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Bariatric Surgery

How do I start?

  1. Check your body mass index (BMI) with our BMI calculator to see if you are a candidate for surgery.

    Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve patients need to have a BMI of 35 – 39 with one or more obesity related comorbid conditions. A BMI of 40 and above alone is an indication for surgery.

    Lap-band patients need to have a BMI of 30-39 with one or more obesity related comorbid conditions and a BMI of 40 and above alone is an indication for surgery.

  2. Check your insurance policy to see if you have benefits for surgery. Call the benefits department for your insurance and ask specifically for these procedure codes:

    Gastric bypass CPT code is 43644
    Gastric sleeve CPT code is 43775
    Lap-band CPT code is 43770

    If they state you have benefit coverage then ask them about their specific criterion that needs to be met prior to authorization.

  3. Call or email our office to schedule your initial consultation and we will help you with the insurance authorization process. Please plan to be in Great Falls for at least four hours for the initial consultation and pre-operative nutrition class for surgery.


Types of Surgery

Gastric bypass - The operation consists of the stomach being divided into two separate parts. The upper part of the stomach, into which food will pass, will be 15-30 cubic centimeters in size. The lower part of the stomach will by bypassed and will no longer contact your food. Your bowel will be cut, about six inches below the duodenum and will be arranged in a “Y” configuration to provide a pathway for the food out of the stomach. It will be connected to the upper stomach pouch by a small opening, one-half inch in diameter.

LAP-BAND® - The LAP-BAND® System is a silicone elastomer ring designed to be placed around the upper part of the stomach and filled with saline on the inner surface. This creates a new small stomach pouch and leaves the larger part of the stomach below the band so the food storage area in the stomach is reduced, and the pouch above the band can only hold a small amount of food. The band is connected by tubing to an access port that is placed beneath the skin during surgery. Later, the stomach size can be changed by adding or subtracting saline inside the inner balloon through the access port. This adjustment process helps drive the rate of weight loss.

Gastric sleeve - During this procedure about 85 percent of the stomach is removed so that it takes the shape of a tube or sleeve. The tube-shaped stomach that is left is sealed closed with staples.


Payment Options

Private insurance (HMO or PPO) or Medicare will often cover some, if not all, of the costs of bariatric procedures. Usually an approval is required before you can have the surgery. Navigating the insurance system on your own can be challenging. Let us help you.

Here is a list of insurances that we know cover Lap-Band, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery.

    • AETNA**
    • Allegiance**
    • Blue Cross Blue Shield of many states**
    • Cigna**
    • Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield
    • GEHA
    • Medicare and Medicare plans
    • Mailhandlers
    • United HealthCare**
      ** all policies vary and you should call to check benefits.

Don't worry if your insurance doesn't cover the cost of your surgery. We have NEW Cash Discount Pricing available.

We also offer financing options available through American HealthCare Lending®:

American HealthCare Lending is the premier financing company in the bariatric surgery industry. With over $5 Billion funded and over 300,000 loan inquiries serviced through their lenders, this is a name and a program you can trust.

Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive with a loan from American HealthCare Lending:

    • Immediate decisions for loans under $35,000
    • Term options out to 84 months (affordable monthly payments) collateral required
    • No prepayment penalties
    • Fast & easy loan in

Cash Discount Pricing

400 13th Avenue South, Suite 101 Great Falls, Montana 59405 • Local: 406-771-8411

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David A Rohrer MD, FACS