learn more about life after bariatric surgery.

Do you offer revisional weight loss surgery?

Our surgeons accept patients with a history of weight loss surgery on a case-by-case basis, and only if they have relocated from outside Georgia or their primary surgeon is no longer practicing. Patients interested in this type of service should obtain their medical records and contact one of our bariatric surgery providers at:

Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Bariatric and Metabolic Institute:  770-219-9200

Longstreet Clinic Center for Weight Management: 770-534-0110

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