Weight Management Center

If you're more than 100 pounds overweight and you've failed to lose weight through medically managed weight control programs, weight loss surgery may be a good option for you.

St. Mary's Weight Management Center offers minimally invasive gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery for the treatment of morbid obesity.

Weight loss surgery is an effective way to relieve, and sometimes eliminate, the negative health effects of obesity such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis.

Info for Anyone Considering Weight Loss Surgery

If you're considering weight loss surgery, you'll find useful information here to help you be prepared.

Qualifications for Weight Loss Surgery

Not everyone is a good candidate for weight loss surgery. To find out if you qualify, you can meet with the team of physicians at St. Mary's Weight Management Center to talk about your current health status and weight control history.

You are likely a candidate for weight loss surgery if you:

  • Are 21 to 65 years old
  • Are more than 100 pounds overweight
  • Have tried other medically managed weight control programs
  • Have physical or psychological complications that could be significantly improved by losing weight
  • Are motivated and committed to lose weight
  • Are willing to participate in follow-up care and support sessions

You are not likely a candidate for weight loss surgery if you:

  • Have a history of substance abuse
  • Have a major psychological problem
  • Have high-risk surgical conditions
  • Plan to become pregnant at any time within 18 months after surgery

Other factors may affect your eligibility and whether weight loss surgery is your best option. St. Mary’s weight loss experts can help you determine what will work for you.

Insurance Coverage for Weight Loss Surgery

Getting your weight loss surgery covered by insurance may require demonstrating the medical need for the procedure. Here are steps you can take to get coverage for your weight loss surgery:

  • Read and understand the "certificate of coverage" provided to you by your insurance company. If you don't have one, ask them for a copy. They're required by law to provide you with one.
  • Even if you aren't required to get a referral, it's still a good idea to have the support of your primary care provider.
  • Before meeting with the bariatric surgeon, get your medical records in order, including your dieting history. Every stage of the approval process may require these documents.
  • Document every visit you make to a healthcare professional for obesity-related issues and visits to supervised weight loss programs.
  • Document other weight loss attempts made through diet centers and fitness club memberships. Keep good records, even receipts.

If your surgeon recommends weight loss surgery, he or she will prepare a letter to obtain pre-authorization from your insurance company. The goal of this letter is to establish the "medical necessity" of the surgery and gain approval for the procedure.

Getting Your Friend's and Family's Support

You'll have a greater chance of long-term success after surgery if you surround yourself with people who understand and support your goals:

  • Talk to your friends and family about why you've chosen weight loss surgery. Many people are under the impression that weight loss surgery is an experimental treatment. It's important that they understand morbid obesity is a disease and diets don't work for you.
  • Your spouse or another loved one may discourage your weight loss, because they see your weight as part of your identity. Understand that this is a fear of change. Talk to them about your reasons for having surgery. They need to know that your health is at stake, and you'll be counting on them to help you during and after surgery.
  • Get to know other weight loss surgery patients so you don't feel alone. Attend support groups at St. Mary's Weight Management Center. This is where you can ask questions in a supportive environment and form a network to share diet and exercise tips.

Expectations for Weight Loss Surgery

If you qualify for weight loss surgery, it's important to understand that it's not a cure for morbid obesity. The only way to keep the weight off is by making a healthy diet and regular exercise part of your lifestyle.

You'll attend many meetings both before and after your operation at St. Mary's Weight Management Center. These meetings are required to ensure you receive the support and resources you need to make your weight loss surgery a success.

Surgery is only one part of your treatment plan. You'll have a whole team of specialists working with you to develop a long-term weight loss strategy. In addition to physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, dietitians, counselors, nurses, lab staff and insurance coordinators, your care team may also include specialists in cardiology, psychology and pulmonology. We'll also work with your primary care provider to ensure you receive seamless care after your operation.

Other Helpful Resources

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Ready to learn if you're a candidate for weight loss surgery? Attend a free info session at St. Mary's Weight Management Center.

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