St. David’s Bariatric Center in Austin, TX has helped many individuals overcome obesity through weight loss surgery. Getting you on track to a healthier lifestyle is a priority for us. Our comprehensive program is designed to provide you with the highest level of patient safety and support throughout your weight loss experience. We are committed to providing you with the assistance, encouragement, insight and expertise to help you succeed.
Our Bariatric Center is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This designation sets our center apart from others because it recognizes our program’s commitment to the resources necessary for providing optimal outcomes following surgery for weight loss and patients’ long-term success.
We have also been recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery as designated by Blue Cross Blue Shield, a Bariatric Center of Excellence as designated by Optum Health, a Bariatric Center of Excellence as designated by Cigna and an Institute of Quality for Bariatric Surgery as designated by Aetna.
What is body mass index (BMI)?
BMI is a measurement used to index a person’s height and weight. It allows healthcare professionals and patients to better understand health issues associated with specific weight classifications, such as obesity and morbid obesity. A BMI over 30 is considered obese.
What is obesity?
Obesity is a complex disorder involving excessive body fat, increasing the risk of health problems. Obesity can interfere with basic physical functions such as breathing or walking. Long-term effects of the disease include shorter life expectancy, serious health consequences in the form of weight-related health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Qualifying for bariatric surgery
Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is designed to make the stomach smaller so the patient feels satisfied with less food. It is intended for people who have a BMI or 40 or greater or a BMI of 35 or greater as well as one or more co-morbid conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Weight loss assessment
We offer a short questionnaire to help you determine if you should talk to one of our doctors about weight loss surgery. Take our assessment below to answer a few questions, and we will send you your results within minutes.
If you are thinking about weight loss surgery and have doubts about whether it is right for you, you are not alone. It’s a life-changing choice, and serious contemplation is part of the decision-making process. Our team is here to help.
Surgical treatment options we offer
There are many different procedures you can have to help with obesity, including:
Minimally invasive surgery
We are proud to offer minimally invasive and robotic surgery options for your bariatric procedure. Compared to traditional surgery, the minimally invasive approach allows surgeons to operate with only four to five small incisions.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
- A shorter hospital stay
- Faster recovery
- Less pain
- Less abdominal trauma
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure helps accomplish weight loss by changing how the stomach and small intestine handle food that is eaten. A reduced stomach size, altering digestion and a decrease in hunger hormones makes this possible.
In this procedure, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch and attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine. Many patients are able to go home the same day of your procedure and return to their normal activities in seven to 10 days.
A sleeve gastrectomy decreases the size of the stomach, limiting the amount of food that can be eaten at one time.
During the procedure, a thin vertical sleeve of stomach is created (about the size of a banana) using a stapling device. The rest of the stomach is removed. As a result, you’ll feel fuller sooner and stay fuller longer. Many patients can go home the same day of their procedure and return to their usual activities in seven to 10 days.
Single anastomosis duodeno-ileostomy switch (SADI-S)
The SADI-S procedure helps accomplish weight loss by changing how the stomach and small intestine handle the food that is eaten.
A small gastric sleeve is created, similar to a sleeve gastrectomy, and then an intestinal reconnection is made. This allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine. Patients can go home the day after the procedure and return to their day-to-day activities in seven to 10 days.
Revision and conversion procedures
We offer revision and conversion bariatric procedures. A revision procedure corrects or modifies the original procedure whereas a conversion procedure replaces it with another type of surgery.
Preparing for surgery
Exploring weight loss surgery is usually a sign of taking your health more seriously. You may have thought about bariatric surgery for months or even years before exploring it as an option. The usual main drivers to make a decision include:
- Stories from real patients
- Meeting the doctor’s team
- Knowing about insurance coverage and costs
- Pros and cons of the different surgical procedures
Choosing your surgeon
After determining your eligibility, choosing a care team is the next step. You will contact a surgeon’s office and complete some health and insurance information with a patient advocate over the phone. After, you’ll schedule your first appointment with the surgeon and their team.
Qualifying for surgery
If both the patient and surgeon decide to move forward, starting a one to 12 month evaluation period is the next step, depending on your insurance. During this time, the program usually requires the completion of actions like meeting with a dietitian and attending a psychological evaluation.
Your insurance may also require participation in a nonsurgical weight loss program. The specific actions are discussed with everyone individually.
Getting ready for surgery
After completing all required actions and receiving approval from your insurance company, patients and surgeons usually discuss the final preparations for surgery and schedule a date for the operation.
Many insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover weight loss surgery. However, insurance plan coverage varies, so it is important to examine the coverage provided by your plan.
At a seminar, you will learn more about how to find out the answers to your coverage questions, but you can also contact your insurance carrier to find out more information about your coverage. Questions you may want to ask include:
- Is bariatric surgery a covered procedure under my plan?
- What procedures, specifically, are covered?
- What are the coverage requirements for my plan?
- What are my appeal rights if coverage is denied by my plan?
Other payment options
If you do not have coverage for weight loss surgery, there may be several financing options for you. We will help you navigate your way through the system of finding out what is available and reasonable for you.
You may consider our cash-pay options if:
- You have a BMI of 30-35, insurances will not cover your procedure. However, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, you can still have a bariatric procedure to prevent your pre-co-morbid conditions from turning into conditions.
- Your insurance plan deductible or out-of-pocket is too much.
- Bariatric surgery is not a covered benefit in your insurance plan
For more information about the insurance and other options, please call St. David’s Bariatric Center at (512) 544-5433 or take our free bariatric assessment.
Weight loss seminars
Bariatric Online (Live via Webex)
One of the best ways to find out how weight loss surgery can help you achieve your health and fitness goals is by attending a free informational seminar. During the seminar, a surgeon discusses the procedures performed at our hospitals, the pathway to surgery and answers questions. You also gain insight on which procedure is the best choice for you.
Seminars take place twice a month.
Bariatric In-person Seminar (Temporarily on hold due to COVID restrictions)
Located at St. David’s Medical Center — St. David’s Medical Office Building on the fifth floor.
Pre-recorded Bariatric Seminar
During the video, you will hear a pre-recorded discussion from a bariatric surgeon, individuals who have successfully completed the surgery and meet the bariatric center nurses and support staff.
To register for a bariatric seminar at St. David’s Medical Center, sign-up online or call (512) 544-5433.