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FAQs & Patient Resources

Deciding to undergo bariatric surgery or participate in a weight management clinic can be a step towards better health. This page will cover the different types of weight loss services and surgery available, as well as who may qualify for bariatric surgery. This page also includes links to additional information about the Presbyterian Bariatric Center and our healthcare providers.

Are you ready to get started with the Presbyterian Bariatric Center?

How do I qualify for medical weight loss or bariatric surgery?

To participate in our medical weight loss program, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 35
  • Or, have a BMI greater than 35 but you are not interested in bariatric surgery

To qualify for bariatric surgery, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a BMI greater than 40
  • Or, have a BMI greater than 35 with other weight related health issues, such as diabetes, heart issues, or sleep apnea

Are these weight loss management options covered by insurance?

Many health plans cover medical weight loss or weight loss surgery programs if you meet their pre-qualifying criteria. However, specific benefits may vary depending on your health plan policy. Contact your health plan to find out more about your policy coverage and referral requirements.

  • Some medical weight loss prescriptions or medications may not be covered by insurance.
  • You may not need a referral from your primary care provider (PCP) before contacting our program. If your insurance requires a referral from your PCP, we can help you with this.

Once you have determined that your current insurance covers bariatric or medical weight loss services, contact our office for a pre-screening evaluation. This evaluation will help determine whether you are eligible for the bariatric program, based on your health plan coverage and criteria.

If you meet your health plan’s criteria for bariatric surgery, you will be invited to attend a seminar, where you will learn more about bariatric surgery and our program pathway.

Phone: (505) 253-6100

What are the potential benefits of bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery helps with weight loss and may also improve other obesity-related health conditions such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Gastric reflux or heartburn
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Is there a reason why I might not qualify for bariatric surgery?

If you have any of the following conditions, you may not qualify for this service. Please discuss with your healthcare provider to determine if you qualify.

  • Currently smoking or using other nicotine products
  • Recent drug or alcohol abuse (within one year)
  • Currently being treated for any type of cancer
  • Active eating disorder (within one year)
  • Recent suicide attempt or mental health hospitalization (within one year)
  • Are not able to walk or have great difficultly walking or moving

What types of bariatric surgeries does Presbyterian Bariatric Center perform?

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Gastric bypass surgery: This surgery creates an upper stomach pouch and “bypasses” the majority of the stomach as well as the first part of the intestine. The bypassed stomach is still alive and drains so it is not removed. The new stomach pouch is smaller so you will feel full with less food. Bypassing some of your original digestive system also changes absorption of the foods you eat as well as some medications that you may take. There are several different types of gastric bypass surgery (including the Roux-en-Y pictured, which is the most commonly performed type). Smoking of any type and NSAID medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc.) are not allowed after this surgery as they will lead to ulcer formation and other complications.

Loop duodenal switch/stomach intestinal pylorus sparing surgery (SIPS)

Loop duodenal switch/stomach intestinal pylorus sparing surgery (SIPS): This surgery removes a large portion of your stomach, and also reroutes or bypasses part of your small intestine. SIPS surgery keeps your pyloric valve intact which controls how quickly food leaves your stomach. Bypassing some of your original digestive system also changes absorption of the foods you eat, as well as some medications that you may take. By connecting the small bowel to another piece of small bowel (instead of to the stomach like in the gastric bypass) patients can take NSAID medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc.) after this procedure without increasing the risk of complications. This is like a merging of the sleeve and the gastric bypass.

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery: This surgery simply removes a large portion of your stomach. The stomach that is left is much smaller so you will be able to eat less before you feel full. This surgery does not change the position or function of your small intestine. There is no effect on absorption of the foods you eat or the medications you take. The weight loss with this procedure is very good but it is slightly less than the other procedures. Also, the remission of diabetes with this operation is not as good as the other procedures. Patients can take NSAID medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc.) after this procedure without increasing the risk of complications.

Why should I have my surgery at the Presbyterian Bariatric Center?

  • We provide monthly pre- and post-operative support groups.
  • We have our own dedicated dietitians and behavioral health providers.
  • All of our services are in one centralized location for the convenience of our patients.
  • As a Presbyterian Medical Group patient, you have secure online access to your electronic health records through your MyChart account. MyChart also allows you to message your care team, review test results, and much more.
  • You will have access to a nutrition and weight tracking app, which will allow you to set goals and log your daily intake of fluids and food, as well as exercise, weight, and measurements.
  • Procedures may be performed laparoscopically, which may reduce your recovery time and risk of complications.

Am I able to receive care at the Presbyterian Bariatric Center if I have had my bariatric surgery at another facility?

We recommend that you seek regular follow-up care with the surgeon who performed your surgery so they can monitor you for complications and nutritional deficiencies. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the closest emergency department.

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) offers other helpful information and recommendations here: ASMBS Patient Learning Center

Patient Resources