How do I start the process?

Attend a discreet no-obligation information session at Staten Island University Hospital. Register now

Am I a candidate?

The following are the usual criteria that must be met by a patient to be accepted as a candidate for surgery:

  • At least 100 pounds above the ideal weight and has a body mass index of greater than 40, or have a BMI greater than 35 with a co-morbidity of diabetes hypertension, or sleep apnea
  • Between the ages of 18 and 65 years
  • A long-standing obesity with a history of documented weight loss attempts
  • A commitment to follow-up appointments and compliance with program guidelines.

Take A 2-Minute Risk Estimate to Find Out if You’re a Candidate.

Does insurance cover the procedure?

In most circumstances, the answer is yes. Many insurance companies are willing to pay for obesity surgery if a case can be made for medical necessity. If you meet the medical criteria established by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery and the National Institute of Health, our staff will present the necessary information to the insurance company and request pre-authorization. Medically appropriate patients usually have their cases approved and paid for by insurance unless there is a specific exclusion in your policy.

Some insurance companies require a detailed diet history. A letter from your primary care physician documenting your weight loss efforts would be needed. This letter must show that you have participated in at least one medically supervised weight loss program which lasted at least six months, along with monthly weigh-ins.

How much weight can I expect to lose?

Weight loss will vary depending upon your weight prior to surgery. After your surgery, your choice of foods and level of activity will change. The majority of patients lose one-third of their original body weight within two years of surgery.

How long will I be in the hospital?

The usual hospital stay is one day for the lap band. Two to three days for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.

Which procedure is best for me?

You and your surgeon will discuss the option that is best for you.

How soon can I resume work after surgery?

Normal work schedules may be resumed as early as three weeks after surgery. However, for any job requiring heavy lifting, repetitive bending or pushing, six to eight weeks of recuperation is recommended.

How long does the actual surgery take?

One to three hours, but this varies depending on the individual and surgery.

Can this surgery be performed using minimally invasive techniques?

Yes. We perform all our surgical procedures laparoscopically.

What are the risks associated with surgery?

As with any major surgical procedure, complications can occur. These include the potential of: wound infection, bleeding, respiratory problems, bowel obstruction and malnutrition.

After weight loss, what can I do about my excess skin?

Once your weight has been stabilized, you can be referred to plastic surgery for evaluation.

Can I get pregnant after surgery?

We recommend that you wait at least two years before becoming pregnant.

How long does the gastric band stay in?

The gastric band is designed to stay in for life.

Will having weight-loss surgery mean I can eat anything and not exercise?

No. Surgery is the beginning of a multi-disciplinary process that includes exercise. There is a very special diet that MUST be followed after surgery, and you MUST commit to the program. Surgery provides a tool for weight loss with a lifetime commitment to change. Weight-loss surgery is the beginning of a new life.

I've heard that hair loss is common after weight-loss surgery. Is this true?

Yes. Any time you experience rapid weight loss, you can expect some hair loss. This is a temporary problem. It usually occurs during the third through the eleventh month after surgery, the period of rapid weight loss.