You may be a candidate for weight loss surgery at the Emerson Hospital Center for Weight Loss if:
- You are at least 100 pounds overweight and have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater
- You have a BMI of 35-40 with medical conditions associated with your weight, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or sleep apnea
- 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 your long-term success
It is also important that you:
- Understand the risks of bariatric surgery
- Are committed to making dietary and other lifestyle changes
- Are willing to undergo a complete examination, including multiple medical tests
- Are free of a drug/alcohol addiction or uncontrolled psychological disorder
What is body mass index (BMI)?
BMI is defined as your body weight multiplied by 703, divided by the square of your height. It is one of the primary criteria for bariatric surgery.
BMI = (weight in pounds x 703)
(height in inches)2
What does qualifying for bariatric surgery involve?
Qualification is based on assessments by your treatment team. You will see a bariatric surgeon, a nurse or physician assistant, a behavioral health practitioner and a dietitian, as well as any additional specialists your surgeon feels is necessary to make surgery as safe as possible for you. Each health care 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; smoking after surgery can cause ulcers to occur in the pouch.
Can I still undergo surgery laparoscopically if I have 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 is important that you thoroughly understand exactly what is 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 your employer (or whoever “holds” your insurance) to ensure there are no specific exclusionary criteria. It is also important to understand any deductibles or co-payments that may be your responsibility.