Detailed information to
 help get you started
 on your new life.

BMI Chart
Body Mass Index


Body Mass Index or BMI, is a calculation used to determine if an individual is a candidate for bariatric surgery. According to the National Institute of Health standards, anyone who is 100 pounds or more overweight, or anyone who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than or equal to 40 is considered morbidly obese.

We encourage you to use the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator below before attending one of our information sessions so you know if you are a possible candidate for bariatric surgery.


CategoryBMIHealth RisksOptions
Overweight 25-30 Low Nutrition and Exercise
Obesity I 30-35 Moderate

Nutrition and Exercise
Medically Supervised Weight Loss
Possible Surgical Candidate

Obesity II (Severe) 35-40 High Possible Surgical Candidate
Overweight II (Morbid) 40+ Very High Possible Surgical Candidate

Feel Better, Look Better With Weight Loss Surgery


Losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge thousands of Americans face every day. In fact, some of the major problems with being overweight are not only cosmetic; obesity plays a role in developing diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and other potentially fatal diseases.

...obesity plays a role in developing diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and other potentially fatal diseases.
  • We have a high level of expertise in the effects of obesity along with a great knowledge about the different types of bariatric surgery.
  • We are known for showing genuine compassion towards each and every one of our patient`s needs, as they are all different.
  • After surgery, your journey is not over. That's why we offer an array of support services including motivational group meetings, nutrition education classes and much more.
  • We also sponsor many events throughout the year to keep you going and assist you in reaching your goals.
  • We accept an array of insurances, but all policies may not cover bariatric surgery. So we offer financial counseling to those in need in order to encourage the right decision.

About Obesity
Risks on your health

A nationwide epidemic

Obesity is defined as a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body. Persons having a BMI or body mass index of 30 or above are considered obese.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States in the past 20 years. The Surgeon General describes it as an epidemic. Obesity is now the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

...obese individuals have a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of death compared to individuals of normal weight...

Some other sobering statistics from the CDC:

  • 25.2% of Florida's population are considered obese
  • 27.2% of Georgia's population are considered obese
  • Mississippi has the highest percentage of obese residents in the United States...34.4%

Obesity can be a degenerative and debilitating disease.

The National Institutes of Health reports that obesity substantially increases the risk of sickness and death from:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Sleep apnea
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Joint problems

Among individuals who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, 46 percent are obese. Among those with high blood pressure, 38 percent of men and 32 percent of women are obese.

And of those diagnosed with high blood cholesterol, 20 percent of men and 25 percent of women are obese. According to the American Obesity Association, obese individuals have a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of death compared to individuals of normal weight, with obesity reportedly causing 300,000 to 587,000 deaths each year.

The economic impact of obesity in the United States is substantial, estimated at approximately six percent of national health expenditures. As obesity continues to grow, so do healthcare costs. The American Obesity Association estimates obesity-related costs exceed $200 billon per year in the United States.

We've got you covered

What we accept

If you want to learn more about bariatric surgery, don't hesitate to join us for one of our bariatric information sessions. Listed below is a list of insurance providers we work with, but if you are concerned whether or not your plan covers these procedures, we encourage you to call them directly.

Most insurance companies require completion of a six-month, physician-supervised diet. If your insurance company requires documentation of a physician-supervised diet and you do not have appropriate documentation, you may complete a weight-loss program at one of our locations. And if you would like more assistance, please feel free to contact us.

Find your insurance below.

Good News for Aetna Members

As of April 9, 2010, Aetna announced its change in position to provide reimbursement for the sleeve gastrectomy procedure and will now cover the procedure. This coverage will be the same as the other bariatric surgery procedures covered by Aetna.

The coverage policy states, Open or laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), open or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, open or laparoscopic biliopancreatic diversion (BOD) with or without duodenal switch (DS), or laparoscopic adjustable silicone gastric banding (LASGB) medically necessary when the selection criteria are met.

This policy has the potential to impact the lives of over 18 million covered by Aetna and they are proud to have worked so hard to make this coverage a reality. This is an example of how they are working to support their practice, as well as their efforts, to provide the best patient care possible.

Information Sessions

Information Sessions


If you want to make a major change in your life, please come to one of our free information sessions. Be prepared to ask any questions or address any concerns you may have.

...don't forget to bring your ambition to start a new life. We look forward to seeing you!

Click below to review the times and locations of our sessions. You'll also have the opportunity to sign up for one that fits your schedule. And don't forget to bring your ambition to start a new life. We look forward to seeing you!

Sign up today for our next, free information session.

Sign Up Now

St. Vincent's Southside Center of Excellence

St. Vincent's Southside has been designated as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery


Center of Excellence Bariatric Surgery St. Vincent's Southside has earned the ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation.

The ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence program was started in 2004 to advance the safety, efficacy and efficiency of bariatric and metabolic surgical care. Surgical Review Corporation administers the program on behalf of the ASMBS.

The ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence program recognizes surgeons and facilities that demonstrate an unparalleled commitment and ability to consistently deliver safe, effective, evidence-based care. The program is structured to help bariatric surgery providers continuously improve care quality and patient safety.

Truly excellent patient care is the result of both the individual surgeon and the facility at which the surgery is performed. The BSCOE designation is therefore awarded to both the surgeon and facility, which enables patients to distinguish specific providers who have met the requirements for delivering high-quality perioperative and long-term follow-up care from those who do not.

The ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence program’s objective requirements and evaluation processes were developed in conjunction with leading bariatric surgeons, hospital administrators, health plans, researchers and patient advocates. A commitment to long-term patient care and success necessitates that the requirements be comprehensive, research-based and verified through a rigorous site inspection.

To earn the BSCOE designation, St. Vincent's Southside (formerly St. Luke's Hospital) provided information on all aspects of our bariatric surgery program and processes, including data on our surgical outcomes.

As a BSCOE participant, St. Vincent's Southside is required to enter information on all patients who undergo bariatric surgery into the Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database (BOLD). BOLD is the world’s largest and most comprehensive repository of clinical bariatric surgery patient information. The database provides real-time access to individual patient information and supports clinical decisions. BOLD is also being used to develop general knowledge about optimal bariatric surgery practices.

The BSCOE designation currently enables reimbursement from major health insurers, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), CIGNA, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. More than 262 million Americans are insured by health plans that recognize the BSCOE designation.

While the BSCOE designation represents excellence, it does not guarantee perfection. As with any surgical procedure, there are associated risks and complications with bariatric surgical treatments. Care is particularly challenging because morbid obesity usually involves a myriad of other medical problems that need to be addressed. Additionally, patients must do their part by following their doctors' orders to achieve desired outcomes.

Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix. The successful, long-term management of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other comorbidities depends on a dedicated, multidisciplinary team and its associated facility working together with the patient.

Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® is a registered trademark of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Used by permission of ASMBS. All rights reserved.

  • Learn Your BMI

    Learn about body mass index and what it means to your health.
    Learn more

  • You're Not Alone

    Get support from helpful groups. Pre and post-surgery.
    Get Support

  • We've Got You Covered

    Find out more about insurances we accept.
    Find out more

St. Vincent's HealthCare

St. Vincent's Bariatric Services is part of St.Vincent's HealthCare
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