(DAKOTA DUNES, SD) – Surgical weight loss continues to be an option for patients in Siouxland, but with updated Body Mass Index (BMI) criteria. BMI is a numerical value of your weight in relation to your height. CNOS introduces bariatric services to its list of specialties and discusses what it takes to qualify for surgery.

After 30 years, NEW guidelines have been created around who may qualify for weight loss surgery under the ‘self-pay’ option. According to these new guidelines, individuals with a BMI of 35 or greater may now qualify for weight loss surgery with or without the presence of any obesity-related health conditions. Individuals with a BMI of 30-34.9 may also qualify for weight loss surgery if they have at least 1 obesity-related health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, heartburn, or bone and joint disease.

Unfortunately, insurance companies have not adopted these new guidelines yet.  Therefore, the new guidelines may not be covered by insurance plans.  At this time, these new guidelines will only apply to individuals who choose to self-pay for their weight loss surgery.

CNOS has two surgical options available for patients including gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Regardless of what is deemed the best procedure for an individual, the result is greater energy and mobility, improved cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as many other health benefits.

“Any weight loss surgery must be combined with lifestyle changes to maximize your potential for success,” says Dr. James Hegvik, CNOS General Surgeon. “That’s why we have an entire team of specialists to assist patients in their weight loss journey.”

To qualify for surgery and potentially have that surgery be covered by insurance, the guidelines remain the same. A patient’s BMI must be 35 or greater with at least one obesity-related health issue, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heartburn, or high cholesterol OR a BMI of 40 or greater with no obesity-related health issues.

“It’s important to stress that no surgery is a magic cure,” says Hegvik. “But with the right motivation, changes in lifestyle and ongoing consultation, patients can greatly improve their health and quality of life.”

For more information on the CNOS weight loss surgery options, to schedule a consultation or to refer a patient, please reach out to Heather Garlinghouse, the Bariatric Coordinator at 605-217-5511 or heather.garlinghouse@cnos.net