General Weight Loss Surgery FAQ
TThe following questions frequently come up during Weight Loss Institute of Arizona's private consultations in our Tempe, Arrowhead, Tucson, Phoenix and Scottsdale weight loss surgery offices. If your question is not answered here, feel free to contact us and our healthcare team will respond to you as quickly as possible.
1) What's the risk of weight loss surgery?
Every surgical procedure, from heart bypass to knee replacement, has risk. Therefore, the decision to have weight loss surgery needs to be evaluated against your overall risk. Weight Loss Institute of Arizona completes an extensive and comprehensive patient screening process to ensure the medical eligibility of each patient and the appropriateness of the surgery.
2) What real chance do obese patients have to lose and keep the weight off?
On average, our patients lose as much as 75 percent of their excess weight within 1 to 2 years after surgery. Furthermore, studies show that more than 92% of patients in the U.S. who have weight loss surgery maintain long-term weight loss.
Patients at our Tucson and Phoenix area offices all undergo a thorough screening process to identify whether they are appropriate candidates for weight loss surgery. The easiest way to determine if you are a candidate is by calculating your Body Mass Index or BMI. Weight loss surgery candidates need to have a BMI above 30 with other obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. If your BMI is over 40, co-morbidities are not required. In addition, appropriate candidates are those who have tried and failed other weight loss options, including diet and exercise modification.
4) How experienced is the Weight Loss institute of Arizona treatment team?
The Weight Loss Institute of Arizona surgeons are board-certified by the American College of Surgeons and are members of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Our registered dietitian and exercise physiologist have more than 10 years of experience in developing individualized weight-loss regimens. The licensed clinical psychologists we use have extensive experience in the area of eating disorders and obesity. Weight Loss Institute of Arizona typically performs over 50 surgical procedures a month. Our Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Arrowhead, and Tucson bariatric surgery patients benefit from this combined expertise.
5) What bariatric procedures does the Weight Loss Institute of Arizona perform?
We perform laparoscopic banding (LAP-BAND®), gastric bypass, and the newer, sleeve gastrectomy procedure as well as revision surgery. Most procedures are done laparoscopically, with state-of-the-art equipment that allows our compassionate surgeons to operate without making a large incision.
Surgery is not a quick fix. Successful long-term maintenance of weight loss requires physical and psychological adjustments to a healthier lifestyle. Anyone who is considering weight loss surgery should ask these basic questions of the practice they are considering using:
- How thorough is the screening process?
- Will a psychological evaluation be part of the program to support you before and after surgery?
- Are there patients from your practice that I can speak with?
- How much pre-operative teaching/coaching is involved?
- How much post-operative teaching/coaching is involved?
- Is there a program in place for long-term diet counseling?
- How many surgeries are being performed monthly?
- How experienced are the surgeons? Is bariatric surgery the core of their practice?
7) How long is the surgery, and how many days will I be in the hospital?
Each case is different, but on the average, laparoscopic banding surgery takes about 35 – 40 minutes, and you go home that same day (outpatient procedure). Recovery is approximately 7 days. Traditional (open) gastric bypass in Arizona averages 1.5 – 3 hours, and the laparoscopic procedure take 2 – 3.5 hours. The hospital stay averages 2 to 3.5 days for the bypass procedure.
8) Is the procedure covered by my insurance?
During your initial visit to the any of our offices (Tempe, Arrowhead, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tucson), you will meet with one of our Finance Counselors. They will go over the specifics of YOUR insurance plan: deductibles, co-pays, coverage levels, etc. Our surgeons and billing department then send each insurance carrier a comprehensive evaluation of the patient's health. The insurance company almost always grants appropriate candidates the surgery on a case-by-case basis. Be aware that the insurance approval process can be difficult, and you should work with an experienced team.
Limitations will vary on a per patient basis. Your surgeon will discuss with you in detail prior to and after your procedure.
10) Will you work with my internist/family practitioner?
Yes, we exchange information with your primary care physician on a regular basis as you are going through the Weight Loss Institute of Arizona program. Of course, you can elect not to notify your physician for privacy reasons.
11) Are the surgeons members of a bariatric society?
Dr. DeBarros and Dr. Orris are both members of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
12) What sets Weight Loss Institute of Arizona apart from the others?
Our program offers an unparalleled combination of expertise, counseling and support, all key factors in achieving weight loss success. Ours is one of the most comprehensive programs in Tucson and the Phoenix-Scottsdale-Tempe-Arrowhead area because we provide extensive teaching and support for our patients, both before and after surgery. Combine that with our well-rounded, experienced team of surgeons and our commitment to patient satisfaction it is clear that Weight Loss Institute of Arizona provides real options for those considering weight loss surgery.
Our Commitment to You
At Weight Loss Institute of Arizona, our highly trained surgeons and staff are dedicated to your well-being. With us, you have a partner on your journey to better health. We are here for you around the clock, offering support before, during and after your procedure. We share your goal of a healthier, more fulfilling life, and your success is our top priority.
The best way to get an overview of weight loss surgery and our program is to attend one of our FREE comprehensive seminars that cover numerous topics including:
- Am I a candidate?
- Medical treatment for obesity
- Surgical treatment for obesity
- and a specific overview of our individualized program