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Am I a Candidate

Bariatric surgery is indicated for patients with obesity and associated medical conditions. Body mass Index (BMI) is a calculation that is performed that estimates a patients’ degree of obesity. BMI does not reflect frame size or muscle mass. Bariatric surgery may be indicated for patients with a BMI above 30.

Generally, a bariatric surgery candidate is one who meets the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) recommended criteria. To have bariatric surgery covered by your medical insurance, most companies require that patient meet the NIH criteria. Although the NIH and FDA have set guidelines for the bariatric candidates, patients can still pursue a procedure if they fall outside the guidelines. Please see our Insurance and Affordability section for self-pay options.

NIH criteria:

Have a BMI greater than or equal to 35 with one or more significant obesity-related conditions including but not limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Severe Arthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Obesity hypoventilation syndrome
  • High cholesterol

Have a BMI greater than 40 regardless of the presence of other medical conditions
Have failed multiple attempts with supervised dietary, behavioral, and medical therapy
Have realistic expectations and are motivated
Have a lifelong commitment to lifestyle changes and long-term follow-up care
Must be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of medical, surgical, psychological and nutritional experts

BMI = (Weight in Pounds / (Height in inches x Height in inches)) x 703

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The Disease of Obesity

Obesity is a Disease!
Obesity is a progressive, life-threatening disease which requires proper treatment. Obesity is NOT a lack of will-power or the inability to follow a diet. Obesity impacts our metabolism, hunger, hormones, and our ability to be able to lose weight. Mechanisms of this disease are inherited and are expressed at various times in a patient’s life. Some patients are obese since childhood and others become obese later in life. The details of this gene and how it impacts our health is an area of active research and investigation. Obesity it understood to be a very complex disease with multiple components.

My patients are some of the most effective ‘dieters’ I have ever met. They have lost ten, twenty, even one hundred pounds in the past. They are knowledgeable about nutrition, various diets, and exercise. They have spent countless dollars on their weight loss efforts only to gain the weight (and more) back.

The disease of obesity makes it nearly impossible for a patient with this disease to maintain weight loss long-term. The disease essentially sets up a variety of mechanisms to prevent weight loss and encourage weight regain. The system almost always (96% of the time) wins. The changes associated with bariatric surgery enable patients with this disease to see the results of their efforts and have a lasting tool to help them maintain their weight loss and improved health.

**Due to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, seminars will be web-based live presentations for the remainder of 2023 on same schedule. Please contact us for registration**

Attend an Informational Webinar

An introduction to our program begins with an Informational Seminar. At this time and until further notice, informational meetings are now Zoom webinars.  Dr. Machado will discuss the disease of obesity and the recommended procedures available for patients considering bariatric surgery.  Webinars are live-streamed, convenient, and include time for questions/answer sessions.  Potential patients as well as family and support persons are encouraged to attend.  The webinar is a very important step in the educational process and preparation for bariatric surgery. Dr. Machado personally presents the information at every webinar as it is the best way to get to know our program and have your individual questions answered.

We understand your time is valuable and we know you will leave the webinar with the necessary knowledge and information to begin your journey. Patients will be scheduled for office consultations following each webinar and will generally been seen in the month that they attend to begin this process.

Informational Webinars are from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Location: Zoom Webinar Live Event

Scheduled Informational Live Webinars for 2023
January 3rd February 6th March 6th
April 5th May 1st June 5th
July 10th August 7th September 5th
October 2nd November 6th December 4th
Please call (916) 338-7200 or fill out our contact form to register.

Insurance and Affordability

Insurance coverage for bariatric surgery is available through many health plans and carriers. Sacramento Bariatric contracts with most insurance companies and we will help you navigate this complex process towards authorization. It is important to understand your “Certificate of Coverage” and any exclusions for bariatric surgery. As each plan is unique in their requirements, we will confirm your qualification for bariatric surgery and your insurance requirements at your first visit. We will develop a timeline for you to guide you towards authorization. Dr. Machado and her experienced staff will obtain all the documents and pre-surgical tests and visits required including dietary and behavioral health evaluations.

If you do not have bariatric surgical coverage or an exclusion, Sacramento Bariatric has cash pay options available. We also accept CareCredit© for financing options for our patients. If you are interested in our cash pay package, please contact our office for additional information.

With today’s rising health costs, one may wonder if now is the time to consider bariatric surgery. Obesity is associated with increased healthcare and medication costs that are 60-75% higher than a patient in the normal weight range. The other financial costs associated with obesity include:

  • Out-of-pocket healthcare expenses
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medication costs
  • Doctors/specialists, office visits, lab work, physical therapists, x-rays
  • Employment inactivity (missed work)
  • Nonsurgical weight loss programs (Weight Watchers®, Jenny Craig®, etc.)
  • Increased grocery and dining costs

Using bariatric surgery to significantly reduce your weight may also reduce your weight-related costs. If the cost savings that happen after surgery are taken into account, many can find that financing surgery is not only very obtainable but will actually save money.

Bariatric surgery pays for itself in about 2 years for the average patient. Since weight loss surgery helps improve or resolve conditions associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, patients save money on prescription drugs, doctor visits, and hospital visits. In fact, monthly savings associated with laparoscopic bariatric surgery were shown to reach more than $900 as early as 13 months following surgery.

Patient Testimonials

The greatest compliment a physician can receive is the recommendation of the patients she treats.  – Dr. Laura Machado

Dr. Machado is the best! I feel extremely fortunate to have met her and picked her as my Lap-band surgeon back in 2008. Her commitment to long-term follow-up is exceptional, which has helped me maintain a 120-pound weight loss. We have stayed in close contact over the last 9 years and I always find it helpful to see her for follow-up visits – she is so supportive and easy to talk to while knowing how to motivate you to get the weight off! You can tell she genuinely cares about her patients’ wellbeing and will do whatever she can to help you. Definitely go to her seminar if you need a great bariatric surgeon and live anywhere near the area.

The staff at Sacramento Bariatric have changed my life forever. from the wonderful kind front office gals who work so hard to make sure all the patients are well taken care of to Dr. Machado, who is likely the most gifted physician I have ever met, everyone here will do their best to make sure YOU can be YOUR best. I love these folks with my whole heart and will never be able to thank them enough for all they have done to improve my life.

I knew from the moment I heard Dr. Machado speak at new patient orientation that she was the surgeon for me. From that first meeting, to my initial consultation, and ever subsequent appointment, I’ve always felt like I was in the best hands. Dr. Machado’s practice is set up to support her patients through every step of the process, from insurance approval, to pre-surgical nutrition counseling, through recovery, and into maintenance. The support extends out through a community of patients who meet monthly for support group and interact daily on Facebook. My life is forever changed and my gratitude cannot be measured.

Dr. Machado makes you feel comfortable, safe, and educated right from the start. What I appreciate most about her is her candor, I know she genuinely cares about your well being and wants you to succeed. My surgery experience was great and the results have been life changing; Dr. Machado saved my life!

I struggled for a long time with my weight and when I reached my heaviest weight ever at 272lbs, I decided that nothing I was doing was working. It was finally time to try something else. After a lot of research, I decided to have the gastric sleeve surgery. I read a lot of great reviews on Dr. Machado, attended her class and just really liked her and all that she had to say and offer. I had my surgery Oct 4, 2016 and have lost over 125lbs from my heaviest weight. I feel amazing, I have my life back; a better life actually. My relationship with my family has improved and I love the person I see in the mirror. Its work and there have been plenty of ups and downs. This by no means is an easy way out but it’s a really awesome tool. I eat right, exercise, I’m kind to myself and am thankful for my progress and the support. I couldn’t have gotten this far without the surgery and especially without Dr. Machado’s help. It’s a journey everyone needs to decide to take for themselves and I’m so glad I did.

I have been morbidly obese for all of my adult life. The morbid part of that diagnosis became a serious concern for me as I hit my 40’s due to my father having had his first heart attack at the age of 49. I was a mess; weighing 344lbs with a cholesterol level of 284, pre-diabetic, sleep apnea and suffering from such severe aches and pains, that I could not walk around for more than 20 minutes at a time.

At 44 yrs. old I woke up with what I thought was a heart attack one night and my only thought was that my daughter was going to find me. It was heartburn, it was devastating and it was the point that I decided to have weight-loss surgery.

I went to a couple of orientations but it was not until I sat in on Doctor Machado’s orientation that I knew I had found the doctor for me. She explained everything to in a way that I understood. I had been dealing with a sense of shame that I could not lose the weight on my own but after listening to her orientation I no longer felt that way.

I booked my first appointment for a consultation and have never looked back. Dr. Machado has given me a clear understanding at every point of the process. I felt ready and excited and had total trust in her the day I had my surgery. That trust has only gotten stronger as I have gone through the weight loss journey. Dr. Machado told me the secret to success, listen to her and follow her instructions.

I hit my goal weight within 15 months, 170lbs lost. My cholesterol is 154. No Apnea and my regular doctor has said I am at OPTIMAL health.

I am the most active I have ever been in my life. I paddle board, I ride horses, I LIVE a FULL life.

Thank you Dr. Machado… you did not give me my life back. You gave me a life worth living!

Gastric bypass surgery and Dr. Machado’s office have changed my life in so many ways. Not only have I lost 200 lbs and am the fittest (and smallest!) I’ve ever been in my adult life, but it has reached into so many other aspects beyond my weight. My obsession with food has disappeared, my pain has decreased, my confidence has increased, and my energy levels have gone through the roof. For the first time in my life, I am enjoying exercising – I even started powerlifting and doing 5k’s! A lso, through Dr. Machado’s office and her support group, I’ve found an amazing group of people who help support me everyday.

I wish I had done this years before when I first considered it, as it’s truly given me my life back!

Dr. Machado is my hero and surgical artist! Well, here I sit one week out of gastric bypass surgery and I’m totally amazed! I have had no pain of any kind other than the IV setup which was nothing but when they came in to remove the catheter (which I have never had the displeasure of ever having one) the nurse came in and pulled it out (just like is supposed to) like she was trying to pull start a chain saw OOOUCH! again short lived pain. I stopped all pain meds of any kind last Thursday as I saw no need for them. I’ve been walking and worked into my liquid diet tracking everything on an Excel spread sheet without any hunger or craving issues of any kind and I’m losing about 1.5lbs a day. I had no idea it was going to turn out this well! Dr. Machado, you’re the BEST!

I highly recommend using Dr. Laura Machado’s office if you are considering weight loss surgery. The orientation was a detailed explanation of the options available. It was very informative. Gastric bypass surgery was the option I felt best for me.

The staff was helpful and knowledgeable with my insurance and questions about the procedure. I had a rare complication with my surgery. Dr. Machado guided me through it and again, her staff was there for me. I’m still in the weight loss stage. I’ve lost about 70 pounds in 6 months. I no longer take diabetes medication, acid reflux medication, and cholesterol medication. This alone has made it the best decision ever. I even went off my depression medication. My only regret… I should have done this sooner.

Dr. Machado is by far the best surgeon around. She is very good at what she does. Before surgery she makes sure you are ready for what is to come. After surgery she is there for you, too, making sure you are losing weight in a healthy way. She has given me my life back, and I am eternally grateful!

Dr. Machado is the best in her field, she came highly recommended to me by two of my friends. She’s very thorough and went beyond just my gastric bypass, she fixed a hernia and removed two masses. I couldn’t be more grateful for her being my Surgeon and Doctor. Her staff is very professional and helpful.

Dr. Laura L. Machado is the best of the best! I would highly recommend her and her staff at the Sacramento Bariatric Medical office. I was also very impressed with the staff at San Juan Mercy Hospital. I was in a private room and they made my stay very pleasant. Simply follow Dr. Machado’s instructions and you will be very happy with the results, as I am.

I had gastric bypass surgery on April 1st, 2008. I have many friends who have also had the procedure, some with Dr. Machado and some with others. I have to say, Dr. Machado’s office blew the others away. I have maintained my weight loss and Dr. Machado’s after care, support meetings each month and care and attention given to me was amazing. Since having the surgery, I have actually recommended several people to Dr. Machado’s office and continue to be a supporter of both gastric bypass surgery and Sacramento Bariatric Associates.

For more of our Patient success stories CLICK HERE to go to our Facebook Page

Attend an Informational Seminar

Please call (916) 338-7200 or fill out our contact form to register.