Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?

Around 1 in every 5 Americans were considered to have "severe obesity" in 2019. It's predicted to be 1 in every 4 Americans by 2030.1 To physicians, "severe obesity" means that a person's Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 35, and that they might be a candidate for weight loss surgery. So, are you a candidate?

For a patient to be eligible for weight loss surgery, many surgeons and insurance companies will require the following:

Your BMI is at least 35 and you have a medical condition that is associated with obesity or

Your BMI is at least 40.

Learn your current BMI by following this Easy BMI Calculator link.

Examples of medical conditions that have been associated with obesity include, but are not limited to:

There are some exceptions to the above information. Your surgeon can help you determine if you are eligible for weight loss surgery.

What types of surgeries does Dr. Richardson perform?

Dr. Richardson performs bariatric surgery procedures, including sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding (Lap-Band ®). He also performs several types of general procedures, including hiatal hernia repair, gallbladder removal, ventral and umbilical hernia repair, and endoscopy. He can help you determine which procedure is best for your individual needs during a consultation.

What is the recovery process like after weight loss surgery?

Recovery time varies depending on the type of surgery performed, but most patients can expect to be in the hospital between a few hours and overnight and take about 1-2 weeks off from work. During this time, you will need to adhere to a diet and activity plan to promote healing and weight loss.

How much weight can I expect to lose after weight loss surgery?

The amount of weight lost varies depending on the individual, but most patients experience significant weight loss within the first year after surgery. On average, many patients can expect to lose between about 40-60% of their excess body weight.

Will I need to take vitamins or supplements after surgery?

Yes, it is common for some patients to have nutritional deficiencies after weight loss surgery. Dr. Richardson may prescribe a daily multivitamin and possibly additional supplements based on your individual needs.

Can I drink alcohol or eat any foods after weight loss surgery?

Dr. Richardson recommends avoiding alcohol and high-calorie foods for the first few months after surgery to promote healing and weight loss. However, once you have healed after surgery, most patients can reintroduce these foods back into your diet. However, for optimal weight loss, consumption should be minimized.

How much do consultations cost?

It will depend on your health insurance plan and whether your insurance company requires you to pay a deductible. In general, consultations are usually very affordable in Arizona and some patients even have no out of pocket costs.

How long does a typical appointment last?

The introductory appointment is usually the longest. During that appointment, you will have a consultation with Dr. Richardson and typically meet with multiple staff members that will help you during your journey. Although such appointments can sometimes range from one to two hours, you accomplish a lot during that period. To optimize your time, make sure that you have all of your paperwork completed before you arrive. Subsequent appointment are usually much shorter and often under 30 minutes.

What should I do if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?

Please call and notify an office staff member as soon as you can. That will allow our staff to efficiently reschedule you to another day and make your previous time slot available to another patient.

Does Dr. Richardson offer any online services, such as virtual appointments?

Yes, he offers virtual appointments using an app that you can download to your phone. Just ask our staff about it when you are scheduling your appointment. Virtual appointments can be very convenient, but they do not entirely replace in-person visits. Dr. Richardson will want to meet you in person before performing any surgery.

Can I request a specific appointment time?

Absolutely! Just call and inform an office staff member of your desired appointment time. Although we can't fulfill every request, you might be surprised when we can find you a time. We look forward to meeting with you.

References1. Ward ZJ, Bleich, SN, Cradock AL, Barrett JL, Giles CM, Flax C, Long MW, and Gortmaker SL (2019). "Projected U.S. State-Level Prevalence of Adult Obesity and Severe Obesity". The New England Journal of Medicine. 381 (25): 2440–50