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Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery in Atlanta, GA

Are You a Candidate?

The decision to have bariatric weight loss surgery is a big one, and it’s important that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. Not everyone is a candidate for bariatric surgery, so it’s important to understand the health benefits and risks associated with it.

The team at Atlanta Bariatrics is here to answer all your questions and help you decide if bariatric surgery is right for you.

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Weight Loss Surgery with Atlanta bariatrics

Do I Qualify for Bariatric Surgery?

To qualify for bariatric surgery, you must meet the following criteria:

  • 100 lbs over ideal weight or a BMI of more than 40, with or without co-morbid conditions.
  • A BMI between 30 and 40 also may qualify with associated co-morbid conditions such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease or diabetes.
  • Previous weight-loss efforts including: medically supervised diet plans, also exercise and behavioral modification programs that have been unsuccessful.
  • You understand the procedure and accept the lifestyle changes you will need to make after bariatric surgery.
  • You are motivated to make a lifelong behavioral commitment that includes well-balanced meals and physical exercise.

If your BMI is 30-39, you may qualify for surgery if you have weight related medical conditions. These include, among others:

  • Diabetes (type II)
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • High cholesterol / triglycerides
  • Depression because of obesity
  • Degenerative arthritis

If your BMI is less than 30, you probably do not qualify for weight loss surgery. Medical weight loss options which include diet and exercise are probably most appropriate for you – talk to your doctor for advice.

If your BMI is 40 or greater, you may qualify for surgery without necessarily having any of the medical complications listed above.

Unsure of your BMI? Use our BMI calculator below:

Overweight woman standing on a circle

Before deciding whether or not you are a candidate for bariatric surgery, your surgeon will conduct a comprehensive medical evaluation that may include blood tests, EKG, or barium upper GI x-ray.

If you’re a candidate for surgery and you are ready to make a life-long commitment to change your habits, weight loss surgery may be an option for you.

New Patient ConsultCall: (770) 232-9252

Improve Your Quality of Life

Can I Benefit from Bariatric Surgery?

The health benefits of losing weight are countless. Most patients will lose between 50-70% of their excess weight. The exact amount of weight that is lost will depend on compliance with dietary and exercise guidelines after surgery and follow-up in the program. The time over which the weight loss occurs depends on the procedure that is chosen. The risks of many of the serious diseases associated with obesity decline dramatically as weight loss occurs and many conditions can be reversed. Many of the medications required for the diseases can be stopped or the dosages lowered.

In many of the conditions such as diabetes, there is no medical intervention that can achieve the profound effects obtained from bariatric surgery. In addition, quality of life is improved. Patients often remark how they are now able to do things that non-obese individuals may look at as trivial. Long-term maintenance of weight loss has been documented in dozens of studies with follow-up as long as fifteen years out from surgery.

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Some medical conditions that greatly improve after surgery include:

  • Diabetes: More than 80% of Type II diabetics have complete resolution of their diabetes, and many others have greatly improved control. This usually occurs within a few weeks of surgery for gastric bypass patients, and slightly longer for Lap-Band patients. Patients are able to come off their medications including insulin injections and have normal blood glucose and Hemoglobin A1C levels.
  • Hypertension/High Blood Pressure: Over 70% of patients are able to come off all of their anti-hypertensive medications. Many other patients are able to significantly reduce the number or dosages of their medications.
  • High Cholesterol: Over 80-90% of patients will develop normal cholesterol levels within two to three months after gastric bypass, with significant improvement seen for Lap-Band patients as well.
  • Sleep Apnea Syndrome/Hypoventilation: The large majority of patients have improved breathing at night and overall decreased shortness of breath following weight loss. Sleep apnea is resolved in over 85% of patients. Patients feel refreshed and usually no longer require accessory breathing apparatus after weight loss.
  • Degenerative Joint Disease: Patients who have significant joint pain which limits their activities find after surgery they can now participate in many activities and social events, even sports. Lower back pain and disc disease is often relieved and overall improvement is usually seen with as little as 25-30 pounds of weight loss. If nerve injury or structural damage had already occurred, complete relief of pain cannot be expected.
  • Acid Reflux: Bariatric surgery is an excellent method of treating acid reflux disease. Relief is usually noticed within a few days of the surgery.

Other conditions which have been shown to greatly improve after surgery include asthma, stress urinary incontinence, polycystic ovary syndrome, and many others. Many of the conditions improve as quickly as a few months after surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bariatric surgery covered by insurance?

Some insurance plans now understand the medical necessity of weight-loss surgery and will give approval. However, each insurance carrier has its own idiosyncrasies. Our staff can help guide you through the insurance maze. For those patients for whom insurance does not cover obesity surgery, our office can provide you with information on other payment methods.

Is bariatric surgery considered cosmetic surgery?

No. Although patients feel much better about their appearance after weight loss, the purpose of surgery is to become healthier. Weight loss surgery may alleviate or help the patient avoid weight-related diseases. From an insurance standpoint, the surgery is definitely not cosmetic.

Do I need to stop smoking before having bariatric surgery?

Yes. There are multiple reasons to stop smoking before bariatric surgery. Patients overall will have fewer complications if they no longer smoke. Smoking damages the lungs and this can lead to higher anesthetic risks and pneumonias following surgery. It takes about a month for the lungs to recover – so stop now! In addition, weight loss surgery is about improving your health. Smoking directly contradicts this goal.

Can I become pregnant after bariatric surgery?

We strongly advise against becoming pregnant during the first 1-2 years following surgery. The reason is there is real potential for the fetus to suffer from poor nutritional intake during the weight-loss period. If a pregnancy was to occur during the initial weight loss period, the mother would have to take in high nutritional requirements to protect the baby. The mother will then typically not lose further weight during pregnancy and often will not lose any further weight after delivery. She will therefore miss the benefits of weight loss surgery. 

This is particularly important for patients undergoing a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy procedure. This is why we strongly recommend waiting until after the initial weight loss period, typically the first year after surgery.

It is important to note that women can actually become more fertile as they experience weight loss. Fat produces estrogen which can cause hormonal imbalances and even infertility. As you lose weight, your hormone levels can become more regular and leave you with an increased chance of becoming pregnant! Please take precautions and talk with your gynecologist about contraception techniques to avoid unwanted pregnancy. 

After your weight loss is over (usually 1 year after surgery), pregnancy is safe following bariatric surgery. Many of our patients have gone on to have routine pregnancies, deliveries, and very healthy babies.

GLP-1 Wegovy

Our surgeons may recommend Wegovy, a GLP-1 medication, as part of your weight loss journey. If you have experimented with various diets or weight loss pills without success, our Wegovy program offers a comprehensive approach. You will collaborate closely with a registered dietitian and your surgeon. Please be aware that due to a nationwide shortage, obtaining the medication may prove challenging. Additionally, as Wegovy increases in potency each month, securing the next dose could be very difficult, potentially requiring a treatment restart. If you are interested in learning more about our Wegovy plan and if covered by your insurance, please contact us today.

How can I get started with the top bariatric surgeons near me?

At Atlanta Bariatrics, we want it to be as easy as possible to get started on your journey toward meeting your weight loss goals. Just use our simple scheduling tool to request your initial consultation. Our office staff will work with you to make sure you get the care and support that you need.

Best of Gwinnett Award
Best of Gwinnett Awards