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Bariatric Center frequently asked questions
For more information on the Bariatric Center call,
The decision to have weight loss surgery is a big one. We encourage you to attend our Introduction to Weight Loss Surgery Class, where we can answer most any question you have about preparation, surgical options, follow up and support.
Here are some of the common questions about Unity Hospital, weight loss surgery options, life after surgery, insurance and more.
At the Unity Hospital Bariatric Center, our criteria for weight loss surgery is based on National Institute of Health guidelines. Our guidelines state that patients must:
Your insurance plan may have other requirements that must be met for full insurance coverage.
Dr. Daniel Baker began doing weight loss surgeries at Unity Hospital more than 30 years ago. He worked with members of the bariatric team to establish the Unity Hospital Bariatric Center in 1996, Minnesota's first comprehensive weight loss surgery program. Since that time, our surgeons have completed more 6,000 safe and successful weight loss surgeries at Unity Hospital. We currently perform hundreds of surgeries each year.
In many cases, patients can choose the weight loss surgery procedure they want. It is important to learn about each surgery option in order to make the best decision. We encourage you to talk with your surgeon and your bariatric nurse and attend support groups for more information.
You should consider your particular health concerns and eating habits, as there are conditions that would be better treated with one procedure or another. For example, someone with poorly controlled type II diabetes may benefit from a gastric bypass, because weight loss is usually more rapid, allowing for faster improvement or resolution of their diabetes.
Another example, patients with a BMI greater than 60 may have better results with a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. At the Unity Hospital Bariatric Center, you will work with our weight loss surgical team to choose the best procedure for you.
Almost all weight loss surgeries are performed laparoscopically at Unity Hospital. Occasionally, a patient may not be a candidate for a laparoscopic approach. If a person has had multiple abdominal surgeries, a BMI greater than 70, or if their waist circumference is greater than 65 inches, an open approach may be the best method.
It is hard to predict who will have problems with loose or hanging skin. How your body looks after surgery is related to your skin’s elasticity; the more elastic your skin is, the better it can conform to your new shape.
Elasticity decreases with age, sun exposure, and in smokers. It is also affected by genetics, diet and exercise. It is impacted by which regions of your body were stretched most by weight gain.
Fewer than 10% of our patients have chosen to have plastic surgery after their weight loss. It is important to note that the best time to consider plastic surgery is when you are as close to your goal weight as possible and your weight is stable. This is often about 12-18 months after surgery. If you are interested in plastic surgery after weight loss surgery, the Unity Hospital Bariatric team can help. Talk with your bariatric surgeon or care provider to learn more.
Call the number on the back of your insurance card to learn your specific plan coverage. Each insurance company has many different plans so be sure to ask about your particular plan’s bariatric surgery coverage.
Unity Hospital offers on-site financial counseling services to assist you with billing and insurance questions. We will work with you to be sure you know all your payment options. You can call our financial counselor at 763-236-4566 for help with your financial questions.
Each person that has weight loss surgery may have a different answer to this question. The most common thing we hear from patients is their ability to live life more fully and more joyfully. Comments that we hear often include:
Many of our patients report remarkable improvement or resolution of their co-morbid illness. Some comments include physical relief: less joint pain, fewer medications, or a good night’s sleep.
Studies have shown that the outcomes of weight loss surgery can include:
Most patients tell us they do feel satisfied when eating meals after weight loss surgery. We hear over and over “I just don’t feel hungry anymore.” Eating slowly and avoiding liquids with your meals will help prompt that full feeling.
It will be important to eat a healthy, balanced diet as you prepare for surgery and after you have weight loss surgery. A diet that is high in protein and low in fat, salt and sugar is key to losing weight and staying healthy.
Your bariatric nurse and dietician will teach you about portion size and help you make changes in how you eat your meals.
In the first months after surgery, you will follow a diet prescribed by your surgeon that may include mostly soft or pureed foods. After the first 4 to 6 months, most (low fat, salt and sugar) foods are ok to eat, but portion sizes need to be small. For people who choose the adjustable gastric banding, diets may change for a time after each fill.