Qualifying for Bariatric Surgery

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Get Started with Bariatric Surgery

If you meet the qualifications, you must attend an informational seminar before a consultation can be scheduled.

You may be a candidate for bariatric surgery if:

  • you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40, or
  • if you have a BMI greater than 35 with the presence of obesity-associated illnesses or obesity-induced physical problems that interfere with daily living and overall health.
BMI Category Health Risk
Less than 18.5 Underweight Low
18.5 - 24.9 Normal Average
25 - 29.9 Overweight Mildly Increased
30 - 34.9 Obesity Class I Moderate
35 - 39.9 Obesity Class II Severe
40 - 49.9 Extreme Obesity, Class III Very Severe
Greater than 50 Super Obesity Very Severe

Other Criteria

To qualify for surgery, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Understand the surgical procedure, its associated health risks, and the lifestyle changes that must accompany it for success
  • Have more potential benefits from surgery than surgical risks
  • Be in a stable mental condition
  • Be tobacco-free for at least 8 weeks before surgery

Other qualifications may apply at the discretion of the bariatric surgeon.

Program Requirements Prior to Surgery

Preparing for bariatric surgery requires a proactive approach. How quickly your surgery can be scheduled depends, to a large extent, on your ability to complete the program requirements.

To be considered for the Catholic Health Bariatric Surgery program, you must do the following:

Participate in an informational seminar before surgery

This seminar is an in-person seminar offered by our bariatric surgeon and is offered monthly.

Have an assessment of your health and the potential risks of surgery

This assessment will take place with our bariatric surgeon during your initial appointment.

Have a letter indicating medical necessity

This letter is usually provided by your primary care doctor or from the physician who referred you for bariatric surgery.
If you have not been referred for surgery, you will need to make an appointment with your primary care doctor to obtain the letter of recommendation.

Prove that previous dieting attempts have not worked

You must talk to our nutritionist and bariatric surgeon about previous dieting attempts that have failed. If your medical record shows a fluctuation in weight, it can also be used as proof that dieting has been unsuccessful.

Be a evaluated by a psychologist

This assessment can verify that you are mentally and emotionally ready for the challenges of surgery and the changes that will follow.

Be evaluated by a registered dietitian

Our nutritionist will assess your current health status, review past dietary challenges and go over what your diet will be like after bariatric surgery.

If you are over 615 lbs., your doctor may ask you to diet prior to surgery. The nutritionist will help you to plan your meals so that you can achieve the required weight loss.

If you have diabetes, the nutritionist will also help you to manage your diabetes so that you can heal more quickly following surgery.

Request insurance coverage

Most insurance plans cover the procedure in part and the rest is paid by the patient paid out-of-pocket. Insurance coverage must be requested prior to surgery.

Undergo other tests as needed

Prior to surgery, a chest X-ray, EKG and blood work is needed.

Depending on your health, you may need additional tests. For example, patients with sleep apnea may require a sleep study. Patients with diabetes may need an endocrine evaluation to prove that diabetes is being managed.

Demonstrate your understanding of the choices, risks, and lifestyle changes required to achieve success