Eligibility Criteria for Houston Weight Loss Surgery

UT Physicians provides you with a comprehensive program that will guide you through your weight loss journey.

This is a long-term program consisting of diet, surgery and exercise. As we make a commitment to helping you, we ask that you also make a commitment to follow our recommendations before and after surgery. You must follow your surgeon’s directions to protect yourself from problems associated with the surgery. In order to be effective, you need to make a life-long commitment to lifestyle changes which may include, but not limited to, dietary changes, an exercise program and counseling. You will need to maintain proper nutrition, eat a balanced diet and take vitamins for the rest of your life.

We expect you to participate in our postoperative program that includes nutritional classes, computer assisted learning, newsletters and support groups run by our Texas bariatric specialists. We want you to make every effort to continue to learn about your surgery and appropriate use of diet, exercise and even psychological counsel to help lose weight. Frequent visits and follow-up will be required and labs will be drawn periodically to check for anemia and vitamin deficiencies. Texas bariatric surgery has changed the lives of thousands of people. Let our Houston bariatric surgeons help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Patient Eligibility Criteria

We follow the criteria set forth by the National Institute of Health.

These criteria include:

  • A BMI equal to or greater than 40 with a or without co-morbid conditions (see list below)
  • A BMI greater than 25 with co-morbid conditions (see below)
  • Permanent lifestyle changes including exercise
  • No significant, untreated psychiatric illnesses
  • Sufficient ability and cognition to understand surgery, potential complications and subsequent associated changes
  • Willingness to participate in treatment and long-term follow-up
  • Proof of failed attempts at non-surgical weight reduction
  • Supportive family/social environment
  • Acceptable medical/operative risks
  • No smoking

List of Co-Morbid Conditions

  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • Hypoventilation syndrome of obesity
  • Deep vein thrombosis / Pulmonary embolism
  • Cardiac disease (arrhythmias/cardiomyopathy)
  • Cor pulmonale
  • Venous stasis ulcers
  • Hypercholesterolemia / hyperlipidemia
  • Depression
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Fungal skin infections
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

If you have a BMI between 35 and 40 plus conditions listed above you may still be eligible for weight-loss surgery in Texas.

Patient Requirements

In order to be considered for weight-loss surgery we require that you:

  • Attend the information session (education class)
  • Recommended attendance for support groups prior to surgery
  • Initial consultation with bariatric surgery Houston nurses and surgeons

Your First Visit

You must bring the following to your initial visit:

  • Your insurance card. You must ensure that your health insurance coverage includes Weight-Loss / Bariatric surgical benefits.
  • Completed registration/questionnaire package
  • Insurance referral (if your insurance company requires one)

After Your Consultation

At the end of your consultation you will be scheduled for some of the following:

  • Comprehensive blood testing
  • Appointment with a psychiatrist
  • Follow-up appointment with the dietitian who will assist you in achieving the mandatory preoperative weight-loss.
  • Pulmonary evaluation
  • Cardiology evaluation, if needed
  • Gastroenterology evaluation, if needed
  • Other Specialty evaluation, if needed

Surgery Scheduling

It is estimated that you will be having surgery 3-6 months from your initial consultation. This depends on your specific health problems, your ability to meet preoperative goals and your insurance providers. All goals must be met prior to receiving a surgery date.