Am I a Candidate? | Bariatric Surgery Program | Dartmouth-Hitchcock
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Am I a Candidate?

DHMC patients must meet minimal criteria for bariatric surgery as proposed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Panel Report.

These include:

  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
    or
  • A BMI between 35 and 40, and be at a high risk for serious obesity-related conditions that could cause death, such as sleep apnea, heart problems, or severe diabetes
    or
  • Physical problems caused by obesity that interfere with lifestyle, or a body size that causes severe problems with work, family role, and walking

Your insurance company may also have criteria that must be met for gastric bypass surgery to be a covered benefit. Some insurance companies have specific dieting requirements, which must be completed before they approve coverage of this procedure. You may need to show the insurance company that you have attempted to lose weight in the past 12 months, and have made changes to your food choices and level of physical activity. Many insurers now have specific weight loss requirements. Please check with your insurer before beginning our program.

If you meet any of these criteria, you must then:

  • Provide documented history to DHMC of previous weight loss attempts within the past five years that includes the type of diet, duration of diet (with start and end dates), and amount of weight lost and regained. Records from weight loss organizations, such as Weight Watchers® and NutriSystem®, are helpful. You are encouraged to have records for at least six months of visits to your family doctor that documented your weight, diet attempts, exercise, and lifestyle modifications.
  • Continue weight loss to show a commitment to making nutritional and lifestyle changes. This weight loss must be maintained until surgery. A start weight within six months of registering with our program online will be accepted. Some insurers have a mandatory weight loss requirement that must be met prior to approval for surgery.
  • Complete our Steps Before Surgery, which includes attending an "Introduction to the DHMC Bariatric Surgery Program" informational meeting, viewing online three educational seminars and completing the post-tests, having a physical and psychological examination (two visit minimum), and completing all required paperwork.
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