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FAQs & Patient Resources

Presbyterian Bariatric Center patient.

Deciding to undergo bariatric surgery is just one of the steps towards better health. We understand this is a big decision and that patients often have many questions before deciding to have this surgery. This page will give you some resources to understand the different types of surgery available and who may qualify for this surgery. This page also includes links to further information specifically about the Presbyterian Bariatric Center, our healthcare providers, and our team approach to providing you with support and care throughout the entire process.

If you suffer from severe obesity and an obesity-related health condition you may benefit from bariatric surgery. The first step is to contact your current health insurance provider to verify that your insurance plan covers bariatric surgery. Coverage and pre-qualifying criteria may vary based on your specific health plan. Certain patients may be able to self-refer, depending on your insurance.

Once you have determined that your current insurance covers bariatric services, contact our office for a pre-screening evaluation with the bariatric program coordinator. This evaluation will help determine whether you are eligible for the bariatric program, based on your health plan coverage and criteria.

If you meet your health plan’s criteria for bariatric surgery, you will be invited to attend a seminar, where you will learn more about bariatric surgery and our program pathway.

Phone: (505) 253-6100

Bariatric surgery helps with weight loss but also improves many obesity-related health conditions such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Gastric reflux or heartburn
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

If you have any of the following conditions, you may not qualify for this service. Please discuss with your healthcare provider to determine if you qualify.

  • Currently smoking or using other nicotine products
  • Recent drug or alcohol abuse (within one year)
  • Currently being treated for any type of cancer
  • Active eating disorder (within one year)
  • Recent suicide attempt or mental health hospitalization (within one year)
  • Not able to walk or with limited movement restrictions
Gastric bypass surgery

Gastric bypass surgery: This surgery creates an upper stomach pouch and “bypasses” the majority of the stomach as well as the first part of the intestine. The bypassed stomach is still alive and drains so it is not removed. The new stomach pouch is smaller so you will feel full with less food. Bypassing some of your original digestive system also changes absorption of the foods you eat as well as some medications that you may take. There are several different types of gastric bypass surgery (including the Roux-en-Y pictured, which is the most commonly performed type). Smoking of any type and NSAID medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc.) are not allowed after this surgery as they will lead to ulcer formation and other complications.

Loop duodenal switch/stomach intestinal pylorus sparing surgery (SIPS)

Loop duodenal switch/stomach intestinal pylorus sparing surgery (SIPS): This surgery removes a large portion of your stomach, and also reroutes or bypasses part of your small intestine. SIPS surgery keeps your pyloric valve intact which controls how quickly food leaves your stomach. Bypassing some of your original digestive system also changes absorption of the foods you eat, as well as some medications that you may take. By connecting the small bowel to another piece of small bowel (instead of to the stomach like in the gastric bypass) patients can take NSAID medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc.) after this procedure without increasing the risk of complications. This is like a merging of the sleeve and the gastric bypass.

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery: This surgery simply removes a large portion of your stomach. The stomach that is left is much smaller so you will be able to eat less before you feel full. This surgery does not change the position or function of your small intestine. There is no effect on absorption of the foods you eat or the medications you take. The weight loss with this procedure is very good but it is slightly less than the other procedures. Also, the remission of diabetes with this operation is not as good as the other procedures. Patients can take NSAID medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc.) after this procedure without increasing the risk of complications.

  • You can attend a free informational seminar to see how weight loss surgery can improve your health. For patients who live more than one hour away, we have options to help minimize travel.
  • Pre- and post-operative support groups are provided every month.
  • We have our own dedicated dietitians and behavioral health providers.
  • All of our services are in one centralized location, for our patients’ convenience.
  • We use MyChart to help improve communication for questions or concerns. Presbyterian MyChart allows you to have secure online access to your Presbyterian electronic health records. You can also send and receive messages with your care team, review test results and much more.
  • You will have access to a food and activity tracking app for easier logging and accountability.
  • Procedures are performed laparoscopically, reducing your recovery time and risk of complications.
  • While in the hospital after surgery, you will be visited regularly by members of our care team, which helps reduce the length of your hospital stay.



Patient Resources