Many veterans may not know that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does perform, and also contracts out, weight loss surgery.
In order to obtain it, you must enroll in the VA MOVE program, which consists of classes and groups tackling weight loss, and all of the aspects involved with being obese. They include psychological factors, nutrition, exercise and a host of other classes. They chart your weight, and your progress, If needed, the VA will also provide 1-1 psychotherapy, as well as group therapy.
In my case, it took longer than normal because halfway through, I had to move to another state. The new location had no pool therapy program, so it took longer to get the required 50 pounds off than we had planned. But, once i did that, the VA ran me through their psychological evaluation, cardiac evaluation and then they contracted my weight loss surgery out to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Vanderbilt offered me my choice of surgeries. I had known that I preferred the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy for a long time, but never believed that it would be possible for me. Now it was available, and i grabbed at it.
To make a long story shorter, I was 65 when I had my surgery done, and in 16 months, I lost 185 pounds. I have had no difficulty maintaining my weight loss.
Last Tuesday, I underwent a "panniculectomy", which is the removal of the apron of excess skin and fat that hung down from my belly. Because of the fact that I am rated as an over 50% Service Connected Disabled Vet, all of this has been at zero cost to me.
If you are a veteran of any of the Armed Forces, you are eligible for some level of medical care through the VA. Consider it, because they offer very good medical care, and even if you have to pay something, it will be a nominal fee.
So long as you received something better than a "Bad Conduct Discharge", you should be eligible for VA Medical care.
A former Army Medic (1959-1969), Registered Nurse (1969-2000), College Instructor (1984-1989) and a retired Rehabilitation Counselor. I am also a dual citizen of the USA and Canada.
High Weight 412 lbs. Date of Surgery 360.5 Present 170 lbs