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Who Qualifies for Weight Loss Surgery?

A number of guidelines are used to determine whether a patient will be accepted for weight loss surgery. These include the following:

  • Body Mass Index above 40, or above 35 with co-morbidity such as diabetes, hypertension, or sleep apnea.
  • Smokers must quit smoking at least 6 weeks prior to the surgery and promise to remain a non-smoker following the surgery.
  • Individual must be able to fully understand the risks and hazards of surgery, short and long-term complications either possible or anticipated, and how the mechanics of the surgical procedure result in post-operative weight loss.
  • Individual must undergo subjective evaluation by their own physician, psychologist, and our surgeon.

Click here to calculate your Body Mass Index

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Consultations Required

After the basic criteria have been met and the initial examination has been completed, additional consultations are often requested with other physicians. These will be for the purpose of verifying the patient's physical and emotional status prior to the weight loss surgery in San Francisco. Certain patients may need to be seen by an endocrinologist, cardiovascular, or respiratory specialist if problems in these areas are known. Laboratory and other studies may be obtained as required. Hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, gallstones, gout, and other health problems do not rule out surgery. They may be considered to be additional reasons in favor of the surgery since improvements in these conditions are one of the benefits of treating obesity with surgery.


Most health insurance companies cover part of the cost of this surgical procedure. Information is sent to the patient's insurance carrier, including code numbers and other pertinent data, to assist in the pre-authorization process.

To learn more about qualifying for a duodenal switch operation, click here to request a consultation with Dr. John Rabkin at Pacific Laparoscopy. Or you can call our office at 415-668-3200 to schedule your appointment.

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