Many insurance companies offer some form of coverage for weight loss surgeries including gastric sleeve, lap-band, and gastric bypass. They recognize that individuals who are obese and overweight are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, heart disease, and other serious health conditions. Once you’re approved, you must work with your health provider to limit your out of pocket expenses. Procedures such as liposuction, abdominoplasty, and gastric balloon surgeries are considered experimental and are usually not covered by insurance.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery changes how the small intestine and stomach handles the food you eat helping you to lose weight. This surgery leads to decreased instances of type 2 diabetes. Your stomach becomes smaller and makes you feel full with less food. During the surgery, your physician uses staples to divide your stomach into two sections. Your food will travel to the upper section of the stomach that will only hold 1 ounce of food. The second part of the procedure is the bypass where your surgeon connects a tiny portion of your small intestine to a hole in the upper section of the stomach. The benefits of sustained weight loss after gastric bypass surgery including improved cardiovascular health, long-term remission for type 2 diabetes, relief of depression, joint pain relief, and improve fertility. There are risks and complications involved with this surgery such as blood clotting, infection, and in rare cases death.
Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery
Sleeve gastrectomy surgery reduces the size of your stomach restricting the amount of food you eat. Your surgeon removes a large portion of your stomach resulting in a feeling of fullness for longer. Your food is absorbed normally as your small intestine is not bypassed. Your surgeon creates a little sleeve with a device, and the rest of your stomach is removed permanently. The size of the stomach is reduced by roughly 75 percent. Sleeve gastrectomy surgery takes approximately an hour to 90 minutes to complete. It’s important to keep in mind that with this procedure the weight will come off slowly compared to gastric bypass. You must also stay committed to following a healthy eating and exercise plan. This surgery leads to decreased instances of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and a loss of excess weight.
The Lap-Band is a silicone band that’s placed around the top of the stomach to restrict food intake . The adjustable band allows for promoting maximum weight loss without any side effects. The Lap-Band extends the feeling of satisfaction after eating small amounts of food. Your weight loss success will depend on how you change your eating behaviors. It’s recommended that patients only eat three small low-carb meals per day with no snacking. Eating too much or too quickly with the Lap-Band can cause nausea and vomiting. During the procedure, there is no surgery required on the intestine or stapling. Your physician can adjust the band to suit your needs or be removed entirely. Typical weight loss is at a rate of 2-3 pounds per week in the first year. There are rare risks and complications involved with the Lap-Band procedure including blood clots, infections in the abdomen, bleeding, and spleen or liver damage. Additional surgery is required if the band needs to be replaced or removed. Gastritis, stomach ulcers, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, and gas bloat can occur after Lap-Band placement.
Liposuction removes unwanted fat from many areas of the body. It’s a popular cosmetic procedure for those who are interested in body contouring. Liposuction can improve the shape of the buttocks, stomach, thighs, hips, arms, and back. For some, this surgery is a last resort when diet and exercise have failed. Recovery can be painful, and you will likely experience bruising, swelling, soreness, and numbness.Because surgery can have serious consequences, make sure you do your research to make sure you find the best doctor possible.
Often known as CoolSculpting, cryolipolysis uses cold temperature to break down fat cells. Unlike any other type of cells, fat cells are susceptible to freezing. Cryolipolysis works best on patients who wish to reduce fat from trouble areas such as the stomach, arms, and thighs. It is possible to have more than one area treated at the same time. Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive procedure that requires no anesthesia. In the weeks after Cryolipolysis, your body will naturally process and eliminate fat cells. The complication rate and risks are low. Typically, insurance companies have a set of guidelines when approving you for your weight loss procedure including
- A letter from your doctor
- A minimum BMI requirement
- Proof that other weight loss methods have failed
Some insurance providers will require nutritional and psychological evaluations and a consultation with a bariatric surgeon. To see if you’re covered and qualify, contact your insurance agent and surgeon or doctor directly.
If you are looking into weight-loss treatments, it is best to talk to your insurance company first. They can provide you with exact information about what they cover and what procedures are available for you.