Weight Loss Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
Brigham and Women's experts provide answers to commonly asked questions regarding weight loss surgery.
Weight loss surgery is one of the most successful ways to achieve long-lasting and meaningful weight loss, especially for those who have struggled with their weight for many years. After surgery, many people see improvements in health concerns, such as type 2 diabetes and sleep problems. Additionally, research tells us that fewer than 5% of the population can maintain weight loss over time through dieting. While any efforts to eat healthy food and increase activity are welcomed, the genetics and lifestyles of individuals with obesity make it very difficult to lose weight.
Patients may be asked to lose some weight before their surgery and your surgeon will work with you towards a realistic goal. The purpose of losing some weight is to help create a safer surgery.
We want patients to follow-up for life! We also have support groups and a private Facebook page. It’s a great way for our patients to support and motivate one another.
This may depend on the type of job you have. For more physical jobs, we recommend taking 4 weeks or longer off from work. For more desk-based jobs, patients could return to work within 2 weeks. Energy levels will need time to improve so we want you to take as long as you need.
Having other belly surgeries will not prevent you from having weight loss surgery. Every patient’s full history will be reviewed with their surgeon to determine if surgery is safe.
Some conditions related to having overweight or obesity, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), make it harder for some women to get pregnant. Losing weight following weight loss (bariatric) surgery has been shown to help women get pregnant. However, for the safety of the mother and child, we encourage women to not try to get pregnant for at least 18 months after the surgery.
To do well with weight loss surgery, it is important to change your eating habits and create a “new normal.” That means staying hydrated and eating the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. For most people, this means eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; finding healthier ways to cook; and having treats, such as desserts, less often. There are no foods that you can’t have, but some people may have a harder time eating certain foods after surgery.
Most of our patients keep most of their weight off for many years. However, it is common for patients to regain some of their weight when they are 2 or more years out from their surgery. Given the chances to return to old habits, we want our patients to continue working with our team to help stay on track.
Most insurance companies do cover weight loss surgery, but it is important that every patient checks their specific plan. We will give you tools to help with this step.
Our dedicated team has over 100 years of shared experience taking care of patients. We are a group of caring professionals who will be there to support you at your best and your worst.
If you are a new patient, please view the New Patient Information Session prior to booking your appointment. This short, online session is required prior to booking a virtual consult with a surgeon.