Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Get Answers to Your Weight Loss Surgery Questions

At Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, we are performing Sacred Work every day by helping overweight patients regain control of their lives through advanced medical procedures and ongoing health education. You can learn more about some of the details by reading answers to frequently asked questions here. You can also contact us by email at and by phone at 409.651.2965 or 409.212.5636. Also follow us on YouTube and Facebook.

Why do I need to schedule follow-up visits with my surgeon for life?

Weight loss surgery is a non-reversible procedure that changes the approach to caring for your medical needs for life, even if it is a common condition. Following up with a certified bariatric surgeon can guarantee you are receiving the most up-to-date recommendations and your care is meeting your specific needs with having a history of a weight loss procedure.

When do I see my Primary care Physician (PCP) after surgery?

You should see your PCP within 2 weeks post-surgery. Any of your current medications need to be reviewed and potentially changes or adjusted. Communication is key so you must remain in contact with them to update any changes in your status as you experience change during the Rapid Weight Loss phase after surgery.

How long after surgery until I can go back to work?

Following a surgery, most people are able to return to work within one or two weeks, however, you will have notably less energy. It may be necessary to reduce your working hours, so take that into consideration.

How soon after surgery can I begin exercising?

You should exercise right away, although at low intensity. By starting slow, such as walking,, you give your body the chance to adapt to blood flow and movement without becoming exhausted. It will take weeks before you recover fully, so make sure you plan accordingly. Do not swim until wounds are healed. Clearance for heavy lifting, weight training, and other exercises may be discussed at your first post-operative appointment.

Strictly following all discharge instructions, diet phases, and continuing communications with your surgeon’s clinic is important to keep your healing stage progressing and maintain low activity levels.

Can I undergo weight loss surgery if I have other abdominal concerns such as a hernia or a stoma?

Yes, in general. It is important to let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know beforehand, but this should not affect your ability to undergo these surgeries. In some cases, the surgeon may want the surgery notes from your past surgeries.

Does my type 2 diabetes put me at risk?

In some cases, yes. It is important to let your surgeon know that you suffer from this condition. However, there is a good chance that weight loss surgery can help you reduce symptoms of diabetes. Studies show patients experience a response in overall blood sugar levels as early as Day 1 following surgery. Because there are drastic changes in the rapid weight loss period, it is important to have an appointment with your specialist to promptly adjust medication prescriptions.

Will heart disease hurt my chances of having weight loss surgery?

Yes. You will likely need clearance from a cardiologist first, but it is likely that weight loss surgery will help your heart disease problems. Those taking blood thinners will need to follow certain instructions before and after surgery.

Surgery often leads to improvement in heart disease symptoms such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Lipid problems
  • Heart enlargement (dilated heart, or abnormal thickening)
  • Vascular (artery and vein) and coronary (heart artery) disease

Why do I have to take Proton Pump Inhibitors after surgery?

It may be recommended to take medication to reduce the risk of ulcer formation in the new stomach pouch, as well has prevent gastric reflux. It is generally recommended to take antacids 2-3 months after surgery, even if you are not experiencing reflux to aid in allowing time for the area to adjust to changes and heal. If you should have, any questions always consult a pharmacist or physician and remember to tell them you had weight loss surgery.

When can I expect to get pregnant following weight loss surgery?

For many women, weight loss is likely to help them become more fertile. It is important to remember that birth control effectiveness can be greatly altered by a change in weight, so preventing pregnancy will still require other methods. You should wait 12-18 weeks after surgery to become pregnant. Babies born when the mother is not obese have a much lower risk of becoming obese themselves due to certain genes activated during fetal growth.

Will I need cosmetic surgery, and will my insurance pay for it?

Because the sudden and drastic weight loss results of a weight loss surgery, you may wish to undergo cosmetic surgery following your procedure to remove loose or excess skin. Oftentimes, insurance companies will cover the costs of plastic surgery for excess abdominal and breast skin removal as it can prevent moisture, hygiene, and rash issues.

Will bariatric surgery cause me to lose my hair?

Possibly. Minor hair loss is common, but it is almost always temporary. By taking the right proteins, vitamins, and minerals, you can stimulate growth and prevent long-term hair thinning.

What supplements will I need after surgery, and will my insurance cover them?

You should take a multivitamin in almost all cases. However, you may need more iron, calcium, and vitamin D following surgery. Most insurance plans won’t cover this, but your flex spending can. You will also need to undergo regular follow-up visits, and these will usually be covered by insurance.

Are there payment plans available in case my insurance won’t cover surgery?

Yes. Speak with your surgeon to learn the specifics of our possible payment assistance options. In some cases it’s possible to appeal a denial of coverage from your insurer or employer. The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) has a helpful guide titled Working with Your Insurance Provider – A Guide to Seeking Weight-loss Surgery, which can help you work and your provider cover your surgery.

Will post-operative costs be covered by my insurer?

Likely not. You may have to appeal for coverage of these costs. In cases where the primary procedure took place in another country but revisional or intervention therapies are needed, insurance does not always support coverage and cost would be at the responsibility of the patient.