Do I Qualify? / Getting Started

You are a candidate if:

  • You are 18 years or older and have a BMI of 35 or more with obesity related health conditions, i.e. coronary artery disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension, depression, degenerative joint disease, chronic lower extremity edema, urinary incontinence.
  • You have been overweight for more than five years.
  • You demonstrate at least three failed attempts of non-surgical weight loss methods of a 3 - 6 month duration.
  • You attend at least one mandatory informational seminar and support group seminar prior to surgery.
  • You verbalize an understanding of the weight loss procedure chosen and how this procedure produces weight loss.
  • You verbalize an understanding and acceptance of the risks associated with surgery.
  • You verbalize a commitment to life-long dietary changes, including post-surgical diet progression and permanent diet restrictions.
  • You demonstrate motivation and commitment to the program by following through with scheduled appointments.
  • You agree to stop smoking at least 4 weeks prior to surgery.
  • You abstain from becoming pregnant for two years after your surgery
  • Your primary care physician is in support of you having bariatric surgery.

First Steps:

  1. Attend a free informational meeting by registering online or by calling 1-877-295-5868.  Click here to view a list of upcoming seminars. It is important to get information about the different weight loss surgery options.  At the meeting you will learn about the different procedure, what procedure might be best for you, the insurance process and the necessary appointments you will need to complete prior to surgery. Ministry Medial Group Bariatric Surgery Program accepts most insurance plans.  Please bring your insurance card to the seminar.
  2. Complete Personal History Questionnaire and obtain Letter of Medical Necessity from your Primary Care Physician. Copies of these forms will also be available at the informational meeting.  Please bring completed forms with you to Informational Meeting.  You may also mail or fax the completed form to the address below.
  3. If you have had weight loss surgery and are considering revision surgery please send us a copy of your previous operative report.  One of our team members will follow up with you after verification of benefits with your insurance. 
  4. After attending an Informational Seminar, one of our team members will contact your insurance provider to verify your benefits.  Ministry Medical Group Bariatric Surgery is dedicated to assisting you through every step of the weight loss surgery process.  One of our team members will follow up with you shortly after attending the seminar discuss the details with you.  We also encourage you to check with your insurance to verify weight loss surgery coverage. 

Mail all forms or questionnaires to:

Ministry Medical Group Bariatric Surgery Program
Attn:  Darla
824 Illinois Avenue Stevens Point, WI  54481

Are you a candidate?

Your next steps in the Comprehensive Bariatric Program Process

Below is a list of steps that maybe required once you have attended an informational meeting and have been contacted by one of our staff members regarding insurance coverage. 


Our program requires meeting with the dietician. Most insurance companies require 3 months to 1 year of dietary classes. During this time, information is gathered about previous attempts at weight loss. If your insurance requires, you will participate in a supervised weight loss program one on one with the dietician for the amount of time specified by your insurance company. Lastly, the dietician will do your dietary preoperative teaching and follow you through postoperatively.


Psychological evaluations are required for all patients. Meeting with the psychologist ensures that you (the patient) have the capabilities required to commit to the dietary and exercise changes/requirements that occur with these procedures. Your psychological evaluation may require you to have ongoing therapy prior to surgery or throughout the surgical process. You must abide by the treatment plan provided in order to be considered a candidate for surgery.


You will be scheduled to see the surgeon shortly after attending an informational meeting. At your consultation appointment the surgeon will review your medical history, the appointments you have completed in the process, and an in depth explanation of the surgery you wish to have. He will also perform a brief physical examination. Please be prepared to spend approximately an hour at the office that day. Additional appointments may be made after your consultation as deemed necessary by the surgeon.


Our goal at the informational sessions is for you to meet the surgeon, obtain knowledge of bariatric surgical procedures, understand the process needed to under go bariatric surgery, and ask questions. Each session is approximately one hour with questions to follow.


After seeing the surgeon, he may find it necessary for you to undergo a sleep study. This is an appointment with the doctor who specializes in sleep disorders. This doctor will check for the presence of sleep apnea - a serious condition that is characterized by brief interruptions in breathing during sleep.


After seeing the surgeon, he may find it necessary to perform an upper endoscopy. During this procedure, performed at the hospital, the surgeon is able to view your entire upper gastrointestinal tract through a scope.



You must attend at least one support group prior to surgery; there are no exceptions. Make sure you sign in at the support meeting. The time, date, and location will be listed on our web site each month. Support groups are offered in Stevens Point and Rhinelander.


Once our office receives a letter of approval from your insurance company and you have completed all necessary pre-operative requirements it is time to meet with the surgeon once again. At that time the surgeon will explain in detail your preferred surgical procedure and its associated risks. Together we will pick a surgery date. You will sign a consent form and register for any additional pre-surgery appointments. You will need to keep all your appointments or your surgery may be canceled or postponed.



Once your surgery is scheduled, our office will make arrangements for you to have a history and physical by your primary doctor. Your family doctor will give us the "ok" that you are physically ready for surgery.



Once again, you will meet with the dietician to review post-operative diet requirements.



This evaluation is done by a physical or occupational therapist. The therapist will evaluate you pre-operatively and post-operatively. He or she will establish an exercise routine that is right for you.



A nurse from the hospital will call you prior to surgery to verify your medical history, medication and answer any question you may have prior to having surgery.



Prior to us starting the process we will need you to complete the patient questionnaire and obtain a letter of recommendation from your primary care physician in support of you having bariatric surgery. This information needs to be mailed or faxed to our office or dropped off in the surgery department. We will then be in contact with you to begin the next step.


Congratulations! This is the beginning of your new journey to a new and healthier lifestyle.

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