What can I expect at my first appointment to discuss bariatric surgery?

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Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Registered Dietitians are a crucial part of bariatric medical team providing you with goals and guidelines both preoperatively as well as post surgically. We will discuss ways to achieve adequate fluids, vitamins and nutrition after surgery leading you to a healthy body with successful weight loss. 

At the first appointment the surgeon goes over the patient's medical history. This may include a patient's weight history, diet history and what they've been successful with, their health problems and medications. Then they look at the various surgical options. If the patient wants to proceed with considering surgery options, the requirements for surgery would be discussed. Most patients have to do some type of dietary evaluation and clearance, a psychology evaluation and clearance, and then, depending on their insurance company, some patients need to do physician-supervised weight loss before surgery.

Every bariatric center is different, but the first appointment is generally designed to review your medical conditions and discuss which operation would be best. You may also receive a psychological screening test and meet with a dietician or nutritionist. Sometimes this is completed on the first visit; other times it is scheduled on a different date. 

Trinity Health is a Catholic healthcare organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice; always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Dr. Steven C. Simper, MD
Vascular Surgeon
You will first attend a weight loss surgery seminar in person or watch it online. This appointment will provide you with information to help you decide if surgery is the right choice for you.
 
At your next appointment, the surgeon’s office will work with you to help you meet any criteria required by your insurer such as a psychological evaluation, nutrition evaluation and/or a supervised diet. This visit helps provide you with education and prepare you for the lifestyle changes that are necessary after surgery.
 
Next, you will talk to your surgeon to discuss the surgery you selected, review the potential complications, lifestyle changes and how surgery can impact your life.
 
Finally, the surgeon’s office will prepare and submit your application, medical records and a letter of medical necessity to your insurance company for written approval. You will need to provide copies of your insurance card and a photo ID to the surgeon’s office. Authorization may take 6-12 weeks, depending on your insurance.
 
These important steps will ensure that you are well prepared for surgery. We are happy to assist you as you take the next step toward a healthier lifestyle.

At a first appointment for bariatric surgery, a physician will likely determine whether or not the patient is a good candidate for the procedure. In this video, John Pilcher, MD, from Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital explains more.

Dr. Melissa B. Bagloo, MD
Bariatric Medicine (Obesity Medicine) Specialist
Prior to meeting with the bariatric surgeon, you will be asked to make an appointment to meet with the nurse practitioner and dietitian. You will have a thorough history taken at the time of your visit by the nurse practitioner. Please make sure to bring any pertinent medical information and tests results from other physicians as well as the names and addresses of your primary care physician. Your nurse practitioner may recommend further testing to evaluate any potential obesity-related problems, such as sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Once you complete your visit with the nurse practitioner, you will then meet with the dietitian, who will evaluate your dietary habits. For this meeting with the dietitian, it is a good idea to being a list of everything you have eaten and their amounts in the two days prior to your appointment. Once the nurse practitioner receives the results of the tests that she has recommended that you do, it is then that the office will schedule an appointment to meet with the surgeon. You are not expected to decide about which surgical procedure you would like on the day you first meet with the nurse practitioner. It may be beneficial to you to contact some past patients to learn about their experiences with the program.
Azra Kukic
Bariatric Medicine (Obesity Medicine) Specialist

Azra Kukic from Reston Hospital Center outlines what to expect when meeting with a doctor for the first time to discuss weight loss surgery. Watch this video to learn more.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.