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Locations

Piedmont Atlanta Bariatrics

1968 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

Piedmont Columbus Bariatrics

710 Center St.
Columbus, GA 31901

Piedmont Eastside Bariatrics

1600 Medical Way, Suite 100
Snellville, GA 30078

Piedmont Fayette Bariatrics (Satellite Clinic)

1265 Highway 54 West, Suite D
Fayetteville, GA 30214

Piedmont Kennesaw Bariatrics (Satellite Clinic)

187 Chastain Road NW, Suite 250
Kennesaw, GA 30144

Piedmont Macon North Bariatrics

400 Charter Blvd
Macon, GA 31210

Piedmont Newnan Bariatrics

745 Poplar Road
Newnan, GA 30265

Piedmont Walton Bariatrics

2151 West Spring Street
Monroe, GA 30655

Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery Center

818 St. Sebastian Way, Suite 205
Augusta, GA 30901

Bariatric Frequently Asked Questions

Is bariatric surgery right for everyone?

Although bariatric surgery is the most effective way to lose weight for individuals who are morbidly obese, you will not have lasting results if you are not committed to diet and exercise changes for the long-term.  The decision to have surgery is best made with the help of a physician, who will take into account your medical history and long-term commitment.
 

Will my age be a factor of whether I am a candidate for weight loss surgery?

Our surgeons typically perform surgery on individuals who are 18 to 70 years of age. However, in some cases, individuals above this age range may be considered.
 

How do I get started with your bariatric surgery program?

The first step in our program is to attend a free bariatric surgery seminar. Register for a seminar today.

 

What is included in the qualifying process?

The qualification process includes a series of tests with your bariatric surgeon. You also will meet with a nutritionist, psychologist and other support staff members in sessions leading up to surgery. Each healthcare professional will help you prepare for the changes and challenges that lie ahead.

 

What are the routine tests before bariatric surgery?

Certain basic tests typically are performed:

  • Complete Blood Count 

  • Urinalysis

  • Chemistry screen

  • Electrocardiogram

  • Psychological evaluation

Other tests that may be requested include:

  • Blood glucose test

  • Pulmonary function testing

  • Sleep study

  • GI evaluation

  • Cardiology evaluation

What impact do my medical conditions have on the decision for bariatric surgery, and how can my medical problems affect risk?

Medical problems, such as serious heart or lung problems, can increase the risk of any surgery. On the other hand, many serious medical conditions may improve or resolve after successful bariatric surgery.

 

What can I do to prepare for surgery?

  • Bariatric surgery is like other major abdominal surgery. You can best prepare by knowing the benefits and risks of surgery, and by closely following your doctor's instructions.

  • Understand the surgical process and what to expect after surgery.

  • Keep in mind that you'll never be able to eat the way you did before, and that you'll have to watch what and how you eat for the rest of your life.

  • Talk to people who have had bariatric surgery.

  • Write down your reasons for having bariatric surgery and outline your plans to maintain your weight loss after surgery.

  • Practice the post-op diet, including the transition from an all-liquid diet, to pureed food, to a normal diet of smaller portions with 4 ounces of protein.

  • Start a journal. Record how you feel now, the challenges you face and the things you hope to be able to do after bariatric surgery.

  • Ask your family and friends for their support. Talk to them about why you want to have bariatric surgery. It helps to have people supporting  you, waiting to help.

After the first appointment, how long is it before the surgery occurs?

Typically, the timeframe is anywhere from 2 to 6 months, however it is dependent on your specific condition and insurance requirements. Patients usually require diet, exercise, psychological and sleep apnea evaluations, as well as medical testing. If you have several co-morbid conditions, you may require more tests/evaluations. Some insurance providers require three to six month of consecutive visits with the dietitian. 
 

Does insurance cover the cost of the procedure?

Insurance coverage depends on your individual healthcare policy. Some insurers will cover the surgery if a patient has certain medical conditions, while others may not. Please check with your insurance company to determine the terms of coverage. Piedmont also offers self-pay options for those who would like to pay out of pocket.

For help with paying for your treatment at Piedmont Columbus Regional, Prosper Healthcare Lending provides financing options for bariatric procedures. Patients can even use these services toward deductibles. Submit a loan inquiry at prosper.com/vib/healthcare/.
 

How much weight does a patient lose?

Weight loss depends on individual factors such as exercise and eating habits; no two patients’ weight loss will be the same. However, there are some general weight loss guidelines. On average, patients who have a gastric bypass, tend to lose about 70% of their excess body weight. Patients who have the sleeve gastrectomy usually lose 60% of their excess weight.  The largest amount of weight loss is typically achieved with the Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch nearing 70 to 80 % of excess body weight. 
 

When will I start losing weight?

Typically, you begin losing weight immediately after surgery.
 

Can I smoke prior to or after bariatric surgery?

Your surgeon will require you to stop smoking at least six weeks prior to bariatric surgery. To prevent poor wound healing, stomach ulcers, and breathing issues after surgery we recommend you continue to avoid smoking long-term.
 

What will my life be like after the surgery?

Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix. It's an ongoing journey toward transforming your health through lifestyle changes. After surgery, you will feel satisfied and fuller with less food. Positive changes in your body, your weight, and your health will occur, if you maintain the diet and exercise routines recommended by your bariatric program.

 

How often will I be able to eat?

After the initial recovery period, most patients are instructed to eat 1/4 cup, or 2 ounces, of food per meal. As time goes on, you can eat more (as instructed by your medical team). Most people can eat approximately 1 cup of food per meal (with 4 ounces of protein) a year or more post surgery.

 

Can a person become pregnant after weight loss surgery?

Yes, but women should try to avoid becoming pregnant for at least 18 months following surgery.
 

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

Generally, hospital stays are between 1 and 3 days, but vary according to surgery and patient’s individual needs.
 

How long will I be off of work after surgery?

You can expect to return to work at least two weeks after surgery. If you have a more physically active job, you may need to stay out of work closer to four weeks.
 

When can I go back to my normal activity level?

Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity depends on your physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of bariatric surgery you had. Many patients return to normal levels of activity within three to six weeks of surgery.

 

How much exercise is needed after bariatric surgery?

Exercise is an important part of success after surgery. You may be encouraged to begin exercising, limited only by discomfort, about two weeks after surgery. The type of exercise depends on your overall condition, but the long-term goal is to get 30 minutes of exercise three or more days each week.

 

Do I have to take vitamins after weight loss surgery?

Yes!  A commitment you make when having weight loss surgery is that you will take vitamins for the rest of your life. You will be eating a significantly less amount of food and may absorb some foods differently. Your vitamin regimen will vary depending on your surgical choice, but will likely include multivitamins, calcium, vitamin B-12, and iron supplementation. Serious health conditions can occur if you do not take your vitamins on a routine basis, including anemia, poor bone health, tingling of hands and feet, vision abnormalities and more.

 

Is there any difficulty in taking medications?

Most pills or capsules are small enough to pass through the new stomach pouch. At first, your doctor may suggest that medications be taken in crushed or liquid form. As a general rule, ask your surgeon before taking any medication.

 

Will I have to follow a special diet after surgery?

For the first few months after weight loss surgery you are on a special eating plan to allow for adequate healing, however the ideal long-term plan is to follow a healthier lifestyle rather than a “diet”. You will start with clear liquids, advance to purees, and finally reach solid foods about four weeks after surgery. When you meet with our registered dietitian for your pre-surgical nutrition appointments, you will receive a detailed packet on the meal plan for after surgery.
 

Will I experience nausea, vomiting, or constipation after bariatric surgery?

Nausea, vomiting, and constipation can and do occur after bariatric surgery. Eating too quickly, eating certain foods, or drinking with meals may cause nausea or vomiting. At some point, most patients will experience an episode of vomiting. Generally this is self-initiated and will improve with time and experience. Constipation is typically caused by vitamin supplementation such as iron, decreased intake of high fiber foods, certain medications, or dehydration.
 

Will I regain weight?

If you are not committed to long-term weight loss (i.e., using appropriate diet and exercise regimens), you may experience weight regain. Metabolic surgery is a tool to lose weight; your commitment to a healthier lifestyle plays a large role in your long-term success.
 

Will I need to have plastic surgery after weight loss surgery?

Deciding to have plastic surgery after weight loss is an individualized decision. Some patients decide to have plastic surgery due to excessive sagging skin or rashes that develop in skin folds. We recommend you not consider plastic surgery until at least 18 months after bariatric surgery. Insurance providers often do not cover many plastic surgery procedures.

 

What is "dumping syndrome?"

Eating simple sugars (such as sugar, honey and corn syrup) or high-fat foods can cause dumping syndrome in patients who have had gastric bypass surgery. This occurs when these products, which have a small particle size, are "dumped" from the stomach into the intestine at a rapid rate. Water is pulled into the intestine from the bloodstream to dilute the sugar load. This flush of water causes symptoms that can include diarrhea, rapid heart rate, hot flashes, or sweating and clammy skin and dizziness.


What is the long-term follow-up schedule?

Band patients need to work with their surgeons to have their band adjusted several times during the first 12 to 18 months after surgery. Bypass patients typically see their surgeons for three to five follow-up appointments the first year, then once per year thereafter. Over time, gastric bypass patients will need regular checks for anemia (low red blood cell count) and vitamin B12, folate and iron levels.

 

How can I find a support group?

Support groups give patients an excellent opportunity to talk about personal issues. Most patients learn, for example, that bariatric surgery will not resolve personal relationship issues. Most bariatric surgeons who frequently perform bariatric surgery will tell you that ongoing support after surgery helps to achieve the greatest level of success for their patients. Patients help keep each other motivated, celebrate small victories together and provide perspective on the everyday successes and challenges that patients generally experience.

 

What are the long-term benefits of bariatric surgery?

Studies show that bariatric surgery can effectively improve and resolve many weight-related health conditions. A review of more than 22,000 bariatric surgery patients showed:

  • Improvement in or complete resolution of conditions including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea

  • 61.2 percent reduction of excess weight

 

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