Qualifying for Bariatric Surgery

Our Frequently Asked Questions section references accepted standard of practice and guidelines from regulatory and professional organizations including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), American College of Surgery (ACS), American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) As always, please check with your healthcare provider to determine their individual practices, guidelines and what they recommend for you.

The National Institutes of Health set minimum requirements for recommending bariatric surgery as a treatment option:

  • 100 pounds or more above ideal body weight or a BMI of 40 or greater
  • BMI of 35 or greater with one or more obesity-related health conditions

Insurance companies also set requirements or criteria specific to individuals' insurance plan. Some of these criteria include:

  • History of documented dietary weight loss attempts for 3 or 6 consecutive months within a recent 2 year period
  • Documented history of morbid obesity for at least 5 years
  • Some specialty consultations such as psychiatric and nutritional evaluations

If you are mentally and emotionally prepared to make lifelong lifestyle changes
Together, you and your bariatric surgeon take steps to determine:

  • If surgery is the right treatment for you
  • Which type of procedure is right for you
  • That you have, or will have, the necessary support system around you

Expect the prequalification process to include a series of tests and evaluations. (See next section on preparing for surgery). After your visit with the surgeon, you will begin the Pre-Surgical Wellness Program with Dr. Tapscott.

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