Resources and FAQ

Deciding to have bariatric surgery is tough. In fact, it could be one of the most important decisions of your life. While many of your questions can be answered at an educational bariatric seminar, you may still have additional questions. Contact us, browse through the frequently asked questions or explore additional resources provided.


Bariatric surgery surgically makes the stomach smaller so you feel satisfied with less food. This is only recommended if you haven't had success with other weight loss attempts such as diet, exercise, medications, etc. A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 and above is required OR a BMI between 35 and 39.9 and one or more co-morbid conditions also may qualify for bariatric surgery.

BMI is a measure used to index your height and weight. BMI allows our team to help you better understand health issues associated with your specific weight classification (classifications such as obesity and morbid obesity).

Co-morbid conditions are the presence of one or more disorder or disease in addition to a primary disorder or disease; or, the presence of a disorder or disease that is caused by or otherwise related to another condition. The primary disease of morbid obesity can lead to several co-morbid conditions.

As with any surgery, there are immediate and long-term complications and risks. Possible risks can include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Complications with anesthesia and medications
  • Blood Clots
  • Separation of areas that are stitched or stapled together
  • Infections
  • Leaks from staples
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Breathing problems
  • Spleen injury
  • Thickening of heart valves
  • Death

Possible side effects of bariatric surgery include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, excessive sweating, increased gas, and dizziness
  • Dumping syndrome, or when food, especially sugar, moves from your stomach into your small bowel too quickly
  • Nutritional deficiencies and malabsorption
  • Gallstones

Laparoscopic, or minimally invasive surgery, is when your surgeon makes several small incisions and users a fiber-optic camera, video monitor, and long-handled instruments to perform your surgery. Open surgery is when your surgeon creates a long incision to open the abdomen and operating with "traditional" medical instruments, like a scalpel.

You will work with your surgeon to decide which type of surgery is right for you. For some patients, dense scar tissue may prevent you from being a candidate for laparoscopic surgery.

Also, the inability to see organs and/or too much bleeding during the operation may cause your surgeon to switch from minimally invasive to open surgery during your operation.

Because not all insurance carriers offer bariatric weight loss surgery as a covered benefit, we will contact your insurance provider to check your particular policy benefits. Once we obtain your insurance benefits, we will contact you with the information and schedule your consultation with Dr. Perez.

Normally, a hospital stay after bariatric surgery is one to three days, but this varies from person to person.

Holy Cross Health's support groups will give you an excellent opportunity to talk about your challenges with other people who have experienced the same. Our support groups keep each other motivated, celebrate together, and provide perspective on successes and challenges.

The Zachariah Family Wellness Pavilion also offers programs to help you continue to meet your diet and fitness goals.

Doing drugs, including nicotine, and alcohol is never recommended. You should not drink for at least one year because it will increase your risk for complications. Since alcohol may be absorbed more quickly, your risk for alcohol abuse and dependency is greatly increased after weight loss surgery.

Yes, it is possible to have a safe and healthy pregnancy after bariatric surgery. We recommend you wait at least 2 years after your bariatric surgery.

Your surgeon will determine when it is best for you to return to work. Please do not lift anything over 5-10lbs for at least 6 weeks after your surgery.

For people suffering from morbid obesity, bariatric surgery can be a powerful tool. For the surgery to be effective long term, it must be used properly. Through lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and a healthy food plan, you'll be able to make a long-term change for better health.

Frequent follow-up for the first two years after surgery is necessary. We recommend that you see your surgeon at 2 weeks, 1 month, every 4 -6 weeks, 1 year until you reach your goal weight, then annually thereafter. You will also need regular check-ups for anemia (low red blood cell count) and vitamin B12, folate, and iron levels. Follow-up is necessary.

Disclaimer: Holy Cross Hospital Comprehensive Bariatric Services may provide links to third-party web sites, however Holy Cross Hospital does not promote, sanction or approve the content on these web sites. Holy Cross Hospital Comprehensive Bariatric is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites, and does not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk.