Requirements for gastric bypass surgery.Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most common types of weight-loss surgery. It has a long history of success in the U.S., and this includes many patients of Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery

While it does often sound like a great option to many, there are qualifications that each patient must meet in order to have gastric bypass surgery. This is a major, life changing procedure. 

It’s also important to understand that the long-term success of gastric bypass surgery very much depends on your ability to make permanent lifestyle changes for the better. For those who do want to be considered for gastric bypass surgery, we will do a thorough exam and evaluation to find out if you are indeed a good candidate. Here are some of the things we will assess. 

Gastric bypass surgery qualifications

Generally speaking, gastric bypass surgery could be a good option for you if you meet any of these requirements:

  • Your previous efforts to lose weight with diet and exercise have been unsuccessful
  • Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher
  • Your BMI is 35 or higher, and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea
  • You’re a teenager who’s gone through puberty, your BMI is 35 or more, and you have serious obesity-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes or severe sleep apnea

Other considerations to determine if you are a candidate for gastric bypass surgery

While the above are the technical requirements for gastric bypass surgery, there is more to every story. Our team likes to consider several other factors before determining the best course of treatment for our patients, such as:

  • Nutrition & weight history — Weight trends, previous diet attempts, eating habits, exercise regimen, stress level, time constraints, motivation, and other factors are very important to consider and discuss.
  • Medical conditions — Some health problems increase the risks associated with having gastric bypass surgery or may be worsened by the surgery, such as blood clots, liver disease, heart problems, kidney stones, and nutritional deficiencies. We will look at which medications you take, how much alcohol you drink, and if you smoke. Other conditions, such as sleep apnea, are also considered. 
  • Psychological status — Gastric bypass surgery is not just about what’s on the outside. It’s also about what’s going on inside. Certain mental health conditions may contribute to obesity or make it more difficult for you to maintain health benefits after the surgery. We consider conditions, such as binge-eating disorder, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, major depression, schizophrenia, severe bipolar disorder, and others.
  • Motivation. It should go without saying that having great willingness and ability to follow through with recommendations for lifestyle changes will play a huge part in the success you see.
  • Age — There is no specific age limit for gastric bypass surgery, but this can impact our recommendations.

Insurance factors for gastric bypass surgery

If it’s determined that gastric bypass surgery is appropriate for you, there are also insurance qualifications to consider. Most national insurance companies do cover weight loss surgery, but there are requirements you must meet. Whether or not gastric bypass surgery is covered will depend on your specific health insurance plan.

You will likely need to get preapproval for the surgery from your health insurance company. This typically requires documentation from your doctor justifying your medical need for gastric bypass surgery.

Our patients are typically able to navigate these insurance requirements, and our team is available and happy to help as necessary. If you suspect that you do meet many of the requirements mentioned above, your next step is to contact us so we can get your health evaluated and get you started on your journey to weight loss.

Contact Us to Learn More About Gastric Bypass Surgery

Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery is a caring group of professionals who specialize in all types of bariatric surgery.  Our surgeon Dr. Jay Long has highly specialized training in bariatric surgery, having completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he focused on taking care of patients that are morbidly obese.  And we are so proud of our pricing that we publish the costs right on the front page of our website!  Insurance won’t pay?  We have a variety of financing options we can offer you so that you are able to get the healthy body you’ve wanted for years.  Visit us today at or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.