Find a Doctor

You can search our online directory of physicians by specialty, last name, zip code or city/town by clicking here

For Information


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if bariatric surgery is for me?

Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix or a cure. It is the first step on a lifelong path toward a healthier lifestyle that will lead to a healthier you. Therefore, it’s important to understand the surgery, risks and the lifestyle changes it entails. Many of your questions will be answered at the free information sessions. You can register by connecting with the Virtua Bariatric Navigation Team at or 856-246-4155.

What should I bring to the Free Information Session?

Yourself, some general questions, a pen and a copy of your insurance card in case you are interested in setting up your first consultation appointment.

What should I bring to my first appointment with the surgeon?

In all cases you will need to bring your insurance information, a photo ID and possibly a referral if required by your insurance. Please bring a complete list of your medications. Benefit verification is important. Please call your insurance carrier to determine if you have coverage. This can save you a large bill for an uncovered service such as the consult.

How soon can I have surgery?

Each insurance plan has different pre-surgery requirements. Working within your insurances guidelines, you and your surgeon will evaluate when you are ready. Following successful completion of all of the pre-surgical requirements, your doctor will submit a prior authorization form to your insurer. The prior authorization form is a formal request for coverage and payment of your bariatric surgery. It may take up to 30 days for your insurer to respond to this request. Generally speaking, it can take from 2-6 months for most common commercial insurances.

How do I prepare for bariatric surgery?

Our team will guide and educate you on ways to adopt the recommended lifestyle changes well before your surgery. You should start to make healthy lifestyle changes today. Keep a daily food journal. If you smoke, stop now. We do not operate on smokers. Begin a physical activity routine, even just walking. Start to adopt healthy eating choices. Be sure that you have the ability, not just the desire, to implement lifelong changes.

What is the purpose of the Bariatric Pre-Surgical Diet?

The purpose of this diet, which is started 2 weeks prior to your surgery date, is to shrink fat stores in the liver allowing for a safer procedure, and optimized weight loss after surgery.

How long is my hospital stay?

We do surgery only on Monday through Wednesday to avoid having patients in the hospital over the weekend. You will stay two nights and be carefully followed by the surgeon and the nursing staff.

When can I go back to work?

Patients need to understand this is a lifestyle operation. Please take as much time as you can to yourself after surgery. Sometimes eating and drinking is a full time job. Each patient will vary but at least two weeks off is recommended.

What can I expect for follow up care?

Typically patients are seen in the surgeon’s office 2 weeks post-operatively, 6 weeks post-operatively, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and annually thereafter.

Will I have to take supplements for the rest of my life?

Vitamin and mineral supplements are necessary in the weight-loss period and certain vitamin/mineral supplements are needed life-long, depending upon the type of surgery you have. Your surgeon and dietician will review with you which supplements you will need.

What will my diet be like after my surgery?

After surgery, your diet will be a slow gradual progression of liquids to solid foods as tolerated. Initially, once your surgeon has approved solid foods, soft protein sources, soft fruits and soft vegetables are usually tolerated. Beware of rice, pasta and dense foods such as steak. Eat slowly, and chew small bites of food thoroughly. Your diet should be high in protein and fruits and vegetables. Fluid intake is important and will require sipping throughout the day. Also, patients need to train themselves to take small bites and chew their food well. You will have to learn to stop drinking prior to eating a meal and then resume fluids about a half hour after eating. Your surgeon and dietician will assist you as you learn these new habits. Soon you will find that eating healthy non-processed food is fun!

What is the Purpose of the Bariatric Diet

  • This diet specifies what type and how much food you can eat at each meal. Closely following your bariatric diet can help you lose weight safely.
  • To allow the staple line in your stomach (if you have one) to heal without being stretched by the food you eat
  • To avoid post-operative complications
  • To get you accustomed to eating the smaller amounts of food that can be digested comfortably and safely in your smaller stomach

Will I need skin removal surgery?

Less than 10% of patients require skin removal surgery. However, If you are considering skin removal surgery, you will have the best results if you wait to do it until two years after your significant weight loss. This time allows the skin to shrink as much as possible. Your weight should also be stable for at least a year.

I want to have a baby. When can I?

Weight loss surgery will improve fertility very quickly. It is recommended to wait to become pregnant for two years after the surgery so as to minimize the risk to the baby and to you and to allow you to lose the weight you need. Pregnancy is safe after weight loss surgery.

Social Invitations

Facebook Twitter Youtube

Follow Us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the latest news and events.

Virtua for Life

Discover ways to improve your health with news, resources, assessments and more with this free Virtua for Life email newsletter.

Let’s get there.

Volunteer Information

We invite you to share your time and skills with us as a volunteer.

Read more