Weight loss surgery is a big decision. We understand that the desire to have bariatric surgery is a choice you are making for your long-term health. Our team provides education on the necessary steps before, during and after surgery to ensure you are successful in controlling your obesity.
Attend one of our seminars to learn if you are a candidate. We will provide you with a list of physicians performing weight loss surgery at Renown, allowing you to choose the surgeon best for your journey. You can also attend our monthly Bariatric Support Group.
Am I a Candidate?
Obesity is medically defined as "excess body fat" and is measured by a mathematical ratio know as the Body Mass Index (BMI). A patient's height, weight, age, gender and body build are all taken into account when calculating BMI. A BMI of 25 to 25.9 is considered overweight. Those with a BMI of 30 to 39.9 are considered obese. Patients with a BMI of 40 or more are generally 100 pounds overweight and notice a significant decline in their health.
People with a BMI of 40 or are eligible for weight loss surgery. People with a BMI of 35 to 39.9 with significant health problems such as hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, diabetes or diagnosed arthritis are also considered eligible.
Patients with a BMI that meets requirements may not be eligible for weight loss surgery if they also meet one of several excluding factors. Patients are considered ineligible if they:
- Are younger than 18
- Have a medical condition that makes surgery too risky
- Have clinically significant or unstable mental health concerns
- Actively smoke (patients who commit to smoking cessation are eligible)
Obtaining Insurance Approval
It is important for you to contact the Member Services telephone number on the back of your insurance card to determine whether or not weight loss surgery is covered by your insurance plan. Some insurance companies do not cover all types of weight loss surgery, and some insurance companies do not cover weight loss surgery at all. Other insurance companies may cover it, but your employer may have specifically excluded it as an employee benefit option. It's important to find out right away whether or not your insurance plan will cover your weight loss surgery, as well as any specific insurance criteria.
Getting insurance approval can take time. Each insurance company has specific criteria that must be met prior to approving you for weight loss surgery. We will help coordinate between you, your insurance plan and your surgery staff to help you meet the criteria.
When you have met all of the insurance criteria, your surgeon's insurance specialist will submit your materials and letter of medical necessity to the insurance company. You will meet with your surgeon once a month preoperatively after you have been approved by your insurance company.
Weight Loss Surgery at Renown
Before receiving bariatric surgery, Renown Health patients undergo a six-month process that includes dieting, nutrition education and a psychological evaluation.
Renown Health performs the following bariatric surgeries:
- Gastric sleeve: Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive procedure which uses stapling to decrease the sieve of the stomach, limiting the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. During the sleeve gastrectomy porcedure, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created using a stapling device. The rest of the stomach is removed. As a result, the patient feels fuller sooner and stays fuller longer. This procedure allows for normal digestion and absorption and is typically done laparoscopically.
- Gastric bypass: This procedure uses stapling to create a very small stomach pouch. This greatly reduces the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. The rest of the stomach and a section of the small intestine are bypassed. This delays food from mixing with digestive juices and stops a portion of calories from being absorbed. In most cases, patients report an early sense of fullness and satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat.
- Gastric revision surgery: Gastric bypass surgery can have complications down the road. Patients who receive bariatric surgery may develop a weight gain or gastrointestinal conditions, such as chronic diarrhea or constipation. These patients may need to have their original operation revised. Revisional surgery is complex because the anatomy in and around the stomach was already altered during the initial procedure.
- LAP-BAND® removal: Roughly ten percent of all patients who receive the LAP-BAND® experience inadequate weight loss or develop complications such as band erosion, band slippage or infection. Without a different bariatric procedure, such as the gastric sleeve or gastic bypass, the patient will usually regain any lost weight. In order to meet weight-loss goals, many patients have a conversion surgery to the sleeve or bypass.
Note: Renown does not perform gastric balloon surgery or stomach intestinal pylorus sparing surgery (SIPS).