Who is a Candidate?

You may be eligible for weight loss surgery if you:

  • Are 100 pounds or more above your ideal weight or have a BMI of at least 35 and are diagnosed with at least one or more serious obesity related conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or sleep apnea.
  • Are diagnosed with at least two other significant illnesses related to obesity. (Consult your physician.)
  • Have no severe medical, psychological or emotional conditions that would render surgery too risky.
  • Have no dependence on drugs or alcohol, or have been sober for a year.
  • Have tried and failed at previous efforts to lose weight.
  • Understand the seriousness of the surgery and the necessity for a lifelong personal commitment to a healthier diet and lifestyle.

Remember: There are no guarantees for any method, including surgery, to produce and maintain weight loss. Success is possible only with maximum cooperation and commitment to behavioral change and medical follow-up -- and this cooperation and commitment must be carried out for the rest of your life. Sentara offers personalized support following gastric bypass including support groups, counseling, nutrition and fitness programs for a successful weight loss goal.

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 be aged 65 or younger and 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 have previously attempted to lose weight using non-surgical methods such as diet and exercise, medication, etc., and the person 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.)