Getting Started

When you decide it is time for your new beginning, it's helpful to know the steps you'll need to take in your journey. We are here to help you through each step of the way.

Weight loss surgery is not for everyone and before going any further, you should find out if it’s right for you. Here are some steps to follow:

Talk to Your Doctor

Weight loss surgery is a life-changing decision that can dramatically improve your quality of life and help reduce several life-threatening diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol. While these benefits of weight loss surgery sound very appealing, there are some risks and factors you should discuss with your doctor.

Aside from discussing your medical history and current physical condition with your primary care physician and surgeon, asking the right questions are an important way to help you learn more about your medical condition.

Here are some questions that can guide you in determining whether surgery is right for you:

  • How would I benefit from surgery for weight loss?
  • In my current health condition, what are the best options for me?
  • Am I a candidate for a particular surgical procedure?
  • What other health considerations should I have regarding surgery for weight loss?
  • What are the other steps I should take to prepare for the operation?

Find Out if You Are a Candidate

Understanding whether or not you meet the guidelines for weight loss surgery is a key step in getting started with your permanent weight loss solution.

In order to be eligible for weight-loss surgery at the Sentara Martha Jefferson Bariatric Care Center, whether it be gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, a person must meet specific body mass index criteria.

In order to be eligible for weight-loss surgery at the Sentara Martha Jefferson Bariatric Care Center, whether it be gastric bypass or gastric banding, a person must have:

  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or over, OR
  • A BMI of 35 or over WITH at least one serious obesity-related medical condition, such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, or high cholesterol.

In addition, a person must be aged 65 or younger, have previously attempted to lose weight using non-surgical methods such as diet and exercise, medication, etc., and must now be willing and able to permanently adopt a healthier lifestyle, which includes specific dietary changes and increased physical activity.

Weight-loss surgery is not a cure for obesity rather it is a tool that can be used to assist someone in losing a significant amount of weight, thereby becoming healthier and more active. The more commitment and support a person has, the more successful that person will be in their efforts to becoming healthier through weight-loss surgery.

(Please note that each insurance company also has its own eligibility qualifications and criteria, and pre-operative requirements for bariatric surgery.)

Research Your Options

Once you and your doctor have determined that you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, we recommend you do some research. It is incredibly important to read about the latest techniques and weight loss surgery options, as well as investigate the records and quality score of potential surgeons and ask plenty of questions.

The Sentara Martha Jefferson Bariatric Care Center offers free monthly informational seminars as well as an online seminar to assist you in your research. Prior to their first appointment, patients are required to attend one of these seminars so they have a full understanding of their options and the long-term lifestyle changes that need to be made for successful journey to a healthier weight.

Understand Your Financing Options

Costs for weight loss surgery may vary greatly, particularly on your individual needs and the type of surgery you pursue. Many insurance programs will cover the cost of surgery but may have specific requirements. Learn about costs and financing your investment.