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A male jogger takes steps to live a healthy lifestyle after undergoing weight-loss surgery.

Do I qualify for weight loss surgery?

Bariatric surgery could be your way back to living life as you choose to. The restrictions that obesity places on you are frustrating, limiting, and often leave you out of the things other people are doing. If you’re ready to stop letting obesity control your life, let us help you make an informed decision about bariatric surgery. Isn’t it time?

15 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease of morbid obesity, and many are candidates of bariatric surgery. Morbid obesity can be simply defined as being 100 pounds above ideal body weight or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is over 40. 

Weight loss surgery guidelines, provided by The National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • Previous attempts at weight loss have not been successful
  • No medical or psychological conditions exist that would make surgery too risky
  • Patient is motivated and willing to undergo surgery and a complete change in lifestyle.
  • BMI (body mass index) is 40 or above. 
  • OR BMI is 35 or above with the presence of diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia or other serious complications of obesity.

What diseases and health complications have been attributed to morbid obesity?


With obesity comes an increased risk of developing these conditions—and others—plus a high risk of premature death. Therefore, please take the possibility of medical weight loss seriously—it could save your life.

How do I know if bariatric surgery is right for me?

If you have tried diets, support groups, hypnosis, and multiple other ways of modifying your behavior, but have only experienced temporary success, you should carefully consider bariatric surgery. Your weight has most-likely fluctuated over the years, going down with temporary successes, only to climb to an even higher level than before your latest attempt. This yo-yo affect is not healthy. It’s hard on your body, mind, and emotions.

Bariatric surgery is a consideration for anyone with a BMI of 35 or greater. Bariatric surgery could be the thing that starts you on the path to consistent weight loss and improved health. And soon, you could be on your way to living life as you choose.

Maybe it’s time to move beyond casual research. We’d like to help you with that. We understand obesity, and we’re committed to, and passionate about, helping our patients turn the corner toward better health and greater enjoyment of life. We’ll give you all the information you need to feel empowered and in control of the decisions you need to make.

And please, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re lazy or uncommitted. We know better. Morbid obesity is a chronic disease that usually requires medical treatment, and it’s wise to seek professional help. Rest assured, you’re not alone. We’ve helped hundreds of people through laparoscopic bariatric surgery techniques that include Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy.

The compassionate team at St. Joseph Health will help you consider all your options. And, when you’re ready, we’ll support your decision in every way possible.

So many life-changing benefits to bariatric surgery.

Our patients experience a dramatic improvement in their overall quality of life. They’re finally able to do the things they’ve been unable to do for so many years. And if that isn’t enough, bariatric surgery can also help patients achieve:

  • Longer life expectancy
  • Reduction or elimination of diabetes issues
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Reduction or elimination of hypertension
  • Better sleep


Life as you choose it is waiting for you. Let’s discuss your life, health, goals, and the bariatric surgery options that are available to you. Get in touch with us today!

Questions about preparing for bariatric surgery

  1. Attend a seminar.
  2. Make a list of all the diets you have tried and bring it with you to your doctor.
  3. Bring any pertinent medical data to your appointment with the surgeon - this would include reports of special tests (echocardiogram, sleep study, etc.) or hospital discharge summaries if you have been in the hospital.
  4. Bring a list of your medications with dose and schedule.
  5. Stop smoking. Surgical patients who use tobacco products are at a higher surgical risk.

Medical problems, such as serious heart or lung problems, can increase the risk of any bariatric surgery. On the other hand, if they are problems that are related to your weight, they also increase the need for bariatric surgery. Severe medical problems may not dissuade the surgeon from recommending gastric bypass bariatric surgery if it is otherwise appropriate, but those conditions will make a patient's risk higher than average.

Certain basic tests are done prior to bariatric surgery: A Complete Blood Count (CBC), Urinalysis, and a Chemistry Panel, which gives a read out of about 20 blood chemistry values. Often a Glucose Tolerance Test is done to evaluate for diabetes, which is very common in overweight persons. All patients but the very young get a chest X-ray and an electrocardiogram. Other tests, such as pulmonary function testing, echocardiogram, sleep studies, GI evaluation, cardiology evaluation, or psychiatric evaluation, may be requested when indicated. 


Insurance Issues  

Payment may be denied because there may be a specific exclusion in your policy for obesity bariatric surgery or "treatment of obesity." Insurance payment may also be denied for lack of "medical necessity." A therapy is deemed to be medically necessary when it is needed to treat a serious or life-threatening condition. In the case of morbid obesity, alternative treatments - such as dieting, exercise, behavior modification, and some medications - are considered to be available. Medical necessity denials usually hinge on the insurance company's request for some form of documentation, such as 1 to 5 years of physician-supervised dieting or a psychiatric evaluation, illustrating that you have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight by other methods.

Gather all the information (diet records, medical records, medical tests) your insurance company may require, before your consultation. This can help reduce the time it takes to navigate through your insurance plans process.

After all pre-operative tests have been ordered and results have been received, your surgeon’s office must mail or fax your information to your insurance carrier. Insurance carriers’ time frames vary from 1 to 4 weeks to respond to your surgeon’s request for the bariatric surgery.

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