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Weight Loss Surgery: Steps to Get Started

Weight loss surgery serves as one of the best tools to achieve significant, long-term weight loss. Before going into surgery, eligibility guidelines must first 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, or (b) have a BMI of 35 with co-morbidities (chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea or type 2 diabetes).

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

- Have 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 previously.

- Be highly motivated to a change in lifestyle.

- Have support of family/friends.

- Be psychologically stable with realistic expectations.

Some insurance companies require patients to participate in physician-supervised weight loss for a set period of time before surgery.

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 from a surgeon, coordinator and a patient about the risks and benefits of weight-loss surgery, the costs, and a pathway to help guide you through the process to make a 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.

These seminars are now offered online, as well as in person. To register for the Surgical Options for Weight Loss informational seminar, call (336)832-8000 or visit http://www.conehealth.com/classes.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Eric Wilson is a board-certified general surgeon at Central Carolina Surgery since 2010 and a member of Cone Health’s Bariatric and Wellness Services team. Dr. Wilson is a member and fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Wilson is a 2004 graduate of Medical University of South Carolina and completed his residency in general surgery at the university as well.