Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to our services and treatment options, you deserve to know the truth. For your convenience, we've compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions.
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I am interested in finding out more about obesity surgery. What is the next step?
You can attend a free seminar at Lutheran Weight Management Center, where you'll learn everything you need to know in order to decide whether weight loss surgery is right for you. You can register by calling (260) 435-7844 or by registering through our website.
Once I decide to undergo a bariatric procedure, how long will it be before I can have surgery?
It generally takes one to two months to schedule weight loss surgery at our center. During this time, our staff will compile your clinical data and request approval from your insurance company. You will also be evaluated to make sure you are a good candidate for successful weight loss surgery. Some insurance companies require their policyholders to participate in a documented non-surgical weight loss program for six months before approving surgery. This can delay the process.
Does my insurance company cover weight loss surgery?
Most insurance companies cover weight loss surgery, but each company sets different criteria. Some require prior participation in a documented weight loss program, nutritional consultations, and/or psychological evaluations. You should contact your insurance provider to find out more.
What can I do to speed up the insurance approval process?
Be proactive. Know your insurance company's requirements and meet them as efficiently as possible by gathering and providing the necessary information. Medical data can be faxed to our weight loss surgery center in Indiana at (260) 435-6899.
What if I don't have insurance?
Bariatric surgery is not only for those with insurance or insurance approval. Lutheran Hospital offers competitive cash payment and financing plans. We have financial counselors at both locations to help you.
Can I have bariatric surgery with small incisions (laparoscopically), or do I need an open procedure?
With Dale Sloan, M.D.'s experience, very few patients require open surgery. Over 95 percent of his patients undergo laparoscopic surgery.
How long will I stay in the hospital?
Gastric bypass patients whose surgery is performed laparoscopically usually stay in the hospital for about two days.
How soon will I be able to return to work after weight loss surgery?
Patients are usually able to return to work about one to three weeks after the procedure. It is not dangerous to return to work earlier, but some patients take more time off than others, depending on their job as well as their level of discomfort or fatigue.
How much weight will I be able to lose?
Ninety-five percent of patients at our weight loss surgery center in Indiana lose at least half of their excess weight, and 85 percent of our patients lose at least two-thirds of their excess weight. Any long-term loss of at least 50 percent of excess weight is considered successful, but many patients lose 75 percent or more and keep it off for the rest of their lives.
Will I need to follow a special diet after bariatric surgery?
After the post-surgical recovery period, there is no specific diet beyond a well-balanced meal plan that takes the new size of the stomach into account. Gastric bypass patients should take vitamin supplements daily to avoid deficiencies. They should also undergo yearly testing at our weight loss surgery center to make sure vitamin levels are optimal.
What kind of support is available after weight loss surgery?
Pre- and post-surgery education and counseling are a major part of the treatment strategy at our weight loss surgery center. Post-surgery support groups are key to our patients' success. Patients at the Lutheran Bariatric Center have lifetime membership to our monthly support group meetings.
Can I get the surgery reversed?
Surgery can be reversed or modified, but this is a complicated procedure and is very rarely necessary.
Will I still be able to get pregnant?
Yes! In fact, many women find it easier to get pregnant after significant weight loss because they enjoy better overall health and more normal hormone levels. However, it is important to avoid pregnancy during the weight loss process. Once a woman reaches a healthy, stable weight, it is safe to get pregnant.
I had surgery at another weight loss surgery center and forgot what I was told to do. Can you help me?
After weight loss surgery, you should have regular follow-up appointments. Dale Sloan, M.D. recommends checkups at three, six, nine and 12 months, followed by yearly appointments. If you have moved away from the area in which your weight loss surgery center is located, or if you have forgotten your protocols, call the Lutheran Bariatric Center at (260) 435-7844 to schedule an appointment. To facilitate your treatment, we will ask you to have your records sent from your surgeon to our office.
Bills and payments
You will receive three bills - hospital, anesthesia and surgical. The anesthesia and surgical bills will be sent separately under their practice name. Your estimated out-of-pocket amount is for the hospital bill only. The hospital bill must be paid in full at program start date (orientation day). Note that Optifast™ products are a separate cost and not billable to insurance.