Bariatric Surgery FAQs

Obesity affects millions of Americans each year.

For those struggling to lose weight through standard means, bariatric surgery is a highly-effective procedure designed to achieve significant weight loss.

If you’re currently obese and considering weight loss surgery, we are here to help answer any questions you may have.

Explore some of the most frequently asked questions about bariatric surgery below.

Bariatric Surgery FAQs


Can I have bariatric surgery if I have had other abdominal procedures in the past, or have a hernia or stoma?

In most cases, the answer is yes.
However, patients should always inform the bariatric surgeon about all previous surgeries, particularly those affecting the abdomen and pelvis area.
We encourage you to schedule a personalized consultation with our expert bariatric team to determine if you qualify for bariatric surgery after abdominal surgery.

Is it riskier to have bariatric surgery if I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?

In some cases, bariatric surgery could be riskier for those with type 2 diabetes.
Patients should follow the surgeon’s specific instructions about managing diabetes leading up to and immediately following surgery.
Nearly every patient with type 2 diabetes will experience a significant improvement in symptoms and disease management after the surgery. In fact, most bariatric procedures can stop type 2 diabetes days after the surgery.

Can I still be a candidate for bariatric surgery if I have heart disease?

Yes, it is possible to have bariatric surgery even if you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease.
Heart disease patients may require cardiac clearance from the cardiologist before preparing for and completing surgery.
Bariatric surgery can help improve most problems related to heart disease, including high blood pressure, lipid issues, cholesterol, vascular and coronary disease, and heart enlargement.
Several studies have shown that cardiac function improves after losing weight through obesity surgery.

How long will it take to recover and return to work after bariatric surgery?

After bariatric surgery, patients can expect to return to their regular routine and return to work in about one to two weeks.

Patients may experience low energy for a few days once they get back into their normal routine. It may be good to plan your return to work timeline with a few half-days or an overall lighter schedule during the first week back.

When can I resume exercise?

Exercise after bariatric surgery can be resumed almost immediately.

Post-surgery, your bariatric surgeon will encourage you to take gentle, short walks in the first few days.

It is important to start slow. Heavy exercises and aggressive sports should be avoided in the first month.

Will I require plastic surgery?

Most patients will have minimal sagging skin following bariatric surgery, which can be concealed by clothing. However, some patients may choose to have plastic surgery to tighten and remove excess skin. In general, patients that lose more than 100 pounds will tend to need excess skin removal. Patients that lose less than 100 pounds tend not to have noticeable excess skin.

Insurance companies will often cover the cost of plastic surgery to remove excess abdominal and breast skin because excess skin in this area can cause long-term medical concerns. However, most patients will need to pay out of pocket for plastic surgery following excess weight loss.

Will I lose hair following bariatric surgery?

Hair loss is possible and common following bariatric surgery.

On average 40% of female patients will experience some type of temporary hair loss. Most male patients do not experience hair loss after obesity surgery. Those who do will experience some level of hair loss four to six months after their procedure is completed.

During that time, new hair should begin to grow back more normally, with less hair loss occurring as time goes on. Taking your bariatric multivitamins in addition to biotin helps prevent hair loss and stimulates new hair growth.

If you continue to notice significant hair loss six months after surgery, you should speak with your doctor to determine if nutritional deficiencies are playing a role. If so, your doctor may prescribe specific dietary supplements to improve hair regrowth and stop excessive hair loss.

When can I become pregnant after bariatric surgery?

Fertility in women typically improves after bariatric surgery.

A patient should wait at least 9 to 12 months after bariatric surgery before getting pregnant.

Risks related to pregnancy and childbirth will generally reduce after bariatric surgery, including the risk for gestational diabetes and a cesarean section delivery.

Children born after their mother’s surgery are at a reduced risk of being affected by obesity in the future.

Questions to Ask Bariatric Surgeons Before Surgery

When deciding to have bariatric surgery, it’s good advice to slow down and take the time to choose the best doctor for you.
You have to be your own advocate. This means that you have every right to ask as many questions as possible until you feel confident enough to choose the right doctor to perform your surgery.
When meeting with a bariatric surgeon, consider asking them the following question to better understand their experience and credibility, along with a more detailed overview of surgical procedure options:

  • What certifications and credentials do you hold?
  • How many times have you performed this procedure?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used?
  • What are the risks associated with this procedure?
  • May I see before and after photos of previous patients?
    To learn more about the procedures & treatments performed by board-certified bariatric surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre and our experienced weight-loss team at Beltre Bariatrics, call 407-863-7110 or schedule a personalized consultation today.

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    The doctors at Beltre Bariatrics Center for Metabolic & Obesity Surgery have reviewed and approved this content.

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