Bariatric Surgery FAQs

How do I know if I qualify for surgery?
Anyone with a BMI over 40, or over 35 with medical problems qualifies. Patients who are 80 to 100 lbs. or more overweight usually qualify.

Am I a candidate if I have medical problems?
Obese people are more likely to suffer from medical problems and are at a higher risk of developing medical problems. Many obesity related conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea, incontinence, reflux, asthma, even headaches and others) go away after surgery and will not disqualify you from having surgery. The surgeon will review your medical history and determine if you are a candidate at your initial consultation.

What are the surgical treatments of obesity?
Laparoscopic gastric bypass or Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy are the currently performed procedures.
Bariatric Center at Columbus Regional Health • 2325 18th Street, Suite 230, Columbus, IN 47201
(812) 418-3512 •

How do I know which operation is best for me?
All of the operations are discussed at length at our information session so you can try to decide which one is right for you. You will discuss this further with your surgeon at your initial consultation.

How do I get into the program?
Call the Bariatric Center at Columbus Regional Health, (812) 418-3512, or visit our website,, to register for an information session.

Do I need a referral?
We do not require a referral from your doctor to attend our information sessions, but any treatments should be discussed with your doctor.

When should I see the surgeon?
You will meet the surgeon at the information session, and then again during your initial consultation. You can see the surgeon anytime in the process. Sometimes medically supervised weight loss is required prior to surgery. This can be started before or after you see the surgeon.

Are there other patients I can talk to about their experience?
Our Barrie Buddies program will pair a new bariatric patient with volunteers who have been through bariatric surgery to provide personal and positive support before and after surgery. Our program also includes twice monthly support groups with various topics and a chance to interact with other patients at various stages in the weight loss journey.

Does surgery guarantee that I’ll lose weight?
Any of the three weight loss surgeries are “tools” to assist you with weight loss. You will need to follow the recommended dietary changes, but this tool will help you to feel satisfied and lose weight. Regular exercise is also necessary for weight loss. While more than 90% of our patients lose more than half of their excess weight, surgery is no guarantee.

Will I be required to lose weight before surgery?
This will depend on your history of weight loss attempts. Everyone needs to have attempted to lose weight before proceeding to surgery. Some people may require a period of medically supervised weight loss. All patients go on a meal replacement program immediately prior to surgery to attempt to start the weight loss process and shrink the liver.

Will I eat differently after weight-loss surgery ?
Yes! Long-term weight loss requires a healthy diet. After surgery, you will go through a period of various prescribed healing diets. You will get back to a regular diet, but your idea of a regular diet will change completely after learning how to eat differently to make this tool work for you.

Will I need to exercise?
Yes! Exercise is an important component of weight loss and maintenance of general health. Active exercise (walking) of 30 minutes five days per week is recommended. Periods of 10-15 minutes several times per day are also beneficial.

Can I regain weight after surgery?
Absolutely! Surgery is not magic. The stomach is a muscle, like any muscle; if you exercise it, it will get bigger. Behavior must change for you to be successful lifelong. We follow your progress long-term and have programs to get you back on track, should you need.

Does insurance cover surgery?
Most insurance companies are covering most bariatric procedures now. You can call to check on your coverage. The staff at the Bariatric center checks coverage for anyone who attends an information session.

What if my insurance doesn’t cover bariatric surgery? Are there other payment options?

Absolutely! We have an affordable self-pay program and several financing options available. Ask us about our one-year warranty.

What if I can’t exercise because my joints hurt too badly?
Everyone can do some form of exercise. We have a program of exercises that can even be done while sitting in a chair. Physical therapy is also an option. As weight loss occurs, you will be able to increase your level of exercise.

Will I still need medication after surgery?
After significant weight loss, most of your medications may be reduced in dose or discontinued altogether. You will however need to take vitamin supplements life-long.

Can I get pregnant after surgery?
Yes. In fact, the weight loss experienced after surgery may increase fertility and is a reason some women seek surgery. For the overall health of the mother and baby, women are required to avoid pregnancy for 18 months following surgery.

Is there any advantage to robotic surgery?
Currently, robotic surgery is considered experimental. Often the robotic incisions are larger and the operative time longer when compared to laparoscopic surgeries. All SIS surgeons are trained to perform surgery laparoscopically.