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  • Center for Bariatric Surgery: A Program of Rhode Island and The Miriam Hospitals

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    • How do I know if I'm a candidate for bariatric surgery?
      Based on the recommendations from the National Institute of Health Consensus panel, bariatric surgery candidates must be morbidly obese, which usually means 100 pounds overweight for men or 80 pounds overweight for women, with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. Alternatively, the procedure may be appropriate if a patient is 80 pounds overweight with a BMI greater than 35 and a serious obesity-related condition. Before becoming eligible for surgery, patients meet with the team for a full evaluation. Your insurance company may also have additional criteria that you may have to fulfill.

    • What kind of weight loss surgery experience can I expect at the Miriam Hospital?
      The Miriam team is delighted to take care of our weight loss patients with respect, dignity and great insight into the daily difficulties our patients encounter. We are proud to offer a state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary surgical weight management program for our patients. Not only do we utilize the most up-to-date surgical technology, but we also have expert physicians taking care of our patients’ medical and surgical needs. Our strong nutrition program and compassionate and caring nursing staff work together with the surgical team to offer long-term (at least five years), close follow-up care to our patients.

    • What are the risks of weight-loss surgery?
      All major surgery comes with risks, which differ for each patient and from one type of procedure to another. Opting to have bariatric surgery is a very personal decision, and only a discussion with a physician can clarify the individual risks and benefits each patient can expect.

    • How much weight will I lose?
      The average patient loses between 50 to 80 percent of excess body weight. This occurs over 18 to 36 months, depending on the type of procedure.

    • Can I become pregnant after bariatric surgery?
      Women should avoid pregnancy for at least 18 to 24 months after surgery. It is important to discuss pregnancy plans with your surgeon during your first appointment.

    • Will my insurance cover the surgery?
      Insurance coverage varies with each patient's insurance plan. Check with your insurance provider before coming in for an appointment.

    • What is my first step?
      Prospective patients should contact their insurance provider to determine if bariatric surgery is covered. Then patients should call 401-793-3922 for more information.

    • How long will I be hospitalized?
      Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve patients usually stay in the hospital for two days; the adjustable gastric lap band patients usually leave one day after surgery.

    • How soon will I be able to return to work after surgery?
      It varies depending on the surgery and the type of work you do. On average, gastric band surgery patients may return to work within two to four weeks. Gastric bypass and sleeve patients may take 4-8 weeks to return to work after surgery.

    • How often will I need to exercise after bariatric surgery?
      Exercise is vital to your short- and long-term success. At The Miriam, patients are able to walk approximately two hours after completion of the surgery; walking one to two blocks within a week is generally encouraged. You should seriously consider joining a gym or physical therapy program (if you have physical limitations) after surgery when your surgeon gives you approval to do so. An exercise program is crucial for optimal weight loss and maintenance of weight loss. We often enroll some of our patients in our cardiac rehabilitation program, which can make their transition to an exercise program safer.

    • What types of bariatric surgeries are performed at The Miriam Hospital?
      There are many terminologies that are being used to describe the gastric bypass surgery. Almost all our gastric bypasses using minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopic). The following four procedures are performed at The Miriam Hospital:

      • gastric bypass
      • adjustable gastric band
      • vertical sleeve gastrectomy
      • biliopancreactic diversion