Steps to get started with weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery serves as a tool for achieving significant, long-term weight loss. First, eligibility guidelines for surgery must be considered.

Bariatric surgery involves a major life change, therefore several factors are taken into account when determining eligibility, including:

- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of: (a) at least 40 but no greater than 60 (only the bariatric surgeon can make exceptions), or (b) have a BMI of 35 with co-morbidities

- Be between the ages of 18 and 65 years of age

- No severe psychological or medical conditions that would make surgery a high risk

- Not be drug or alcohol dependent, unless involved in a recognized treatment program with one year of sobriety

- Have attempted medical weight loss programs

- Highly motivated to a change in lifestyle

- Support of family/friends

- Psychologically stable with realistic expectations

The next step toward bariatric surgery is attending one of the Surgical Options for Weight Loss informational seminars offered by Cone Health’s Bariatrics and Wellness Services.

These classes provide information about the costs, risks and benefits of weight-loss surgery and serve as a pathway to help guide you through the process of making this lifestyle change.

Once a weight loss surgery candidate is medically verified, dedicated bariatric program coordinators help guide the patients through insurance matters, referring and setting additional medical appointments, such as psychological and nutritional counseling, offering additional pre-operative educational classes, and holding patient support groups.

Bariatric surgery can be an effective step toward losing weight and improving your entire well-being; however, in order to be effective, it requires a full commitment to a life-style change.

Individuals considering weight loss surgery must understand that they will have to prepare and dedicate themselves mentally, physically and emotionally.

Recently celebrating its ten year anniversary, Cone Health’s Bariatrics and Wellness Services continues its commitment to educating and helping individuals in the community achieve long-term weight loss and overall health improvement

Spokesperson Background:
Kathy Harrison is the bariatric nurse coordinator for Cone Health’s Bariatric and Wellness Services.

Harrison received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1989 and a Master’s degree in healthcare administration from Pfeiffer University in 2010. She has been an employee at Cone Health for 16 years.

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