Frequently Asked Questions About Gastric Bypass Surgery

Read frequently asked questions — and answers — about gastric bypass surgery.

Will my insurance cover gastric bypass surgery?
Most insurance companies in California cover weight-loss surgery providing you meet certain medical criteria. For example, you may be required to provide documentation from your physician of at least six months of medically supervised weight loss efforts. Sharp’s patient coordinators are experienced in working with insurance companies and will help you determine your individual coverage.

How do you know when to stop losing weight?
Your body knows how much weight it needs to lose. As long as you follow the program and stick to your nutrition and exercise program, your body will adjust to the weight loss and stabilize at its appropriate weight. 

Is it possible to regain my weight?
Remember, your gastric bypass is only a tool. It is not a cure for obesity. Snacking, drinking with meals, drinking caffeinated and carbonated beverages, not drinking enough water in between meals and not exercising are common behaviors that will cause you to regain your weight.

What do I do about excess skin after weight loss?
Most people can minimize excess skin by maintaining healthy nutrition, aerobic exercise and weight training. For those who need to have excess skin removed, we can help you consult with a plastic surgeon.

Can the surgery be reversed?
It is possible to reverse the surgery, but it is not advised. Reversing the surgery is considered another major procedure and you are at an increased risk for complications. Reversing the surgery also would increase your risk of regaining the weight you have lost. 

If my pouch grows too much, can it be made smaller again?
It can be made smaller, but again, you would have an increased risk for complications. The best way to maintain your weight or not regain your weight is to follow the guidelines set by the bariatric program. 

Why do some people have more gas than others?
There are several different reasons why some people have more gas.

  • Eating, drinking and talking can cause a person to swallow air; be careful not to eat or drink too fast
  • Eating gas-producing foods, such as cabbage and broccoli 
  • People with irritable bowel syndrome develop gas when the bowel becomes irritated; stress and anxiety have a tendency to trigger an episode of irritable bowel syndrome   

What happens to the unused portion of my stomach?
The portion of the stomach that is “dormant” continues to produce acids and enzymes of digestion. This is normal and shouldn't impact your health in a negative way.

How do I know if I am successful with my weight loss?
Remember, success is not getting to your goal weight; it is getting to a “healthy” weight. If you have achieved a weight within approximately 40 pounds of your ideal body weight and maintain your weight, you are considered a success. 

How long should I wait to get pregnant after surgery?
It is strongly recommended that women wait at least year after surgery before getting pregnant. Approximately one year postoperatively (depending on how much weight you needed to lose), your body will be fairly stable and you should be able to carry a healthy baby to term.

For More Information
Sharp offers Roux-en-Y gastric bypass at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center and Sharp Memorial Hospital. To learn more about Sharp HealthCare's weight-loss surgery programs, attend a free informational seminar. To register, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm, or register online at Sharp's weight-loss surgery seminar.