Q1. How do I know which weight loss procedure is right for me?
Some procedures limit how much you can eat. Other procedures work by reducing the body's ability to absorb nutrients. Some procedures do both. Dr. Mullangi will review your medical history with you and help you determine the surgery that is most appropriate for your lifestyle and medical history. Please review our website to get more information about what we offer.
Q2. How do I know if I am a candidate for weight loss surgery?
You may qualify for surgery if your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or more (about 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women) or if your BMI is 35 to 39.9 with a serious obesity-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, sleep apnea, acid reflux or hypertension. You also need to be able to commit to lifetime follow up, vitamin supplementation and healthy lifestyle changes.
Q3. How do I know if my insurance company or employer covers weight loss surgery?
Your Human Resources or Employee Benefit office should be able to provide that information to you. However, our team contacts your insurance agency to determine available coverage and any costs not covered under your plan. Our team will make every attempt to work with your insurance provider or employer to obtain approval for the chosen weight loss surgery.
Q4. Is private financing available if my insurance company or employer does not cover weight loss surgery?
Yes, many patients have had success obtaining financing through this company: UNITED MEDICAL CREDIT.
Q5. Why do I have to see a dietician and have a psychiatric evaluation?
We work in a multidisciplinary team to ensure that you have the right tools – both surgical and psychological – in order to ensure that your surgery is a success, and that you are able to get the most out of the surgery. Additionally, most insurance companies will require that patients meet with dieticians and psychologists before approving the surgery.
Q6. Is there any age requirement to have weight loss surgery?
Surgery is often safest between 16 years and 70 years of age. If you are interested in weight loss surgery but are out of this age group, please call the office to make an appointment with Dr. Mullangi to learn more about your options.
Q7. What medical problems does weight loss surgery improve?
Weight loss surgery can provide long-term weight loss, though the amount of weight you lose will depend on both the type of surgery, and your change in lifestyle habits. Many patients have lost half, or even more, of their excess weight within two years.
In addition to weight loss, surgery can improve or resolve many medical problems that are related to being overweight, including heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, reflux or heartburn, and arthritis (joint pain).
Q8. What can you expect from the weight loss surgery?
Pre-op liquid diet is needed for 7 to 10 days prior to bariatric surgery.
Our office will give you further details about liquid diet at the time of consultation.
Surgery is done in the hospital using general anesthesia. Most types of bariatric surgery are performed laparoscopically. A laparoscope is a small, tubular instrument with a camera attached. The laparoscope is inserted through small incisions in the abdomen. The tiny camera on the tip of the laparoscope allows the surgeon to see and operate inside your abdomen without making the traditional large incisions. Laparoscopic surgery can make your recovery faster and shorter, but it's not suitable for everyone. Some weight loss surgeries are done with traditional large, or open, incisions in your abdomen.
Surgery usually takes several hours. After surgery, you awaken in a recovery room, where medical staff monitors you for any complications. Depending on your procedure, you may need to stay a few days in the hospital.
After weight loss surgery, you generally won't be allowed to eat for one to two days so that your stomach and digestive system can heal. Then, you'll follow a specific diet for a few weeks. The diet begins with liquids only, then progresses to pureed, very soft foods, and eventually to regular foods. You may have many restrictions or limits on how much and what you can eat and drink.
You'll also have frequent medical checkups to monitor your health in the first several months after weight-loss surgery. You may need laboratory testing, blood work and various exams.
You will need lifelong vitamin supplementation to maintain health. This is important because portion sizes will be significantly smaller after weight loss surgery, and your body may not adequately absorb many of the vitamins in food. We prevent such vitamin deficiencies by taking daily vitamins for life. We will provide information on these in clinic.
Q9. What are the potential risks or complications of weight loss surgery?
As with any major procedure, weight loss surgery can pose potential health risks. In the short term, risks include excessive bleeding, infection, adverse reactions to anesthesia, blood clots, wound problems, leaks in the gut, and need for corrective procedures. The risk of death after having a weight loss surgery are less than 1%.
In the long term, risks and complications include low blood sugar, hernias, gallstones, malnutrition, bowel obstruction, ulcers, vomiting, acid reflux, need for corrective procedures, and dumping syndrome – which leads to diarrhea, flushing, lightheadedness, nausea or vomiting.
Q10. What do I have to quit smoking to get weight loss surgery done?
Smoking increases all potential risks of surgery, including death. For example, smoking increases the risk of blood clot formation in your legs, poor tissue and wound healing, and anesthesia complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia. Smoking can lead to gastric ulcerations and erosions in your new stomach pouch. You must quit smoking at least 6 weeks prior to your surgery. You must refrain from smoking after surgery as well.
Q11. Do I need to take a bowel preparation before surgery?
It is not mandatory that patients take a bowel preparation prior to surgery.
Since patients are placed on a liquid diet prior to surgery, bowel cleansers (laxatives) are not needed for weight loss surgery.