Program Criteria for The UVM Medical Center Bariatric & Weight Loss Surgery

  • To qualify for our program you must meet the following criteria:
  • BMI (body mass index) greater than or equal to 40
  • BMI greater than 35 with other major comorbidities (medical problems such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension)
  • Age greater than 18
  • History of documented repeated failure of non-surgical weight loss attempts
  • Candidate must have realistic expectations, be motivated and able to conform to the strict post- op dietary and exercise recommendations, and demonstrate a commitment to succeed by attending all scheduled appointments

Pre-Operative Requirements

It is required that smokers quit two months prior to surgery. Surgery will be postponed until this requirement is met. There are no exceptions.

A Minimum 5% of body weight loss prior to surgery:

  • Demonstrate ability and commitment to make dietary and exercise changes
  • Pre-op weight loss can reduce the complications of surgery
  • Prevent "the last supper" syndrome or weight gain prior to surgery
  • Certain surgeries may require a larger pre-operative weight loss. For instance, laparoscopic gastric band patients generally have BMIs in the mid-40 range at the time of surgery. If the initial BMI is much higher, a larger weight loss may be required. This is determined by the surgeon at the first surgical visit

In addition, each patient is required to attend one support group meeting but is encouraged to attend as many as possible.

Bariatric Surgery Support Group Attendance:

  • Free and held every month (see Life after Surgery)
  • At least one pre-op attendance is mandatory
  • Support group attendance after surgery is strongly encouraged
  • Support groups provide ongoing support and education as well as answers to questions that only other people who have had the surgery can share

Pre-op Nutrition Class

A 2-hour class taught by the dietitian

Behavioral Skills Class

A one-and-a-half-hour class taught by the psychologist

Onsite Pre-Operative Visit

Three weeks prior to surgery, this visit will include a meeting with the surgeon, nurse practitioner, and dietitian. The visit may take up to 2 hours and usually includes an echocardiogram (EKG). During the visit, you will also be scheduled for a phone call from Anesthesia to review anesthesia and pain management.


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