Your doctor will assess this during your consultation.
To be considered as a surgical candidate, individuals must meet the following criteria (subject to slight variation per surgical program):
- Be between 18 and 70 years of age
- Have a Body Mass Index of 40 or above OR
- Have a Body Mass Index of 35-40 with significant associated health problems
- Made serious past attempts to lose weight
- Are dedicated to drastic lifestyle changes and follow-up appointments
- Not suffering from any disease that may be causing excess weight
- Absence of drug, alcohol or emotional problems
- Understand the surgery and associated risks.
- 2. How much does Bariatric Surgery Cost?
The cost of gastric bypass ranges from R130,000 upwards, depending on the procedure that is best suited for your individual case.
The good news is that, increasingly, medical aid companies are offering gastric bypass surgery cover for all or part of the gastric bypass cost if your doctor establishes medical necessity and if you meet the terms and conditions of your medical aid scheme.
- 3.Will my medical aid pay for bariatric surgery?
This depends on which medical aid you are with and which plan of that Medical aid you chose.
The more expensive the plan to which you contribute the higher will be the level of cover. However, not all the top plans cover bariatric surgery, because their actuarial and medical advisers argue that bariatric surgery is cosmetic surgery and that all that obese people need to do is eat less and exercise more. This, of course, is simply prejudice based on ignorance. Certainly, it is not based on scientific evidence, the statistics of which clearly show that those morbidly obese patients treated surgically survive longer and with greatly improved quality of life than morbidly obese patients treated non-surgically.
Be very careful about which medical aid you chose to insure your health. In any event, very few medical aids will cover the clinical doctors’ bills in total, but if they cover bariatric surgery the hospital bills, pathologists’ bills and radiologists’ bills should be covered.
In South Africa the following Medical Aid Companies authorize Bariatric Surgery:
- Discovery (Comprehensive and Executive)
Some of these medical aids are open to the public and others only cater for the employees of a specific company. Please check with your Medical Aid how much of the procedure they cover and how much will be for your account.
4. What are the different types of Bariatric Surgery?
Once again your doctor will assess the best procedure for your individual needs.
5. How can I contact the Surgeons?