Bariatric Surgery


How do I setup a consult with one of the physicians?

You first need to fill out completely all our forms and mail them to our office. Once all the forms are received in their entirety, we will call you to setup your appointment at your earliest convenience. Please use blue or black ink only – no pencil.

After I have my consultation, what happens next?

After the doctor has determined that you are a candidate for the surgery and you agree that this surgery is what you want, then we wait for insurance approval. After the approval letter is received in our office, the surgery can usually be scheduled within 1 to 2 weeks.

What are good protein sources and calcium sources?

Protein: All meats (beef, chicken, pork), fish, eggs. Try to choose leaner cuts and avoid fried foods as they have extra calories. Lean, thin sliced luncheon meats such as turkey or even ham cut into small pieces work well. As with all foods, remember to cut the food into very small pieces, eat only one small piece at a time, chew very well, and eat very slowly.‍

Calcium: Skim milk, sugar free / fat free yogurt, cheese (although cheese can be high in fat and calories). Despite consuming foods rich in calcium, all gastric bypass patients should also take calcium in the form of a calcium plus vitamin D supplement to equal or exceed 1000-1200mg/day of supplemental calcium.

Why do I need to take calcium?

Calcium is a very important supplement for gastric bypass patients as the portion of the GI tract which is most active in the absorption of calcium is partially bypassed. Calcium is necessary for bone strength, and without it bones can become weak and brittle, a disease called, osteoporosis. It is slow to develop, has no early symptoms, and is difficult to treat if present. This is a definite example of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

What type of vitamin and calcium supplement should I take?

Contrary to popular belief, our gastric bypass patients are not required to take their supplements as a chewable tablet or liquid – although many patients prefer to do it this way. The vitamin should be a complete multivitamin which includes iron of at least 18mg. Not all multivitamins contain iron, so you will have to read the package. We typically recommend two chewable Flintsone vitamins (or comparable) taken at least once daily. Calcium citrate is somewhat better absorbed than calcium carbonate, and vitamin D is necessary to maximize absorption of calcium from the GI tract. Many of our patients take Viactive™, or Caltrate Plus D™ (calcium carbonate), or Citracal™ (calcium citrate). Make sure your calcium supplement has vitamin D in it, and take an amount to equal at least 1000 – 1200mg / day. We also recommend not taking more than 600mg at a time as more than that may exceed the intestine’s ability to absorb all of it.

What can I take for constipation?

Patient’s should take a regular, daily fiber supplement such as Metamucil™, or Citrucel™, or the myriad others available over the counter. Fiber should always be taken with water. Gastric bypass patients may not be able to take a whole standard dose at once because they may not be able to drink that much water at once. They may take it as a divided dose.

When can I go back to work after a laparoscopic / open gastric bypass / gastric sleeve?

There is no set time that is right for everyone. The type of work you do (manual labor vs. desk job, etc.), your own pain/discomfort threshold, and other medical conditions you have effect this. In general, though, about 85-95% of patients are back to work 2-3 weeks after the laparoscopic approach. You and your surgeon will share in that decision at your first post-operative visit.

What can I take for a headache?

Stomach surgery increases a patient’s risk of ulcers as does the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, known as NSAIDs. These include medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and most of the over-the-counter pain medicines. Taken for the occasional headache, they are probably safe. Problems arise with chronic or repeated use of these medicines for aches, arthritis, etc., and they should be avoided in that scenario. We strongly advise against the powdered salicylates such as Goody’s Powders, Stanback, or equivalents in our gastric bypass patients. Tylonel is safe in most cases, but check with your doctor if you have any questions.

Can I take pills?

Yes. Crush pills larger than an M&M for 2 weeks after surgery.

Can I have carbonated beverages?


Can I drink alcohol?


Will I have hair loss? If so, what can I do for it?

Some degree of hair loss is quite common with weight loss. Basically, the body will channel it’s available energy resources to essential processes during periods of caloric/protein deficiency such as can occur with the gastric bypass procedure. Growing hair and nails are not essential processes, therefore, growth slows and hair loss ensues. Typically this is a self-limited process. As caloric and protein intake approach the rate of utilization, weight loss slows, stops, and hair loss usually ceases as well. Most patients gradually regain the hair they previously lost. This may take a few years, however. Protein deficiency is sometimes implicated in hair loss, and thus protein intake is encouraged to help minimize hair loss. Some patients also take biotin, zinc, and/or an extra vitamin, and many of these patients feel it helps them.

How much water should I drink daily?

We generally recommend between 64 ounces daily. Keeping a water bottle with you to sip on all day long is a good habit.

Can I take my arthritis medicine after surgery?

Most arthritis medicines are also known to increase the incidence of ulcers in patients taking them. If you must take an arthritis medicine other than acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Celebrex, we recommend you simultaneously take a strong antacid medicine such as Prilosec, Protonix, Nexium, Prevacid, or other similar class medicine to afford some protection to the stomach and intestine.

When will I be able to have plastic surgery? Do you do plastic surgery?

When a patient’s weight plateaus, defined as staying within a five pound range over three months, plastic surgery is acceptable? Typically this occurs between 12 – 18 months after the operation, but may take considerably longer in some individuals. We do not do plastic surgery but can recommend several plastic surgeons to you, or you may have one in mind already.

How long do I need to wait before I get pregnant?

Pregnancy should be avoided at least during the first twelve months after surgery, and during the active weight loss phase. When a patient’s weight plateaus, defined as staying within a five pound range over three months, pregnancy is acceptable as long as the patient’s OB-GYN doctor is agreeable.

Can I chew gum?