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Bariatric Glossary

Absorption
The process in which digested food is absorbed by the lower part of the small intestine into the bloodstream.

Adipose
Tissue made up of mainly fat cells.

Bariatric
A term having to do with weight or weight reduction.

Body Mass Index (BMI)
A method of figuring out the degree of excess weight, based on weight and height.

Certificate of Coverage
A document provided by a health insurance company that describes the details of the plan’s policy, including requirements for eligibility, benefits, deductibles, maximums, and exclusions of coverage.

Co-morbid Condition
This is a disease or disorder related to a primary condition.

Colon
The part of the large intestine that starts at the end of the small intestine and ends at the rectum.

Dumping Syndrome
An uncomfortable episode of nausea, lightheadedness, upset stomach, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, related to ingestion of high-sugar, high-fat foods or liquids that can occur after certain bariatric surgeries, such as gastric bypass.

Duodenum
The first 12 inches of small intestine immediately below the stomach. Bile and pancreatic fluids flow into the duodenum from the liver and pancreas.

Excess Weight
Excess weight is the difference between the patient’s actual weight and a healthy weight.

Fully Insured Plan
A type of health insurance plan in which the employer pays a monthly premium for a standardized health plan from an insurance company that assumes all risk and cost involved. The insurance company generally makes coverage decisions and must abide by state and federal regulations.

Gastric
A term having to do with the stomach.

Gastric Banding Surgery
In this surgical procedure, a silicone band is placed around the stomach, creating a small pouch. The band is filled with a nontoxic fluid, most commonly a saline solution; adjustments are performed by a healthcare professional who accesses the balloon via a subcutaneous port.

Gastric Bypass Surgery
During gastric bypass, the operating surgeon uses part of the stomach to form a small stomach pouch and reroutes a part of the small intestine. There are several variations of gastric bypass surgery including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, extensive gastric bypass, and very long-limb gastric bypass.

Gastrointestinal
This term describes the entire digestive tract.

Hernia
A weakness in the tissue of the abdominal wall that results in a detectable bulge.

Hypertension
This is a term for high blood pressure.

Ileum
The 10 feet of small intestine responsible for absorption.

Improvement
This term is used to describe limited relief of symptoms.

Jejunum
The 10 feet of small intestine responsible for digestion.

Laparoscopy
A method that allows a doctor to see and treat intra-abdominal problems with long fiber optic instruments and without a large incision, offering faster recover, fewer complications and minimal scarring.

Morbid
This term refers to disease or illness. 

Morbid Obesity
A Body Mass Index of 40 or greater, which is roughly equal to 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight, or a Body Mass Index of greater than 35 with two or more co-morbid conditions. For gastric banding procedures, the criteria are a BMI greater than 35, or a BMI greater than 30 plus two significant medical problems.

Mortality
Mortality is death.

Multidisciplinary Bariatric Program
A team approach to testing and treatment of clinically severe obesity. It includes surgical, nutrition and psychological assessment and treatment. 

NIH
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research.

Obesity
Excessive weight or adipose tissue.

Obstruction
The narrowing of a part of the gastrointestinal tract that slows down the normal passage of food or waste.

Pulmonary
Having to do with the lungs.

Resolution
The complete relief from symptoms of a disease or disorder, such that medical tests do not detect its existence.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
A surgical method of reconnecting the stomach and upper small intestine in a Y- shape.

Self-Funded Plan
A type of health insurance plan in which the employer assumes all risks and costs in providing healthcare to employees and, therefore, decides what is and what is not covered, such as bariatric surgery. Self-funded plans are usually administered by an insurance company. This insurance company is often referred to as the third-party administrator (TPA) of the plan. The TPA performs administrative functions only and does not determine coverage. Self-funded plans are exempt from state regulations, including mandated benefits, premium taxes, and consumer protection laws, but they must meet federal regulations.

Staples
Surgically sterile staples, similar in look and function to those used to fasten paper, for connecting tissue. Staples are usually permanent and made of stainless steel or titanium.

Summary Plan Description
Employers with self-funded health insurance plans are legally required to provide this document to their beneficiaries. The document provides plan participants with important information about their health benefits. This includes plan rules, financial information, and information on the operation and management of the plan. The information contained in the Summary Plan Description is similar to what is found in the Certificate of Coverage provided by a health insurance company. 

Type 2 Diabetes
A disorder of glucose and insulin metabolism.