Qualifying for Bariatric Surgery

  • Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?

    You may be a candidate for weight loss surgery if the following applies:

    • You are at least 100 pounds overweight and have a BMI of 40 or greater.
      • Or you have a BMI of 35-40 with medical conditions associated with your weight. (High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, etc.)
    • You are between 20 and 70 years of age.
    • You have been unable to lose weight and maintain weight loss using conventional methods.
    • You are committed to coming in for follow-up care after surgery, which is important for long-term success.
  • What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

    Body Mass Index is defined as an individual's body weight divided by the square of his or her height. It is one of the primary criteria for bariatric surgery.

  • What is included in the bariatric surgery qualifying process?

    Qualification is based on assessments by your treatment team in sessions leading up to surgery. You will be required to see a bariatric surgeon, physician extenders (nurse or physician assistant), behavioral health practitioner and dietitian, as well as any additional specialists the surgeon feels is needed to make the surgery as safe as possible for you. Each healthcare professional will help you prepare for the changes and challenges ahead.

  • Do I have to stop smoking to qualify for bariatric surgery?

    Yes. It is absolutely essential to quit smoking in order to get through the operation safely, and also to avoid complications after surgery. This is especially important for patients who undergo a gastric bypass, where smoking after surgery can cause ulcers to occur in the pouch.

  • Can I still undergo surgery laparoscopically if I’ve had a previous open abdominal procedure?

    Typically the answer is yes. In most cases, we are able to manage the scarring from a previous open abdominal operation, such as a C-section or hernia repair, and still perform bariatric procedures laparoscopically.

  • Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?

    Because every insurance policy is unique, it's important that you thoroughly understand your Certificate of Coverage to know exactly what is and isn’t covered through your plan. We recommend calling your insurance company to verify coverage for surgical weight loss procedures at Emerson Hospital. If applicable, we also strongly recommend speaking with the Human Resources department at the company who “holds” the insurance to assure there are not specific exclusionary criteria through your employer. It is also important to understand any deductible or co-payments that may be your responsibility.