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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Weight Loss Surgery for You?

Attend a free seminar at Saint Mary’s to learn more. Call us at 203-709-7722 or register now.

When it comes to surgical weight loss, Saint Mary’s takes a team approach, and we are eager to answer your questions about any aspect of the process.

Here are answers to some of our most frequently-asked questions:

What is my first step?

After attending an educational weight loss surgery seminar, prospective patients should schedule an initial consultation with of our surgeons:

  • Dr. Aziz Richi – 203-758-3953
  • Dr. Shady Macaron – 203-598-0235

How do I know which surgery is right for me?

During your consultation, you will learn about the different types of weight loss surgery, including the benefits and risks. You and your surgeon will work together to select the surgery that will help you achieve your goals.

Am I a candidate?

Is your BMI > 40, or > 35 with another medical condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol?

Have you been unsuccessful in trying to lose weight over the past several years?

Are you motivated to make the lifestyle changes necessary to maintain a healthier weight?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may be a candidate.

Calculate your BMI here.

What is BMI?

Body Mass Index measures the ratio of height to weight (kilograms/meters2). It is the most widely accepted way of weight classification. It is used as a guide to help determine if you are at increased risk of obesity-related medical conditions. All insurance carriers use BMI to determine if you are eligible to have bariatric surgery.

Calculate your BMI here.

What are the risks?

All major surgery, including bariatric surgery comes with risks. Some of these risks are blood clots, infection, bleeding, hernias, gallstones, and ulcers. Opting to have bariatric surgery is a very personal decision and only a discussion with your surgeon can clarify the individual risks.

How much weight will I lose?

The average patient loses between 70 to 85 percent of excess body weight. For example, if you are 100 pounds overweight you may lose 50 – 80 pounds. This occurs over 12 to 18 months and is dependent on your commitment to following the instructions after surgery.

Are there age limits for the surgery?

Generally accepted guidelines from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health indicate surgery for patients over 18; our maximum age limit is 65. Patients under 18 and over 65 should contact us for an individual surgical consultation.

Can weight loss surgery help other medical conditions?

According to current research, weight loss surgery can improve or resolve associated health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and sleep apnea.

How long do I have to stay in the hospital?

Although it can vary, the hospital stay is generally one day for a laparoscopic band and 2-3 days for a laparoscopic gastric bypass.

What do I need to do to be successful after surgery?

Follow your doctor’s special dietary guidelines closely. The post-op diet begins with liquids, then soft foods and finally, solid foods. It’s important to allow your new stomach pouch to heal properly.

Drink 2-3 quarts of water each day; drinking it slowly and never with meals.

Incorporate exercise into your everyday routine. Your surgeon will give you guidance on when to begin and what types of exercise are best for you.

Keep all appointments with your surgeon, primary care doctor, dietician, and any other medical professionals involved in your care.

What are the common side effects after surgery?

Adverse events vary by procedure, but some of the common are: nausea, vomiting, dehydration, constipation and hair loss. Many of these can be prevented by closely following your post-operative instructions.

Can I get pregnant after weight loss surgery?

Due to the rapid weight loss following surgery, your baby may not receive the appropriate nourishment, so we recommend women wait at least 18 months after the surgery. At that point, your body weight will have stabilized and you should be able to have a normal pregnancy. This is an important topic to discuss with your surgeon.

How soon will I be able to return to work after surgery?

It varies depending on the surgery and the type of work you do. Band patients usually return to work one week after surgery; bypass patients are closer to three to four weeks.

Will my insurance cover the surgery?

Many insurance companies cover surgery; however there are specific coverage criteria that you will want to be aware of as you move through our process. We recommend you call your insurance company to verify your benefits. At the time of your initial consultation with the surgeon, his staff will also check on your coverage. Self-pay patients can be discussed on an individual basis.

For more assistance, please visit "Should I have weight surgery?" in our free online health library.

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A Bariatric Center of Excellence

Saint Mary’s Hospital has achieved Comprehensive Center accreditation from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

This designation places Saint Mary’s among an “elite group” of accredited centers in the U.S. Our facility is listed on the ACS website and is one of just nine accredited programs in Connecticut.

Learn more here.

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