Frequently Asked Questions

What is the surgical weight loss program at Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center?

The program provides patients suffering from morbid obesity with treatment and support needed to lose excess weight and keep it off. The medical center offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss and weight management for patients ages 18 and up. A bariatric surgical program helps patients lose weight through surgery and a comprehensive treatment regime.

Why have weight loss surgery at Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center?

  • Surgeons' experience - Surgeons affiliated with the program are board-certified and the medical director is section chief of bariatric surgery at Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, having performed more than 400 bariatric surgery procedures.
  • Multidisciplinary team of experts - Board-certified surgeons, physicians, clinical psychologist, registered dietitian, program director and patient coordinator are committed to making each patient's weight loss a success.
  • Surgery at a hospital facility - Surgery is performed at our hospital, which is fully staffed with specialists, the latest technology, surgical suites and support services. Staff members are trained to handle the most challenging and complex situations.
  • A commitment to excellence - Our bariatric program team is committed to delivering outstanding patient care.
  • Defined, streamlined process for the patient - Our team works with patients each step of the way, from the pre-hospital phase through post-operative care and follow-up.
  • Bariatric friendly facility - The hospital has furniture and equipment for larger patients; staff members have participated in bariatric-sensitivity training.
  • Long-term support and follow-up - Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center offers these essential components of successful weight loss.

What surgeries are available?

The medical center offers four surgical weight loss options:

  1. Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass - One of the most popular and successful surgical approaches is the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. This procedure involves a modification of the stomach so that only a small amount of food can be eaten at one time. As gastric bypass implies, food is routed past much of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. Individuals lose weight because they eat less and there is a decrease in the amount of food absorbed. Gastric bypass also can be performed using laparoscopy, which results in less scarring and faster recovery times.
  2. Laparoscopic Gastric Band (Lap-Band) - This procedure uses an adjustable band, which is fastened around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny stomach pouch. As a result, patients feel full sooner and consume smaller amounts of food. The band can be adjusted during follow-up visits to optimize weight loss. The operation usually can be performed using laparoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure performed through a small incision in the abdomen.
  3. Single Incision Laparascopic (Gastric Band) - With the single incision surgery, there is one scar, one to two inches in length, rather than a total of six cuts on the abdomen. Using a single incision for Lap-Band improves patient outcomes with less pain, a shorter recovery time and lower chance of hernias and infection because of fewer cuts.
  4. Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy - In this surgical procedure, the stomach is reduced to about 15% of its original size by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach, following the major curve. The open edges are then attached together, often with surgical staples, to form a sleeve or tube with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach.

What are the benefits of surgery?

For patients undergoing surgery, this is a life-changing event like no other. Individuals who have had surgery show dramatic improvement with diabetes, sleep apnea (a disorder with repeated pauses in breathing during sleep) and other conditions. Weight loss surgery can help:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce strain on the joints, thereby improving osteoarthritis
  • Prevent or reduce depression
  • Decrease risk of insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes (body doesn't produce enough insulin)
  • Prevent or reduce sleep apnea
  • Improve acid reflux (heartburn)
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Improve fertility

Who is a candidate for bariatric surgery?

A person who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30, or or as low as 30 with at least one high-risk medical condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis or sleep apnea.

Is surgery right for me?

Our bariatric team will provide you with information to help you make the best decision in conjunction with your primary care doctor.

What is the first step in the process?

The first step is to attend a FREE informational session. For details, call VIP-RHC-THIN (847-742-8446).

What are the risks of surgery?

Surgical risks will be discussed in detail at the informational meeting.

Is a behavioral assessment required prior to surgery?

Yes, a clinical psychologist conducts the assessment, which is required to help determine which patients will be good candidates for this type of surgery and achieve the best results.

Will my insurance cover surgery?

Insurance policies differ from plan to plan. Many insurance companies cover the majority of the cost of the surgery. It is necessary to check with your insurance company to verify coverage. The patient coordinator will work with patients and walk them through the insurance process, which may take months.

How long is the hospital stay?

With gastric bypass, there is a two- to three-day hospital stay. The Lap-Band procedure is less invasive and patients either can go home the same day of surgery or stay overnight.

How long are you off work following surgery?

This depends on several different factors but, generally, most patients are able to go back to work in about two weeks.

Is surgery painful?

Every surgery has some level of discomfort but this depends on each patient's situation.

How much weight can I expect to lose?

  • Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass (Roux-En-Y) - Individuals can expect a potential 60 to 80 percent excess weight loss.*
  • Laparoscopic Gastric Band (Lap-Band) - Individuals can expect a potential 40 to 60 percent excess weight loss.*
  • Single Incision Laparascopic (Gastric Band) - Individuals can expect a potential 40 to 60 percent excess weight loss.*
  • Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy - Individuals can expect a potential 50 to 70 percent excess weight loss.*

* Individual results may vary.

How soon with the weight come off?

It varies, but most patients start to lose weight within the first few weeks of surgery.

Who performs the surgery?

Frederick M. Tiesenga, M.D., is section chief of bariatric surgery; Stoyan Ivanov Kokocharov, M.D., previously served as medical director of bariatric surgery at Bariatric Solutions, Findley, Ohio; and Alexandra B. Roginsky, M.D., is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive and robotic surgery.

What are the surgeons' credentials?

Frederick M. Tiesenga, M.D., board-certified surgeon, received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed his residency clinical training at Metropolitan Group Hospitals in Chicago. He is fellowship trained in Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass. He is an affiliate surgeon of the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons and a U.S. Surgical Proctor for Bariatric Surgery. He has performed more than 400 bariatric surgery procedures, including gastric bypass and Lap Band.

Stoyan Ivanov Kokocharov, M.D. board-certified surgeon, received his medical degree from the Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and performed his residency clinical training at Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center in Michigan. Dr. Kokocharov is an associate of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery and fellow of the International College of Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons. He is a published author and presenter on obesity and bariatric surgery, and he speaks Bulgarian, Russian and Serbo-Croatian. Dr. Kokocharov previously served as medical director of bariatric surgery at Bariatric Solutions, Findley, Ohio.

Alexandra B. Roginsky, M.D., board-certified surgeon, received her medical degree from the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, and performed her residency clinical training at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive and robotic surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, and served as a post-doctoral fellow at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, where her research fellowship focused on cell cycle and cancer.

What follow-up care is provided after surgery?

To help patients lead and maintain active, healthy lives, we provide our patients with comprehensive post-operative care to ensure weight loss and weight management. Patients will follow up with the surgeon regularly during the first year and then annually. The patient also will meet with a dietitian and clinical psychologist at six and eight weeks, and then as needed.

Who attends support group meetings?

Following surgery, patients are encouraged to attend monthly support group meetings for the rest of their lives. At a minimum, patients are required to attend two pre-operative and two post-operative meetings. Each meeting begins with an educational topic. Time is allowed afterwards for participants to talk about topics of interest to them. Patients interested in having surgery can come to a session if they have questions to ask others who have gone through surgery.

How do I learn more?

To attend an informational session about the program or for questions, call VIP-RHC-THIN (847-742-8446).

Call 877-RES-INFO for Nurse Advice, Doctor Referrals or Class Registration Monday - Friday 8 am to 8 pm • Weekends 8 am to 4pm

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