Weight Loss Designed For You
Our team ensures you are supported in all aspects of your weight loss, both physically and mentally. This means helping you learn and establish dietary, fitness and other lifestyle routines to stay on your personal journey. Most importantly, it means our team is with you through it all.
Start your weight loss journey with the following steps:
1. Getting Started
Watch a 30-minute video for an overview from our team on weight loss surgery and its lifelong commitment, displayed above.
2. Complete the Online Contact Information Form
Once this information is gathered, we check your insurance for weight loss surgery benefits and preoperative requirements as this often varies. There are also self-pay options for those without benefits. The online contact information form can be found at the bottom of this page.
3. Activate a MyThedaCare Account
Activating a MyThedaCare account allows you to connect with our team, access test results, schedule appointments, and complete important questionnaires to prepare you for surgery. View our ‘how to register’ video. You will receive your personal coverage letter in your MyThedaCare account within 7 days of submitting your contact information. This letter explains weight loss surgery benefits and preoperative requirements specific to your insurance.
4. Preparing for Surgery
Complete the preoperative requirements by attending appointments with our nutrition, exercise, and behavioral health team. For your convenience, many of these appointments can be completed through a video visit.
5. Final Medical Review
Once all requirements are completed, then your chart will be reviewed by our surgeon team to ensure you are safe and ready for surgery.
6. Insurance Submission
Our team will submit all the documents proving you have met the requirements to receive the weight loss surgery benefits.
7. Schedule Surgery
With written approval from your insurance, we will work with you to schedule surgery.
Anticipate spending 1 night in the hospital. Your surgery will be completed via robotic or minimally invasive approach to enhance your surgical recovery, decrease pain, and shorten your hospital stay.
9. Beginning and Maintaining your New Lifestyle
Attend routine support groups and follow up appointments. This is essential to your safety and long-term success. Follow-up appointments with our team will be more frequent in the first year, then annually.
Our bariatric team is comprised of surgeons, nurses, dieticians, exercise specialists, and behavioral health professionals with years of experience to support you in all aspects of your weight loss — both physically and mentally.
ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah is recognized as a Comprehensive Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program to provide you with the answers and support you need. We have also earned the Blue Distinction designation from BlueCross BlueShield Association and have been recognized as a Bariatric Center of Excellence by Optum Health.
Lose excess weight and improve your lifestyle with the complete support of our team.
The bariatric program at ThedaCare has a positive impact on your life beyond weight loss. Whether it’s more energy for playing with children, better sleep to get you through the day or renewed joy for life in general, bariatric weight loss surgery can make a difference in all aspects of your life. These benefits even include improvement or resolution of various other diseases and conditions. We offer:
- A team-based approach
- Care coordination
- Exercise and nutrition counseling
- Emotional support
What It Means to Be Obese
Obesity is a disease, not a decision. It stems from a range of factors, many of which you can’t control, like genetics and life circumstances. Just as some people are more vulnerable to certain cancers, some people are at greater risk of becoming obese.
Obesity is the result of a high weight-to-height ratio, or body mass index (BMI). Being categorized as “morbidly obese” means you meet one of the following definitions:
- You have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, and you are at least 100 pounds overweight, OR
- You have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher with significant associated medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or sleep apnea.
Why Obesity Is Dangerous
Unfortunately, excessive weight is not the only effect of this disease. Patients suffering from obesity are also likely to experience one or more of the following conditions:
- Sleep apnea
- Fertility problems
- Back and joint problems
These multiple health problems decrease your quality of life and can be fatal.
ThedaCare offers a comprehensive program that respects and supports you while you explore a range of options.
When Diets Aren’t the Problem
If you are obese and have already struggled through unsuccessful weight loss attempts, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. There are three types of procedures available through ThedaCare:
- Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: Our most common and successful surgery, this procedure restricts the size of the stomach by partially bypassing the small intestine. It provides the fastest and most complete loss of excess weight.
- Gastric Sleeve Resection: Sometimes a better choice for people with significant medical problems, this procedure removes approximately two-thirds of the stomach. It also allows for future procedures if a patient regains weight.
- ORBERA Gastric Balloon: A reversible, non-surgical weight loss procedure which means no incisions, stitches or scars. A balloon is placed in the stomach for 6 months to reinforce portion control while working with our team of experts to establish healthy habits. This procedure is FDA approved for weight loss with BMI between 30 to 40. Click here to calculate your BMI. To learn more or schedule a consultation, call us at (920) 725-4527.
On average, people will lose a total of 125-150 pounds within 1 year or later after bariatric surgery, and approximately 75% of patients maintain significant weight loss after 5 years. As a side benefit to bariatric surgery, most patients see a reduction or elimination of other medical conditions such as sleep apnea, hypertension, diabetes, fertility problems, acid reflux and joint pain.
Get With the Program!
You don’t have to explore bariatric weight loss surgery alone. As we determine whether or not you are eligible for surgery, we’ll work together to build skills and find out if you’re ready for this lifelong change. You’ll receive:
- Nutritional education & guidance
- Professional exercise training
- Emotional support & counseling
- Help with insurance considerations
In fact, the most effective program combines nutrition, diet and exercise with education and counseling. ThedaCare’s Behavioral Health Specialists can help you explore perceptions about how being overweight affects you psychologically and socially. Specially trained to understand your challenges, your behavioral specialist will listen to your concerns and help develop a strategy to improve your weight-loss success.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can expect to go back to work in 4-6 weeks. With that said, this varies based on the type of work and your recovery. Your surgeon will provide you with clear instructions throughout your recovery. It is important to remember that there is no set recovery time-everyone is different. You may be able to work half days or every other day depending on the kind of work you are coming back to. If your job is involves physical activities, such as lifting, then this may not be an option compared to someone with a more sedentary job.
Remember you will have low energy for up to six weeks after surgery. Your safety and the safety of others is extremely important during this time. Don’t underplay your need for recovery time. Remember that the benefits of bariatric surgery can make you more productive at work in the future so it is in everyone’s interest that your recovery time is responsibly taken into consideration.
As you lose weight, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the need for high blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol, and diabetes medications. You may even be able to discontinue your diabetic medications when you leave the hospital.
Yes. It is essential that you are closely monitored by your primary care physician because medical conditions will change following weight loss surgery. Dr. Knaus, the center’s internal medicine physician, will work with you in the hospital and during your first week of recovery. He will keep your primary care physician informed on your progress during that week.
Almost everyone is able to find some activity to “count” as moderate exercise, even those who are unable to walk, or have arthritis or spine pain. Our exercise specialist will work with you both before and after surgery to help find what works best for you.
At your first appointment, you will discuss exercise recommendations, determine your best method of exercise, and go over any modifications needed due to physical limitations or restrictions.
These visits are covered by most insurance companies. For payment details, contact your insurance carrier and ask about coverage for CPT code 99211, which is a non-physician visit.
You should avoid pregnancy for at least two years after surgery as it is very difficult during this period to continue your weight loss and get the proper nutrition for your unborn child. As you lose the weight, you may become more fertile. Use any and all protection so you do not get pregnant for the first two years. Please discuss any pregnancy plans with your surgeon. The good news is that, after surgery, there is much less risk of experiencing problems during pregnancy and during childbirth.
As you start losing weight, you may notice excess skin. This is different for everyone depending weight loss, age, genetics, and exercise or smoking habits. For some people, the skin will tone up. For others, the skin remains stretched or sagging around in the waist or other parts of your body. Some people choose to live with the excess skin and hide it with clothing or compression garments, while others have it removed with plastic surgery. We recommend waiting at least 18 months before plastic surgery.
You will need to take over-the-counter vitamins or minerals each day for the rest of your life after surgery. Your dietitian will help you pick the right vitamins for you.
Normally is now a relative term. Right after surgery your stomach will only be able to hold 2 tablespoons at a time but eventually will hold a 1 ½ cup. Your dietitian will help you prepare for this before surgery and guide you through the process after surgery. By 6 months, most people feel comfortable going to parties or out to eat; however there are guidelines that will always need to be considered such as eating protein first with meals.
Your first nutrition visit will be in a small group setting with 1 to 3 other patients. This visit is 75 minutes. You will meet with the bariatric dietitian as well as the exercise physiologist and care manager at this visit. You will learn about the lifelong commitment following weight loss surgery. This includes the preoperative low carbohydrate and high protein diet that you will need to follow between your nutrition visits and until surgery. Come to this visit with questions.
Before this visit be sure to complete the two bariatric questionnaires in your myThedaCare account.
The remaining nutrition visits will be a one to one session with you and the dietitian. It will be important for you to bring your food journal to each visit. You and the dietitian will review this food journal to make modifications to current eating habits and celebrate successes. The preoperative low carbohydrate and high protein diet prepares you for the diet after surgery. It also shrinks a typically enlarged fatty liver. This allows the surgeons to safely complete a minimally invasive weight loss surgery.
- Always eat protein first at every meal.
- No non-protein snacking
- Sip eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (64 oz. total)—no gulping
- Exercise at least 20 minutes per day
- Take daily vitamin supplements
- Attend one full year on monthly support group meetings
- Carefully tend to your emotional and mental health and ask for help when you need it.
- Do not use any tobacco or anti-inflammatory medications such as Aleve, Motrin, or ibuprofen without first taking medicine to protect the lining of your stomach.
- Do not drink anything beyond very small amounts of alcohol.
This typically takes 3 to 8 months, but varies based on requirements set by your insurance plan. These requirements will be clearly identified in your pathway letter, which you will receive within 7 business days of completing the bariatric questionnaires.
First, call 920.729.3363 to schedule your first nutrition visit called the initial bariatric nutrition class.
Next be sure to complete the two bariatric questionnaires in your myThedaCare account before your first group nutrition visit.
Start Your Journey
You have the power to change your life. If you are interested in learning more about surgical weight loss and how it can help you, complete the form below.