Bariatric Services


Individuals that fall into the obese weight classification are at higher risk of developing many serious, life-limiting diseases, including diabetes. McLaren has several bariatric procedures available to treat obesity, including the most successful at resolving type 2 diabetes because of the metabolic change that occurs as a result of the procedure. We now know that weight loss surgery can help to decrease the incidence of diabetes. As many as 90% of patients had improved glucose control following bariatric surgery, according to a recent national study.

Specially Trained Medical Specialists

We have a team of specially trained bariatric specialists ready to assist people in their journey to lose weight and to realize a more active, healthy life. Since its inception, McLaren's surgical weight loss program has helped people with their weight loss and health goals through medical management, bariatric surgery, nutritional counseling and bariatric support groups. The full continuum of care provided increases the likelihood for long-term weight loss success and improved quality of life following surgery.

Our Comprehensive Bariatric Surgical Program Includes:

  • Complete Medical Evaluation
  • Surgical Consultation
  • Psychological and Nutritional Counseling
  • Complete Pre and Post Operative Care
  • Support Groups
  • Fully Monitored and Specially Equipped Unit for Inpatient Care

Are You A Candidate For Weight Loss Surgery

  • Are you 100 pounds or more above your ideal body weight?
  • Do you have a BMI of 40 or greater? - Calculate your BMI
  • Do you have a BMI of 35 or greater with one or more obesity-related health condition(s)?
  • Have other forms of weight control failed?
  • Are you over 18 years of age?
  • Are you well informed about the potential procedure and risks?

If so, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery. Together, you and your McLaren bariatric surgeon will take steps to determine:

  • If surgery is the right treatment for you
  • Which type of procedures is right for you
  • If you are mentally and emotionally prepared to make lifelong lifestyle changes

Expect the prequalification process to include a series of tests. You will also meet with a nutritionist, psychologist, and other support staff members in sessions leading up to surgery. McLaren will help you prepare for the changes and challenges that lie ahead.

If you believe bariatric surgery would improve your health and well-being, find a location near you to begin a conversation and start the pre-qualification process.

Bariatric Support Groups and Seminars
a tray of grapes

McLaren proudly offers ongoing educational bariatric seminars, allowing participants to meet our bariatric surgery team and ask questions. Learn more by attending a seminar.

Post surgery, McLaren offers bariatric support groups where participants learn and discuss the important life skills obtained after going through the surgery process and stress management skills patients utilize.

Click To Find A Seminar Or Support Group
Bariatric Surgery Payment Options

Self Payment: Pricing and Financing

McLaren has a Point of Service Self-Pay Option for bariatric surgery. This program and the pricing for our surgical options offered include:

  • All customary hospital charges for surgical procedure
  • Your pre-surgical and post-surgical clinical visits in our Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (up to 90 days post-procedure)
  • Required psychological and behavioral modification analysis
  • Various medical professional fees for those who participate in your care
  • Web-based access for pre- and post-surgical information
  • 24 hour access to bariatric surgeon

Note: Prior to finalizing a particular procedure, all potential surgical candidates must be screened by one of our surgeons. Upon review, the surgeon has the right to refuse treatment based on patients’ pre-existing medical condition(s) or risk factor(s) associated with the desired procedure.

McLaren offers a complete care package, highly skilled surgeons, an expert support staff, and the most advanced surgical options at an award winning hospital-all at a very competitive price.

Medical Insurance

Do I Qualify for Insurance Coverage?

Since every insurance policy is unique, it's important that you thoroughly understand your certificate of coverage to know exactly what is and isn't covered through your plan.

To determine your eligibility, contact your insurance carrier. The contact phone number is usually located on the back of your medical insurance card.

To qualify for insurance coverage, many insurers require patients to have a history of medically supervised weight loss efforts.

Keep track of every visit you make to a healthcare professional for obesity-related issues or visits to supervised weight loss programs. Make note of other weight loss attempts made through diet centers and fitness club memberships. Keep good records, including receipts.

If your bariatric surgeon recommends bariatric surgery, he or she will prepare a letter to obtain preauthorization from your insurance company. The goal of this letter is to establish the medical necessity of bariatric surgery and gain approval for the procedure. The following information is generally included in the preauthorization letter:

  • Your height, weight, and Body Mass Index, and any documentation you might have as to how long you have been overweight.
  • Simply describing your condition as morbid obesity is not enough. A full description of all your obesity-related health conditions, including records of treatment, a history of medications taken, and documentation of how these conditions affect your everyday life, is necessary.
  • A detailed report of how your excess weight affects daily activities, such as walking, tying your shoes, or maintaining personal hygiene.
  • A detailed history of the results of your dieting efforts, including medically and nonmedically supervised programs, medical records, and records you may have kept of payments to and meetings you’ve attended with commercial weight loss programs.
  • A history of exercise programs, including receipts for gym memberships.
  • Ask your doctor to include clinical information about how effective bariatric surgery can be, particularly the control or loss of obesity-related health conditions.

Normally, your insurance provider will respond to your request within 30 days. You should schedule a follow-up if you have not heard from your insurance company in that amount of time.

If your insurance company denies your request, you can make an appeal. At this point, consider hiring an insurance lawyer or insurance advocate, both of whom can be very helpful. The insurance lawyer or advocate should have an in-depth understanding of the appeals process, as well as any laws that apply, and how to go about responding to the insurance company. With some insurance carriers, the number of appeals that you can make is limited. So be sure to learn as much as possible about the appeals process ahead of time.

At the end of this stage, with the help of a bariatric surgeon, you will know if you qualify for surgery.

Bariatric Procedures Offered
Bariatric Services: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get pregnant after weight loss surgery?

It is recommended that women who have had weight loss surgery wait at least 18 months after the surgery before a pregnancy so that your body will be fairly stable (from a weight and nutrition standpoint) and you should be able to carry a normally nourished fetus. Patients who have had adjustable gastric band surgery may require removal of the fluid from the band.

 

Will I be able to take oral contraception after surgery?

Most patients have no difficulty in swallowing and absorbing these pills.

 

Will the doctor leave a drain in after surgery?

Some gastric bypass and gastric sleeve patients will have a small tube to allow drainage of any accumulated fluids from the abdomen. This is a safety measure, and it is usually removed in the clinic one week after the surgery. Generally, it produces no more than minor discomfort.

 

Will I have a lot of pain?

Every attempt is made to control pain after surgery to make it possible for you to move about quickly and become active. This helps avoid problems and speeds recovery. Various methods of pain control, depending on your type of surgical procedure, are available. Ask your surgeon about other pain management options.

Will I feel bloated after my surgery?

Immediately after surgery, you may feel bloated due to the gas that was placed in your abdomen from the laparoscopic procedure, and if you had gastric bypass, from the gas that was placed in your intestines during the endoscopy that is performed. The feeling of bloating usually resolves when you start having flatus. Some patients will experience cramping after surgery which is usually related to the build up of gas in the intestines from the surgery.   

Will exercise help with excess hanging skin?

A regular exercise program is recommended to help with weight loss and muscle tone. Unfortunately, most people may still be left with large flaps of loose skin depending on their pre-surgery weight and fat distribution.

 

Will I need plastic surgery for the surplus skin when I have a lot of weight?

That is not always the case. As a rule, plastic surgery will not be considered for at least a year or two after the operation as, sometimes the skin will mold itself around the new body tissue. Give the skin the time it needs to adjust before you decide to have more surgery.

 

When can I return to work?

This depends on the individual, the surgery you have had and the type of work you do. People with desk jobs or more sedentary work can go back as early as seven days after surgery. Patients with more lifting in their jobs usually go back to work three weeks after surgery. Most patients return to work within two weeks of their surgery.

 

Is sexual activity restricted?

Patients can return to normal sexual intimacy when wound healing and discomfort permit. Many patients experience a drop in desire for about six weeks.

 

When can I shower or take a bath?

You can shower the day after your surgery.

 

How long will I have to stay in the hospital?

Although it can vary, the hospital stay (including the day of surgery) can be 1-2 days for gastric band surgery and 2-3 days for gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy.  

I've had a lot of gas since surgery, is this normal?

Generally, the gas subsides a few days after surgery. Make sure to move around, this helps the gas to pass. If you are having gas pains or incision discomfort, be sure to take the prescribed pain medication. If the pain gets worse, you should call the Bariatric Institute.

How soon will I be able to walk?

Almost immediately after surgery doctors will require you to get up and move about the day of surgery.

 

Is it possible to gain weight after surgery?

While bariatric surgery is an excellent tool for helping morbidly obese individuals lose weight and maintain weight loss, it is possible to gain weight back.  Individuals who make lifestyle changes, maintain good dietary habits and exercise regimes are more likely to keep the weight off than those who do not exercise and who snack frequently.

 

Are there activity restrictions?

Yes, strenuous activity should be avoided until you are healed. Walking is recommended right away. Light exercise can begin in seven to 10 days. More intense regimens should be avoided for at least three weeks. You are advised not to drive if you are taking pain medication other than Tylenol. At your first follow-up visit, your doctor will determine when you can return to work, but most people return to work two to six weeks after surgery. Heavy lifting is generally okay six weeks from your date of surgery but should be cleared with your surgeon.

 

Health Information
Patient Stories

My life was blessed on June 15, 2009. On that day I had gastric bypass surgery done by Dr. Michael Kia at McLaren Bariatric and Metabolic Institute.

Nancy
Patient

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Helen, from Corunna, Michigan, was tired of the hassles that came with taking insulin for her weight-related Type 2 diabetes. She chose to have metabolic surgery at McLaren. 

Helen
Metabolic Surgery

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Fenton resident Tom T. had been very active his entire life. However, a few years ago, he reached a point where his weight was negatively affecting his health and his overall lifestyle.

Tom
Patient

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