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Western Pennsylvania Bariatric Institute is part of Conemaugh Physician Group. Read more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have bariatric surgery questions?

Read through a list of our frequently asked questions concerning bariatric surgery and the surgery process options we provide.

  • Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?

    You may qualify if you have a:

    • BMI of 30-34.9 with Type 2 Diabetes
    • BMI of 35-54.9 with or without a serious health condition
    • BMI of 55 or greater
  • After surgery, what to expect with excessive skin

    There is no reliable way to predict the amount of excess skin you may have. Younger patients will have fewer problems with excess skin after weight loss but most patients will have excess skin that may require surgery for removal.

  • Does the stomach stretch back to its original size over time?

    With any weight loss surgery, your body has to adjust to a smaller capacity for food. Although it is common for some post-operative stretching to occur, if you follow your post-operative eating guidelines you should be able to maintain a healthy weight.

  • Can I eat whatever I want after surgery?

    After surgery, a healthy lifestyle, which includes a health diet, will be part of your successful weight-loss journey and long-term success.

  • Will bariatric surgery ease my joint pain?

    In most cases, yes. With a reduction of weight on the joints, many people experience less joint pain and increased mobility. However, if there is already permanent damage to your joints, weight loss may not resolve all your joint pain.

  • Will I lose my hair?

    Due to the post-operative diet, many patients suffer from a temporary thinning of the hair. To alleviate this problem, I recommend increasing protein intake. Thinning hair is a normal response to the initial rapid weight loss that occurs from both the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Once you’re back on a normal diet with adequate protein levels, the hair loss stabilizes, and you start to regain your hair. For most people, it goes back to normal.

  • How long will my recovery be?

    Typically, patients spend two nights postoperatively in the hospital. We encourage patients to get up and walk around immediately during their post-operative stay in the hospital.

  • Is my surgeon in the operating room during the entire procedure? Who else is in the room?

    Your surgeon will be in the room and is the person performing the entire operation. We use a specialized team that is specifically trained to assist in robotic procedures and they will be present as well.

  • Can the roux-en-y gastric bypass be reversed?

    The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass changes your gastrointestinal tract. Because nothing is removed during this bypass, it can be reversed. However, this operation should be viewed as a permanent change. If you are not ready for that type of commitment, this type of procedure may not be the best option for you at this point.

  • Will I ever be allowed to drink carbonated beverages?

    It is not recommended to drink carbonated beverages after surgery.

  • How can I prepare for surgery?

    First and foremost, educate yourself. Read all materials available or downloadable from our website. Check out other reputable online resources like,, and Attend our informational seminar, and/or one of our support group sessions. Listen to the stories of other weight loss surgery patients, which you can also find online or in print, but be aware of the individual differences in surgical experience and compliance. Begin to put in place the recommended healthy lifestyle behaviors that go hand-in-hand with weight loss success, such as weaning carbonated/caffeinated beverages, building in healthy protein sources to each meal, increasing physical activity as able, and cutting out simple and starchy carbohydrates. You will find that the sooner you “surrender” to these recommendations, the easier it will be to adopt and maintain this healthy lifestyle after surgery, and you will be more successful long-term in keeping off excess weight.

  • When can I have a baby after weight loss surgery?

    Pregnancy after Weight Loss Surgery is very possible. In fact, women who have suffered from infertility in the past will often regain their fertility as they lose weight. However, we recommend that our female patients avoid pregnancy for ideally at least 12-18 months after Weight Loss Surgery. The reasoning behind this is that periods of rapid weight loss are not the ideal situation for nourishing a growing fetus.

    If you become pregnant, please let us know as soon as possible because we’ll work closely with you and your OB-GYN to make sure you don’t become vitamin or mineral deficient during the pregnancy.

  • How do I know which surgery is right for me?

    There is no right or wrong surgery, but the choice is usually largely up to the patient, with input by the providers. The decision should be based first on a clear understanding of the basics of each surgery, including risks and benefits; health conditions which may favor the benefits of one surgery vs. another, or conversely, increase the risks; an acknowledgement of current eating style as to which procedure is truly “best fit”; and personal preference. Our goal is to help you make the best informed decision possible for your circumstances and health challenges.

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