Establish care: 218.249.4000
General questions: 218.249.5555

Weight Loss Surgery FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BMI (body mass index)?
A measurement that calculates height & weight to help determine if a patient qualifies for weight loss surgery.

What are the BMI requirements for weight loss surgery at St. Luke’s?
Your BMI must be at least 40, or 35-39.9 and are suffering from at least two serious related health problems (diabetes mellitus, gastro-esophageal reflux, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, degenerative joint disease, high blood pressure, etc.)

When is weight loss surgery used to treat obesity?
When other weight loss therapies have failed (diet/exercise, pharmacotherapy, weight loss programs, counseling, etc.)

What are the weight loss surgery options offered at St. Luke’s?
Laparoscopic/open sleeve gastrectomy

Do you still offer the laparoscopic gastric band?
No, St. Luke's no longer offers the band due to high complication rates.

Will my insurance cover weight loss surgery?
Insurance coverage varies based on your insurance plan. Please contact your insurance company directly to find out if weight loss surgery is covered.

If I am currently using tobacco, will I be able to have surgery?
No. It will be a requirement that you quit smoking/remain tobacco & nicotine free for a minimum of six months prior to surgery. We encourage you to continue no tobacco use post-operatively as smoking can interfere with the healing process following surgery.

How will weight loss surgery affect my life?
The surgical procedure is a small piece to the puzzle. There will need to be many lifestyle changes that will need to be made prior to the actual surgery date.

If I am interested in weight loss surgery, what is my first step?
Please contact St. Luke’s Surgical Weight Loss Program at 218-249-2410. We will help you register for an information session where you will learn about our program and weight loss surgery options. You can also register online at

Once I attend the information session, how long will it be before I can have weight loss surgery?
The process varies with each patient. However, the standard length of time is usually 7-8 months until your surgery date.

218.249.5555 | 800.321.3790

St. Luke’s, 915 East First Street, Duluth, MN 55805
© 2019 St. Luke's. All Rights Reserved.

Establish care: 218.249.4000
General questions: 218.249.5555

915 East First Street
Duluth, MN 55805