Bariatric surgery is a serious decision with life-changing results. Undergoing weight loss surgery requires a great deal of commitment on your part, and on the part of your family, friends and health care team. Because your care is very individualized, we compile a multidisciplinary team that cares for you and your individual needs, however the general process is the same for all patients. Generally about six months passes from the initial consultation to surgery. Below is a detailed list of steps in the bariatric surgery process.
Step 1: Schedule a consultation
Choose a bariatric surgeon and schedule a consultation. Prior to the consultation, a Prevea Health representative will call your insurance company to verify benefits.
Step 2: Consultation with a bariatric surgeon
A consultation includes a thorough examination by one of our bariatric surgeons. During your consultation the surgeon will answer questions and determine qualifications for surgery. They will discuss the risks and benefits of surgical weight loss as well as future lifestyle changes.
In addition, you will meet our bariatric nurse coordinator, who will take a detailed history of your weight, eating patterns, health history and support systems. You will also be given a checklist of requirements that will need to be met prior to scheduling surgery.
Step 3: Attend a seminar
This free public seminar is an educational session that provides necessary information on the types of surgeries offered, criteria for surgery, pre- and post-surgery guidelines, lifestyle changes for a successful outcome and statistics on obesity. Seminars
are held monthly in Green Bay and last about an hour and a half.
Step 4: Complete pre-operative testing
Based on your medical history, insurance requirements and our program requirements, you will be required to complete a variety of pre-operative assessments. This includes a psychological evaluation and health functioning tests to ensure you are physically and mentally fit for surgery. A nutritional consultation also will be scheduled to discuss diet changes before and after surgery. You may be expected to lose weight before surgery. If you are a smoker you will be required to quit for life. You will have an EKG and blood tests done prior to surgery. Because your eating habits change after surgery, you will need to change your diet and start to increase your activity prior to surgery. Our team will review all of your results and contact you for a review day appointment to continue your pre-operative preparation. The length of time it will take to complete this process varies.
Step 5: Review day
This is the second consultation with your bariatric surgeon and bariatric nurse. Your records will be reviewed, your questions will be answered and your weight loss surgery of choice will be verified. Additional education will be provided and you will also discuss a tentative month for surgery.
Step 6: Pre-operative day
This is an exciting day for you. This will be the last time you meet with your surgeon to review your entire chart and surgery, as well as discuss personal health risks and benefits. You will also be assigned your pre-operation educational class date and review your pre-surgery diet.
Step 7: Surgery day
It’s important you understand what will happen on the day of surgery. You will be given the details related to your surgery (surgery time, prep instructions, etc.) and have the opportunity to have your questions answered prior to your surgery day. You can expect to stay in the hospital for one to two nights and receive further discharge instructions prior to going home.
Step 8: Post-surgical and follow-up care
Prior to discharge, you will be well informed about your two-week and six-week follow-up appointments with your bariatric surgeon. Follow-up care is usually needed at two weeks, six weeks, three months, six months, and one year after surgery. Plan to attend the monthly support groups
offered by Prevea as well. Support groups help to provide education and give you support throughout your weight loss surgery journey.
Success after bariatric surgery depends on your commitment to long-term follow up with your bariatric surgical team through post-operative visits and optional support group participation. You can expect to return to work any time between two and six weeks after surgery, depending on your occupation. During that time, it is important to take care of you and put yourself first. You will have to learn to eat differently, drink differently and continue to recover from major surgery.
If you think bariatric surgery is something you would like to learn more about, you can schedule an appointment with a bariatric surgeon
, attend one of our free bariatric surgery seminars
or attend a bariatric surgery support group
to learn more.