Andrew J. Morse, DO | Board Certified General Surgeon | Surgical Associates of Western Colorado
970.243.9340 | Information CenterLearn About the Lap-Band SystemLearn About Sleeve GatrectomyInsurance Coverage and PricingFree Seminars and Support Groups970.243.9340 | 3150 N. 12th Street, Second Level |Grand Junction, Colorado
2373 G Road
Suite 280
Grand Junction, CO 81505


Am I eligible for weight loss surgery?
Our program follows the National Institute of Health guidelines, which utilizes the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine a patient's eligibility for surgery. BMI measures weight in relation to height. Prerequisites for surgery include:
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40 (approximately 100 lbs. over ideal body weight) or a BMI greater than 30 with other health conditions like sleep apnea, diabetes, or heart problems
  • No uncorrected metabolic disease that may cause obesity
  • No medical condition(s) that would make surgery too hazardous
  • No unstable or untreated psychological illnesses and/or unrealistic expectations of surgery and weight loss

How long is the surgery?
On average the surgery takes 35-60 minutes.

How long will I need to take off work after surgery?
We recommend taking 1 week off after surgery. Some people will be ready to return to light duty sooner than that, but we find it easier to plan for a week and return early if able.

Does my insurance cover the surgery?
Every insurance company is different. We are happy to help you explore your insurance coverage options. In order for us to serve you best, please contact the Surgical Weight Loss program coordinator at: (970) 242-9123 to discuss your specific insurance plan.

What if my insurance doesn't cover the procedure?
We offer a very competitive discounted self-pay price and financing options are available.

I don't have insurance, or my insurance will not cover this surgery, how much does the surgery cost?
For those whose insurance may not cover the surgery, we offer our patients a very competitive self-pay discounted price of $13,000 for Lap-Band and $17,500 for sleeve gastrectomy. Our discounted self-pay surgery price (all covered services must be performed at Community Hospital) includes:
  • Behavioral Health testing and counseling prior to surgery
  • Nutritional counseling prior to surgery
  • Exercise physiology counseling prior to surgery
  • Surgeon, anesthesia and facility fee
  • Behavioral Health counseling for 90 day period following surgery, as needed
  • Nutritional counseling for 90 day period following surgery, as needed
  • Exercise physiology counseling for 90 day period following surgery, as needed
  • Post surgical visits with the surgeon for 3 months
  • Free fills for Lap-Band patients for 6 months following surgery
  • 90 day membership to Gold's Gym, with two personal trainer visits, (must enroll within 6 months of surgery
  • Unlimited participation before and after surgery in support group meetings held monthly

Not included in the self-pay discounted price:
The initial screening assessment by the surgeon which is done to make sure the patient is a good candidate for surgery. The cost of this visit is $230 and is often covered by insurance. An upper endoscopy and labs may also be required before surgery and are not covered by some insurances.

Payment of the discounted cash price of is due in full prior to surgery.

Do you offer financing?
Financing options are available through Medical Loan Finance. Apply at or call 1-800-504-4053.

What resources are available to me for support after surgery?
The Community Hospital SWLC offers a full complement of post-surgical nutrition and behavioral health counseling and support group sessions to help you meet your weight loss goals. Additionally Apollo Endosurgery, the maker of the Lap-Band device provides excellent online resources to help patients meet their weight loss goals.

What do I need to do to be successful after surgery?
There are some basic rules that are simple and easy to follow. Immediately before and after surgery, your physician and dietitian will provide you with special dietary guidelines. You will need to follow these guidelines closely. Below are 10 rules for eating, drinking and exercise that will help you get the best results:
  • Eat 3 small meals and 1-2 high protein snacks per day
  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly
  • Stop eating as soon as you feel full
  • Do not drink for 30 minutes before or after a meal
  • Eat only good quality foods
  • Talk to the dietitian about eating fibrous foods
  • Drink 40-65 oz. of water each day
  • Drink only low-calorie liquids
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day
  • Eat 60-80 grams of protein a day

Should I exercise after weight loss surgery?
Regular exercise and activity is another important tool for achieving your weight loss goals. Our weight loss team will help you with the types of exercise you should be doing and how soon after surgery you should start doing them. Gold's Gym provides a three-month membership as part of our package.

Will I continue seeing my primary care physician after surgery?
Yes. Because so many things change for the surgical weight loss patient, it is essential that you be closely monitored by your primary care physician. Our team will keep your primary care physician informed of your post-surgical progress.

What if I have excess skin?
A. As you start losing weight, you may notice excess skin. The amount of excess skin you experience is due to your degree of weight loss, age and smoking habits. Many patients find that the skin's natural elasticity accommodates even intense weight reduction. Some patients, however, choose to have plastic surgery to have excess skin removed.

What can I do to speed up the process of getting ready for surgery?
Talk to your primary care physician and ensure that your routine health maintenance testing is current. For example, women may have a pap smear, and if over 40 years of age, a breast exam. For men, this may include a prostate specific antigen test (PSA). Additionally, both men and women over 50 should have a screening colonoscopy.
  • Make a list of all the diets you have tried (a diet history) and bring it to your doctor
  • Bring any pertinent medical data to your appointment with the surgeon - this would include reports of special tests (echocardiogram, sleep study, etc.) or a hospital discharge summary if you have been in the hospital
  • Bring a list of your medications with dose and schedule
  • Stop smoking. Surgical patients who use tobacco products are at a higher surgical risk