To be considered for weight-loss surgery, you must meet the following qualifications:
- A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher (20 to 25 is considered normal). BMI is a calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. See the BMI chart.
- A body mass index (BMI) between 35 and 40 and have an obesity-related condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension or severe sleep apnea.
To be eligible for bariatric surgery, you must weigh less than 450 pounds because that's the maximum weight that hospital X-ray equipment can accommodate. A nutritionist is available to help you lose weight to meet this requirement, if necessary.
An orientation, medical and psychological evaluations and a consultation with a dietitian are also required.
The evaluation process consists of the following steps:
Step 1 – Mail the following four items to the Bariatric Surgery Center:
- Completed new patient medical history questionnaire.
- Formal letter from your primary care doctor, including a three-to-five-year summary of diet and weight history; a list of "comorbid" conditions or other conditions you have in addition to obesity; and why you are being recommended for bariatric surgery.
- Current authorization for an initial surgical consultation.
- Photocopy of the front and back of your insurance card.
Step 2 – After we review your information packet, we will schedule an appointment with a surgeon and an orientation to meet our team.
Step 3 – During your visit with a surgeon, we'll provide a list of tests and consultations. Please work with your primary care doctor to complete these tests and provide written reports and test results.
Step 4 – When you complete the tests and evaluations, please mail the reports and results to the Bariatric Surgery Center.
Step 5 – After we review the test rsults, we'll schedule a second consultation with a surgeon. If there are "contraindications" or risks, we will call you to discuss.
Step 6 – During your visit with a surgeon, a plan for your operation will be developed. We will answer any questions you have about the procedure to ensure you feel comfortable about the operation. Typically within a week of this visit, we will schedule a date for your operation.
Step 7 – After your operation is scheduled, an appointment at the Prepare Clinic, the anesthesia and surgical evaluation program, will be scheduled. Anesthesiologists will develop a plan for the day of your operation.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
Dietary Guidelines After Bariatric Surgery
It is very important to follow the recommended dietary guidelines after undergoing bariatric surgery. Find general guidelines for fluids, protein and more here.
Evaluations and Tests Before Bariatric Surgery
After meeting the program requirements for bariatric surgery, you will request an appointment with a surgeon at the UCSF Bariatric Surgery Center. Learn more.
Life After Bariatric Surgery
The UCSF Bariatric Surgery Center offers comprehensive follow-up care, including a support group, dietitian and education to help you achieve long-term success.
Recovering from Bariatric Surgery
Patients spend an average of two to five days in the hospital following bariatric surgery, or longer if complications develop. Learn more here.
Bariatric Surgery Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Weight Management Program
1701 Divisadero St., Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94143