Mercy Medical Center North Iowa

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for bariatric surgery?
Potential candidates for bariatric surgery are severely overweight and have tried and failed at numerous weight loss programs. The National Institute of Health has approved surgery for otherwise healthy individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (at least 100 pounds overweight for men, 80 pounds for women), or a BMI of 35 to 39 for individuals with one or more serious health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, or sleep apnea.

Is bariatric surgery safe?
Modern bariatric surgery is far safer than surgical interventions used in the 1960s and 1970s. Techniques with high risks for complications are no longer performed. Today, bariatric surgery has a complication rate similar to other major abdominal operations. Moreover, the procedure results in dramatic weight loss and can improve or eliminate several health related problems associated with obesity.

How long after surgery until I lose weight?
Weight loss after baratric surgery will vary for each patient. It is common, however, for patients to lose 66 percent to 80 percent of excess weight in 18 to 24 months. While bariatric surgery is a tool for weight loss, it also takes a highly motivated individual who is committed to making permanent lifestyle changes. Those who choose bariatric surgery must be willing to change eating patterns and increase physical activity. Team members of Mercy Bariatric Center will help those interested in surgical weight loss understand what commitments must be made for a successful outcome.