Getting Started with Bariatric Surgery
MyNewSelf offers a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process. We're proud of our highly trained team who will support and guide you through your weight loss experience. Our multi-disciplinary team includes surgeons, a physician assistant, an endocrinologist, nurses, dieticians, psychologists, social workers and support staff who are specially trained to help you through all of the steps in the process.
Attend a free seminar with a surgeon.
Patient education seminars are taught by one of our board-certified bariatric surgeons and one of the members of the support team. At these sessions, you will learn about the types of surgeries available, the risks and benefits of each and the lifestyle and nutrition requirements before and following surgery. You will receive a new patient packet to fill out that includes health and diet history forms and an insurance form. Bring your insurance ID card with you to the seminar so you can complete the insurance form. By submitting your insurance information to us to verify, you are not obligating yourself to surgery. While deciding if bariatric surgery is right for you, weighing your financial responsibilities is part of the decision making process.
Contact your insurance provider.
The second step would be to speak with the insurance verifier about your benefits and review the criteria dictated by your insurance company. Within five business days after the seminar, our insurance verifier will contact you with your specific benefits as outlined by your insurance company. We will explain the steps you will need to complete in order to be approved for bariatric surgery. At this time, you can schedule an appointment with your chosen surgeon.
Schedule your first appointment.
When you schedule an appointment, you will see one of our board-certified bariatric surgeons. Please complete and bring the health and diet history forms to this first appointment. You and your surgeon will decide together what procedure is right for you and if bariatric surgery is the right choice for you. As part of our routine care, all of our patients see a dietician, have a psychological evaluation, blood work, EKG and chest X-ray before surgery. Beyond that, the surgeon will tell you if you need further testing.
Complete all insurance pre-surgery requirements.
Your insurance company may dictate additional steps before you can have surgery. It may require three to six months of medically-supervised weight loss with either a dietitian or both a doctor and dietitian. We can help you coordinate these months of documentation and appointments or you may choose to use your own physician. We know that once they attend a seminar, most of our patients feel anxious to get to surgery. It is an exciting time and many are ready to get started on the road to a new life. In reality, the process can take up to 90 days, even without medically-supervised weight loss. If your insurance company requires a supervised weight loss, we are obligated to follow their instructions before surgery.
Insurance company will review case for final approval.
After completing all of the steps required by your surgeon and your insurance company, we will send your chart off to your insurance company for final approval. The company legally has 30 days to review, approve or deny the case. This process usually takes 14-15 business days. If you have two insurances, your case will need to be submitted to both. Both you and the surgeon will receive the news if you have been approved for surgery. When this happens, we will schedule you for surgery.
Attend a pre-op education class.
MyNewSelf is built on the premise that the more you know, the more successful you will be. A week or so before surgery, you will need to attend a mandatory preoperative class that is taught by a dietitian and a nurse. This two hour class covers vitamins, diet progression, pain management, lifestyle changes and exercise. You must attend before you can have surgery. The class is offered twice a week and your surgeon's team will help set this up for you. Feel free to bring your support person if you want.
Day of surgery.
You may or may not have to spend the night in the hospital. This will be determined by your procedure and your surgeon. Likely, you will know ahead of time how long you will be in the hospital. All of the rooms at St. Luke's Des Peres Hospital are private. You may have someone spend the night with you if you choose. Mostly importantly, the surgeon will have you up and walking just hours after surgery.
Follow up is critical to your success. Your surgeon and team will let you know how often you need to come back for check-ups. Surgeons see their patients at one week post-surgery. Likely, you will come back at one month, three months, six months and at one year. It will be more frequent if you choose the laparoscopic gastric band procedure. Our dietitians and nurses are always available to you if you have questions or concerns.
Take advantage of our team.
We offer classes and support groups, taught by a dietician and a registered social worker, twice each month. The topics vary, so check our website for details. Our experienced team is available to help you on your road to success. Stay hydrated, exercise, see your dietician or psychologist as needed and come to our support groups. Know that you will not be alone in this important and life changing journey.
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