Bariatric Surgery FAQs

How do I know if I qualify?
Anyone with a BMI of 40 or a BMI greater than 35 with specific medical conditions may qualify.

Am I a candidate if I have medical problems?
Patients with an unhealthy weight can develop medical conditions that pose an increased risk to their health. These conditions can include, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea, incontinence, reflux, asthma, headaches, and many others. These conditions do not typically impair your surgery eligibility. The medical conditions listed above can improve or resolve after surgery. Your surgeon will review your past medical history at your consultation and determine if you are a candidate for surgery.

What are the surgical treatments of obesity?
Our surgeons currently perform the Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass and the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy procedures.

How do I know which procedure is best for me?
Each of the procedures is discussed in length at our information sessions, so that you can try to decide which one is the right one for you. You will also discuss these procedures with the surgeon at your initial consultation.

How do I start the program?
Contact the Weight Loss Institute of Columbus Regional Health, 812-376-5640, or visit our website,, to register for an information session.

Do I need a referral?
We do not require a referral from your healthcare provider, but we do recommend you discuss all treatments with your health care provider.

When should I see the surgeon?
You will meet the surgeon at the information session, and then again during your initial consultation. You are able to meet with the surgeon anytime during your weight loss journey.

Are there other patients I can talk to?
Our program offers support groups that meet face to face as well as online, two times monthly. You may call our office to obtain a schedule, or view this online. We encourage all of our patients considering surgery to attend the support groups. This is an excellent learning opportunity for our new patients to meet patients that have had surgery and can answer any questions you might have.

Does surgery guarantee I will lose weight?
We view our weight loss procedures as “tools” to assist you during your weight loss journey. There will be recommended nutritional changes within our program. These will help you to feel satisfied and help with weight loss. Regular exercise is also encouraged within our program. With healthy nutrition and regular physical activity, more than 90% of our patients, have lost more than half of their excess body weight. As a reminder, surgery is a tool to assist you and does not guarantee weight loss.

Will I be required to lose weight prior to surgery?
We want to see our patients having tried other methods for weight loss prior to choosing surgery. Our program does offer a Medically Supervised Weight Loss program. This program may be required by your insurance prior to surgery. This program is a multidisciplinary program and helps to prepare our patients for surgery. The program includes, nutritional education, an exercise component, meeting with the nurse practitioner, and the registered dietician.

Will I eat differently after surgery?
Within our program, we practice and encourage healthy nutrition. Our program provides you with many opportunities both before and after surgery to learn more regarding healthy meal choices. Following surgery, there will be guided dietary advancements to allow you to return to a normal diet and help you successfully utilize your new tool.

Will I need to exercise?
Exercise is an important piece of your weight loss journey. It can help with weight loss, as well as improve your overall health. Physical activity such as walking or resistance training several times weekly is recommended within our program. We understand that each of our patients will be at different physical activity levels and may have different needs. Our program has resources to help everyone be successful.

Can I regain weight after surgery?
Weight regain can occur. We want to remind our patients that surgery is a tool to help with weight loss and is not a cure. By utilizing the healthy nutrition education you have received within our program as well as incorporating regular physical activity into your routine, you can help to prevent weight regain. Our program offers long term follow up to help you along your weight loss journey. Our office also offers a medically supervised weight loss program to help you get back on track, should you feel this is something you need.

Does insurance cover bariatric surgery?
Most insurance companies are offering coverage of bariatric procedures. Since coverage varies by insurance company, the staff at the Weight Loss Institute will verify if coverage is in place for anyone that has attended an information session and provide this information to you.

What if my insurance doesn’t cover bariatric surgery? Are there other payment options?
Our office offers a self-pay program. If you have additional questions contact our office at, 812-376-5640, and we can review all of the details with you.

What if I can’t exercise because my joints hurt too badly?
Our program does encourage regular physical activity. However, we do understand joint pain is common and our patients can be referred to physical therapy, if this is something they would benefit from.

Will I still need medication after surgery?
With weight loss, your medical conditions can improve and may allow you to decrease or eliminate some of your medications. All medication changes need to be discussed with your primary health care provider. Life-long vitamin supplementation following surgery is necessary.

Can I get pregnant after surgery?
Weight loss can increase fertility and help with conception. For the overall health of the mother and baby, women are not recommended to become pregnant within 18 months following surgery.