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Bariatric Resources

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is shown to be the most effective solution for long-term weight loss. It includes multiple types of procedures, which work to drive significant weight loss by reducing the amount of food/calories a person can consume by modifying the size and/or functioning of their stomach. And although the amount of weight loss varies by patient, procedure, and several other factors, it's not uncommon for individuals to lose over 100 pounds within the first six months following their surgery.

Learn more about the surgical options available through Health First Weight Loss Services, including the gastric band, the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, gastric plication and other bariatric procedures.

Is Bariatric Surgery For Me?

Surgery is not for everyone. Besides being healthy enough for surgery, there are specific criteria that most insurance companies require in order to be considered eligible for weight loss surgery coverage.

Medical Criteria

  • Have a BMI greater than 40 with or without the presence of other health conditions; or a BMI of 35 with at least one or more significant obesity related conditions. This may include: diabetes, sleep apnea or obesity hypoventilation syndrome, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, severe degenerative osteoarthritis, pseudotumor cerebri.
  • Have a BMI of 30 to 34.9 (self-pay patients only)
  • Be a minimum of 18 years old
  • Have failed attempts of supervised dietary, behavioral and medical therapy
  • Have 2-5 years of documented history of obesity
  • Do not smoke for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to surgery (some insurance plans requires 2-12 months cessation)
  • Must be capable of understanding potential risks and consenting of surgery.
  • Expectations must be realistic for their desired outcome as well as committed to making permanent lifestyle changes for long-term success.

Other Requirements

While bariatric surgery is an extremely effective tool for weight loss, it is also a major, life-changing decision—and it is not a miracle cure. In order to achieve eligibility and experience long-term weight-loss success, patients must understand and illustrate the following requirements:

  • You have tried multiple traditional weight-loss methods that have failed, and consider surgery a ‘last resort’, not a ‘first option’. If you have not tried to lose weight using less aggressive, non-surgical methods, you will need to do so before being considered a viable candidate for surgical weight loss
  • You understand the risks associated with surgery and are willing to comply with post-operative therapy
  • You are prepared to make substantial and healthy changes in your eating, fitness, and lifestyle habits
You are ready to maintain a strong lifelong commitment to your weight loss success, following through with everything from ongoing NewFit visits to support groups to your medical management program

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FAQs

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is shown to be the most effective solution for long-term weight loss. It includes multiple types of procedures, which work to drive significant weight loss by reducing the amount of food/calories a person can consume by modifying the size and/or functioning of their stomach.

How Much Weight Can I Expect To Lose With Weight-Loss Surgery?

While the amount of weight loss varies by patient and depends on several factors, it's not uncommon for individuals to lose over 100 pounds within the first six months following their procedure. Your individual and long-term results will depend on everything from your type of procedure to your starting BMI to your age—but most importantly, your commitment to eating right, exercising, and maintaining the behaviors needed to maintain a healthy weight.

Does Bariatric Surgery Provide Benefits Beyond Weight Loss?

The benefits of Bariatric surgery range from physical to mental, and even spiritual. Studies show that weight-loss surgery has extreme health benefits and increases a person's life expectancy by up to 6.5 years, on average. Bariatric surgery is also shown to greatly improve or resolve type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, and a long list of other co-morbidities caused both directly and indirectly by obesity. In fact, most patients no longer need medications within the first six months of their procedure.

Does Bariatric Surgery Guarantee Weight Loss?

While Bariatric surgery is an extremely effective tool for losing weight and improving your health, it is not a miracle cure. Maintaining a healthy weight will require significant lifelong efforts, including a strong commitment to healthy eating habits, regular exercise, behavioral modifications, and ongoing follow-ups with your Bariatric team.

What Role Does Medical Weight-Loss Management Play In Bariatric Procedures?

Oftentimes, insurance companies require patients to undergo six months of medical weight-loss management before they're able to obtain coverage for their Bariatric procedure. It's also a crucial component for maintaining superior health and lifelong weight-loss long after the initial effects of the procedure.

What Are The Risks Associated With Bariatric Surgery?

Like any medical procedure, Bariatric surgery comes with potential risks. While your weight, age, medical history, and type of procedure can play a significant role in determining your specific risks, fatalities and other serious complications involving Bariatric procedures are extremely rare. The fact that Health First Weight Loss Services surgeons perform procedures laparoscopically and/or robotically provides extra layers of safety, further reducing the already-rare event of complications. Possible complications include (but are not limited to):

  • Gallstones
  • Liver problems
  • Injury to abdominal organs
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pulmonary embolus (PE)
  • Intestinal blockage & hernias
  • Cardiac complications
  • Nausea
  • Pain and bleeding

How Do The Risks Of Bariatric Surgery Compare To The Risks Of Obesity?

An obese patient is much more likely to die from an obesity-related cause than they are from Bariatric surgery. When comparing the risks of obesity to the risks of Bariatric procedures, studies show:

  • Obese patients that undergo Bariatric surgery reduce their risk of death by 89% over a five-year period compared to obese patients that do not
  • Weight-loss surgery increases life expectancy up to 6.5 years, on average
  • A person carrying an excess body weight of 40% or more for at least ten years is twice as likely to die prematurely as an average weight person
  • Bariatric surgery greatly reduces or resolves certain pre-existing, life-threatening diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and more
  • Bariatric surgery reduces a person's risk of suffering from America's top three disease-related causes of death: cancer, heart disease, and stroke

How Do I Know If I'm A Candidate For Bariatric Surgery?

While every patient and case is different, you may be a likely candidate for Bariatric surgery if:

  • Your BMI is equal to or greater than 40, or
  • Your BMI is at least 35 and you also suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, or another weight-related health condition, or
  • You are at least 100 pounds overweight

Calculate Your BMI or view additional Patient Criteria.