1. How do I choose a bariatric surgeon/bariatric program?
Important questions to consider are:
- The number of years the surgeon has been practicing
- The number of bariatric surgeries the physician has performed
- Where the surgeon was fellowship trained and if they are board certified
Ask whether the facility is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This program only accredits bariatric surgical centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to bariatrics by passing an independent and rigorous peer evaluation process using nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards that also support continuous quality improvement.
2. What can I expect from my first appointment with a bariatric surgeon?
At your first appointment, you will meet with the surgeon and the other health care professionals who will be responsible for your care. Your surgeon will explain surgical options and help you decide which procedure is right for you. The bariatric team will be available throughout the entire process to guide you from preparation to post-surgery.
3. How long is the process from first appointment to follow up after surgery?
The entire process from consultation to post-surgery follow up appointments may take anywhere from three to six months, depending on your insurance requirements.
4. Who is part of the bariatric team?
The bariatric team is made up of surgeons, nurses, registered dietitians, specialists, radiologists and insurance specialists. This multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive care to ensure your surgery is a success.
5. Does insurance cover bariatric surgery?
Many health insurance plans, including Medicare plans, cover bariatric surgery.
6. Do I qualify for bariatric surgery?
Qualification for surgery is determined by your Body Mass Index
(BMI). BMI is a calculation of height and weight to determine relative body fat. Those with a BMI greater than 40 or a BMI of 35 to 40 with an obesity-related condition (known as a comorbid condition) such as diabetes, high blood pressure or obstructive sleep apnea, will usually qualify for bariatric surgery.
7. When is it time to think about getting bariatric surgery?
According to the guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), bariatric surgery may be right for you if you have a BMI greater than 40 or a BMI greater than 35 with comorbidities like diabetes, high blood pressure, or obstructive sleep apnea.
8. How will bariatric surgery affect other health conditions I have?
- You are 18 years of age or older
- You’ve been unable to lose weight and keep it off through traditional methods like diet and exercise
- You’re ready to commit to a healthy, active lifestyle
- You qualify for surgery
According to the National Institutes of Health, bariatric surgery is the most effective therapy available for the morbidly obese population. It lowers body weight, reverses or decreases obesity comorbidities, and improves quality of life.