November 28, 2023

Learn whether you qualify for bariatric surgery.

Have you struggled to get to—and stay at—a healthy weight? Determining whether you might benefit from weight-loss surgery (also called bariatric surgery) can be the first step to achieving a healthier life.

“Bariatric surgery leads to numerous benefits as a result of the impressive weight loss achieved,” said Dr. Jason Samuels, a bariatric surgeon with Vanderbilt Surgical Weight Loss. “For example, patients with diabetes are likely to experience improvements in the control of their blood sugars and require fewer medications to keep their blood sugars in a normal range. 

“Patients are also likely to experience improvements in their cholesterol and many patients no longer require cholesterol-lowering medications.”

Patients with joint pain often report that they found relief from pain and gained better mobility after their surgeries, he said. Weight loss surgery can also improve fertility.

The amount of weight patients are likely to lose with these surgeries differs from person to person. The bariatric surgery team at Vanderbilt offers two types of bariatric surgeries: sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass. “With the sleeve gastrectomy patients, on average, lose 45% to 55% of their excess weight, while after gastric bypass, patients lose 55% to 65% of their excess weight,” Samuels said.

If you answer yes to the any of the following questions, you may qualify for weight-loss surgery:

  1. Are you more than 75 pounds over your ideal body weight?
  2. Do you have a body mass index of 35 or higher?
  3. Do you have a BMI of 30 or higher and also experience severe negative health effects related to being severely overweight? Such negative health effects include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea or arthritis.

“Please check if your health insurance provides coverage for bariatric surgery, as not all do,” advised Samuels. “Your company’s human resources department may be able to provide further information.  If coverage is not available, speak to your employer about adding this coverage.”

Myths do exist regarding weight-loss surgery: Read the facts from a Vanderbilt expert here.

Need support to help you lose weight?

The Vanderbilt Surgical Weight Loss program offers advanced care to help you lose weight and improve your overall health. If you’ve been unable to reach a healthy weight with nutritional and lifestyle improvements alone, surgery might be a better and safer option for achieving your weight loss goals. The team will work with you to develop a personalized care plan combining surgery, nutrition, exercise and psychological support.

Learn more