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Weight Loss - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions —

What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

The BMI is a measurement of fat based on a person's height and weight. This calculation applies to adult men and women. An individual whose BMI is greater than 30 is considered to be obese. If a person’s BMI exceeds 40, this individual is considered morbidly obese.

You can calculate your BMI here.


Does insurance cover the cost of my operation?

To determine if your insurance company will cover the costs associated with weight loss surgery, you must call the insurance company directly and ask Weight Loss Surgery is a covered benefit. Our professional staff is happy to work with you to determine coverage of your operation.

What are the requirements for your program?

Candidates for Weight Loss Surgery should:

  • Have a BMI of 40 or a BMI of 35 with a weight-related health problem
  • Be age 18-65 years old 
  • Be aware of the expected life changes
  • Understand the surgery and its risks
  • ​​Plan to follow diet and exercise guidelines for the rest of your life

How long will I be in the hospital?

On the day of your scheduled surgery, you will come to the hospital, and our trained staff will prepare you for surgery. During surgery, you will receive general anesthesia for the procedure. After the procedure is complete, you will stay in the recovery room until you are awake. You will then be moved to an inpatient room for the night following your surgery. While in the hospital, you will be helped to sit up in a chair and walk. Patients who have laparoscopic surgery are typically discharged to go home in a day or two.

How will my diet change after surgery?

Following surgery, your stomach is much smaller. This will mean you will be eating smaller amounts of food. Additionally, you will need to chew carefully and slowly, avoiding swallowing large pieces of food. You will also need to ensure you drink plenty of water between meals. As a result of your reduced stomach size, you will also be required to take vitamins for the rest of your life.

I would like to become a patient. What next? 

The first step is to attend one of our free informational seminars. Our bariatric surgeon, Dr. Willie E. Harper, Jr., will present a program that will cover all the specifics of our program and the weight loss surgeries we offer. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions at that time.
To Register: Please call St. Bernards Healthline at 870.207.7300.

Will my insurance cover surgery?

Every insurance policy is different. When you attend the seminar, we will answer all insurance questions and let you know your insurance benefits and any requirements. 

Why do I have to attend a seminar?

The Weight Loss Seminar is the first step in joining our Weight Loss Surgery Program. We want to make sure you understand what is required to succeed in your weight loss journey. By attending the seminar, all of your questions will be answered, allowing you to make an educated decision regarding your weight loss options.

Can't make it to a seminar? We now offer you the chance to watch it below. After watching the seminar, please fill out the form here to be contacted to learn more about bariatric surgery.

To register, visit the online calendar or call the Bariatric Program Coordinator at 870.243.0531.