How do I decide which surgery is right for me?
Contact our office, and we will provide you with viewing access to our EMMI® videos to help familiarize you with different surgical options. You can then schedule a visit to consult with a surgeon. Together, the two of you will partner to create a treatment plan based off your individual health history.
Can I select my surgeon?
We are happy to accommodate your request for a specific surgeon.
Will my insurance cover weight loss surgery?
Our trained insurance coordinators can help determine what weight loss benefits your insurance plan might provide and programs that might help you finance the surgery should your insurance not cover it.
How many appointments do I need prior to surgery?
Everyone having surgery will initially be scheduled for the following four visits:

  • Surgeon consultation
  • Registered Dietitian consultation
  • Exercise Physiologist consultation
  • Psychological evaluation

Your insurance company may require a surgical preparatory program for three to six months prior to surgery. If this is required by your plan, we will schedule these visits and work with you to complete them.

What kind of medical testing is required before surgery?
After meeting with your surgeon, he/she will order blood work to include nutritional labs. If you are having the Gastric Sleeve or a Gastric Bypass, we will also schedule an upper endoscopy for you. Your medical history will help us determine if additional tests are needed.
Do I have to stay in the hospital?
Lapband® surgery is day surgery  Patients will typically go home a few hours after the surgery. However, in some cases, your doctor may recommend an overnight stay in the hospital.

Gastric Sleeve surgery requires an overnight stay. You will typically go home the following morning. However, in some cases, your doctor may recommend an overnight stay in the hospital.

Gastric Bypass surgery is performed at the hospital, on an inpatient basis. Patients will typically spend one to two nights in the hospital before going home.

How long does the operation take?
The length of an operation depends on many different factors.

The Lapband® procedure typically takes 30 to 45 Minutes.

The Gastric Sleeve procedure typically takes 1 hour.

The Gastric Bypass surgery typically takes 2 to 3 hours.

Where will my surgery be performed?
Sound Surgeons Surgery Center is our outpatient surgery center that is connected to our clinic. Most surgeries are performed here, but we also have privileges at:

  • Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.
  • Evergreen Health Medical Center in Kirkland.
Can I attend weight loss surgery support groups before surgery?
Yes! We encourage everyone to attend support group and talk to others who have already started their weight loss journey.
Can I follow up with your office if I had surgery with another practice?
Please call our office at 425-224-8200 to initiate a transfer of care request.

You will be asked to provide your medical records from your original bariatric surgery and fill out a current medical history. Our surgeons will review your records, and call you to let you know if you have been accepted as a patient with our practice.

What is BLIS?

BLISCare is surgical-complication-protection insurance, which is available exclusively to those surgeons who meet BLIS underwriting standards. BLIS surgeons are an elite group of providers who are selected based on experience and low complication rates. We are proud to be BLIS surgeons.

Why do I need to lose weight in the two weeks before surgery?
The goal of pre-surgery weight loss is to decrease the size of your liver. A critical part of your operation will take place in your upper abdomen covered by the left side of your liver. People with extra abdominal fat often store enough of that fat in the liver to make the organ large, stiff, and fragile. Quick efficient weight loss prior to surgery will reduce the size of your liver and reduce risk associated with surgery. The dieticians will work with you to create a customized liver shrinking diet.
How long will I be off work after weight loss surgery?
The time to recover will depend on the surgery you select to have and the type of work that you do.



  • Lapband – We typically recommend taking three to five days off work.
  • Gastric Sleeve – We typically recommend taking seven days off work.
  • Gastric Bypass – We typically recommend taking fourteen days off work.
Will weight loss surgery work for me if I am an emotional eater?
We realize that weight loss surgery itself is a tool to help minimize the feelings of physical food craving, but the real work comes with changing your mental and emotional relationship with food. We offer therapeutic counseling services and support groups to all of our patients so they can feel better prepared before surgery and well supported after surgery. Our team is dedicated to helping you find healthy coping mechanisms as you begin your new lifestyle.
How much weight will I lose?
On average, people lose between 50 and 75 percent of their excess body weight within two years of surgery. This will vary for each individual, but we tend to see increased weight loss in people who meet with their care team regularly.
What will my long term diet be like?

Our Registered Dietitians will provide you with nutritional education customized for you depending on the surgery you chose.


  • Normal foods in smaller portions.
  • Protein.
  • Vegetables.
  • Chew slowly.
  • Eat to the point of comfort, and then stop.


  • Processed foods (such as bread, rice, pasta, chips, cereals, crackers etc.).
  • Liquid calories.
  • Eating fast.
  • Sugar

We highly recommend scheduling routine visits with your Registered Dietitian.

Why do you lose your appetite after weight loss surgery?
After weight-loss surgery, many patients report changes in appetite, taste and smell. One of the reasons weight loss surgery is so successful is because it helps control background hunger. Surgery reduces hunger causing hormones. Patients often report that they no longer crave the same foods and sometimes, if you can believe it, forget to eat!
Will I lose hair?
Because of rapid weight loss, metabolic and hormonal changes directly following surgery, hair loss may occur.
Will I be able to get pregnant after weight loss surgery?
Yes. Having weight loss surgery alone should not impact your ability to get pregnant. We recommend that you wait for at least one year so your weight is more stabilized, and your nutrition needs can be met.
Can I have weight loss surgery if I smoke or use nicotine?
Here at Northwest Weight & Wellness Center, we ask that all smokers/nicotine users quit. Nicotine use impedes the healing process and increases the complication risk post surgery. Please talk with your surgeon about how you can stop.
What is laparoscopic surgery?
Laparoscopic (also called minimally invasive) surgery is a procedure that involves small incisions. The surgery is performed using a video camera and specialized instruments. Laparoscopic surgery entails less pain and a quicker recovery. Most bariatric surgeries will require five small incisions that are about half an inch in length.
How do you adjust the gastric band?
Band adjustments are done in office by adding or removing saline solution through the access port fixed beneath the skin of your abdomen. These adjustments can help you manage your weight loss. If the band is too loose, and your weight loss has slowed, adding more saline can help by reducing the flow of food through the band. If that band is too tight, saline can also be removed.

What about insurance? Take the first step:

See if our services are covered by your insurance.  Call 425.224.8200 You can also chat with us online below.


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Being in my mid-50s, change is not something I undertake casually. I had LAP-BAND® surgery with Dr. Michaelson in 2011 because I knew it was time to prioritize my health. My insurance covered the procedure, and I was able to lose 50 pounds in the first eight months. Unfortunately, by 2017, I had gained back all of the weight, plus some. I was still determined to win my lifelong battle with obesity and returned to Dr. Michaelson for a second procedure. This time I had a gastric sleeve revision, which I paid for out of pocket, so you know I believe in my surgeon! To date, I have lost 64 pounds, and I am continuing to slowly lose.

The revision was by far the best decision I have ever made for myself. I feel absolutely amazing! I traveled from Alaska for surgery on a Tuesday and flew home on Friday.
I was back at work on Monday with no issues at all. I’m loving life post-revision!

Robin M.

Wasilla, AK