Published on April 11, 2016

Evaluation for bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is not the only treatment for obesity.

Your health care provider may want you to try other treatments first. These may include working with a dietitian or using a prescribed weight-loss medicine.

Woman doing SitupsFor the surgery to be a success, you will need to make lifelong changes to your diet and lifestyle. Your medical team will want to know that you are ready for the life changes that go with surgery.

You will need to go through an in-depth screening process to be approved for bariatric surgery. You’ll also want to find out if your health insurance plan will cover the costs of the surgery. As part of your evaluation, you’ll need to give some details about your weight and diet history.

To be approved for the surgery, you’ll need to meet with health care providers such as:

  • Your surgeon, who must confirm that you are a good candidate for surgery
  • A mental health professional, who can assess your psychological health and readiness for the surgery
  • A registered dietitian, who will look at your diet and eating habits and help you begin to make the needed changes
  • A primary care health care provider who can assess your general health and readiness for surgery
  • A heart health care provider, who can make sure your heart is healthy for surgery
  • A lung health care provider, who can make sure your lungs are healthy for surgery

You may need to work with these health care providers for several months before you can get approval. They need to make sure you are in good mental and physical shape for the surgery. You may need to work with your primary health care provider and a dietitian to lose some weight and stop smoking in the months before your surgery. This helps reduce your risk for complications after the surgery.

You might need to work with extra health care professionals if you have other medical or social problems. All of these health care providers must agree that the surgery is safe for you.