Evaluations and Tests Before Bariatric Surgery

After meeting the program requirements for bariatric surgery, please request an appointment with a surgeon at the UCSF Bariatric Surgery Center. You will be asked to submit a medical history questionnaire and undergo several tests. You and your primary care doctor will receive letters identifying the tests you must complete.

Required Tests

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Blood studies including a complete blood count (CBC), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), cortisol, creatinine, electrolytes, prolactin and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Chest X-ray
  • Colonoscopy
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Mammogram
  • Pap smear
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Treadmill stress test if able to exercise or persantine thallium scan

Required Consultations

  • Evaluation and clearance by mental health care professional such as psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist*
  • Evaluation and clearance by cardiologist or heart specialist*
  • Evaluation and clearance by pulmonologist or lung specialist*
  • Evaluation and clearance by a registered dietition
  • Documentation of weight loss (5 percent to 10 percent of body weight) by primary care doctor

* Please note that the evaluations must contain wording that clears the patient for surgery.

After completing the required tests, please mail all the results in one envelope addressed to the Bariatric Surgery Program:

UCSF Bariatric Surgery Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Sixth Floor, Room A-655
San Francisco, CA 94143-0338

An appointment will be scheduled with your surgeon to plan your operation.

Other Important Points

Throughout this process, any change in your health will be reviewed by our selection committee, which is comprised of doctors and nurses. Your candidacy will continually be reassessed and further medical work-up may be required.

If you smoke, you must stop smoking at least one month prior to your surgery to decrease the incidence of post-operative complications.

Please notify us of any changes in your insurance status. Your eligibility for this procedure also depends upon adequate insurance coverage for medications after discharge. Before final clearance for surgery, we will request verification of coverage from your insurance plan.


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Bariatric Surgery Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Sixth Floor, Reception Desk 6S
San Francisco, CA 94143-0338
Phone (existing patients):
(415) 353-2161
Phone (new patients):
(415) 353-2804
Fax: (415) 353-2505

Obesity and Weight Management
1701 Divisadero St., Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94143-0320
Phone: (415) 353-2105
Fax: (415) 353-7901

How to Reach Us

UCSF Bariatric Surgery Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Sixth Floor, Room A-655
San Francisco, CA 94143-0338