Qualifications for weight loss surgery

By Mark Bullion

Qualifications for weight loss surgery

February 19, 2013 Updated Feb 19, 2013 at 11:44 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- It's a story we've been telling you about for the past couple of days, surgical weight loss. These procedures are not quick fixes to being overweight but for most it is a last resort. But who qualifies?

To qualify for gastric sleeve surgery, candidates must provide proof to most insurance companies of their diet and exercise history along with a psychiatric evaluation.

Dr. Jayaraj Salimath with the Mid Illini Surgical Associates said for gastric sleeve surgery, the patient should have a body mass index of at least 35.

Doctors consider anyone with a BMI of 30 or more to be obese.

Pre-existing medical conditions can also qualify patients for weight loss surgery, including women battling infertility.

"We prefer doing sleeve and then they can lose the weight, become pregnant, and they shouldn't have any adverse reactions during pregnancies," said Dr. Salimath.

Every insurance provider has its own prerequisites for financial coverage of surgical weight loss procedures, and in some cases, they are not covered at all.

Tuesday on News 25 at 10 and HOI-19 News at 10, we'll introduce you to a New Holland woman who went through the surgery over a year ago and show you how she is doing today after losing 150 pounds.