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First Steps for Bariatric Surgery

Photo of a support group at bariatric informational seminarFind the support you need to prepare for successful weight-loss surgery at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill. Expect to spend six to 12 months completing our process and fulfilling your insurance provider’s requirements before surgery. Lean on our bariatric surgeons and team for personal, expert guidance throughout your journey.

Informational Seminar

Register for a free weight-loss surgery seminar to learn how treatment can help you or someone you love. Meet a bariatric surgeon and other team members and discover how you benefit from choosing UNC Medical Center for care. Ask your insurance provider if your plan requires you to attend this seminar before surgery.

Previous Bariatric Surgery Patient Photo

Bariatric Support Group

Meet your peers, hear first-hand weight-loss surgery stories, and find out what to expect during your journey. Attend free monthly weight-loss surgery support groups in Chapel Hill or Hillsborough. Ask your insurance provider if your plan requires you to attend support group meetings before surgery.


Verify Insurance Coverage

You must have health insurance through a private provider that covers bariatric surgery for your situation. Unfortunately UNC Charity Care doesn’t help pay for bariatric surgery at this time.

Call your insurance company and provide the following codes to see if it covers these procedures:

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: CPT 43644
  • Sleeve gastrectomy: CPT 43775

Also, ask what your insurance provider requires you to do before it will cover your weight-loss surgery. You’ll likely need to participate in six months of supervised bariatric diet and exercise programs with your primary care provider or our bariatric nurse practitioner. After completing this process, ask your primary care provider or our nurse practitioner to send a letter of support [PDF] to your insurance company.

Apply Now ImageApply for an Appointment

Fill out our free online application that asks about your health history. You’ll get a phone call to set up an appointment as soon as possible with our team if you qualify for weight-loss surgery.

Attend a Bariatric Surgery Clinic

Spend the morning meeting with a bariatric nurse practitioner, registered dietitian nutritionist and clinical psychologist during our multidisciplinary clinic visit. Expect to:

  • Watch a video overview of bariatric surgery.
  • Receive a full physical exam and discuss your medical history, including annual screenings and lab tests.
  • Get nutrition counseling, learn to calculate your daily calorie, protein and sugar intake, and review how to read food labels.
  • Participate in a psychological evaluation of coping skills, psychiatric medications and sources of support.
  • Review your insurance coverage requirements.

You'll receive a medical release form to fill out and bring to this appointment.

Meet With a Weight-Loss Surgeon

After your clinic appointment, we’ll send your information to your insurance provider. Once you receive preapproval, you’ll meet with a bariatric surgeon to discuss treatment options, expectations and possible outcomes. We’ll schedule surgery within 30 days of your appointment with the surgeon.

Follow our two-week preoperative diet to help surgery go smoothly.

Sign Up for a Seminar

Start your journey to bariatric surgery at UNC Medical Center by registering for a free informational seminar. For details, call 919-843-1258 to reach Lisa Prestia, RN, clinical program director.

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