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Consultation With Surgeon
Your first step before weight loss surgery will be to have a private consultation with one of our surgeons. You may also want to attend a new patient seminar, which can be attended or viewed on our website. We want you to have all the information you need when making the decision to have bariatric surgery. At your initial visit with your surgeon, you will also have the opportunity to speak with your Patient Advocate about how your insurance will be paying for your surgery and what your portion will be, if any. They can also talk to you about financing options if your insurance does not cover bariatric surgery. Dietary education - You will be offered the first of our 5 Education Classes after your appointment with the surgeon. Attendance is required of all patients who wish to undergo bariatric surgery. The other 4 classes may be viewed on our website or during private dietary visits before your surgery. Classes last between 6-15 minutes.
Testing & Clearances
All patients are required to undergo psychological testing to assess readiness for bariatric surgery. This may be done in our office on the same day as your consultation with the surgeon if you would like. (Please note: The fee for the psychological evaluation is separate from your surgeon’s consultation fee because the psychologist is an independent consultant.) Your surgeon may require additional clearances, such as cardiology evaluation or a sleep study to be completed prior to surgery.
Pre-Surgical Office Visits & Education
Many insurance companies require patients to undergo 3-6 months of physician-supervised weight loss prior to approving the surgery. Our Internal Medicine doctor and Nurse Practitioners can provide this for you. We have 5 Educational Classes to prepare you for your life after bariatric surgery. The first you will attend when you see the dietician on your initial consultation day. If you are required to do medically-supervised weight loss visits, you will be given the other classes during those visits. If you do not, you should view these classes on our website. You will receive a checklist of the classes at your initial consultation.
Submit to Insurance Company
Once all of your clearances and necessary information have been gathered, our Patient Advocate will submit your information to your insurance company for an authorization for surgery. Insurance companies provide an authorization anywhere from 24 hours to 30 days after we request it. The timing of getting your authorization is dependent on how quickly your insurance company responds. We do everything in our power to expedite the process for you. The average time to wait for an authorization is 2 weeks. Once we receive your authorization, we will contact you to finalize your surgery date, set up your Pre-Op visit, and instruct you on your Pre-Op diet.
Your Pre-Op visit will be the week before your surgery. During your Pre-Op Visit, you will meet with your surgeon again to discuss your surgery, and you may undergo pre-operative testing, including lab work, EKG, and Chest X-Ray if you have not already had them done. You will also receive your Bariatric Surgery Handbook and you will attend a Pre-Op class, both of which contain important information you need to know and understand prior to surgery. Your Pre-Op Visit will take much of the day, so please plan accordingly.
One-Week Post-Op Visit & Classes
Approximately one week after surgery, you will have an appointment with your surgeon to see how you are doing. Prior to your appointment time, you will attend a Post-Op Class on how to advance your diet, what vitamins to take, how to start your exercise regimen, etc. This will take about half of the day, so please plan accordingly.
Follow Up Visits
Bariatric surgery is not a one-step process. Follow up visits with our medical team to review your weight loss, nutritional status and exercise habits are critical to your success. Periodic lab work is imperative to ensure you are losing your weight in a healthy and safe way. Vitamin levels must be checked periodically to prevent deficiencies. Your commitment to this follow up is imperative for your success and health. Standard follow-up schedule for gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy is: 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and annually thereafter. Standard follow up for gastric banding depends on your band adjustment schedule and is usually more frequent in the first year.
Support Groups & Workshops
All patients are invited to attend our support group meetings. They are held monthly and the schedule can be found on our website. Support Group is free to all. Workshops are periodically offered to help patients achieve their maximum potential. Fees vary.