Information About Weight-Loss Surgery

How old do I have to be to have weight-loss surgery?
Typically, patients need to be between the ages of 18 and 68 years of age.

How do I qualify for weight-loss surgery?
Patients need to be at least 60 pounds overweight and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 35. Learn more about BMI and Obesity. 

What tests and medical exams will I need to pass before I have surgery?
All patients need to pass a psychological screening that determines an ability to comply with post-surgical behavior modifications. Patients are also required to complete all pre-operative testing and be declared both medically and physically able to withstand surgery.

Are the educational seminars mandatory?
Yes. All patients must attend one of the scheduled community education seminars prior to having weight-loss surgery.

Will my insurance cover the cost of the surgery?
Many insurance companies and Medicare are now covering the cost of weight-loss surgery. Check with your provider and/or your physician to determine if this procedure is covered by your insurance company.

How long will I be in the hospital after surgery?
Most patients are in the hospital for one-to-two days depending on their medical needs.

Where will my surgery be performed?
All surgeries are performed at Spring Valley Hospital.

What can I eat after surgery?
While in the hospital, you will start the postoperative process on a liquid diet. As you progress, you'll move to a diet of pureed foods, then to a diet of regular foods, as instructed by your doctor. Your individual progress will determine the length of time of each diet phase. After your weight-loss surgery, you will eat significantly less food to feel full. 

During the first several months of reduced food intake, some patients experience nausea, vomiting, food intolerance, changes in bowel movements, constipation, transient hair loss and loss of muscle mass. Most patients see a significant improvement in how they feel when dietary intake improves.

What is recovery like?
You and your doctor will discuss a post-operative plan that will help ensure your long-term weight-loss, including referrals to nutritionists, exercise programs, psychotherapists and support groups. Recovery times vary from patient to patient. Most patients can resume normal activities 5-7 days after surgery.

For additional information about weight-loss surgery, contact The Center for Surgical Weight Loss at Spring Valley Hospital by sending an email or calling 702-853-3000