Frequently Asked Questions

Why surgery for the treatment of severe obesity?

“Only surgery has proven effective over the long term for most patients with clinically severe obesity.” – NIH Consensus Conference Statement, 1991

As patients start to lose weight, they benefit from the easing of serious health risks often associated with severe obesity, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and arthritis.

Who is eligible for Bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is appropriate for patients who are 100 pounds or more overweight, and for those patients who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 35 and 40. You will also have had to fail at other weight-loss attempts, and may need physician proof of that failure.

Do I need a referral for surgery?

A referral from your primary care physician is preferred. If your doctor is involved, he can talk with the surgeon who may need additional information about you and your health history. You do not need a referral to visit the Benefis Bariatric Institute or to talk with the Bariatric Nurse Coordinator. She is available to help you through the entire process. Call her today at 406.455.2840. Or stop by the office at 400 13th Avenue South, Suite 106, in Great Falls.

How much does surgery cost?

Please talk with the Bariatric Nurse Coordinator. She can be reached at 406.455.2840.

Do you provide financial help for weight-loss surgery?

Benefis does not offer payment plans and requires that a percentage of your surgery cost be paid up front. The remainder is to be paid within 90 days.

Does my insurance company cover weight-loss surgery?

Each plan is different. Call your plan representative and ask if weight-loss surgery is covered under your insurance program.

What do I have to do to get the ball rolling?

Make an appointment with your physician, the surgeon or the Benefis Bariatric Institute, and go through the evaluation and consultation process. This will provide you more information about what type of weight-loss surgery is best for you, what you’ll need to do prior to surgery, and what will be expected after your surgery is completed. Call Benefis Bariatric Institute today at 406.455.2840 for more information.

After surgery, how long will I be in the hospital?

For Gastric Bypass surgery you can expect a 2-3 day stay, barring any complications. With Adjustable Lap Banding you may have just an overnight stay.

How many days will I be off work?

This depends on you, your job, how you’re feeling and what your surgeon suggests. It could be as little as 2-3 days or as long as 3-6 weeks.

Where are the surgeries performed?

All weight-loss procedures are done at Benefis Hospitals East Campus, located at 1101 26th Street South, in Great Falls.

Is surgery painful?

Any surgical procedure is painful and each person handles pain differently. Benefis has pain pharmacists on hand to help control pain and are on call 24/7 to help with this issue. Gastric Bypass is major surgery and the pain level is greater than with the Adjustable Lap Banding procedure.

Can I gain my weight back after having weight-loss surgery?

It is possible to gain your weight back, but only if you don’t follow your new lifestyle guidelines. If you work up to eating large amounts of food or the wrong foods, you will gain weight. It’s important that you stick to the commitment you made when beginning this journey.

Do you have patients that endorse your program?

We have many patients who choose Benefis Bariatric Institute for their care and who have been successful in their weight-loss journey. Click below to view some of our patient testimonials.

I take medications. Will I need to continue to take them once I've had weight-loss surgery?

Please discuss this with your physician. Once you've had weight-loss surgery, you may need to continue taking your medications and vitamins as prescribed by your doctor. Be advised, however, that you may need to take your medications and vitamins in liquid form rather than as pills or capsules. (There are many medications that cannot be crushed or chewed.) Please talk with your doctor to find out how to take your medications and vitamins once you've had weight-loss surgery.

Who are the surgeons?

David Rohrer, MD
General/Laparoscopic/Bariatric Surgery

These physicians are supported by a dedicated team of professionals who will help you through your weight-loss surgery process. They include:

  • Bariatric Registered Nurse Coordinator, 406.455.2840
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Social Worker/Psychologist
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Physical Therapist

Please feel free to call Benefis Bariatric Institute at 406.455.2814 or 406.455.2840 if you have questions. We're want to help you live well!