Making the Commitment to Weight Loss
Qualifying for Bariatric Surgery
In order for weight loss (bariatric) surgery to be beneficial, patients must be willing to change their eating patterns and increase their physical activity. Patients must carefully consider their options and understand the necessary commitments before making the decision to proceed. To be considered as a candidate for bariatric surgery, most insurances require certain criteria be met. The following list may or may not apply to you:
- Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40, or BMI greater than 35 with obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes or hypertension.
- New FDA regulations allow the LAP-BAND® to be available to patients with BMIs of 30-35 who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as diet, exercise or pharmacotherapy, and who have at least one obesity-related health condition. The LAP-BAND® System is the only FDA-approved device for bariatric surgery for patients with a BMI of 30-35. (It is recommended patients call their insurance company to see if the device is covered in their plan; not all insurance companies are currently approving surgery based on the new FDA guidelines.)
- History of obesity and documented failed attempts at non-surgical weight-loss treatment
- At least 18 years of age
- Stop smoking at least 3 months prior to surgery
- Attend our bariatric educational class and understand risks of surgery
- Preoperative cardiac/pulmonary clearance
- Preoperative psychiatric evaluation
- Preoperative dietary counseling
- Commitment to long-term bariatric care and follow up
- Approval for surgery by our bariatric surgical committee
Register for the Weight Loss Seminar
Upon registration, patients will be scheduled for an educational class in our office or online taught by the weight loss surgery team. Patients will receive a comprehensive educational manual at this class that outlines the bariatric surgery options. This is a good time to learn about what we expect out of our patients and what life as a surgery patient will be like.
Consult with Your Bariatric Surgeon and Psychologist
During your initial consultation, the surgery team will help you understand the comprehensive weight loss surgery program at UnityPoint Clinic - Weight Loss. The surgeon will also go over your health history and perform a brief physical exam. You will also meet with our psychologist to address your mental and psychological ability to handle the surgery and the life changes that follow it. At the conclusion of the consultation, the team will determine if you are an appropriate candidate for weight loss surgery.