Surgical Weight Management

Weight Loss Surgery in Central Minnesota

If you are struggling with excess weight, bariatric surgery may be a solution. CentraCare – St Cloud Hospital is a national bariatric surgery center of excellence accredited by MBSAQIP.

How do I qualify for weight loss surgery?

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more
  • BMI of 35 or greater with an obesity related disease such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and others. Calculate your BMI.

Check with your insurance company about the specific criteria for weight loss surgery in your health plan.

What are my weight loss surgery options?

At CentraCare, we offer two minimally invasive, laparoscopic weight loss procedures. These surgeries are not as risky as open surgery and allow patients to recover from the operation faster. Review our weight loss surgery options.

How much does weight loss surgery cost?

Bariatric/metabolic surgery is covered by most insurance plans.

What are weight loss surgery requirements?

Pre-Op Weight Loss

At your initial appointment, we will take your weight and height to determine your BMI. From this day forward, you will focus on weight loss, nutrition and lifestyle changes to prepare for a successful surgery.

Nutrition Evaluation

You will meet with one of our dietitians prior to surgery to assist you in understanding the diet and lifestyle changes recommended after surgery. Most insurance companies require three to six documented monthly dietitian visits prior to authorizing weight loss surgery.

Psychology Evaluation

You will meet with a psychologist who specializes in weight loss surgery evaluations. The evaluation will include an interview, psychological testing and a review of your test results. If these consults are necessary, our office will assist you with scheduling.

How soon after my first appointment will I have my weight loss surgery?

The process usually takes about six months from your first visit. During this time, you will complete a psychological assessment, meet frequently with the bariatric dietitian and complete other insurance requirements.

How long will I be in the hospital after weight loss surgery?

Patients typically stay one night in the hospital after bariatric surgery.

Will I have scars after weight loss surgery?

After the incisions have healed, your scars will look like small scratches. These scars first appear pink. Over the next few months, they will become less and less noticeable.

What happens to the staples in my stomach? Can I have an MRI? Will I set off airport metal detectors?

The staples used are made of tiny pieces of stainless steel or titanium. The staples are non-magnetic and will not be affected by an MRI or set off airport metal detectors.

Will I have pain after weight loss surgery?

Mild discomfort at the incision sites is common. We will prescribe pain medications to help.

How soon can I drive after weight loss surgery?

You may drive after you are done taking narcotic medications and feeling alert. Usually, this is a week after surgery.

Can I have sex after weight loss surgery?

You may resume sexual activity after wounds have healed and you are no longer experiencing discomfort.

Will I be able to drink alcohol after weight loss surgery?

After undergoing weight loss surgery, you will find that even small amounts of alcohol will affect you quickly. Alcohol is a high-calorie beverage that should be consumed infrequently or not at all.

Will I be able to use tobacco after weight loss surgery?

No. Nicotine use after surgery increases your risk of complications.

Will I be hungry after weight loss surgery?

Most say no. During the first 3-6 months, most do not have an appetite. Appetite gradually returns.

Can I regain weight after weight loss surgery?

It is possible to regain weight after all weight loss surgeries. The chance of weight regain is greatly reduced if a complete lifestyle change is embraced, including a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Will I need to change my diet after weight loss surgery?

You will follow a full liquid diet for two weeks after surgery. Your diet texture will gradually progress from pureed to soft over the next month and finally to regular foods at about three months after surgery. Once you progress to the regular diet, we recommend protein and fiber foods at every meal. Other nutrition recommendations will be discussed during your dietitian visits. The most noted change is smaller portions.

Will I need vitamin supplements after weight loss surgery?

Patients must take lifelong multivitamins/minerals, calcium and vitamin B12 supplements. The number of supplements daily depends on the surgery. Check with your dietitian for specific needs.

What is dumping syndrome?

Dumping syndrome occurs when foods high in carbohydrates are consumed after gastric bypass surgery. The symptoms include nausea, cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness and dizziness.

Can I get pregnant after weight loss surgery?

We recommend women wait at least 18-24 months after surgery before becoming pregnant. Your weight and nutrition status will likely be stable at this point. Fertility may increase with weight loss. Please talk with your primary care provider about birth control.

Will I have excess skin after weight loss surgery?

Many factors will affect how much excess skin you have after weight loss. These factors include genetics, age, skin elasticity and the amount of weight lost. Some people choose to have surgery to remove excess skin. Insurance companies typically do not pay for these types of surgeries, unless complications arise from the excess skin folds.

Will I have to change my medications after weight loss surgery?

Many conditions improve or resolve after weight loss surgery. These conditions include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, etc. It is possible your medications will be decreased or discontinued.

Will I have hair loss after weight loss surgery?

Patients may experience hair loss due to the rapid loss of weight and reduced nutritional intake. This may occur for up to one year after surgery. Normal hair growth will eventually return.

How often do I need to follow up with my doctor after weight loss surgery?

You will have office visits at two weeks, four weeks, three months, six months, 12 months and yearly.

When can I return to work after weight loss surgery?

Most patients return to work two to six weeks after surgery.

How soon can I travel after surgery?

It is generally safe to travel one month after surgery. Discuss with your provider prior to surgery.

Learn more

To learn more about CentraCare Weight Management surgery options, watch our overview videos.

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