In 1991, the National Institutes of Health concluded that weight loss surgery was the most effective treatment option for long-term weight loss in severely obese patients. Bariatric surgery assists patients who are seeking treatment for obesity and can improve their life in many waysfrom losing weight to feeling more energetic and feeling better about themselves.
Together with the National Institute of Health, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services agreed that bariatric surgery would be covered for patients that met the follow criteria:
Patient must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40 kg/m2.
Patient must have a Body Mass Index greater than 35kg/m2 with associated co-morbidities such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Patient must be a non-smoker.
Patient must be committed to a lifestyle change.
Patient has failed at previous attempts to lose weight through non-surgical means.
Patient must be well informed and motivated.
A commitment to diet and exercise is crucial to achieving a healthier and fuller lifestyle and is essential for long-term success. Surgery is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle; rather it allows diet and exercise to actually work. Bariatric surgery should be considered a tool for weight loss, not the cure.
Once the surgery has been completed, the patient can often expect to see most medical problems associated with obesitylike hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea and arthritisimprove or disappear, as long as they continue to eat well and exercise.
To learn more or make an appointment, call 207-795-5710 or visit www.cmmc.org/bariatric-surgery.