Tips For Covering the Costs of Gastric Band Surgery

Making the decision to address obesity head on is a great one that can have benefits that ripple throughout life. Not only does shedding pounds help people feel better about themselves, it can improve health while lowering the risks for a long list of serious medical conditions. Footing the bill for gastric band surgery, however, can sometimes be a tricky prospect even when medical insurance is available and there’s a genuine need to have surgery performed to address obesity and safeguard health.

There are some things patients can do to help better position themselves to handle the costs so they can gain the benefits of a procedure like the gastric band. Here are a few tips that may help:

• Know the costs – Get a complete estimate from the bariatric surgeon who will be performing the procedure. The costs range from about $12,500 to $26,000, depending on region, hospital and other factors. The total bottom line generally includes such necessities as access to counselors, medication, supplements and other items.
• Work with doctors and insurance companies – If there is a genuine medical need to address weight, many insurance companies will cover most of the costs associated with lap band surgery. To facilitate this, take time to get appropriate referrals and recommendations. Talk with the insurance company to find out exactly what is covered and what is not. If a second opinion is required, go in for it.
• Consider financing – Finance companies will often help patients cover some or all of the costs associated with surgery. Many bariatric surgeons offer their patients access to such companies. Be sure to ask about this option if insurance coverage isn’t likely.

Lap band surgery can help people get control of their weight while improving their overall health. Losing weight can reduce the risks for some types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other serious concerns. If this surgery is deemed necessary, there are ways to make it happen even if insurance isn’t readily available. Be sure to talk with a reputable surgeon for advice on covering the costs.

Extra Nutritional Attention May Be Needed for Moms Following Gastric Bypass

Women who are obese and in their child-bearing years may discover conceiving isn’t as easy as they’d hoped. With an eye on boosting the odds in their favor, some women pursue bariatric surgery to address weight-related concerns. One of the most popular procedures – the gastric bypass – has been shown to help improve fertility chances. This operation, however, can increase the chances of infant nutritional concerns.

Recent studies have shown that women who undergo bypass procedures are more likely to have infants who are small for their gestational age. The risk also rises for nutritional deficiencies at birth. Nutritional deficiencies may even occur if an expectant mother takes supplements during a pregnancy, one study suggests. The deficiencies mainly involve vitamin A, zinc and calcium, researchers say.

The findings of the study are not entirely surprising, researchers have noted. Other studies have shown women who undergo gastric bypasses may have nutrient deficiencies themselves due to malabsorption. The newest finding, however, may indicate a need for more rigorous supplementation during pregnancy. It is also recommended that babies be evaluated following birth to ensure their nutrient levels are adequate.

Gastric bypass procedures involve a two-step operation that is designed to help people shed pounds and keep them off. The surgery involves both the surgical shrinking of the stomach and a rerouting of the digestive tract. It’s the second step that reduces the body’s ability to absorb calories, which also limits nutritional intake to an extent. People who undergo this procedure are counseled to balance their diets carefully and to use supplements to ensure proper nutrition.

Obesity can have a direct impact on fertility. Addressing the concern may increase chances of conception. For women who undergo weight loss surgery, there may be a need for more careful monitoring to ensure babies conceived and born are properly nourished along the way.

Obesity and Weight Loss: What You Need to Know

With obesity at epidemic proportions in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a number of devices to assist people in shedding pounds. These devices are meant to not only promote weight loss, but also to help prevent serious complications that may arise from the condition. Diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer and a host of other issues are all linked to obesity. Choosing to use medically approved weight loss devices to promote shedding of pounds can produce the desired results, but there are some things people need to know about them and obesity in general.

Here are a few facts the FDA is trying to share with people about obesity and weight loss devices:

People who are obese do not stand alone – It is estimated about 68 percent of all adults are considered overweight. An estimated 36 percent of them are obese.
• Devices and surgery are not the first steps – The FDA stresses the best path to weight loss begins with diet and exercise. Should these two healthy choices not have an impact, then devices, surgery and medications should be considered. It is important to remember that medical interventions may have side effects and the potential for complications. Surgeries meant to address obesity, for example are generally invasive.
• Approved devices may make a difference – The FDA has approved a number of devices meant to promote healthy weight loss. They include gastric bands, gastric balloons and the gastric emptying system. Each device approved does require careful monitoring by a healthcare provider.
• Losing weight can be critical for health – Whether devices are indicated or not, people who are overweight or obese are urged to take steps to gain a healthy weight. Doing so can reduce risks for such serious health complications as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, among others.

Obesity is a serious problem in the United States. People will find their doctors have serious solutions that may enable them to shed pounds and keep them off once and for all.

Benefits of a Gastric Bypass

The gastric bypass procedure is one of the most popular weight loss surgery options meant to address severe obesity. This operation, typically reserved for those with a body mass index of 40 or higher, has showed tremendous results in patients over the course of years. Also used for people with somewhat lower BMIs when co-morbidities are present, the surgery has shown itself to have tremendous benefits for those in need of a serious weight loss option.

The gastric bypass procedure involves the surgical shrinking of the stomach. To achieve this, doctors create a smaller stomach pouch and stich off the portion that will no longer be used. Digestion is also rerouted somewhat to prevent the full absorption of calories consumed. The outcome is a body that holds less food and absorbs fewer calories. Although among the more invasive of the bariatric surgery options, the bypass has long been proven to show tremendous results. Here are just a few of the potential benefits:

• Dramatic weight loss – Most people experience dramatic weight loss following this procedure. While the exact amount may vary from patient to patient, the overall results are typically quite pleasing to doctors and their patients.
• Potential improvements for type 2 diabetes – A number of studies have been performed that indicate gastric bypasses can help type 2 diabetics better control their disease. In some cases, this surgery may even help people eliminate symptoms.
• Better blood pressure control – Many gastric bypass patients report sizeable improvements in their blood pressure numbers.
• Better cholesterol control – A number of studies have revealed gastric bypass patients enjoy much better lipid counts following this procedure.
• Sleep apnea resolution – For many patients, gastric bypass procedures also help resolve issues related to sleep apnea.

While it is not a panacea, the gastric bypass can have a number of benefits that go beyond weight loss alone. people who are obese are urged to talk with their doctors about all their weight loss options.

Weight Loss Option May Offer Results Without Surgery

Obesity is a serious concern for an estimated third of the American population. If left unchecked, excess weight can take its toll on the body, opening the door for serious medical complications. Long linked to heart disease, some forms of cancer and diabetes, among other complications, obesity is considered a slow killer by many. While the risk of health complications is high for those who carry an excess of excess weight, that doesn’t mean everyone who is overweight wants to rush into the operating room to undergo a bariatric procedure to help. There are other options that can assist people in shedding pounds. One new procedure, in fact, is showing a great deal of promise.

Known as a bariatric arterial embolization, the non-surgical option developed largely by accident. The procedure is used in emergency situations to control bleeding in the stomach. It works by injecting microscopic beads into one of the arteries that feeds the stomach. While long used for bleeding control, doctors began noticing those who underwent the procedure also lost weight.

Hoping to investigate further, small-scale studies have been performed on translating this procedure for weight loss patients. So far, the results have been quite promising. In a recent study, patients reported an 80 percent decrease in hunger after the procedure. They also experienced weight loss of about 13 percent at the six-month mark.

Although still very much in the investigational phase, this non-surgical option may someday offer an option for those who need to lose weight achieve the goal without having to undergo a costly operation. In the meantime, doctors do have a variety of procedures at their disposal to help patients lose weight and potentially improve their health. To find out more about weight loss options – surgical and nonsurgical – speak with a licensed healthcare provider. The best recommendations will depend on the particulars of a person’s unique case.

Balloon Therapy Delivers Weight Loss Help

It is estimated that a third of all Americans are obese. As millions struggle with daily ups and downs on the scale, a new form of weight-loss therapy may offer hope for those who want to avoid the potential of serious health complications obesity may bring with it. While surgical interventions have proven highly successful, this new therapy is reversible and less invasive than many procedures. The latest breakthrough in weight loss involves the use of a small balloon and no incisions or long hospital stays.

The device, called ORBERA, is inserted into the stomach using an endoscope, which means there is no need for open surgery. Once the device is placed, the balloon is inflated. When that’s complete, the balloon effectively reduces stomach holding capacity, much like a gastric bypass or sleeve procedure might do. What makes it different is that balloon procedures are fully reversible; in fact, they’re meant to be.

Patients who undergo balloon procedures can expect them to stay in place for about six months. During this period of time, patients will feel fuller faster, enabling a reduction in caloric intake. Patients also undergo rather intensive lifestyle therapy once balloons are placed to help them develop and maintain healthier lifestyle habits. The hope is that once the balloon is removed, those lifestyle habits will enable maintenance of weight loss over the long haul.

The new balloon procedure is seen as a method to help those who need to lose weight, but are not yet ready to commit to more complex surgeries. What’s more, this option is also considered viable for those who are overweight, but have not hit the morbidly obese point.

People who are overweight are urged to take action to shed pounds. Maintaining a healthy weight can lower risks for developing heart disease, diabetes and a host of other conditions. To learn more about the balloon procedure or other weight-loss options, speak with a qualified healthcare provider.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Becomes Most Popular Surgical Weight Loss Option

For years people who have struggled with their weight have found the gastric bypass the most popular option for weight loss surgery. That’s not the case any longer. According to a recently released study from the Cleveland Clinic, sleeve gastrectomy procedures now account for nearly half of all weight loss procedures performed in the United States.

The clinic’s findings were based on a study of some 72,000 patients who underwent bariatric surgery between 2010 and 2013. Back in 2010, the sleeve procedure amounted to only about 9.3 percent of all those performed while the gastric bypass held the lion’s share at 58.4 percent. By 2013, however, the tables turned with sleeve procedures accounting for 49 percent and bypasses only about 43.8 percent. Gastric banding was also counted, but it accounted for only 6 percent of all procedures in 2013.

The rise in popularity of sleeve procedures is being attributed to a number of factors. Firstly, this procedure has come into its own as far as research related to its safety and effectiveness are concerned. Secondly, the procedure is considered slightly less invasive than a gastric bypass. While both procedures involve the surgical removal of a portion of the stomach, the sleeve procedure does not involve the same intensity as the gastric bypass, which reroutes the digestive system a bit to promote weight loss.

The sleeve procedure involves the removal of a portion of the stomach. The remaining piece of the organ is then shaped into a sleeve with a banana-like appearance. This permanent alteration of the stomach is meant to promote weight loss by lowering the holding capacity of the stomach.

Bariatric procedures, such as the sleeve gastrectomy, are generally reserved for people who are considered severely obese or who have weight-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. To learn more about all the options, consult with a healthcare provider.

Why Nutrition Matters After Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgeries, such as the gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, can help people shed many pounds rather quickly. While these surgical procedures have proven themselves time and again to be especially helpful for those who cannot lose weight through other measures, not all patients live up to their end of the bargain. The work for successful results don’t end when the surgical incisions are closed. On the contrary, it is just beginning.

Problems may arise after surgery because patients fail to eat with nutrition in mind. During the first few post-operative days, it’s easy to stick to a healthy, balanced diet because the hospital will likely make sure this happens. Even during the first few weeks at home, recovery time may make eating healthier easier. It’s when people start to see results and resume their normal routines that a failure to follow the rules might arise.

Making sure a well-balanced diet is part of the long-term, post-operative routine is not only important for maintaining weight loss, doctors say. It’s also critical for ensuring patients maintain their overall good health. The reality is surgeries like the gastric bypass dramatically shrink the stomach’s holding capacity. That, in turn, means every bite consumed does really matter.

Patients who want to give themselves an edge on weight loss and good nutrition will want to consider these things once they are well on the road to recovery:

• Make sure meals are nutritionally dense – The stomach cannot hold as much, so every bite really should pack a nutritional punch.
• Make meals smaller and more frequent – It’s going to be difficult to wolf down large portions, so plan smaller, more frequent meals that are well-balanced.
• Consider supplements – Even when meals are well-balanced it can be hard to pack all the required nutrition in. Be sure to use supplements as directed.

Weight loss surgery can produce excellent results. Make sure they’re healthy and lasting by eating right in the days, weeks, months and years following surgery.

Why Informational Seminars Matter Before Weight Loss Surgery

When the decision is made that weight loss surgery offers the best chance to shed pounds and beat obesity once and for all, many people are taken aback when their surgeons put on the brakes for a time. It’s not that they want patients to change their minds. They simply want to make 100 percent certain that people who choose this path know their options and exactly what to expect down the road.

To that end, many weight loss surgeons will recommend their patients attend workshops, classes or seminars related to surgery. In addition, they might be asked to attend a few counseling sessions before a date for an actual procedure is even put on the books.

Why all the pre-surgery fuss? Here are just a few of the things patients stand to learn about if they attend informational seminars before making their final decision to undergo bariatric surgery:

• Basics about all the options – Weight loss surgery isn’t a one-size-fits-all option. There are a number of surgical procedures available that can help patients shed pounds. Some choices are more invasive than others and some have proven themselves better at maintaining long-term results. Seminars generally go over the main options, how they are performed and what patients can anticipate as far as weight loss is concerned.
• The potential side effects – Weight loss surgery is a highly popular option for shedding pounds, but it is still surgery. Each procedure has its share of potential side effects that surgeons want their patients to be fully aware of.
• What to expect – Life after weight loss surgery can change rather dramatically. This is especially so for those who undergo more intense procedures, such as a gastric bypass. Counseling and information sessions are also staged to be certain patients know how their lives are likely to change.
• To provide support – The weight loss journey can be a long, tedious one that people should not walk alone. Oftentimes, seminars and counseling sessions are also designed to ensure people choosing this route have the support they need.

If you’re contemplating weight loss surgery, be sure to ask your healthcare provider for information about seminars or counseling. The better prepared you are, the more successful your journey is likely to be.

Why Men Are Less Likely to Seek Out Weight Loss Surgery Options

Obesity is a common health problem in the United States with an estimated third of all adults suffering from weight that is less than ideal. Those who are overweight may find themselves at risk for a host of complications that range from diabetes and depression to heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer. While the obesity problem is equally distributed among men and women, researchers are finding that men are far less likely to seek out surgical alternatives to help them address weight.

While most bariatric surgeons will tell patients it’s best to exhaust all other options for weight loss – especially healthy eating and exercise – before rolling into an operating suite, the fact of the matter is sometimes surgery is the best option. That goes equally for men and women who are obese or morbidly obese.

Despite the potential long-term health benefits of weight loss surgery, researchers have found that about 80 percent of bariatric surgeries performed in the United States involve women. That means men only make up 20 percent of the demographic. The disparity is something that concerns healthcare professionals who worry about the long-term health implications.

To better understand the disparity, researchers have delved into the topic. They have found that these reasons may impact a man’s decision to undergo surgery to help reduce weight:
•    Cultural factors
•    Lack of insurance coverage
•    Surgery eligibility
•    Age
•    Perception of body image

A 2014 study from Kansas State University also offers some insights. That study found that 72.8 to 94 percent of obese men were satisfied with their overall health as compared to only 56.7 to 85 percent of overweight and obese women.

Whatever the reasons for the disparity, medical professionals urge both men and women who are overweight to take measures to correct their situations. Chronic obesity can lead to a variety of health complications, including those that cause morbidity. To learn more about bariatric surgery and the benefits it can deliver, speak with a healthcare provider.