FAQ

General

Do you offer self-pay options?

Yes, we are excited to announce that we offer low self-pay prices for bundled services.


What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is the surgical procedure performed on the stomach or intestine to induce weight loss. It works by limiting the types and amount of food you can eat.


Am I a candidate for this type of procedure?

If you are at least 18 years old, you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or higher, have tried and failed to lose weight in the past, and/or suffer from a serious health issue as a result of obesity, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.


How do I make an appointment?

Before you meet with one of our physicians, you will be required to attend our free educational seminar on bariatric surgery. To register, call 1 (866) 560-4415. Once you complete the seminar or webinar, you will be given an appointment time.


Why do I have to attend a seminar before I can meet with a doctor?

Bariatric surgery is a life changing procedure. It’s important you have all the information you need to make this important decision. We’ve created our seminar to be an interactive, efficient means of fully educating our patients on the surgery, its low risk, and other information. We want to ensure your individual doctor’s appointment is highly effective to meet your personal needs.


How will I know which surgery is right for me?

There are multiple types of bariatric surgery. We will review each procedure with you and you and your physicians will determine the best surgery to meet your weight loss needs.


Who can I contact if I have a question not covered here?

If you can’t find an answer to one of your questions on this site, please call our office at (803) 791-2828.



Surgery and Follow up

How should I prepare for my surgery?

Your physician will let you know what type of pre-operative precautions you must take. You may be instructed to change your diet during a certain time frame prior to surgery. Your doctor will also discuss any medication you currently take, pre-op testing (if necessary), and offer you further instruction as needed.


What happens during surgery?

Generally, all of the primary bariatric procedures performed at the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center are laparoscopic. A laparoscopic operation is performed by making small incisions in the abdomen. The surgeon uses cameras and specialized tools to make these tiny cuts. Laparoscopy allows for shorter recovery times and less pain. Rarely, the surgeon will have to change the approach during surgery due to unforeseeable circumstances.


When can I return to work?

Depending on your procedure and the type of work you do, you may be able to return to work within 2-6 weeks of surgery.


How soon can I workout?

Once the patient is released from medical restrictions, they are encouraged to begin exercising, limited only by the level of wound discomfort. The type of exercise is dictated by the patient's overall condition. Some patients who have severe knee problems can't walk well, but may be able to swim or bicycle. Many patients begin with low stress forms of exercise and are encouraged to progress to more vigorous activity when they are able.


How often will I need to follow up with my doctor?

We are committed to providing the care and resources you will need to maintain a healthy BMI for the rest of your life. Right after bariatric surgery, we recommend frequent office consultations to assist you in managing your weight loss and monitoring the positive changes in your health. During the first two years following your surgery, we will meet with you quarterly. After your first year of follow up, we will continue to meet with you annually.



Financial

Will my insurance cover my surgery?

We participate with most major insurance plans, including Medicare. We recommend calling your insurance company’s customer service line to ask if bariatric services are covered. Our experienced financial services team will be happy to assist you with questions regarding specific benefits.


Are there other ways to finance my surgery?

If your insurance doesn’t cover bariatric surgery, or if we do not participate with your provider, we will discuss alternate financial options with you. We participate with Advance Care, a health care finance company offering low monthly payments for bariatric services.


Are there any additional costs associated with bariatric surgery?

Please call your insurance provider to discuss how your individual benefits cover additional costs (such as anesthesiology). Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have regarding specific coverage.



Dietary

Why do I have to drink protein drinks?

You will be required to drink protein drinks for the first six weeks following your surgery. Protein is essential for a speedy recovery and weight loss. We will help you learn to incorporate more protein in your diet. Once you have reached healthy dietary protein levels, you may be able to quit drinking these supplemental beverages.


Can I eat “normal” food?

Yes. We will work with you to incorporate healthy “normal” food choices into your diet.


Will I be able to eat at restaurants?

Yes, but it is important to make healthy choices and limit how often you eat out. When dining out, stick to the portions on your meal plan and order foods cooked in a healthy way. For example, choose lean meats grilled, baked or broiled, and healthy sides such as steamed vegetables or salads. Beware of calorie-dense toppings such as: butter, cheese, nuts, etc. Choose restaurants that you know have healthy choices and try to avoid buffets.


Can I drink carbonated beverages?

For the first year after surgery you will not be able to drink carbonated beverages, as these drinks can cause severe gas pain. Even after the first year, many patients find it helpful to continue to avoid carbonation. If you do drink carbonated drinks after the first year, it is important to choose sugar-free beverages.


Can I drink alcohol?

You should avoid alcohol for the first few months following your procedure, but you may eventually add it back to your diet in moderation. We will recommend a timeline on an individual basis, but beer should be avoided for the first year because it is carbonated. Since your body will absorb alcohol more quickly after the surgery, you will also need to limit the amount you drink.


Can I have sugar?

If you have a gastric bypass procedure, you will need to completely avoid sugar. With any of the surgeries, we encourage you to avoid foods high in sugar and replace them with sugar-free products. There are many delicious sugar-free products available, and we can help you find those substitutions. Foods high in sugar are also higher in calories and carbohydrates, which will hinder weight loss.


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