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Frequently Asked Questions

Staff of Bariatric Doctor, Syracuse, NY Photo - William A. Graber, MD, PC

How long will I be in the hospital?

Most people who undergo the laparoscopic weight loss procedure are in the hospital for one to two nights per the recommendation of their bariatric surgeon.

How soon after weight loss surgery can I go back to work?

Most people can go back to work 2-3 weeks after surgery, with the restriction of “no lifting greater than 15 pounds” for 6 weeks after surgery.

Will my insurance cover it?

Once you meet your insurance company’s criteria for weight-loss surgery, our office will contact your insurance company and request prior authorization for the surgery.

What results can I expect from Roux-en-Y surgery?

 Approximately 80–100% of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients experience significant weight loss (up to 100% of excess weight) and improvement in overall health. 80% of patients were able to keep 80% of their weight off at 5 years. Some weight gain can occur 5+ years later. Eating behaviors and lack of a regular exercise plan can affect these results. Most patients report to their bariatric surgeon an improvement in mood and other aspects of psychosocial issues after surgery.


Are there nutritional consequences associated with weight loss surgery?

The bypass surgery causes food to bypass a part of the digestive tract, and both the bypass and sleeve decrease the capacity of your stomach to absorb nutrition. As a result, some nutrients are not absorbed quite as well as before. Also, with any weight loss surgery procedure, patients are eating much less food after surgery than they were before. Therefore, they are taking in less vitamins and minerals and there is a risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. Lifelong supplements of multivitamins, vitamin B12, and calcium with vitamin D are important following weight loss surgery. The need for long-term follow-up evaluation is required. Typically, your post-operative visits are set for 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and annually thereafter.

What do you eat after surgery...will it be baby food?

No baby food. The bariatric surgeon will recommend that their clients eat a well-balanced diet of real food following the procedure. Avoid fried foods, sweets, and refined sugars. This is the lifestyle that should be adopted. The most important instruction after surgery is to follow the post-operative diet exactly as it is written. Drink and eat slowly. Do not skip ahead to foods before it is time for them. Initially, your “new” stomach will be able to hold very little food. After a gastric bypass or sleeve operation, the small gastric pouch is held together by very delicate tissue and sutures/staples. The pouch will not have the strength to survive being overfilled with food for at least three to four weeks. It is absolutely critical not to overfill the pouch. To do so may cause it to rupture, which could result in a life-threatening infection. Overstuffing your pouch after a gastric band could cause slippage of the band, a potentially serious complication.

Will I vomit all the time after bypass?

No. If you follow the instructions, take small bites, chew, chew, chew, and take your time, you should be fine.

Will I have diarrhea all the time after bypass?

No. Some people are more sensitive to hidden sugars and sugar substitutes than others, and may have resulting diarrhea and other issues. This can be managed with diet changes.

What is dumping syndrome and reactive hypoglycemia?

Dumping syndrome can occur after any surgery that changes the way food leaves the stomach. It occurs when food passes too quickly (dumps) from the stomach to the small intestine — especially if that food is very sugary or rich in fat. In response, water from the surrounding blood vessels is drawn into the small intestine, usually resulting in a combination of the following symptoms: cramping, nausea, abdominal fullness, light-headedness, sweating, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, and/or diarrhea. Symptoms can occur 10–20 minutes after eating a meal and/or up to 1–3 hours after eating. Reactive hypoglycemia or “late” dumping is similar to dumping syndrome, but includes an actual low blood sugar in response to the sugary food you may have eaten. Adhering to our post-operative diet is key to avoiding the above issues. Discussing your concerns with your bariatric surgeon will also help you understand how to differentiate between foods that you should or should not ingest following the procedure.

How can dumping syndrome be avoided?

  • Avoid refined sugars
  • Avoid all foods/liquids with added sugars
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Do not drink liquids with meals

If you have any more questions for William A. Graber, MD, PC, please call or E-mail ustoday. We have locations in Syracuse and New Hartford, NY and are proud to serve the entire Upstate, NY area.