Qualifying for Surgery

Qualifying for Surgery

Weight-loss surgery may be right for you if:

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • Your BMI is 35 or higher, or your BMI is 30 or greater with obesity-related medical conditions. (BMI is calculated by dividing body weight in pounds by height in inches squared and multiplying that amount by 704.5). Click here to access an interactive BMI calculator.
  • Your serious attempts to lose weight have had only short-term success.
  • You do not have any other disease that may have caused your obesity.
  • You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle.
  • You are willing to continue being monitored by the specialist who is treating you.
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess, nor do you use street or non-prescribed drugs.

Contraindications for Surgery

Certain people are not candidates for weight-loss surgery. Pregnant women, patients addicted to drugs or alcohol, and people with certain psychological diagnoses are not suitable for weight-loss surgery. Other conditions such as prior gastric surgery, inability to chew, extremes or youth or age, and poor motivation to change, are all contraindications for surgery.

Your Motivation

While gastric bypass, banding and sleeve can be effective tools to control morbid obesity, there are risks and the pounds do not come off by themselves. Both are aids to support you in achieving lasting results by limiting food intake. However, your motivation and commitment to adopt a new lifestyle are extremely important for long-term weight loss.

New eating habits must be adhered to for the rest of your life. Exercise is an equally important component of a changed lifestyle; it is critical to maintaining weight loss and lowering the risk of osteoporosis.

Preparation for Surgery

Every pre-operative surgical weight-loss patient is evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist, and may be required to obtain pre-operative clearance from a cardiologist, pulmonologist, endocrinologist, internist, or other medical provider, based on personal medical history. Each physician’s office will bill the insurance carrier(s) directly.

You will receive a pre-operative packet with written confirmation of dates, financial arrangements and agreements, any prequalifying for gastric bypass surgery-operative lab tests requested, and additional details intended to prepare you for surgery.

When your pre-operative work-ups are completed and your surgery is scheduled, you will see your surgeon for a pre-operative physical and/or consultations.

Post-Operative Follow-Up

Post-operative visits with your surgeon will be frequent during the first year after surgery. After the first year, you will visit your surgeon and undergo standard lab testing on an annual basis. Follow-up visits will usually include a review of your eating habits, nutrition and exercise regimen, and will periodically include lab testing. Committing yourself to these follow-up visits is important to your post-operative success.

Although we prefer to see you in our San Diego office for follow-up visits, we understand that this may not be feasible for patients who do not live locally. We communicate with out-of-town patients via telephone, and any lab testing that is necessary is performed in the patient’s hometown.

Physician Referral

To find a bariatric surgeon near you, click here or call us (800) ALVARADO (800-258-2723).