Getting Started

Do I qualify for surgery?

Surgery candidates are people that are 100 pounds or more over their ideal weight with a BMI of 40 or higher, ages 18-65, are not drug or alcohol dependent and who are able to comply with post-surgery requirements. Sanford Health helps guide you through the weight-loss surgery approval process. In order to make the process as smooth as possible, please know:

  • Your insurance company has established criteria that would qualify you for weight-loss surgery. Click here to learn more about insurance requirements prior to surgery.

How can I start the process to have weight-loss surgery?

Before you can have an evaluation to be considered for surgery, you are required to attend a free information session. Sanford Health hosts these monthly. Call (701) 323-5300 for more information or click here to learn more.

When the packet of information you received at the information session is completed and returned, you will receive a call to schedule an appointment with the physician to discuss your needs and questions. A referral letter from your primary care physician should be sent to Sanford Health's Weight-Loss Surgery department. This will help in getting reimbursement from your insurance company for the consult charge.

During the clinic session, if you decide to proceed with the surgery, a review of your medical records will be done, a physical examination will be performed, additional tests may be ordered and a photo will be taken. Your information will then be submitted to your insurance company for preauthorization.

If and when your insurance company approves you and we have received the approval letter, the nurse will call you to set up a surgery date. The entire process usually takes several months to complete and may require three to four visits to the clinic and/or hospital. Don't get frustrated. You have the rest of your life to reap the benefits of this surgery.

What types of procedures are offered?

At Sanford Health in Bismarck, Roux-en Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding (Lap-Band®) and sleeve gastrectomy procedures are offered by experienced and caring physicians who are there for you in your journey to weight loss. Click here to learn more each procedure.

How long should I expect for recovery?

Three weeks of no strenuous activities. Most office and routine work can be resumed full time in three weeks. Most patients completely recover in six weeks. If you have a non-strenuous job, you can go back to work in two to three weeks with the clinic's approval.

How rapid is weight loss after surgery?

Most weight loss occurs in the first six months. Weight loss has been known to progress for up to two years. Frequent exercise and increased activities enhance weight loss.

Click here for more FAQ's about weight-loss surgery at Sanford Health in Bismarck or call (701) 323-5300 or (800) 932-8758 ext. 5300.


This BMI is considered . Discuss concerns regarding your BMI with your physician or contact us for a consultation.

Weight-loss Success Stories

Weight-loss Success Stories

See how this couple benefited from weight-loss surgery and learned to teach their children healthy habits.