Weight Loss Surgery for PCOS

Before you have weight loss surgery (WLS) for PCOS, there are many things to consider. There is an unmistakable link between PCOS and obesity and metabolic syndrome, which includes insulin resistance. The hormonal changes that occur with this disease aren’t just an imbalance of the reproductive hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Insulin, the body’s tool for dealing with sugar, is also affected. For people who have been battling their weight, weight loss surgery (WLS) may seem like a dream come true. Serious thought and consideration are required before deciding to proceed with having weight loss surgery for PCOS.

Woman weighing herself on medical scale
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Will Weight Loss Surgery Help?

If you are have been unsuccessful in losing weight despite multiple serious attempts, having weight loss surgery for PCOS may be an option. While losing weight will not cure the syndrome, it may restore a regular menstrual period and reduce the severity of the symptoms.

Who Is Eligible?

Not everyone who is overweight is able to have weight loss surgery for PCOS. You may qualify if:

  • Your BMI is greater than or equal to 40 without other medical illnesses
  • Your BMI is 35-39.9 with at least one serious related medical illness such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, among others
  • Your BMI is 30-34.9 and you have uncontrolled diabetes or metabolic syndrome

Sometimes a surgeon will consider someone who has less weight to lose if they are facing significant medical complications.

Kinds of Procedures Available

There are a number of different techniques and types of surgery that a surgeon can use, depending on the patient. Make sure to speak with your healthcare provider about what he recommends for you. The most popular procedures include the sleeve gastrectomy and the roux-en-Y lap gastric bypass.


As with any surgical procedure, weight loss surgery has its own risks. These include pulmonary embolism, blood clots, infection, pain, inability to tolerate food, excess skin, dumping syndrome, malnutrition, ulcers, constipation, and anemia.

Is It Covered by Insurance?

Before having surgery, it is extremely important to contact your insurance carrier to discuss your coverage and the process for obtaining approval for weight loss surgery. Most carriers have specific requirements such as using a particular surgeon or getting pre-authorization that must be completed before surgery.

What If I Don’t Have Coverage?

If your policy does not cover weight loss surgery, or you do not have insurance, you have a few options. Some hospitals may offer payment plans where you pay a certain amount each month. If this is not possible, you may be able to take a personal loan to cover the cost. Before taking a loan, you will want to read the documentation very carefully and understand your payment plan.


Recovering from weight loss surgery can be difficult. Besides dealing with typical issues after surgery, such as pain, WLS has its own recovery issues. Because each surgeon has their own post-op instructions, you will need to speak with them for specific details. However, you can expect ​dietary restrictions and activity restrictions for a period of time.

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8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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