Also part of the UPMC family:
Also part of the UPMC family:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Bariatric Surgery

You may be a candidate for bariatric surgery if you:

The biggest benefits of bariatric surgery include weight loss and improved health.

Risks of bariatric surgery vary by procedure.

Some risks include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Chronic nausea and vomiting
  • Dilation of esophagus
  • Obstruction of stomach

Your bariatric surgeon will review all potential risks and complications with you prior to surgery.

It depends on the procedure:

Long-term weight stability depends on diet and exercise.

Most insurance companies cover the costs of gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgeries.

Review your insurance policy to see if:

  • It covers weight loss surgery
  • You must meet any additional requirements for coverage

Attend a free bariatric surgery information session to learn more about insurance coverage. Or, see Financial and Insurance Considerations for more information.

It depends on the procedure:

  • Gastric bypass surgery divides the stomach into two portions and staples the smaller portion together to make a stomach pouch.
  • Gastric sleeve surgery removes part of the stomach and creates a new, tube-shaped stomach or "sleeve."

It depends on the procedure:

It depends on the procedure and each individual:

It depends on the procedure:

Obesity can make it difficult for some women to become pregnant, so bariatric surgery can actually help with fertility.

If you want to become pregnant, you should wait until your weight stabilizes — about 18 to 24 months following surgery — because rapid weight loss and nutrition deficiencies can harm a developing fetus.

Intolerance to certain foods varies from person to person.

The most common problem-foods include:

  • Pasta
  • Red meat
  • Soft breads
  • White rice

If you're concerned about excess skin on your stomach or other areas, plastic surgery is an option.

After you're at a stable weight — about 12 to 18 months following surgery — you should meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss your options and insurance coverage.

UPMC's Life After Weight Loss program has surgical and nonsurgical options for people following significant weight loss.

Absolutely. Bariatric surgery isn't a magic bullet. You can regain the weight you lost, as well as all of the other problems associated with it.

To be successful, you must adopt a lifelong commitment to maintaining a healthy weight through good nutrition and exercise.

UPMC's Bariatric Surgery Program offers post-surgery support and resources to help you adjust to life after weight loss.

A variety of bariatric surgery procedures are available to help patients achieve significant, long-term weight loss. These procedures work by limiting the amount of food a patient can ingest. These procedures either:

Only your doctor can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery and/or what procedure is best for you.

Bypass procedures, including gastric bypass surgery, tend to be the most effective at combating diabetes.

Your weight loss surgery is just one part of a long journey toward a healthier lifestyle. Post-bariatric surgery, you will need to follow a strict diet and exercise plan to achieve a healthier lifestyle.