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Glossary of Terms


Process in which digested food is absorbed by the lower part of the small intestine into the bloodstream

Fatty; having to do with fat

Surgical connection between two structures

Having to do with weight or weight reduction

Body Mass Index (BMI)
Method of figuring out the degree of excess weight. Based on weight and height.

Having to do with the heart and blood vessels

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

Clinically Severe Obesity
Body Mass Index of 40 or more, which is roughly equal to 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight; a weight level that is life-threatening. Also known as morbid obesity.

Related illnesses (i.e., arthritis, hypertension) or disabling conditions related to clinically severe obesity or obesity-related health conditions

Large intestine beginning at the end of the small intestine and ending at the rectum

Any symptom or situation that is inappropriate for an otherwise recommended treatment (i.e., alcoholism, drug dependency, severe depression, sociopathic [antisocial] personality disorder)

Defines what is right for surgery

Process in which food is broken down by the stomach and upper small intestine into absorbable forms

Process of enlarging or further opening a passage or anastomosis

Process that is a hazard to health and/or longevity

Divided Gastric Bypass Surgery
Surgical operation that provides a way to manage clinically severe obesity

Dumping Syndrome 
Uncomfortable feeling of nausea, lightheadedness, upset stomach, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, related to ingestion of sweets, high-calorie liquids, or dairy products

First 12 inches of small intestine immediately below the stomach. Bile and pancreatic fluids flow into the duodenum through ducts from the liver and pancreas.

Having to do with the stomach

Gastric Bypass Surgery
Operation designed to make a portion of the stomach nonfunctioning and to reroute the small intestine


Having to do with the stomach or intestine

Gastrojejunostomy Anastomosis
Upper connection of the gastric bypass operation


Surgical operation for morbid obesity that changes the shape of the stomach

Having to do with inherited physical characteristics

A weakness in the abdominal wall that results in a detectable bulge

Process in which a hernia is formed

Having highly concentrated substances that are capable of causing dumping syndrome


High blood pressure

The 10 feet of small intestine that handle absorption

The 10 feet of small intestine that handle digestion

Measure of weight equal to 2.2 pounds

Method that allows a doctor to see and treat intra-abdominal problems with long fiber-optic instruments

Having to do with disease, illness, and a higher risk of death

Morbid Obesity
Body Mass Index of 40 or more, which is roughly equal to 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight; a weight level that is life-threatening


Having to do with death

Multidisciplinary Bariatric Program
Team approach to testing and treatment of clinically severe obesity; includes surgical, internal medicine, nutrition, psychiatric, and exercise physiology, assessment, and treatment

National Institutes of Health

NIH Consensus Report
Summaries of meetings about clinically severe obesity and the assessment and treatment of obesity; issued periodically by NIH

NIH Surgical Criteria
The National Institutes of Health has established minimum requirements for deciding whether bariatric surgery is the right treatment option:

• 100 pounds or more above ideal body weight or a BMI of 40 or greater3
• BMI of 35 or greater with one or more obesity-related health condition3

Having to do with excessive weight or adipose tissue

Narrowing of an anastomosis or a part of the gastrointestinal tract that slows down the normal passage of food or waste

Testing and treatment of mentally related disorders

Having to do with the lungs

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
A surgical method of reconnecting the stomach and upper small intestines in roughly 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 must meet federal regulations.

Surgically sterile devices for connecting tissue; usually they are permanent and made of stainless steel or titanium

Narrowing of anastomosis or a section of intestine; often related to scarring or ulcers

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 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 the health insurance company.


Type 2 Diabetes
A disorder of glucose and insulin metabolism

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
A type of surgical operation to treat clinically severe obesity. Changes the shape of and restricts the stomach. Not performed very often.

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