Adolescent Requirements & Next Steps

Bariatric Surgery Requirements

Minimum requirements for the adolescent program at MUSC Health are:

  • Age 13 to 19 at the time of surgery
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 35 kg/m2 with weight-related health problems
  • BMI greater than 40 kg/m2
  • Consent from both the patient and a parent/guardian
  • Psychological evaluation to ensure aptitude for pre- and post-surgery requirements (knowledge of what surgery is all about; risks/benefits; supportive family; willingness to commit to diet, exercise, and long term follow up requirements)
  • Patient is done growing (must provide documentation of skeletal maturity)
  • Participation in a preparatory program like MUSC’s Heart Health/Pediatric Weight Management Program

Adolescent Weight Management Program – Pediatric Heart Health

Families considering weight loss surgery will participate in a preparatory program like the MUSC Health Heart Health Program, which is both the pediatric weight management program of the MUSC Children’s Hospital and the preventive cardiology service of the Children's Heart Center. We feel that this family-centered and lifestyle-oriented program is the best way for our teens to prepare for the unique challenges that weight loss surgery presents and maintain follow up after surgery to stay on track. Surgery candidates will meet with a team of nutrition and exercise experts, who will provide a supportive structure for our younger patients to learn to lose and maintain weight loss.

Next Steps

Talk to Your Insurance Provider

It is best to determine if weight loss surgery is a covered benefit on your plan and not an excluded benefit for those under age 18 before you begin the process.

Check to See if You Meet the Criteria

To qualify for weight loss surgery, teens must have a BMI greater than 40, or a BMI greater than 35 in addition to other serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, or others. Insurance policies differ, please call yours to check criteria. 

Begin the Steps to Surgery

To begin the weight loss surgery journey with us, review the steps to surgery and give us a call at 843-792-3046. You will be directed to view our new patient welcome video and then complete and return a patient packet and then schedule a new patient consultation.