As with any major surgery, there is a risk of death from a blood clot or other surgical or preoperative complications. Statistically, the risk of death during these procedures is less than one percent. Your doctors will have assessed you for risks and prepared accordingly. All abdominal operations carry the risks of, but are not limited to, bleeding, infection in the incision, thrombophlebitis of legs (or blood clots), lung problems (such as pneumonia and pulmonary embolisms), strokes or heart attacks, anesthetic complications, and blockage or obstruction of the intestine. These risks are greater in morbidly obese patients.*
No. Laparoscopic operations pose the same risk as open operations. The benefits of laparoscopy typically include a shorter hospital stay and earlier return to work, as well as less discomfort and reduced scarring. There is also a lower risk of significant wound infections.*
Generally accepted guidelines from the American Society for Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health indicate surgery only for those 18 years of age and older.
We accept people into our program by health age — not chronological age. We’ve turned down 30 year-olds and performed procedures on 75 year-olds. It’s all about understanding and managing risk to benefit ratios. The risk of surgery in the elderly age group is increased, but the benefits of surgery, regarding overall health and quality of life, are also increased. And, older patients are some of our star patients!
Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER is the only hospital in Kansas to be certified as senior-friendly, meaning the staff here have been specifically trained in the unique care required for older patients.
A very important study was published in 2007 that definitively answered this question — yes, it can.*
According to current research and our own experience, weight loss surgery can improve or resolve health conditions associated with obesity. We are happy to share our amazing results in seeing patients overcome or reduce conditions such as depression, diabetes, reflux, hypertension, lipid disorders, menstrual irregularities, urinary stress incontinence, joint pain, and sleep apnea…among others!*
Medical problems, such as serious heart or lung problems, can increase the risk of any surgery. On the other hand, if they are problems that are related to the patient’s weight, they also increase the need for surgery. Severe medical problems may not dissuade the surgeon from recommending bariatric surgery if it is otherwise appropriate, but those conditions will make a patient’s risk higher than average. We need to understand your medical issues to make sure we work to minimize their impact on your surgery and recovery.*
We make every attempt to control your pain after surgery to make it possible for you to move about and be active. This helps avoid problems and speeds up recovery. Often, several drugs are used to help manage your post-surgery pain. If you have a bypass, a patient-controlled analgesia pump — which allows you to give yourself a dose of pain medicine on demand — may be used early post-operatively. Various methods of pain control are available, depending on your type of surgical procedure.*
Although it can vary, the average hospital stay for sleeve and bypass surgery is one-to-two days. For band procedures, most people go home that same day.*
You will find compassionate, expert nurses, anesthesiologists and surgeons, to provide care catered to your needs. Our focal point is your safety and pain management.*
Almost immediately after surgery, we will require you to get up and move around. We want you up and walking within one-and-a-half to two-hours after surgery. After leaving the hospital, you should be able to care for all your personal needs, but you will need help with shopping, lifting and transportation for a few days.*
You should not drive until you have stopped taking narcotic medications completely, and you can move quickly and alertly to stop your vehicle — especially in an emergency situation. This usually takes up to three days after band surgery, and five-to-seven days after bypass and sleeve surgery.*
Even before surgery, we will provide you with special dietary guidelines. You will need to follow these guidelines closely. We teach you how to advance your diet in a very particular way in order to make the transitions easy for you to understand and successfully accomplish.*
Here are some essentials:
This may be caused by the types of food you consume. Eating starches, including rice, pasta and potatoes, can result in undesirable fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, which can affect your hunger levels. Adhering to the recommended five-to-six high protein meals per day will prevent feelings of hunger and allow for stable blood sugars throughout the day.*
Many patients are hesitant about exercising after surgery, but exercise is an essential component of success. We want you out of bed and walking ASAP, so physical activity begins on the afternoon of surgery. The goal is to walk progressively further every day after. Patients are often released from medical restrictions and encouraged to increase exercise activities about two weeks after surgery, limited only by your level of discomfort. The type of exercise recommended is dictated by the patient’s overall condition. Some patients who have severe knee problems, for example, can’t walk well, but may be able to swim or ride a bicycle. Many patients begin with low-stress forms of exercise and are encouraged to progress to more vigorous activity when they are able.*