FAQ About Bariatric Surgery and Medical Weight Management Treatments for Obesity

Is bariatric surgery dangerous?

Any medical procedure or surgery carries risk; however, bariatric surgeries are considered some of the safest elective surgeries to undergo. 

As expert weight loss physicians, we will go over all risks and contingencies. We also spend a lot of time preparing our patients for their procedure or treatment, minimizing risk.

We’ve performed over 5,000 surgeries in the past ten years. Our team of board-certified surgeons, nurse practitioners, dietitian nutritionists, and medical personnel is here to make your procedure as safe, and successful, as possible. As medical weight loss professionals, we only approve surgeries where the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks. Your bariatric surgeon will make sure you understand the complications and risks of your specific procedure.

What are common side effects of weight loss surgery and bariatric procedures?

The most common side effect is achieving a healthy weight!

Keep in mind, your body is going through changes – both physiological and biological. You might experience nausea, hair loss, low blood sugar, acid reflux, among other complications. Again, your surgeon will make sure you understand the complications of risks of your particular procedure.


Do I have to go on a diet before surgery?


Most insurance companies require patients to be on a medical weight loss program before qualifying for surgery – this can be anywhere from three to six months before surgery. This diet plan is about nutrition education, identifying unhealthy eating behaviors, and implementing sustainable habits, as bariatric surgery success depends on meaningful lifestyle changes. Many of our patients have found the medical weight management plan to be so successful, they continue on this route. 


Additionally, pre-surgery, your physician will put you on a special diet called a pre-operative diet. This is to shrink the liver and reduce fat in the abdomen. This makes the procedure safer.

Why have weight loss surgery if I’m going to diet anyway?

Medical weight management (clinical solutions to weight loss), weight loss surgery, and bariatric procedures are the most effective way to treat morbid obesity. Most people who undergo bariatric surgery have struggled with their weight for many years – even a lifetime.


Obesity is a complex metabolic illness and, according to the National Institutes of Health, long-term weight loss is almost impossible for those who suffer from morbid obesity. This isn’t because they haven’t tried. It’s physiology and biology. 


Bariatric procedures change the way the body reacts to dieting. These surgeries also change the stomach size, reducing the body’s ability to intake food. Some procedures reduce the body’s production of our hunger hormone. So the physiological/biological changes during surgery are the best way for people with severe obesity to achieve and sustain, a healthy weight.


What do I have to do to keep the weight off?

A commitment to meaningful lifestyle changes – improved nutrition, a healthy diet plan, regular exercise, modified eating behaviors – are all part of long-term weight loss success. This looks different for every patient that walks in the door, as everyone’s weight loss journey is distinct.

Will I always need to take supplements and/or vitamins?

Bariatric surgery changes your body’s physiology and ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients. You will have to use supplements the rest of your life. Work with your physician and registered dietitian nutritionist to establish supplement protocol. With time, your body’s needs will change, and so this protocol will also have to change.

Can I exercise after surgery?

In the hospital, we’ll have you walking right away. Incorporating regular exercise into your daily routines is a fundamental piece of success. Take it slow and build up. Exercise is great for boosting endorphins, battling stress, and helping manage appetite. Work with your bariatric surgery team to find the right exercises to incorporate into your life. (Tip: Find something you love to do! Movement in all shapes and forms is fabulous.)

How long do I have to wait to get pregnant?

Reaching a healthy weight is ideal for a healthy pregnancy. We recommend our patients wait between 12 to 18 months (or even longer) – until their weight stabilizes –  to try to get pregnant. In the meantime, using a condom or IUD is recommended as birth control. Birth control pills or the patch (hormone treatments) are not as reliable when your body is going through so many weight changes.

Will bariatric surgery affect my baby’s health?

Absolutely not! Before getting pregnant, consult with your ObGyn. They may want to do some tests to determine if you have any nutritional deficiencies to establish supplement protocol for a healthy fertility and pregnancy. Likewise, you might be scheduled for more check-ups to monitor your baby’s growth. 


Obesity is associated with a greater risk of almost all pregnancy complications including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and increased risk of congenital defects. Bariatric surgery will help you reach a healthy, pre-pregnancy weight. This reduces the risk of developing obesity-related complications during pregnancy, increases your chance of having a vaginal delivery, and reduces your chance of miscarriage.

We’re looking forward to being part of your weight loss journey. Make an appointment today!