Weight Loss FAQ | UnityPoint Health Quad Cities

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When will I start to lose weight?

    You will start losing weight immediately after surgery. You may not notice any loss until the second week. The weight loss after each surgery occurs at a different rate. Each patient also will have a different weight loss rate dependent upon their adherence to the program and level of physical activity. A minimum rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week is minimally expected.

  2. Can I regain weight?

    With any weight loss surgery, weight loss typically continues for two years and then plateaus. It is very important that you follow the instructions given to you by the dietitian on how and what to eat. Failure to follow the recommended diet and exercise program will result in weight gain with any weight loss surgery.

  3. Can I get too thin?

    It is unusual for a person to become too thin after weight loss surgery surgery. These procedures allow you to ingest and absorb a sufficient amount of nourishment so you do not become too thin. 

  4. What are the risks of surgery?

    Morbidly obese patients are at a higher risk when having any surgery due to their excess weight. Often the patient may feel normal prior to surgery, but may have underlying medical problems that they simply did not recognize. Long term poor nutrition that has led to morbid obesity often leads to poor heart and lung health. 

    Long-term complications include hair loss, dumping syndrome, diarrhea, vomiting, ulcers, bile gastritis, hernias, foreign body reaction, infection and virtually any other post-operative problem. Fortunately, these reactions are not common. 

    Some patients develop severe difficulties in coping with their weight loss. These difficulties may include depression, separation from spouse, divorce and even suicide gestures or actual suicide. Generally the person who is well-adjusted and is helped through the procedure with a strong support system has a better outlook for a good recovery. On the other hand, a person with mental health difficulties pre-operatively may continue to have them post-operatively and they may even worsen.

    Our team is committed to making your surgery as safe as possible. Advancements in the care of surgical weight loss patients over the past 20 years have allowed us to perform these surgeries with very low complication rates. Your personal risks will be individually evaluated at your consultation with your surgeon. It is important to remember that the risks of staying morbidly obese far outweigh the risks of surgery. 

  5. What happens to the rest of my stomach after weight loss surgery?

    In the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the rest of the stomach is sectioned off from the new pouch but left intact. It still has a blood supply and drains any small amount of fluid through the small intestine, or duodenum. Because it is not used, it shrinks in size and stays dormant.

    In the sleeve gastrectomy, approximately 75% of the stomach is permanently removed leaving a smaller banana shaped stomach that holds approximately ½ cup of food per meal.

  6. What do I do if I want to get pregnant?

    We suggest that you wait for at least 18 months after surgery to have a child. Even after that, you must make sure that your obstetrician is aware of your weight loss surgery and that you and your baby should be followed closely.

  7. What will happen to the excess skin after I lose weight?

    After much weight loss, you may find yourself with excess skin. Some people find the excess skin a nuisance or unappealing. Weight loss after surgery continues for about 18 to 24 months. After that, your body is ready for additional surgery for excess skin removal. This is typically performed by a plastic surgeon, who will evaluate you and decide with you what areas may need work. This cosmetic surgery may not be covered by insurance. Documentation of health problems related to the excess skin may be required. These may include rashes, back pain, or difficulty maintaining reasonable hygiene. 

  8. When will I be able to return to work and exercise?

    You will have a 10 to 20 pound weight restriction for 2 weeks following surgery. We encourage you to exercise as soon as you feel ready, and this can be as early as one week. Some people have returned to work on the fourth day after surgery. However, most patients find that they need one or two weeks before going back to work. You may feel tired during the first week, but you will feel more energetic as you lose weight.

  9. Does insurance cover weight-loss surgery?

    You will need to call the number on your insurance card and ask if you have obesity surgery coverage. Trinity Weight Management Specialists will contact your insurance for verification of benefits for the surgery only.

  10. What if I do not qualify for surgery, or decide it is not right for me? 

    We have several non-surgical weight loss options available. Please refer to our Non-Surgical Options page.

  11. Program requirements:

    1. Educational Seminar

    2. Initial consultation with Registered Nurse/Insurance Specialist
      i.   Health History Review
      ii.  H. Pylori testing 
      iii.  Finance & Insurance review   
      iv.  Measurements & goal setting, Lab Work

    3. Group Dietician

    4. Cardiac clearance

    5. Pulmonary clearance

    6. Support Group Meeting

    7. Pre-Op Dietary Counseling
      i.  Visit one
      ii.  Visit two 
      iii.  Additional visits as needed

    8. Program approval - Multidisciplinary meeting monthly

    9. Consultation with Surgeon

    10. Insurance approval and surgery scheduled

    11. Pre-surgical teaching appointment (2 weeks prior to surgery)
      i.  Pre-op testing

    12. Office visit prior to surgery with Surgeon (within 30 days of surgery date)

    13. Surgery (Current block Wednesday AM)

    14. Surgical follow-up visits (NP or Surgeon)
               i. 2 and 6 weeks
               ii. 3, 6, 9, and 12 months (dependent upon progress & surgery type)
               iii.  Yearly and as needed

    15. Post-op Dietary Counseling at follow-up visits
      i.  2 and 6 weeks
      ii.  3, 6, 9, and 12 months
      iii.  Yearly and as needed

    16. Vitamin Levels & Labs at follow-up visits
      i.  3, 6, and 12 months
      ii. Yearly and as needed

    17. Psychiatric follow up at 5 and 10 weeks and as needed

    18. Monthly support group

    19. Monthly walk-in weigh-ins during office hours