The answers to your
 important questions.

Bariatric Surgery FAQs

How can I find out if my insurance covers bariatric surgery?

Insurance coverage for bariatric surgery is often a complex subject. We encourage you to call your insurance company and inquire about coverage under your specific plan. 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.

If your insurance does not cover bariatric surgery, don't worry, we have experts that can help. Come to one of our free information sessions to meet our experts and learn more about our reasonable cash pay options. We'll do our best to find an option that works for you.

What are the criteria to be a candidate for bariatric surgery?

  • Meet the BMI criteria.
    - BMI of at least 40, or
    - Weight at least 100 pounds or more than ideal weight, or
    - BMI is at least 35 and serious health problems exist.
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Have been overweight for more than five years
  • Have had only short-term success with serious weight-loss attempts
  • Do not have any other disease that could have caused obesity
  • Are prepared to attend regular follow-up sessions and make lifestyle changes
  • Some insurance companies only require a two-year weight loss history.

To calculate your BMI, please click here.

Do I need authorization from my primary care doctor?

Since bariatric surgery is a tool to improve your overall health, we encourage you to get your primary care physician involved as early as possible. This evaluation should include a chest x-ray and EKG. Additional cardiac clearance may also be required based on your medical history. Our ultimate goal is that your physician is involved in the entire process so you can have the most comprehensive care possible.

What is the evaluation process like?

The first step is to attend one of our free information sessions in order to make a decision that is right for you. The bariatric healthcare teams consist of RNs, dietitians, psychologists and other healthcare professionals with vast experience in assisting patients throughout the weight loss surgery process. These professionals will participate in pre-op care and education. The dietitian will discuss necessary diet changes, the psychologist will perform an evaluation in order to help identify behaviors that may interfere with long-term success of surgery, and the surgeon will assist in educating you on weight-reduction techniques.

The initial evaluation process usually takes from one to three months, but the overall evaluation could take six to eight months, depending on your insurance company and if tests are required for medical clearance.

What are the benefits of bariatric surgery?

The major benefit of any weight loss procedure comes from the first 40-50 pounds of weight loss. This is where most obese people will get other medical problems related to obesity under control. Other benefits include more energy, confidence, improved socialization, increased mobility, a heightened love for life, and a sense of feeling younger.

Will there be any scars?

We offer a range of procedures with different effects on the body including minimally invasive laparoscopic, the single incision band or sleeve which involved only one incision, or other procedures that involve seven small incisions ranging from 1/5 inch to 1/2 inch. Over time, these small incisions will fade and become less noticeable.

What about pregnancy?

It is recommended that pregnancy is avoided for 12 to 18 months following surgery. During the first year following surgery, you body is still adapting to your new metabolism. Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight and as your menstrual cycle becomes more regular. If you become pregnant, you must carefully communicate with you obstetrician regarding your weight-loss surgery and the nutritional implications it carries. Additionally, if you have a gastric band and you need to eat more while you are pregnant, the band can be loosened. After pregnancy, the band may be made tighter again and you can resume losing weight.

How do I make an appointment?

Before you begin the evaluation process, you must attend one of our free information sessions. You may view our information session page for a list of seminar dates.

During the information session you will have an opportunity to schedule an appointment with the surgeon of your choice.

How long will I be out of work after having the procedure?

Lapband patients typically spend less than 24 hours in the hospital while sleeve and bypass patients are out within 48 hours. It takes most patients about a week to return to work and a month to six weeks to resume exercising

What is included in follow-up care?

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. Your surgeon will educate you on suggested diet, pre-op protein and vitamin intake, change in behavior and exercise. You may also be informed about plastic surgery and everyday issues at this time.

Scroll to top

Register Today for a Free Information Session.

Sign Up Now

Find your way to either of our two locations.

Get directions.
Contact a location.

Inspiring stories from some of our patients.

Read the stories

  • 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
©2015 St. Vincent's HealthCare