The Process

On this page you will find information and instructions concerning differents aspects of your bariatric journey.

Is surgery appropriate for you?

While the risks of surgical treatment of obesity are comparable to those of other major surgeries, surgery for weight loss should be used only after all other attempts have failed. Patients must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or possibly 35 or higher if other health problems such as sleep apnea, arthritis or heart disease are present.Use this link to find out if surgery is appropriate for you: Your BMI

The process, from the beginning until your surgery

Generally speaking, these are the steps that occur during your time with us:

1.  Have your primary care provider send a referral to our office. The referral should include your name, a good way to contact you, your current height and weight, and whether or not you have any health conditions (comorbidities) related to your weight.

2.  On receipt of your referral our office staff will call you with in 24-48 business hours. At that time we will ask for additional information, including your insurance coverage and schedule you for a new patient orientation. If you are a smoker, stop smoking immediately or upon our receipt of your referral.

3.  Attend a new patient orientation given by Dr. Michael A. Todd, and several of his staff members. Orientation will help you understand exactly what weight loss surgery is, what requirements you can expect from your insurance company, what you can expect to occur during your pre-operative and recovery periods and it will help you make an informed decision regarding weight loss surgery options. There is a $50 deposit required for orientation which is due by the Monday before your orientation. The $50 deposit is not covered by your insurance and is non-refundable unless your insurance company has an exclusion and you decide not to continue with us.

Please bring the following with you.

- Driver's license or other picture identification.

- All insurance cards, Medicare card and Medicaid coupons.

4.  Attend your first appointment at Alaska Bariatric Center. There is a $200 administrative fee which is due at or before your first appointment. This fee is not covered by your insurance and is non-refundable. At this appointment our medical providers will give you a personalized list of tests/labs that need to be completed as your preoperative workup. At your first appointment we request the following: Please come in 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Completed Medical History Questionnaire, with special attention paid to your weight loss history.

5.  Attend your second appointment at Alaska Bariatric Center 30 days later as you continue to complete the pre-operative work-up appointments and all medical records/results are received by us.

6.  Attend at least three (3) Support Group Meetings hosted by the Alaska Bariatric Center before surgery. There is a copy of the scheduled times and topics enclosed in the packet you received at your orientation. You can also find a complete schedule of our events here.

7. Complete your pre-operative work-up. As you complete your appointments, please be sure to have the results sent to us. We will also need a copy of your medical records from your primary healthcare provider.

8.  Attend your History/Physical appointment in our office no more than 7 days prior to your scheduled surgery.


10.  Attend all post-operative appointments as scheduled Please bear in mind that the above will take time to complete. We appreciate your patience and diligence.

Again, thank you for your interest in Alaska Bariatric Center. We look forward to serving you and being a part of your healthcare needs.

Description of Pre-operative Work-up

This is a list of the standard pre-operative tests that you may be required to complete. Not all patients will be required to complete these exact tests. In addition other studies and consultations may also be required so that we may provide you with the best care possible.

1. Chest X-Ray (CXR): This test is to evaluate your lungs and heart.

2. Electrocardiogram (EKG): This test is to screen for and diagnose a variety of cardiac conditions as well as to monitor the heart's response to therapy.

3. Abdominal Ultrasound (Abd. U/S): To check for any organ abnormalities, cysts, gallbladder disease.

4. Upper Gastrointestional Test (UGI): This test is used to look at the esophagus, stomach and other parts of the upper intestional tract to see if any problems exist.

5. Mammogram: Test to detect abnormalities and disease of the breast.

6. Echocardiogram (Echo): This test is to diagnose abnormalities and valvular function within the heart.

7. Pulmonary Function Test (PFT's): This test is to find out how your lungs are working.

8. Arterial Blood Gases (ABG's): This test is to determine how well the lungs are functioning and the acid-base status of your blood.

9. Psychological Evaluation: To determine general candidacy for Weight Loss Surgery including a realistic understanding of the nature of the surgery, outcome expectations and any of the risks involved.

10. Dietary Evaluation: To discuss pre-operative and post-operative dietary issues.

11. Internist: Doctor to address medical (non-surgical) needs.

12. Gastroenterologist (GI): Doctor that evaluates and diagnoses any problems from the esophagus (swallowing begins) to the duodenum (past the stomach). For example, reflux disease known as GERD.

13. Pulmonology: Evaluation and diagnoses of any lung condition such as sleep apnea and asthma.

14. Cardiology: Evaluation and diagnoses of any heart condition such as a heart murmur.

15. Various Labs: These tests are to evaluate different blood levels, nutritional status, and to screen for specific conditions such as diabetes and hypothryoidism.