MedStar Health Bariatric Surgery Online Seminar

Welcome to the MedStar Health’s Bariatric Surgery Online Seminar. Please read through the entirety of the information below, take the two quizzes, and watch the videos about the 3 types of surgeries we perform. At the end of the page there is a link to each hospital that performs these surgeries. From there, you will fill out a quick survey form that proves you reviewed this information, which allows you to move to the next step. 


Paul, a post-surgical bariatric patient

You’ve  struggled to lose weight for a long time, and you’re hoping that bariatric surgery can help you be successful. It sure was for me. You probably have questions about whether bariatric surgery really works. You may wonder if you qualify for surgery and what bariatric procedure is right for you.

You can get all your questions answered by taking this course.You can get all your questions answered by taking this course.

Linda, a post-surgical bariatric patient

You’ve taken the first step to find out about bariatric surgery. What you may not know is that there is a whole community of medical professionals and former patients like me ready to help.

What do you know about bariatric surgery?

Jessica, a post-surgical bariatric patient

I didn’t know anything about bariatric surgery when my doctor first told me about it. It was really helpful to learn about how it works and why.

These items are TRUE about bariatric surgery

  • Can lower blood pressure
  • Can jump start weight loss
  • Can reduce or even eliminate sleep apnea
  • Can reduce joint soreness due to arthritis
  • Requires a commitment to lifestyle changes
  • Includes support groups with post-surgical bariatric patients

These items are FALSE about bariatric surgery

  • Has no risks  
  • Has many details you have to manage on your own
  • Requires no effort at all before or after surgery
  • Prevents any weight gain after surgery  
  • Can reduce or even eliminate the need for glasses

Test Your Knowledge About Bariatric Surgery

Please complete this quiz about bariatric surgery to continue with the seminar.

Does Bariatric Surgery Work?

Jessica, a post-surgical bariatric patient

If you’re like me, you’ve tried to lose weight so many different ways: diet pills, dieting, exercise, behavior modification, medication, but the weight always came back.

Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severe obesity, providing medically significant sustained weight loss for more than five years in most patients.

There’s a good reason why these treatments do not work for  many people. According to the American Medical Association, obesity is a complex, chronic disease that is extremely difficult to treat.  

    • But there is great news! Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for obesity.
    • Many insurance companies cover bariatric surgery because the American Medical Association categorizes obesity as a disease.
    • Coexisting serious health issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure can be reduced or even eliminated.
    •  You can be successful losing weight and keeping it off.
Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severe obesity, providing medically significant sustained weight loss for more than five years in most patients.

Am I candidate for bariatric surgery?

Now it’s time to find out if you may qualify for bariatric surgery. You can start by finding out your body mass index, or BMI, and then answer five questions to get a general idea of your eligibility. 

Note that insurance companies vary in their requirements, so be sure to check with your insurance.

Some important questions to ask to find out if you may be eligible for bariatric surgery:

What is my BMI (body mass index)?

You may qualify for bariatric surgery if:

    • Your BMI is 40 or greater 
    • Your BMI is at least 35 and you suffer from one or more severe obesity-related  health conditions

For help finding out what your BMI is you can use this calculator

Do I have any obesity-related health problems?

This is a partial list of obesity-related health problems:

    • Diabetes
    • Sleep apnea
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Osteoarthritis (joint pain)
    • High cholesterol

Check with your insurance to confirm obesity-related health problems requirements. 

How long have I been struggling with my weight?

You need to have been trying to lose weight for 2-5 years

Check with your insurance to confirm weight history requirements.  

How old am I?

Many bariatric programs require you to be at least 18 years old. 

Check with your bariatric surgical program to confirm age requirements. 

Am I ready to make some lifestyle changes?

You need to commit to attend sessions where you will learn about stress management, nutrition, and exercise. 

Am I a candidate for bariatric surgery?

Please answer these questions to help you understand if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery.

Which bariatric procedure is right for me?

Now that you’ve learned about bariatric surgery and investigated whether you may be a good candidate, it’s time to find out about three common types of weight loss surgeries and see which one may be the best fit for you: sleeve gastrectomy (sleeve), gastric bypass, and adjustable gastric banding procedure (lap band). 

Select a procedure below to learn more

What do I need to move forward?

Make sure your mind is straight. You have to be ready to do this mentally. The surgery is just a tool; if you don’t use the tool right, you’re not going to get the job done.

I thought, if I’m going to go through six months of classes and surgery, I’m going to do this for myself, and I’m going to make it work.  Being able to do the challenges in life I never thought I could do as far as  running a 5K–my husband and my kids and my grand kids were all there cheering me through the finish line–I could never have done anything like that being overweight. –Linda, a post-surgical bariatric patient

If I know I'm ready to have weight loss surgery, what do I do next?

Call the member services number on the back of your insurance card and ask these 3 questions.

    • Does my insurance cover bariatric surgery at my hospital? 
    • Do I have any co-pays? What about my coinsurance? Receiving benefits from Medicare would be an example of coinsurance.
    • What do I need to do before I am eligible to have bariatric surgery?

Select a hospital to learn about its bariatric surgical program

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

MedStar Health at Brandywine Maryland / Montgomery Medical Center

MedStar St. Mary's Hospital

MedStar Washington Hospital Center