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Weight Loss Surgery

If you have chronic health conditions due to your weight or are at high risk for weight-related health conditions, you may benefit from one of Avera’s innovative, safe and effective weight-loss surgery options offered at Avera McKennan University & Health Center’s Bariatric Institute in Sioux Falls, SD.

Expert Weight Loss Technology & Care

Jump-start your weight loss and learn how to live a healthy lifestyle with the expertise and support of Avera’s dedicated bariatric team. You’ll receive care for your entire being – mind, body and spirit – from our multidisciplinary team including:

  • Bariatric coordinator
  • Dietitians
  • Exercise professionals
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical therapists
  • Physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Surgeons

You compassionate care team works together to help you achieve long-term weight loss success.

MBSAQUIP Accredited Center Quality ProgramAvera McKennan has received accreditation from the American College of Surgeons as a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) AccreditedComprehensive Center. This means you can expect to benefit from our advanced technology –such as robotic surgery options – proven methods and excellent care. Talk with your surgeon about which option is right for you.

Surgical Procedures for Significant Weight Loss

If you or a loved one is severely overweight, Avera offers three surgical options to help achieve significant weight loss.

Gastric Bypass

Experience rapid weight loss after laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. During this procedure, the stomach is stapled to make a smaller pouch. Then, most of the stomach and intestines are bypassed as the small stomach pouch is attached part of the small intestine. This aids weight loss by limiting the amount of food you can eat and reducing the amount of fat and calories you absorb.

Gastric Sleeve

The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a surgery in which the surgeon removes approximately 85 percent of the stomach, shaping the remaining stomach into a tube or “sleeve.” This limits the amount of food that can be ingested at any given time without altering the normal absorption of vitamins and minerals. It also significantly decreases hunger by removing the part of the stomach that produces the main hunger stimulating hormone.

Support For Your Weight Loss Journey

Support is essential to long-term weight loss success. In addition to ongoing check-ins and support from your care team, Avera offers educational events throughout the region to help you learn about weight loss surgery options and to support you in your surgical weight loss journey.

Read our Free Bariatric Surgery Success Guide

Weight Loss Surgery Information Seminars

Attend one of our free seminars to learn more about each surgical weight-loss procedure. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask our experts questions and gain valuable insights. View upcoming surgery seminar events and register online.

Weight Loss Support Group

You, and your family and friends, are invited to join a weight-loss support group. Each month, a speaker will present a topic relevant to weight loss. Speakers may include fitness professionals, dietitians, psychologists, plastic surgeons and patients who have already had a weight-loss surgical procedure. You can also share weight-loss experiences, encourage one another and ask questions. View upcoming support group sessions.

Does Insurance Cover Bariatric Surgery?

Getting insurance approval for weight-loss surgery can be a long and challenging process, but we’re here to support you. Get approved for your surgery by following these tips:

  • Call your insurance company and find out if they will pay for weight-loss surgery and follow-up care.
  • Ask for the criteria that your insurance company requires to approve/qualify a person for surgery. Most companies require a BMI of 40 or greater or 100 pounds over ideal body weight, or a BMI of 35 or greater with associated risk factors such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and other health problems related to obesity.
  • Provide your insurance company with any previous documented weight loss attempts, a psychological evaluation and a meeting with a dietitian. Be sure to gather all required information before your visit to the surgeon.
  • Be your own best advocate – even after your surgeon submits all of your information to the insurance company for surgery approval. If you haven’t heard back from your insurance company about approval, call them and ask where it is in the approval process.

If you have high out-of-pocket costs for weight loss surgery, take advantage of Avera’s self-pay arrangement and apply for financing for bariatric procedures through Union Bank & Trust.

Additional Payment Options & Tax Benefits

If you receive a diagnosis of obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes, you can save money by paying for bariatric surgery procedures with a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

You may also be able to take advantage of tax deductions to help with the cost. To learn more, talk with your tax advisor or the administrator of your HSA or FSA account.

Start your weight-loss journey today!

If you want to experience the benefits of significant weight loss, take the first step by attending our free Surgical Solution for Weight Loss seminar. You can choose to attend either online or in-person.

Sign-up for an
In-person Seminar

Review Online Seminar Content

Bariatric Surgery Options - Invasive/Non-invasive with Dr. Brad Thaemert.

Comprehensive Bariatric Program with Dr. Dawn Flickema & Dave Neilan.

Psychology Behind Weight Loss with Nancy Johnson, PhD.

Upcoming Events

Join our free seminar "To Be Well: Weight Loss Surgical Procedures" and learn more about laparoscopic adjustable band, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass procedures.

Sign up for an Event

Moving Health Forward

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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