Comprehensive Support through Your Weight Loss Journey

When struggling with weight issues, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your diet and weight loss options and discouraged by your setbacks. At Surgical Associates, we empathize with the challenges of your disease and will always treat you with the dignity you deserve. We are dedicated to successful weight-loss outcomes in a caring and compassionate environment.

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Is Bariatric Surgery Right for Me?

Below is a list of some of the most common criteria for bariatric surgery in Wausau, here at Surgical Associates:

  • Between the ages of 18-70 years old
  • At least 100 pounds overweight or 100 percent above ideal weight (Body Mass Index [BMI] greater than 35)
  • Weight-related health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, GERD, hypertension, high cholesterol, and joint disease in weight-bearing areas
  • Dietitian visits
  • Physical therapy visits
  • Non-smoker
  • A psychological evaluation & counseling
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Bariatric Providers

Bariatric Providers

At Surgical Associates, we offer specialized care in bariatric surgery, a life-changing procedure if you struggle with obesity.

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Gastric Bypass

Gastric Bypass

At Surgical Associates, we specialize in Gastric Bypass Surgery, a proven and effective bariatric procedure for those seeking a significant and lasting solution to obesity.

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Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy is a transformative bariatric surgery that reduces the size of the stomach, limiting the amount of food you can eat, and affecting the hunger-regulating hormones. This procedure is not just about losing weight—it's about gaining health, energy, and a new outlook on life.

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Medical Weight Loss

Medical Weight Loss

Excess body weight can be a complex health condition that requires more than just lifestyle changes to overcome.

Bariatric Surgery FAQ

Do I qualify for a surgical bariatric procedure?

What type of medical tests do I need before surgery?

What risks are involved with the procedure?

How quickly can I expect to start losing weight?

How long is the recovery process?

Will weight loss surgery affect my ability to become pregnant?

What are the options for minimally-invasive surgery?

What dietary changes will I need to make?

How many visits before and after surgery are required?

What is covered in the cost of the operation?

Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?

Are there support groups for bariatric surgery patients?

When can I drive after surgery?

Do I qualify for a surgical bariatric procedure?

The best candidates for surgical bariatric procedures are individuals who are severely obese with a body mass index of 35 or above.

What type of medical tests do I need before surgery?

Patients will undergo a thorough physical evaluation, psychological testing, special lab tests, sleep studies, heart studies, dietitian and physical therapist consultations.

What risks are involved with the procedure?

Bariatric procedures come with many risks, which will be detailed in a one-on-one consultation with our surgeons.

How quickly can I expect to start losing weight?

Weight loss typically begins immediately after the procedure, with realistic expectations set by your surgeon.

How long is the recovery process?

Recovery can vary but generally ranges from 24 hours for endovascular procedures to 2-8 weeks for open surgeries.

Will weight loss surgery affect my ability to become pregnant?

Extreme weight loss can impact hormones, and it's recommended to wait 12-18 months after surgery before trying to become pregnant.

What are the options for minimally-invasive surgery?

We prefer minimally-invasive procedures like laparoscopic surgery to reduce recovery time, using small incisions and a tiny camera.

What dietary changes will I need to make?

Dietary changes include a liquid diet for several weeks post-procedure, with specific plans provided by our dietitian.

How many visits before and after surgery are required?

Visits include consultations, support groups, dietitian and psychological evaluations, physical therapy, and preoperative evaluation/history and physical.

What is covered in the cost of the operation?

The cost of the operation includes:

  • Hospital fees
  • Surgeon fees
  • Anesthesia fees

Lab, x-ray, and pathology fees and a number of miscellaneous fees
Many insurance companies will cover part of the cost of bariatric surgery. They do require that we provide them with documentation that your surgery is medically necessary due to specific health issues related to obesity. Often you will be asked to provide documentation of your attempts and failures at other non-surgical weight loss methods, nutritional counseling, and that you do not have major psychiatric or emotional problems that would make surgery unsafe. Surgical Associate’s staff will be able to help you meet insurance company documentation requirements.

After we have submitted the required documentation to your insurance company, be sure to follow up with them to ensure they have everything they need to approve your surgery.

Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?

  • Consultation: You will be scheduled to see the surgeon once you have completed the information packet. At your consultation, the surgeon will review your medical history and explain the surgery in detail to you. He or she will also perform a brief physical examination. Please be prepared to spend about an hour at the office that day. He or she will make recommendations for any special tests at this time as well (e.g., a colonoscopy).
  • Support Groups: The support group meets the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm in the Medallion Room at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Support groups are open to patients, family and friends. You must attend at least one support group prior to surgery. Make sure you sign in to record your attendance for your insurance requirement. We find our most successful patients regularly attend support groups.
  • Dietitian Visits: Our program requires meeting with our dietitian 3-6 visits prior to surgery depending on the insurance company and post-operatively at 2 weeks, 3, 6 and 12 months. Our dietitian is specially trained to work with bariatric patients and will assist in both preoperative and postoperative diet coaching.
  • Psychological Evaluation: Psychological evaluations are required for all patients by an approved psychologist. There are no exceptions. Following this, you will be required to have ongoing therapy prior to surgery. You must abide by the treatment plan to be considered a candidate for surgery.
  • Physical Therapy Evaluation: This is an evaluation of your preoperative fitness and is used to assist in getting you started on an exercise program and preparing you for your future exercise strategy. Our Physical Therapist is specially trained to work with bariatric patients and will follow you both preoperatively and postoperatively. She sees patients 2-3 times preoperatively and at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months postoperatively.
  • Preoperative Evaluation/History and Physical: Once your surgery is scheduled, you will receive an appointment to have a history and physical completed by your primary doctor. Your family doctor will determine whether you are physically ready for surgery.

Are there support groups for bariatric surgery patients?

Aspirus Wausau Hospital holds monthly support groups to help you cope with the life changes that bariatric surgery might bring. This is an opportunity for socialization, education, and sharing ideas with others who have been through the surgery.

The support group meetings are a free service provided by Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

  • Location: Over the phone
  • Dates and Times: Scheduled every other month
  • Contact: Theresa at 715-847-2022, extension 22177 for more information

When can I drive after surgery?

You can drive once off narcotic pain medications and when your braking reaction time isn’t delayed, as advised by your surgeon.

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