Altru Health System holds the only bariatric center in Grand Forks. Altru’s Bariatric Center focuses on LAP-BAND® gastric banding. Other surgical options that may be discussed include Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and Sleeve gastrectomy.
LAP-BAND® Gastric Banding
Gastric banding is the newest and only adjustable surgical treatment for clinically severe obesity in the United States. It promotes weight loss by reducing the capacity of the stomach and helping you feel full quicker and longer after meals. An inflatable silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a new stomach pouch roughly the size of an egg. The band can be adjusted by injecting or removing saline through a port. Multiple LAP-BAND® adjustments may be needed for optimal weight loss.
Altru's bariatric surgeons have extensive laproscopic experience, and have been performing bariatric surgery for 12 years accumulatively.
Bariatric Surgery Eligibility
Bariatric Surgery has been shown to be a very effective tool at inducing and maintaining major weight loss in severe obesity. After the initial high risk period, the long term risks of Bariatric Surgery are quite low.
The person contemplating gastric surgery for severe obesity must be realistic, committed, and informed. Weight loss surgery is a consideration for people who can answer "yes" to the majority of the following questions:
- I am 100 or more pounds overweight, or have a Body Mass Index of 35-40 with significant co-morbidities (diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease) or have a Body Mass Index greater than 40 with or without co-morbidities. Body Mass Index is a calculated number used to compare and analyze the health effects of weight taking into consideration height. Please refer to the Body Mass Index Calculator.
- I am over the age of 18. (Patients over 65 are at higher risk, although surgery has been successful on people over 65 years.)
- Have documented medical records of past weight loss attempts.
- I've talked to my primary health care provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) about obesity.
- I am motivated to make the necessary changes in eating habits and exercise to lose weight.
- I am willing to make a formal commitment to bariatric surgery and to myself.
Steps to Bariatric Surgery
- After discussing the option of bariatric surgery with your primary care provider, the first step in the bariatric process is to contact Altru's Bariatric Coordinator, Janet Schreier at 701.780.6729 for a free consultation.
- Attend Altru's Bariatric Community Information Session. Please refer to the Events Calendar for upcoming information sessions or watch our program overview.
- If after attending the Community Information Session, you are still interested in bariatric surgery, you will need to obtain medical records from all places you have received health care in the last 5 years. You will also need to complete the health history form which you can download now or picked up at the Community Information Session. The completed forms and medical records can be sent to Janet Schreier.
- Each person will complete four assessments (medical, diet, pshychosocial, and fitness) prior to meeting with the surgeon. For more information on these assessments, call 701.780.6729 or email.
- After clearance is received from each of the above assessments, you will be scheduled to meet with one of our surgeons and any necessary testing will be ordered.
Insurance Coverage & Payment Options
Weightloss surgery is something you've always wanted to do, but something was always holding you back. Well, not anymore. We offer CareCredit®, a card designed specifically for your needs. CareCredit can help you move forward with getting the procedure you've always wanted. With convenient monthly payment options, no up-front costs and no prepayment penalties, you can get your procedure sooner.
With CareCredit, you can:
- Enjoy low minimum monthly payments
- Pay no up-front costs and no pre-payment penalties.
Ask us for more information about how you can pay for your procedure with a CareCredit payment plan, by calling 701.780.6729 or emailing.
Most insurance companies consider surgery for clinically severe obesity in a special category. Altru will seek prior insurance approval when it is determined that surgery is the recommended treatment.
A person may choose to self-pay for the surgeryas well. Information regarding this option is available upon request.