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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am eligible for weight loss surgery?

The Steward® Center for Weight Control follows National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines to determine patient eligibility. Rather than using weight, we use body mass index (BMI) as a criteria for surgery - weight in relation to height. You are a candidate for surgery if you:

  • Have previously failed at weight loss in a medically-supervised program
  • Your BMI is greater than 40 or between 35 to 40 with obesity-related medical problems (In some cases, a BMI of 30 may qualify for lap band surgery. Insurance may not cover this cost requiring self pay).

Is weight loss surgery right for everyone?

The short answer is no; surgery is not for everyone. We determine whether you are a candidate for surgery after a complete evaluation by our team. Because weight loss surgery is life-altering, we want to ensure that you are committed to making the lifestyle changes needed for a successful procedure.

Can I become pregnant after weight loss surgery?

Women should avoid pregnancy for at least 18 months after surgery, and after that pregnancy is allowed. Please discuss any pregnancy plans with your surgeon so he or she can provide information about pregnancy following weight loss surgery.

Will my insurance cover the procedure?

Insurance coverage varies widely. Before you come in for your first appointment, call your insurance company to find out if weight loss surgery is covered. Once you join the program, the Steward Centers for Weight Control will assist with insurance approval.

After the first appointment, how long will it take before I have surgery?

This depends on your insurance provider and the criteria they require, as well as the tests and requirements our team finds necessary.

How long will I have to stay in the hospital after surgery?

Your hospital stay will depend on the type of weight loss surgery you have. Typically, hospital stays are one day (gastric banding) or two days (gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy).

How much weight will I lose after bariatric surgery?

Weight loss varies from patient to patient, but on average you can expect to lose 65 to 75 percent of excess body weight after laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, approximately 60 percent after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, and 40 to 60 percent of excess body weight following laparoscopic gastric banding (LAP-BAND®).

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