Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a candidate for bariatric surgery?

People who meet the National Institute of Health (NIH) Criteria:

  • Patients older than 18 years old (with rare exceptions) and are determined to have acceptable operative risks.
  • Must be able to understand the operation, the surgical risks and lifelong commitment to changes required after the surgery.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35-39 with co-morbidity or BMI of at least 40 without co-morbidity.

Click here to calculate your BMI.

Who is NOT a Surgical Candidate?

  • Active substance abusers
  • Those with untreated major psychiatric disorders
  • Those deemed with high operative risks
  • Any persons determined as incapable of adhering to required post-operative diet, behavioral modifications and close scheduled follow-ups
  • Women who may become pregnant within 24 months

It MUST be understood that bariatric surgery is aggressive and should be considered the last resort and permanent. Many people who seek surgical intervention mistakenly believe that surgery is the magic bullet and it will cure all with no effort on their part after the surgery. Bariatric surgery is NOT a cure, but a tool that will help control morbid obesity and help manage co-morbidities for health reasons. The surgery may also help decrease the risk of early death and promote a longer, healthier and happier life.

Is bariatric surgery right for me?

In considering if surgical weight loss is right for you, consider if your goals are to:

  • Achieve durable long-term weight loss
  • Reduce co-morbidities
  • Improve general quality of life

If these are your goals, then weight loss surgery could be a good fit for you.

There are multiple conservative approaches and angles to medical weight loss including countless weight loss programs and support groups, various fad diets, exercise regimens and medications.

The efficacy of medical treatment alone has not proven to achieve significant long-term weight loss. In many studies, 95-97% of the general population will regain most or all the weight within 2-5 years after stopping treatment. Final average weight loss has been found to be relatively small approximately 10-40 pounds – usually not enough to achieve the improvement of all co-morbidities.

National Institute of Health Consensus on Obesity

National Institute of Health has recognized that conservative treatment for morbid obesity, such as dieting or medications, for the majority of the general population is futile, and surgery is the only approach that provides consistent, long-term weight loss.

Once documentation of ineffective dietary attempts and other conservative efforts have been made, bariatric procedures are then recognized as an option for people who are carefully selected, motivated, and well-informed to insure safe surgical outcome.

How much does bariatric surgery cost?

This is one of the first questions many people ask us – and it makes sense because you have some options and there are several factors that go into cost. Some of these factors include the facility being used, your geographic location and your medical history.

There are options available to those considering Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery:

  • Health Insurance: Many insurance companies will provide assistance for those that meet certain requirements.
  • Self-Pay: For those whose insurance plans don’t cover weight loss surgery procedures some discounts may be available.
  • Loan options

Is there a diet I follow after surgery?

Anyone undergoing bariatric surgery will be instructed on a very specific diet in order to ensure a healthy healing process. This diet includes primarily high-quality, lean protein and low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables and some whole grains. Proper hydration is also imperative and will be stressed along with your dietary guidelines.

Each bariatric patient at Northeast Georgia Physicians Group is different and each procedure has its own set of dietary guidelines. Your post-surgery diet will be very specific and unique to you. To find out more about your specific situation, we encourage you to contact us today.

What should I expect after surgery?

Every procedure has a different set of expectations. To learn more about each procedure, preparation and recovery, click here.

Do you offer any weight-loss alternatives to bariatric surgery?

We offer two medically monitored weight loss alternatives to surgery, the OPTIFAST® Program and our Bariatrician guided Medical Weight Loss Program. Both programs have proven results of significant, long-term weight loss as well as reporting a reduction in weight-related health risks. 

What is the new balloon procedure recently approved by the FDA?

NGPG offers ORBERA™ as it’s safe and effective non-surgical weight loss options for patients who suffer from obesity. The Intragastric Balloon procedure is a proven solution to help patients lose and maintain a healthy weight. ORBERA™ is the number one global market leader for gastric balloons with more than 220,000 balloons distributed in over 80 countries.