Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of common questions related to gastric bypass or gastric banding surgery.

1. How long will it take to get an appointment and surgery?

We strive to make the process as simple and fast as possible. At the same time, we want to make sure we take enough time to ensure that surgery is right for you and that we can perform your procedure safely. We recommend that you begin by registering for one of our free education sessions. If you wish to proceed after the education session, an appointment with a bariatric surgeon in our area usually occurs within two to three weeks. Some insurance companies require preoperative programs that may result in several months of exercise and nutrition counseling to qualify for your surgery. Depending on your insurance and your surgeon's requirements, the entire process leading up to surgery may take one to six months.

In addition to our education sessions, Vidant Wellness Center offers wellness programs before and after surgery.

It is important for you to remember that your journey to better health does not begin or end with surgery. Many of our patients see health improvement before surgery, and we are committed to partnering with you for life after surgery to achieve your goals.

2. Will my insurance cover the procedure?

Coverage varies among insurance companies. Your policy's exclusion section explains what the policy will and will not pay. If your policy states that it excludes the surgical treatment of obesity, it will not pay for the weight-loss surgery or any tests or clinic visits pertaining to the surgery.

Please check your policy before your first visit to your surgeon's office. You may also want to call your insurance company to make sure there have not been any changes or updates to your policy that would affect the surgery.

Your policy may require authorization from the insurance company before your first visit to the surgeon. It is your responsibility to get the necessary authorization. Our office can help you determine what you need to do to meet your insurance requirements.

Please be sure to bring your insurance card with you on your first visit with your surgeon. We will work with you and your insurance company as much as possible.

3. How much weight can I expect to lose after my surgery?

Most patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery will lose 50 to 75 percent of their excess body weight during the first two years. Weight loss usually stabilizes about two years after surgery. Total weight loss varies from patient to patient based on their individual care plans.

Patients undergoing gastric banding can expect similar weight loss results, but they will usually see slower initial loss.

It is best to discuss reasonable, attainable goals with your doctor before surgery and during follow-up visits. Optimal weight loss may be achieved by closely following the dietary and exercise regimens that your care team prescribes for you.

4. What is dumping syndrome?

Gastric bypass surgeries may cause dumping syndrome, which occurs when food moves too quickly through the stomach and intestines. It causes nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness and possibly diarrhea soon after eating. In some cases you may become so weak that you have to lie down until the symptoms pass. Avoiding foods rich in carbohydrates or refined sugars will prevent you from getting dumping syndrome.