Foothills Weight Loss865-984-3413

Pathway to Surgery

Shelia & Jim are healthier and more active since they had Gastric Bypass surgery!

The weight loss surgery process:

  • Before surgery: Months
  • Surgery: Minutes
  • After surgery: Lifetime

Weight loss surgery is no quick fix or silver bullet. The process leading up to surgery takes months, and it takes a lifetime commitment to maintain results achieved from surgery. The following outline gives you an idea of what to expect.

These steps are part of our multidisciplinary approach, a critical component for weight loss success. Our multidisciplinary weight loss team includes a surgeon, behavioral health psychiatrist, bariatric coordinators, an exercise physiologist, a patient advocate, a registered dietician, designated care coordinators and the patient.

Step One: Educational seminar.

Your first step begins with attending a free educational seminar, where you’ll learn about surgical weight loss options and meet other patients and our staff.

For upcoming seminars and registration information, click here.

Step Two: Verification of insurance benefits.

We will work with your insurance carrier to verify insurance benefits available for weight loss surgery.

Step Three: Initial consultation with surgeon, financial counselor and patient advocate.

This is an important step that consists of the following components:

  • An initial consult with your surgeon that includes a review of your social, family and medical history and the reasons you are pursuing bariatric surgery. This information helps the surgeon determine if weight loss surgery is the right tool for you.
  • A meeting with our financial counselor to discuss costs associated with your surgery, insurance benefits available and payment options.
  • A meeting with our patient advocate to review the details of the surgical process and get acquainted with the staff at Foothills Weight Loss Specialists. The patient advocate also will go over the Foothills Weight Loss Specialists philosophy, the steps and processes to weight loss surgery, classes and support groups available and “survival skills.”
  • Scheduling of your initial testing and lab work.
Step Four: Completion of supervised, approved weight-loss plan.

Most insurance providers require documentation evidencing that you have followed a medically supervised weight-loss program for at least six months prior to surgery. We can help you with that requirement.

Step Five: Nutrition and exercise consultation.

Our dietitian will meet with you to discuss life after bariatric surgery, including changes to your digestive system and nutritional requirements; the use of multiple vitamin and mineral supplements; the importance of protein and adequate fluid intake; and any other concerns you may have. We also will discuss with you the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle and make suggestions for appropriate exercise and fitness routines. This is part of our multi-disciplinary approach, a critical component for weight loss success.

Step Six: Psychological evaluation.

Meeting with a psychologist or psychiatrist before weight loss surgery is a requirement of most insurance carriers.

Step Seven: Clinical clearance and lab tests.

Prior to surgery you will go through pre-operative testing which includes meeting with your anesthesiologist and undergoing lab work. You also will have an electrocardiogram (EKG) and/or a chest x-ray (CXR) and will receive general information about what to expect throughout your hospital stay.

Step Eight: Insurance authorization.

Once you have met the above requirements, we will work with your insurance company to obtain authorization for surgery.

Step Nine: Pre-operative education.

We will meet with you prior to surgery to provide you with important pre-surgical instructions and to help you better understand what to expect following surgery.

Step Ten: Surgery.

You will arrive at the hospital or surgery center two hours before your procedure is scheduled. Family members or friends may accompany you. You will receive a pre-operative injection of medicine to relieve anxiety.

You will begin in a holding room, where an IV will be placed in your arm. You will receive pre-operative medications and have a brief consultation with your surgeon.

Once you are in the operating room, you will be transferred from your holding room bed to the operating table, where you will receive anesthesia. Your operating room will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to monitor all vital signs throughout the procedure. Your anesthesiologist will constantly monitor the appropriate level of anesthesia with a special machine.

Following surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room for continuous monitoring. You will be given medication through an IV for pain control. You also will receive oxygen. Most patients are in recovery for about two hours.

With no complications, you can expect to go home the same day of your band procedure; be in the hospital one night for a sleeve gastrectomy and two nights for a gastric bypass procedure. After being released from the hospital, you remain under our watchful care.

Step Eleven: Follow-up care.

Our team provides comprehensive follow-up care, one of the most important factors for weight loss success. We work with you every step of the way through regularly scheduled office visits and three support groups per month.

Our behavioral health specialist will work with you to help ensure healthy lifestyle habits, including proper diet and a good exercise program.

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band patients will visit our offices at intervals of one week, 10 weeks, six months and then annually. The first adjustment is made four weeks after surgery and approximately every four to six weeks until properly adjusted.

Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve patients will visit our offices at intervals of one week, one month, three months, six months, 12 months, 18 months, and then annually.

During office visits, you will receive ongoing medical examinations from your surgeon including routine monitoring of weight loss, nutritional status and any post-operative problems. You also will have blood tests and clinical monitoring in specialized labs and ongoing education from your dietician.

Regular, consistent follow-ups with your surgeon are vital to your success and should be maintained for best possible results. Our team offers lifetime patient support.

Our support groups offer an excellent opportunity for you to meet with your peers to discuss your struggles and your triumphs in a supportive, non-threatening environment. For a schedule of support group meetings, click here.