Surgery FAQs

How do I know which operation is best for me?

Your surgeon will discuss the health benefits and risks of each individual procedure. Together, you will make the decision about which operation will help you to meet your weight loss goals safely and effectively.

Are there certain situations where open surgery is preferable to laparoscopic surgery?

The main advantage of open surgery is that it allows your surgeon to put his or her hands directly into the abdomen. If your surgeon expects your operation to be extremely technically difficult (due to very high BMI or extensive scarring from prior surgery) then they may suggest a traditional open approach. Ultimately, your surgeon will recommend whichever approach results in the safest outcome.

Can every operation be performed laparoscopically?

For surgeons with advanced training, it is possible to perform almost any abdominal operation through a laparoscopic approach. If a problem is encountered that cannot be safely treated laparoscopically, the operation can be quickly converted to a traditional open approach. If your surgeon expects your operation to be extremely technically difficult (due to very high BMI or extensive scarring from prior surgery) then he or she may suggest a traditional open approach. Ultimately, your surgeon will want to use whichever approach results in the safest outcome.

Do all insurance companies approve the sleeve gastrectomy?

Yes, most insurers including Medicare will approve the sleeve gastrectomy for appropriate patients. Some insurance plans limit the number of bariatric operations you may have and will not approve a 2-stage operation.

Is it true that the weight loss with BPD-DS is better than any other bariatric operation?

Typically, patients lose about 60-80% of their excess body weight after the Biliopancreatic Diversion – Duodenal Switch (BPD-DS). This compares to 50-75% for the gastric bypass, 60% for the sleeve gastrectomy and 40-60% for the LAP-BAND.

I have heard band operations are not very common anymore. Is this true?

At Mount Sinai, band operations are very uncommon, making up less than 1 in 20 of our bariatric operations. This is because the weight loss is less than with other operations, and the need for reoperation is common.

Is Severe Obesity a Cosmetic Problem?

Severe obesity is a disease, not cosmetic problem. If you are 100 pounds or more overweight, you are at increased risk for many health problems including diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and even certain types of cancer. By losing this excess weight, you can lower your risks to that of a normal-weight person.