Getting Started

The decision to have weight-loss surgery can be difficult, so here is a brief summary of each step in the process.

Informational seminar

If you haven't attended a free informational seminar, that should be your priority if you're seriously considering weight-loss surgery. You'll get objective information to help you make an informed choice.

Patient information packet

At the end of the seminar, you can schedule an initial consultation with the bariatric team. You will receive an information packet to complete and return or bring with you to your initial consultation.


Contact your insurance company to see if your policy covers weight-loss surgery at Gundersen, and if there are specific criteria for approval. For example, your insurance company may require a three- to five-year weight history and official documentation of your weight-loss attempts within the last two years such as:

  • Diet drugs and medically supervised diets prescribed
  • Commercial diet program (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.)
  • Exercise program (YMCA/YWCA, gym membership, etc.)

Initial evaluation

At this visit we will:

  • Review your medical and weight-loss history
  • Measure your height, weight and BMI
  • Give you a thorough overview of the procedure

If you qualify for surgery and elect to proceed, you'll meet with a surgeon to discuss the procedure.

Nutrition education

You'll meet with our bariatric nutritionist to discuss the important of good nutrition before and after your surgery.

Psychological evaluation

Pre-operative evaluations with our clinical psychologist are required and there may be certain conditions you must satisfy before you are approved for surgery.

Requirements for approval

All patients must sign a list of program expectations. You may have additional requirements. For example, if you smoke, you'll need to stop and if you have health problems (e.g. heart condition, diabetes), you may need to consult with medical specialists. For your health and safety, these requirements must be met before you can schedule your surgery.

Scheduling your surgery

When we have received insurance approval and you have met all other requirements, you can then schedule your surgery and pre-operative appointments.

Pre-operative appointments

You will:

  • Meet with a dietitian to go over your post-surgical diet
  • Have your metabolic rate measured
  • Have a physical exam
  • Meet with someone about anesthesia
  • Have blood drawn
  • Go through pre-admitting to complete all pre-surgical paperwork


When the day finally arrives, you should be well prepared.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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