Bariatric surgery can be dramatically effective when weight issues threaten your health and other weight loss attempts have failed. The American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery says that typical patients lose 60 percent of their former body weight within six months and 77 percent of their previous weight by a year later. This weight loss can significantly reduce risks of weight-related health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. But insurers and doctors often have specific criteria that must be met before a patient can undergo the lap band procedure or other bariatric surgery.
Do You Qualify for Bariatric Surgery?
Insurers have a list of criteria that must be met before they will approve the cost of bariatric surgery. Your doctor will also talk to you to help you decide whether you are ready for the lifelong changes surgery requires. Here are few of the qualifications that the National Institutes of Health has developed:
- You have a personal and family history of obesity.
- You have attempted to lose weight through diet and exercise programs.
- You are motivated to lose weight.
- You show awareness of the risks associated with surgery.
- You are committed to the lifelong dietary, exercise and other changes that will be necessary.
- You have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher.
- You have a BMI of 30 or higher and obesity-related health problems such as heart disease, severe sleep apnea or type 2 diabetes.
Preparing for Bariatric Surgery
In addition to the general requirements listed above, your doctor may also make some personal recommendations before you can qualify for bariatric surgery. A few of these potential requirements are listed below.
- You may be required to lose 10 percent of your weight before surgery or told to avoid gaining weight during pre-surgery screening.
- The doctor may wish to check the size of your liver to ensure that you can safely have lap band surgery.
- If you drink or smoke, your doctor may ask that you quit at least 30 days before surgery to reduce the associated risks.
Have you struggled with weight-related health issues? Talk to Dr. Michael Choi of Miramar, FL, to learn whether lap band or other bariatric surgery can help.