Weight Loss Surgery Institute — FAQs
Q-01: AM I A CANDIDATE FOR WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY?
To be considered for weight-loss surgery at Marian Regional Medical Center, you must meet one of the following qualifications:
- Have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher (20 to 25 is considered a normal) http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
- Surgery may be considered with a BMI as low as 35 if your doctor determines that there's a medical need for weight reduction and surgery appears to be the only way to accomplish the targeted weight loss.
If you are interested in weight loss surgery, your primary care provider must provide us with a letter supporting your request for weight loss surgery. If you do not have a primary care provider, logon to the following Dignity Health Central Coast websites and click on the Find a Doctor link in the upper left hand corner. You can also call our Central Coast Physician Referral Center at 805-FINDADR. Many insurance providers, and all Medicare and CenCal insurance providers will require documentation that you have made prior attempts at medically supervised weight loss. Your primary care doctor can provide this in their letter or records.
To qualify for surgical weight loss, you must complete a medical and psychological pre-evaluation process. You must show that you are committed to adhering to long-term, follow-up care after surgery and that you have a clear understanding of the extensive dietary, exercise and medical guidelines that must be followed during your lifetime. The requirements for weight loss surgery are listed below and we will review them with you as well. A list of specialists will be provided to you at our office or through your primary care physician. Depending on your insurance, your primary care physician will have to provide authorization to these offices and/or procedures.
Requirements to be considered for weight loss surgery are:
- All patients over age 50 must have had a colonoscopy in the last ten years.
- All women over age 40 must have had a mammogram in the prior year.
- All women of child bearing age must be on active birth control, and have had a pap/pelvic exam in the prior year.
- All patients with active severe reflux disease must have had an EGD in the past year.
- All patients will undergo standard lab screening including CBC, Chemistry panel, LFTs, Thyroid function Patients with diagnosed sleep apnea will need to have a functioning and adjusted CPAP machine prior to surgery.
- All patients will undergo psychiatric evaluation and counseling with one of our programs providers.
- All patients will be provided intensive dietary counseling preoperatively.
- Selected patients will be scheduled to see a cardiologist for preoperative testing and a pulmonologist for overnight polysomnogram and sleep apnea treatment. This can be arranged in our clinic or by your primary care physician.
Q-02: HOW LONG WILL I BE IN THE HOSPITAL?
You could be back home as soon as the next day after surgery.
Q-03: WILL MY INSURANCE COVER THE SURGERY?
It is your responsibility as a patient to call your insurer and ask if bariatric surgery is a covered benefit. Our experienced team can help you with this if necessary. Before you schedule an appointment with Dr. Maccabee, please have this information available.
If it is not a covered benefit we have cash/self pay rates which are competitive with all other programs in the United States.
Q-04: WHY IS LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY IMPORTANT?
Laparoscopic surgery is less invasive, heals faster and leaves fewer scars. We perform the majority of procedures laparoscopically, to help our patients get back on their feet quicker, with reduced risk of infection and complications.
Q-05: HOW DO I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?
Contact us at:
The Weight Loss Institute
1325 E. Church Street
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Phone: 805-332-THIN (8446)
The Weight Loss Institute is located inside Mission Hope Cancer Center.