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Bariatrics & Obesity
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1015 S. Washington Avenue
Saginaw, MI 48601
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Frequently Asked Questions

Bariatric surgery is not a simple decision — and it impacts your life in many ways. The St. Mary’s of Michigan Bariatric team wants to make sure you have all the information and lifelong support you need to make you confident that it’s the best decision you’ve ever made. 

How long is the process from initial consultation to procedure?
On average, it takes around 3-6 months preparation after you are accepted into the program. Following a thorough evaluation of health and psychological factors, surgery is scheduled when we receive approval from your insurance company. This length of time varies from company to company. 

Your insurance carrier may require you to lose weight in a medically supervised weight loss program before surgery can be scheduled. 

What is the most common type of bariatric surgery that you perform?
The St. Mary’s of Michigan Bariatric team offers the latest procedures that provide the best outcomes for each individual patient.  Sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedures are performed equally.

Who performs the surgery?
Dr. Vasanth Stalin, a board-certified surgeon in obesity medicine. Dr. Stalin is a General Surgeon with with CMU department of surgery. 

What are the requirements for bariatric surgery?
Not everyone is a candidate for bariatric surgery. Generally a candidate meets these requirements: 
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40 and/or more than 100 lb. overweight. 
  • BMI of 35 with serious health problems caused by being overweight (sleep apnea, high blood pressure, or diabetes). 
  • Formal diet programs or prescription diet medications have failed. 
  • A team determines you are at low risk for obesity surgery and prepared for the lifestyle changes associated with surgery.

Also remember that some people need to lose weight before they can qualify for surgery. Your doctor will help explain what is best for you. 

What if I don’t qualify for surgery?
If you don’t qualify as a candidate for bariatric surgery, don’t despair. We are prepared to help you find the best solution to help you achieve your weight-loss management goals. We offer a weight management program that teaches and encourages you to eat healthy and enjoy an active lifestyle.  This in-depth program is catered to each patient.  We don’t give you packaged foods to eat we offer education and guidance to maintain a healthy weight.

Are all of your procedures open surgery or do you offer laparoscopic procedures?
Bariatric procedures can be performed laparoscopically, with a few small incisions in the abdomen and the use of a tiny video camera. We prefer laparoscopy for most patients because the recovery time is shorter, there is less pain and there are fewer complications. 

Please note: Although you may request laparoscopy, you may be a better candidate for open or traditional gastric bypass surgery.

What if I am pregnant or planning to get pregnant?
You MUST NOT get pregnant for 18 to 24 months following surgery. The rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies associated with bariatric surgery make pregnancy very dangerous for you and for a developing baby. 

Is bariatric surgery covered by Medicare, Medicaid or insurance?
Most procedures are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and insurance. You can contact your insurance provider to find out if gastric bypass surgery is a covered benefit under your insurance contract. Individual policies vary greatly and some carriers require medical weight loss before you are considered a candidate for surgery.

What is the recovery time following surgery?
Everyone is different and it varies with the procedure. For common bypass surgery, the hospital stay is usually two nights.  Depending on your type of work, most people return to work in two to four weeks.

What type of support can I expect from the bariatric team following surgery?
The St. Mary’s of Michigan Bariatric team is prepared to provide support before, during and after surgery. We encourage you to attend our monthly support group meetings and to interact with others on our group Facebook page. Staying in touch with others who have had surgery is a great benefit. 

How much weight loss can be expected?
This varies greatly from patient to patient, depending on the procedure and the commitment you make to leading a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is not unusual for patients to lose between 66 and 80 percent of their excess body weight — usually within the first 18 to 24 months. 

What are the dietary restrictions following weight loss surgery?
This may vary with the procedure. Generally, you will need to follow specific eating guidelines. Our bariatric dietitian will provide you with lists and suggestions for each stage of your journey.

Is it possible to gain the weight back after surgery?
Bariatric surgeries have an excellent long-term record for helping morbidly obese patients lose weight — and improve health-related risk factors. However, there are no guarantees you will not regain some of the weight you lose. A commitment to making lifestyle and dietary changes help ensure success — and the St. Mary’s of Michigan Bariatric team is there to help you succeed. 

What are the risks of bariatric surgery?
All surgical procedures have risks, particularly when the patient is obese. Be sure to discuss the potential risks of surgery with your surgeon. 

We want you to have all the answers you need to make a smart health decision. If you have additional questions, please call (989) 907-8716. 
     

800 South Washington Avenue | Saginaw, MI 48601 |
(989) 907-8000 | 1-844-907-8000
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