Bariatric surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery, is a broad description for a number of procedures designed to help morbidly obese patients lose weight in order to regain health, improve their appearance and boost self-esteem.
Generally patients who are at least 100 pounds overweight and have a body mass index (BMI) over 40 are considered morbidly obese.
Many life-threatening illnesses, also known as co-morbidities, are associated with obesity. The most notable illnesses include:
Typically, those with a higher body mass index are candidates for bariatric surgery. You may be a candidate for surgery if:
Your BMI is 35 or greater and you have been diagnosed with another life-threatening illness such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or sleep apnea
Your BMI is greater than 40 with no other diagnosed illness
If you have any questions about candidacy, you can call our office at (559) 433-6010.
The answer here is "it depends."
Most insurance companies will pay for all or part of the surgery if you show a documented need for the procedure. Our support staff will be happy to work with you and your insurance company throughout the approval process.
Most insurances require that surgery be done at an accredited program. Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital is accredited under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP).
Our program offers both surgical and endoscopic (non-surgical) options. Surgical options include:
Our endoscopic options include:
Endoluminal gastric plication (or, "gastric sleeve")
While we are familiar with the Gastric Balloon, our program does not perform that specific procedure. We encourage patients that are interested in the balloon to consider the endoluminal gastric plication as it is a proven safer and more effective option for our patients.
Our team offers various revision surgeries for patients as well and will discuss, as requested.
Every patient is different and results will vary. Typically, patients will lose at least 50% of their excess body weight after their procedure - some patients may lose 70-80%.
Drastic weight loss is normal for the first 12 months after surgery, and then gradually tapers off.
Achieving a healthy weight can reduce or completely eliminate the illnesses associated with obesity. Bariatric surgery can also increase self-esteem, improve general appearance and give patients newfound abilities to participate in everyday life.
Like any procedure, there are risks associated with surgery. However the mortality rate is less than one percent and is considered safer than child birth or having your gallbladder removed.
Your surgeon will discuss additional potential risks with you well in advance, depending on your specific health history.
Our surgeons use minimally invasive or laparoscopic techniques whenever possible. This means shorter recovery times and less pain for our patients. Most patients are up and around on the afternoon of their surgery and are discharged in a day or two.