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  • Center for Bariatric Surgery: A Program of Rhode Island and The Miriam Hospitals

  • Got a question for a bariatric surgeon that's not answered on this page?

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    (e-mail webteam@lifespan.org)
    • Are there age restrictions for the bariatric surgery?
      Generally you need to be 65 or under to meet the qualifications and requirements that your insurance company may have. However, this is a case-by-case basis.

    • I recently spoke to my diabetes doctor and she suggested weight loss surgery. How do I go about getting everything started?
      We agree with your doctor; it is the best option for diabetics who are obese. 

    • Is there a weight limit for bariatric surgery? I know some hospitals won't perform it if you weigh more than 350 lbs. I'm male and 6 feet tall. I weighed 426 but I'm now 396.
      There are reasons why there are some weight limitations. Many CAT scanners and barium study machines cannot accommodate patients over 350 lbs.

      Also, the heavier the patient-especially men over 400 lbs-the more likelihood of severe complications from surgery and the more likely the operation must be "open" rather than laparoscopic.

      At The Miriam, we prefer you to be less than or close to 400 lbs. to ensure the best results of surgery with limited complications by a planned pre-op weight loss program.

    • I'm 58 years old. I weigh close to 260 lbs. and am 5'3". I had a vertical banded gastroplasty surgery about 8 years ago that failed. Is there anything that can be done surgically to correct this?
      Our surgeons are experienced in revisional surgeries. There are options such as sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass. Revisional operations are always higher risk than first-time procedures and may need to be performed "open" rather than laparoscopically.

    • How much does it cost to have bariatric surgery, and does health insurance cover some or all of it?
      Most insurance companies cover the majority or all costs, if you qualify. We get preapprovals from insurance companies before surgery to ensure that the patient does not have to pay a huge bill after surgery. The cost of surgery is variable, and there are financing programs that will assist patients without insurance coverage.

    • My insurance does not cover obesity surgery. If I am eligible for lap band surgery, would you consider a discounted fee?
      We are working with the hospital for a flat fee structure for patients seeking surgery. The band companies have also made arrangements with certain banks for financing so that patients can utilize an additional mode of payment.

      The surgeon's fee is usually less than 8% of your total cost. We could also work out a monthly payment plan for the surgeon's fee.

    • Is it possible to do weight loss surgery on a 15 year old?
      Jeremy Aidlen, MD, at Hasbro Children's Hospital, should evaluate this child. Read more about Hasbro Children's Hospital's adolescent weight management program.

    • I weigh 350 lbs and have been hospitalized for new onset Atrial Fibrillation for which I now take an aspirin and a beta blocker daily. I also have minor bulging of a disc in my back, for which I am told I must lose weight.
      It sounds like you might be a good candidate. We will have to evaluate you further to determine the risks and your benefits. Please call 401-793-3922 to find out about our seminars that are held free of charge monthly for patients considering surgery.