Bariatric Surgery Eligibility Guidelines

Bariatric surgery is safe and can mean long-term weight loss success.

The decision to have weight loss — or bariatric — surgery is an important one. We understand surgery may not be right for everyone. The experienced bariatric surgery team at Henry Ford is ready to join you along your weight loss journey to find the right solution for you.

Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?

We follow the National Institutes of Health guidelines to help determine each patient's eligibility for bariatric surgery. This approach helps make surgeries safer more successful over time.

You may be a candidate if you meet these criteria:

  • Your body mass index (BMI) is over 40 (approximately 100+ pounds overweight)
  • Your BMI is 35 to 40 and you have at least one obesity-related medical condition:
    • Arthritis
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Reflux disease
    • Sleep apnea
  • You’ve tried to lose weight with diet and exercise without long-term success
  • You are committed to lifelong lifestyle changes
  • You are committed to long-term follow-up medical care
Joe’s Story

Even though his BMI wasn’t as high as the typical bariatric surgery patient, Joe struggled to control his diabetes. After surgery, he’s lost 50 pounds and is off insulin completely.

Meet Joe

What other factors will affect my weight loss success?

Bariatric surgery can dramatically improve your health and quality of life, but it requires a serious commitment to lifestyle changes to be successful. Additional factors for long-term success include:

  • Your acceptance of lifestyle changes
  • Your other medical conditions
  • Your participation in therapy
  • Your support system

Based on this information, you and your surgeon will decide if surgery is the best option and which surgery is right for you.

Will my insurance cover my surgery?

Insurance coverage for bariatric surgery varies by patient, employer, or insurance company. Weight loss surgery is considered a special category by most insurance companies. Contact yours to find out if you are eligible and the details on their authorization process.

Our team is happy to help however we can. Give us a call today at (866) 326-6790 to discuss your options.

Join Us for a Bariatric Surgery Seminar

Learn more about the options and support available, meet the team, and get your questions answered. Call (866) 326-6790 or register online. 

Register Now
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Find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.

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If you are having an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Please do not utilize this scheduling feature for urgent medical situations.

For your safety please select a MyChart Video Visit on Demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if: You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, you are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell, in the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, in the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19. Or, you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days: fever, chills, drenching sweats, new cough, shortness of breath, body aches, headache, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion, or nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email

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