Franciscan Center for Weight Management
Frequently Asked Questions About Bariatric Surgery
Your questions are important to us. Here are answers to the most common questions we receive.
You may be a candidate for bariatric surgery if your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 40, or if your BMI is greater than 35 and you experience severe, weight-related side effects.
Many patients return to full activity at work or home within several weeks of their procedure and are fully healed within a couple of months.
Most patients stay in the hospital for one to two days, depending upon the patient and the procedure.
Depending upon the patient and the procedure, surgery time can vary from three to four hours. Your surgeon will consult with you before surgery.
Each patient, depending upon his or her goals, surgical procedure and support system, will achieve varying results. Consult with your surgeon about what you can expect to lose following surgery and over the long term.
For most of our bariatric patients, we recommend the following guidelines for after your surgery:
- Temporary, liquid-only diet
- Slow transition to pureed foods, then to soft foods and finally to solid foods within one to two weeks or months after surgery (depending on your procedure)
- Nutritional foundation of high-protein liquid drinks and supplements accompanied by healthy food choices
For optimal weight loss success, you should also limit certain foods and beverages after surgery:
- Eat only small quantities of food (one to three ounces) at a time
- Don’t eat desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients
- Avoid carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes or high-fat foods
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Eat only limited snacks between meals
Our nutritionists can help you create a plan that’s right for you. In general, you’ll want to aim for somewhere between 800 and 1,500 calories with 60 to 80 grams of protein a day.
Your care team will help you incorporate healthy changes into your routine, including exercises that are appropriate for your overall health and fitness. The goal is to work up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week.
Many insurance plans help cover the costs of bariatric surgery, but coverage varies according to your medical history and individual benefits of your plan.
Contact your health insurance carrier to find out if weight loss surgery is covered under your plan. Ask for a description of your benefits related to weight loss surgery, and ask whether only specific procedures are covered. If your current plan doesn’t cover weight loss surgery, contact your employer’s human resources department to see if there is another plan that does.
The Franciscan Center for Weight Management refers patients with the following health insurance plans to the Center for Bariatric Surgery at the University of Washington Medical Center:
- Regence Healthy Options
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Some insurers may require a record of up to six months of an unsuccessful medically supervised weight loss program before granting approval. Other standard requirements include:
- Proof of body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above OR
- Proof of BMI between 35 and 40 and documentation of associated medical conditions such as diabetes and sleep apnea
Because of our experience, excellent outcomes and ability to handle even the most difficult cases, Franciscan Center for Weight Management is recognized as a preferred provider by the following health insurance carriers:
- First Choice Health
- Premera Blue Cross
- Regence BlueShield
- United Resource Network
If your policy does not cover weight loss surgery, you may opt to pay out of pocket or obtain financing through one of several companies. Call us at 253-944-2080 for more information.
Yes, the Internal Revenue Service has determined that out-of-pocket costs for physician-directed weight loss programs are tax deductible because obesity is recognized as a medical disease.
Have other questions? Contact us
If we haven’t answered your questions here, please contact us at 253-944-2080.
Attend a free seminar on weight loss
Ready to get started on your weight loss journey? Attend a free seminar to find out how our bariatric surgery options can help you live a healthier, happier life.