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Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery in Adults With Morbid Obesity
The following bariatric surgery procedures may be considered medically necessary for the treatment of morbid obesity (see Policy Guidelines section for patient selection criteria) in adults who have failed weight loss by conservative measures:

Open gastric bypass using a Roux-en-Y

Laparoscopic gastric bypass using a Roux-en-Y

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding

Sleeve gastrectomy (SG)

Open or laparoscopic biliopancreatic bypass (ie, Scopinaro procedure) with duodenal switch (DS).

Bariatric surgery should be performed in appropriately selected patients, by surgeons who are adequately trained and experienced in the specific techniques used, and in institutions that support a comprehensive bariatric surgery program, including long-term monitoring and follow-up postsurgery.

The following bariatric surgery procedures are considered investigational for the treatment of morbid obesity in adults who have failed weight loss by conservative measures:

Vertical-banded gastroplasty

Gastric bypass using a Billroth II type of (mini-gastric bypass)

Biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) without DS

Long-limb gastric bypass procedure (ie, >150 cm)

Two-stage bariatric surgery procedures (eg, SG as initial procedure followed by BPD at a later time)

Laparoscopic gastric plication

single anastomosis duodeno-ileal bypass with SG.

The following endoscopic procedures are investigational as a primary bariatric procedure or as a revision procedure (ie, to treat weight gain after bariatric surgery to remedy large gastric stoma or large gastric pouches):

Insertion of the StomaphyX™ device

Endoscopic gastroplasty

Use of an endoscopically placed duodenojejunal sleeve

Intragastric balloons

Aspiration therapy device.

Bariatric Surgery in Patients With a Body Mass Index Less Than 35 kg/m2

Bariatric surgery is considered not medically necessary for patients with a body mass index less than 35 kg/m2.

Revision Bariatric Surgery

Revision surgery to address perioperative or late complications of a bariatric procedure is considered medically necessary. These include but are not limited to, staple line failure, obstruction, stricture, nonabsorption resulting in hypoglycemia or malnutrition, weight loss of 20% or more below ideal body weight, and band slippage that cannot be corrected with manipulation or adjustment (see Policy Guidelines section).

Revision of a primary bariatric procedure that has failed due to dilation of the gastric pouch or dilation proximal to an adjustable gastric band (documented by upper gastrointestinal examination or endoscopy) is considered medically necessary if the initial procedure was successful in inducing weight loss prior to pouch dilation, and the patient has been compliant with a prescribed nutrition and exercise program.

Bariatric Surgery in Adolescents

Bariatric surgery in adolescents may be considered medically necessary according to similar weight-based criteria used for adults, but greater consideration should be given to psychosocial and informed consent issues (see Policy Guidelines section). In addition, any devices used for bariatric surgery must be used in accordance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved indications.

Bariatric Surgery in Preadolescent Children

Bariatric surgery is considered investigational for the treatment of morbid obesity in preadolescent children.

Concomitant Hiatal Hernia Repair With Bariatric Surgery

Repair of a hiatal hernia at the time of bariatric surgery may be considered medically necessary for patients who have a preoperatively diagnosed hiatal hernia with indications for surgical repair (see Policy Guidelines section).

Repair of a hiatal hernia that is diagnosed at the time of bariatric surgery, or repair of a preoperatively diagnosed hiatal hernia in patients who do not have indications for surgical repair, is considered investigational.

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