Bariatric Surgery FAQs

What is “comprehensive bariatric care”?

Even though weight loss surgery has a dramatic effect on your ability to shed pounds, the truth is that on its own and without other supports, it is unlikely to succeed over the long run. That’s because obesity is a complex, multi-faceted medical condition and success at weight loss requires addressing all aspects that have contributed to your weight gain.

Here at White Plains Hospital, we have a bariatric coordinator whose responsibility it is to provide assistance and support through every step of your journey, including answering questions and helping to coordinate your pre- and post-operative appointments. Our medical team consists of your surgeon and the other doctors and nurses who work together to ensure that you are safe and healthy throughout your treatment, including in the weeks, months and even years afterward. Our program also includes a nutritionist, psychologist, social workers and physical therapists who will help you get and stay healthy.

How do I know if weight loss surgery will solve my problems with obesity?

It’s impossible to know for sure how much weight you will lose and whether you will be able to keep it off, but we do everything we can to help our bariatric surgery patients to succeed. Starting with your first consultation – at one of our free, monthly seminars or an in-office appointment with our surgeon – we’ll focus on helping you make the best possible decision for you.

Research shows that patients who have gastric bypass surgery lose, on average, 62% of their excess body weight (if they adhere to the strict post-surgical diet and exercise program). With gastric banding, studies show that patients lose anywhere from 28-65% of their excess body weight after two years. Patients who’ve had sleeve gastrectomy lose an average of 60% after 18 months.

What factors determine whether I am a candidate for bariatric surgery?

The very first criteria patients must meet to be considered for bariatric surgery is that you must be able to demonstrate that you have made an effort to lose weight in the past. To be a candidate, you must have a BMI greater than 40 or greater than 35 along with other weight-related medical problems, such as heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea or diabetes. Candidates must be in generally good physical health (to ensure that you are strong enough to withstand the surgery and recover afterward) and good mental health.

Why must I have failed to lose weight in the past in order to be able to have weight loss surgery now?

Bariatric surgery is not a simple solution. In order to succeed at achieving your health and weight loss goal, you’ll need to work hard. Having made prior attempts to lose weight, even unsuccessfully, demonstrates that you already know and understand that weight loss requires commitment, motivation and discipline.

What services does the bariatric coordinator provide?

Here at White Plains Hospital, you can rely on our bariatric coordinator for help with your pre-operative insurance arrangements (including pre-qualification, etc.) as well as to help you schedule your pre-operative meetings with the psychologist and nutritionist. The bariatric coordinator will also follow up with you after your surgery, coordinate your post-operative rehabilitation appointments and schedule your attendance at support groups. Plus, our bariatric coordinator is always available to answer questions and provide further information if needed.

Why do I need to work with a nutritionist?

At your pre-operative meetings, our nutritionist will work with you to assess your diet and identify certain eating patterns that have contributed to your obesity. He/she will examine and discuss your weight loss history and prepare you for success after your procedure. Also, depending on which bariatric procedure you have, you may have food restrictions or requirements. Your nutritionist will provide information on what you can and cannot eat, provide sample menus and give you guidance on how to get and stay healthy in the months and years following your procedure.

Why do I need to work with a psychologist?

Obesity is what’s called a “multi-factorial disease,” which means there are many causes, including genetic predisposition, lifestyle and often underlying emotional and/or mental health issues. In your sessions with the psychologist, you’ll discuss what might have precipitated your weight gain and discuss the emotional factors that might have contributed to the problem. You’ll also talk about new, healthy ways you can cope going forward.

How do I know which bariatric procedure is right for me?

Weight-loss surgery is not one-size-fits-all. After attending an educational program and an individual consultation, patients and surgeons discuss the various options and choose the one that seems like the best fit for you.

What happens in the monthly support groups?

Our monthly support groups are designed to help people who have had weight loss surgery to succeed. All meetings are facilitated by our bariatric coordinator and nutritionist. In addition to encouraging participation and peer support among the group members, we invite guests (including psychologists, physical therapists, plastic surgeons, life coaches and others with good advice to share) to make educational presentations. At the support group, you’ll meet patients who have successfully lost weight having the same procedure as yours, who can share suggestions, solutions and provide support throughout your journey

To learn more, call 914-948-1000 ext. 327