Commerce Benefits Group

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Questions and Answers

What risks do I face if I'm morbidly obese?

If you are morbidly obese, you have a much greater risk of developing a variety of serious medical conditions compared to individuals who are not obese. You may develop health problems at a younger age. Some of these conditions may include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Angina
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • sleep apnea
  • Back pain

 

  • Gallstones
  • Kidney stones
  • Liver disease
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Gout
  • Poor heat tolerance
  • Complications and infections after surgery
  • Skin infections
  • Depression and eating disorders
  • Premature death and host of other problems
  • Pregnancy complications

 

What are the benefits of gastric bypass surgery?

The surgery is an accepted long-term weight control tool with established health benefits. Gastric bypass surgery (malabsorpitive techniques) tends to produce greater weight loss than surgeries that only use restrictive techniques. Over half of the weight loss surgery patients lose about two-thirds of their excessive weight within two years. While some weight rebound may occur, most patients can keep off roughly 100 pounds of the weight they’ve lost over the long term. As each case is different and must be independently evaluated and managed, actual weight loss will vary. The surgery may resolve or improve some of the serious complications of obesity surgery, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain and incontinence.

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What are the potential complications from Gastric Bypass surgery?

The risks include, but are not limited to, the usual risks of any surgery which involves general anesthesia, including problems with:
Breathing, pneumonia, Blood clots, Bleeding, Hernias at the site of the incision, Infection, Death, The risks specific to gastric bypass surgery include:
Leaking or rupture along the stapled area of the stomach, Gallstones, Nausea and vomiting, especially if you overeat, Dumping syndrome (a condition in which you eat too much sugar or fin, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, shakiness, dizziness and sweating), Nutritional deficiencies (such as iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and folic acid)
Blocked intestine (bowel obstruction), Hair loss, Constipation, Excess skin after weight loss, Although you may not be able to avoid all complications, this is how to minimize risks after surgery:
Closely follow recommended meal sizes, Take small bites, Chew slowly and thoroughly,

Take 20-30 minutes to eat each meal, Follow recommended amounts of fat and sugar at each meal. Consult a dietician for how to maintain the most nutritious diet possible, advice on nutritional supplements and information on taking fiber to avoid constipation.

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How do I determine if I am morbidly obese?

The best way is to calculate your BMI ( Body Mass Index). Your BMI estimates how much you should weight based on your height. BMI of over 40 falls in the morbidly obese category.

Height

 

5’0"

5’ 3”

5’ 6”

5’ 9”

6’ 0”

6’ 3”

220 lbs

43

39

36

33

30

29

230 lbs

45

41

37

34

31

29

240 lbs

47

43

39

36

33

30

250 lbs

49

44

40

37

34

31

260 lbs

51

43

42

38

35

32

270 lbs

53

48

44

40

37

34

280 lbs

55

50

45

41

38

35

290 lbs

57

51

47

43

39

36

300 lbs

59

53

48

44

41

37

310 lbs

61

55

50

46

42

39

320 lbs

62

57

52

47

43

40

330 lbs

64

58

53

49

45

41

340 lbs

66

60

55

50

46

42

350 lbs

68

62

56

52

47

44

360 lbs

70

64

58

53

49

45

370 lbs

72

66

60

55

50

46

380 lbs

74

67

61

56

52

47

390 lbs

76

69

63

58

53

49

400 lbs

78

71

65

59

54

50

410 lbs

80

73

66

61

56

51

420 lbs

82

74

68

62

57

52

430 lbs

84

76

69

63

58

54

440 lbs

86

78

71

65

60

55

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Most insurance policies cover obesity surgery with proper documentation.  To expedite this process you can follow these few steps:

  1. Check with your insurance company to see if the obesity surgery is excluded from your coverage.
  2. List all of your weight loss efforts in the past 5-6 years, include copies of your records from any of commercial weight loss programs that you have tried, such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig etc.
  3. Obtain copies of your medical records from your healthcare providers including your primary care physician and those who have treated you for obesity or any related health issues.
  4. Ask your family physician to refer you to an obesity surgeon of your choice.

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