Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I decide which operation is right for me?

Each person is different.  Each operation is different.  The hardest part of bariatric surgery is determining which operation is for you.  Most patients choose which operation by looking at the differences between the operations.  For some patients safety is the most important.  For other’s lifestyle ranks very high.  Some patients want to have the operation do all the work.  Others need a tool to help them loose weight on their own.  I would suggest discussing this with you bariatric surgeon of choice.  Once your questions have been answered, discuss the answers with you family.

What do I need to do to find out if my insurance pays for bariatric surgery?

Call your insurance company and ask to speak to an agent.  They will be able to determine if your plan covers bariatric surgery.  They will also be able to detail the requirements of your plan.

If they do not, how much will it cost?

The average private pay cost of bariatric surgery at The Crawford Clinic is $13,500 depending on which operation you choose.  It is also affected by the number of visits after the operation.  A large variable can be the number and type of medical problems you have.  This can increase your likelihood of having to stay in the hospital for an extended amount of time.

Do I have to see another physician for my physician supervised diet (PSD)?

Yes.  This is a requirement of your insurance plan.  We do not require a physician supervised diet for cash paying patients.

What happens if I don’t loose weight during the physician supervised diet evaluation?

The average patient does not loose weight with the PSD.  If you loose a significant amount of weight it is possible that you will not qualify for bariatric surgery.

Do I have to see a dietitian?

Yes.  This is a requirement for bariatric surgery by The Crawford Clinic.  Some insurance plans also require a dietician consult.

Do I have to see a  psychiatrist and why?

Yes.  Yes.  This is a requirement for bariatric surgery by The Crawford Clinic.  Some insurance plans also require a psychiatrist consult.  Some people have underlying psychiatric disorders that may be worsened or affected by bariatric surgery.  As some of these operations are permanent, it is necessary to identify these problems  prior to the operation.  Also obesity is often associated with coping mechanisms.  Removing a person’s ability to cope with stress can affect multiple aspects of their life.  It is ofter helpful to have a plan in advance to deal with life stressors.

How long do i have to do a liquid diet before the operation?

Two Weeks.  This is one of the issues that will be addressed with you dietitian.

What happens if I don’t loose weight on a liquid diet?

We will delay the operation until you loose some weight on a liquid diet.  This is done in order to decrease the risk of bleeding during the operation, increase the likelihood of having a successful operation, and help jumpstart you weight loss.

After the operation, how long before I can eat real food?

The standard answer is 4 weeks.  Two weeks of liquids, two weeks of soft, and two weeks of regular food.  This is done so that you can learn what foods you can and cannot tolerate.  Regardless of which bariatric procedure you choose, you will be learning a new way to eat.

After the operation, how much weight should I loose?

The goal of healthy weight loss is 6-10 lbs a month.  This varies depending on which operation you choose and how much you exercise after the operation.  You success before the operation on a liquid diet is a preview of your success after the operation.

When can I start exercising?

Six weeks after the operation.  This gives your wounds the required amout of time to heal.

How often do I have to come to the clinic?

Six weeks after the operation for your post-operative evaluation.  The average person is seen every month until their weight loss is in the 6-10lb range.  Most patients are then seen on an as necessary basis.

If I have a Lap Band, will I  be adjusted each time I come to clinic? And if so, how much?

If you have lost less than 6 pounds in a month or more than 10 lb. in a month you will likely be adjusted.  The usual adjustment is 1cc or less depending on your amount of restriction.

Am I charged each time I come in to weigh at the office?

No.  “Weighing in” at the the office does not require an appointment and does not generate a charge.  Feel free to come and weigh in anytime during regular business hours.

Are there any medications that i cannot take after the Lap Band?

Any pills that are very large and difficult swallow will need to be crushed.  Medications that are marked XR or extended release should not be crushed.  Consult your primary physician to come up with a plan to deal with such medications.

Are there any physical restrictions after bariatric surgery?

Other than 6 weeks of rest required after the operation, no.

How long after the procedure can i return back to work?

The average person returns to work one week after bariatric surgery.  The Crawford Clinic covers you fro three works regardless of whether you choose to use it.

After I loose the amount of weight i want, how long does the Lap Band stay in?

We recommend leaving the Lap Band in place until you have changed your eating style and can manage your weight without the assistance of the Lap Band.