Bariatric Surgery Requirements

Bariatric Surgery Requirements – Overview

Bariatric surgery is also called weight loss surgery. This is a major surgical procedure, so you must meet certain conditions before surgery.

There is an in-depth process to prepare for bariatric surgery that you will need to undertake.

Weight loss surgeries are surgical procedures aimed at restricting and treating obesity. The most common bariatric surgeries are gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and adjustable gastric band surgery.

Qualifying for Bariatric Surgery

You can qualify and be eligible for a bariatric weight loss surgery if you meet the following criteria:

#1. If your BMI is 40 or over.

#2. If your BMI is 35 (but with serious health conditions like sleep apnea or type-2 diabetes).

#3. If your BMI is 30 or over, you may qualify for bariatric surgery depending on additional health conditions and individual assessments by healthcare providers.

BMI is short for Body Mass Index. It is a screening chart used to measure overweight and obesity. It compares a person’s weight to what is considered “normal” for their height.

Adults with a BMI of 30 or higher are classified as obese by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Pre-surgery weight loss requirements vary; some programs may require patients to demonstrate weight loss efforts, but specific percentages are not universally mandated.

Your physician or gastric surgeon will be able to determine the specific weight loss you will need to induce before the surgery.

Generally, a person is considered fit and eligible for bariatric surgery if the following scenarios apply to them:

#1. Unsuccessfully tried non-surgical treatments (lifestyle changes, medications, etc.) to lose weight

#2. Understand the potential risks and complications of bariatric surgery and are willing to accept these risks.

#3. Willingness to change lifestyle after surgery (like healthier eating habits, regular exercises, etc.)

#4. Have considered follow-up care needed after surgery

If you are eligible for the above-stated scenarios, then you can start the actual preparation for the bariatric surgery by:

#1. Psychological evaluation – This evaluation is necessary to determine that the patient is mentally prepared for the weight loss surgery.

For this, you will be tested by a psychologist who will consider your medical history for signs of mental health conditions like depression or eating disorders.

#2. Nutritional evaluation – This test is performed by a registered dietician who will explain the necessary dietary changes you will need to make after the surgery.

#3. Weight loss plan – This is necessary to improve the results of the weight loss surgery, so you will be advised to lose a certain number of pounds before undergoing bariatric surgery.

#4. Medical clearance – A team of healthcare specialists reviews the patient’s medical and surgical history and lab tests. In this stage, the patient is also tested for sleep apnea and heart disease.

#5. Pre-surgical imaging – In case the patient has undergone surgical procedures in the past involving the gastrointestinal tract, the healthcare team will advise some imaging tests to determine the best type of weight loss surgery for them.

Depending on your specific medical history and needs, you may also need to undergo additional tests that are not listed on the list.

Considerations and Discussions for Bariatric Surgery

If you are considering bariatric surgery, you should talk with your primary care doctor. They can tell you if you are eligible and if you would be a good candidate.

When consulting your doctor, make sure to ask them the following:

#1. Do I qualify for bariatric surgery?

#2. How might bariatric surgery benefit me?

#3. Are there any non-surgical methods I should try first?

#4. Do I have any health conditions that may increase the risk of complications after the surgery?

#5. Which type of bariatric surgery is best for me?

#6. What does bariatric surgery involve?

#7. What do I need to do before and after the surgery?

#8. How much weight can I expect to lose after the surgery?

If you want to get the bariatric surgery cost covered by your insurance, then you should also make sure that you fulfill the insurance provider’s specific criteria too. For this, you may need proof of:

  • Medical problems related to your weight
  • Earlier participation in medical weight loss programs (non-surgical)
  • Letter of medical necessity from your doctor
  • Complete health evaluations

The time it takes to approve bariatric surgery can vary widely based on the insurance provider and individual case.

Potential Risk of Bariatric Surgery

Just as with any other major surgical procedure, there are certain risks and complications associated with bariatric weight loss surgery too, such as:

  • Breathing issues (pneumonia)
  • Bleeding cuts
  • Infection in the stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood clots
  • Ulcers
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Gallstones
  • Leak at the surgical site
  • Strictures
  • Slipping the gastric band from its original place
  • Hernias
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Depression
  • Small bowel blockage
  • Spleen injury
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dehydration
  • Poor absorption of nutrients


In case you are not eligible for bariatric weight loss surgery or do not want to undergo that particular procedure, then you can choose endoscopy, gastric injections, medications, or try lifestyle modifications to get control over your increasing weight and bring it back to normal healthy levels.

See Also

Lap Band Surgery Cost

Breast Reduction Weight Requirements

Medical Loans for Bariatric Surgery

Does Medicaid Cover Weight Loss Surgery

Does Medicaid Cover Liposuction

Does Medicare Cover Liposuction

Cheapest State for Tummy Tuck

Is Coolsculpting Permanent

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