Once you have decided on weight loss surgery, you probably want to take the next steps as quickly as possible. So how long does weight loss surgery approval take? Let’s look at the process.
Before surgery, you will likely attend an educational seminar. This educates the patient on all the things you need to know about your weight loss surgery. You will watch videos and be presented with the risks, benefits, possible complications, and the process you will undergo.
Next, you will sit down with a surgeon and examine your entire medical history. You will answer questions about your wellbeing and discuss whether you are a good candidate for weight loss surgery. The surgeon will forward all this information to a multidisciplinary approval committee for further scrutiny.
Nutritional and Behavior Modification
Then you will undergo behavior and nutritional modification class. This educates you on which habits you need to change, nutritional and behavioral wise. You will also discuss which foods and habits you should stop before and after surgery.
Nutritionist and Psychologist Consult
During this step the patient will consult a nutritionist and psychological counselor. During this consultation they will discuss the required diet and exercise plan for after surgery. This includes the recommend necessary foods to take, as well as the amount of food and how often it should be consumed.
The psychologist will discuss your surgery and any fears or concerns that you have. This step usually occurs 1-2 weeks after your nutritional class.
Preliminary Testing and Screening
Comprehensive preliminary tests and screenings are done to check for any underlying health conditions. This includes blood work, urinalysis, nicotine screen, blood type and screen, HCG for menstruating women, medical history, and physical exam. Test results may take up to six weeks to come back.
Like the surgeon’s file, your test and screening results will be sent to the multidisciplinary review committee for approval. This is very important because this is the stage where the test results are used to ascertain the underlying health issues and determine if you are eligible for the surgery or not.
Insurance Approval for Weight Loss Surgery
Once the review board has approved you for surgery, you need to contact your insurance provider and get authorization. This step is meant to negate the payment process. If your insurance provider does not authorize the surgery, you will be required to cover the charges out of pocket. Insurance approval for weight loss surgery can take up 30 days or longer.
Pre-Operative Information Class
When insurance authorizes the surgery, you will undergo a pre-operative class. This provides information on behavior and necessary nutrition habits that you should adopt. This refers to before and after surgery. Without this class, you won’t know the correct nutritional and behavior habits to stop and start in order to succeed. This often happens 1-2 weeks before your surgery.
Pre-Operative Workup for Weight Loss Surgery
Lastly, a comprehensive test and screening is done again, around 5 days before your surgery. These act as control tests for the first series of test you completed. This usually includes blood type screening, nicotine screening, physical and health history, BCG, and complete blood count. After this, the next step is surgery itself.
Weight Loss Surgery Approval Time
If you are considering weight loss surgery, its important that you understand approval does not happen overnight. This is a serious surgery, and the process is designed to ensure that patients are eligible for surgery and sufficiently prepared for the transition to a healthy lifestyle. Since the process is unique for each patient, there is no way to accurately predict how long approval will take. To learn more about weight loss surgery approval, please contact Maryland Bariatrics.