Readers should not be left with the impression that patients who underwent weight-loss surgery after seeing an advertisement on a billboard were unaware of the risks.
Those billboard advertisements stated that they accepted most PPO insurance. All PPOs have criteria for approving weight loss. At a minimum, they include:
- A body mass index greater than 40, or a BMI of 35 in conjunction with severe co-morbidities.
- Documentation of unsuccessful attempts at weight loss.
- A physician-supervised nutrition and exercise program or a surgical preparatory regimen.
- A psychological evaluation.
The process takes months and requires much interaction between the patient and the provider. In addition, surgery consent forms spell out in detail the potential risks and side effects that may occur.