ValerieKGorman

How quickly did you go from first Bariatric appointment to surgery?

19 posts in this topic

Hey just trying to get a feel for the quickest this process can happen under the best of circumstances here. Our insurance does not require a 3-6 month diet and exercise program to be qualified for surgery. We are just requires to meet with a dietician one time. So my situation is that my schedule is much more open in the summer than during the school year. I've submitted all my paperwork to the Bariatric department and am waiting to go through the standard battery of specialist appointments before approval and surgery. I know all departments and all people are different but have you ever heard of anyone going from where I am now (all paperwork in but no specialists scheduled yet) to surgery within a 2 1/2 month time frame at the quickest? I would love love love to have surgery in mid August and have 3 weeks of recovery before the school year starts. Anybody?

Edited by ValerieKGorman
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While your insurance may not require a diet program any surgeon worth their salt should. This surgery is not to be taken lightly, and carries a very real life threatening risk, if real long term lifestyle changes aren't made it will also ultimately be unsuccessful as it is likely that any weight lost will be regained over the long term. Surgeon's use these pre-surgery diet and nutrition programs to assess whether lifestyle change is possible for their patients before they agree to the surgery. 

I'm not suggesting what you want is impossible, but it is probably unadvisable. Added to what the surgeon may require, the lower you can get your weight before surgery the lower the surgical risk to yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 months. I was ready at 2 months but couldn't get work coverage for another month.

ValerieKGorman likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 3-6 months of medically supervised weight loss prior to surgery approval is often a requirement of the insurance provider, not the surgeon. I felt aggravated at the idea of having to work with a nutritionist/dietician prior to surgery because it felt like (and I still believe it is) a veiled attempt by insurance providers to discourage people like me from moving forward with the surgery by trying to 'wait me out'. The bottom line is this; the surgery costs insurance companies money and any company/organization that stands to gain financially by making something difficult for you will do just that. It's nothing personal, it's just business. The only people in this equation that have taken a vow to protect your best interests medically are your doctors....rant ended ;-)

Since it was a requirement for the surgery, I decided to pay for a dietician out of pocket that was close to me, had an expertise with WLS patients, and could teach me something new about food. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I learned from her and have continued to work with her long after my surgery. It's been a key component of my success thus far, I consider it a sound investment.

So now to your question....

I saved quite a bit of time and money by finding the doctors/services and scheduling my own required appointments. Your surgeon may not require you to have 3-6 months of mandatory nutritional counseling, however; you're almost guaranteed to need a list of surgical prerequisites such as a full blood panel, EKG, cardiac stress test, psych eval, etc.... Many bariatric surgical groups will refer all of their patients to the same list of preferred doctors/services or in some cases they actually have them in their practice. It can take a while to get these required appointments so I shopped around for them on my own. With the exception of my dietician, I was able to get all the boxes checked off within 2 weeks. I spent MANY hours on the phone with the insurance company, coordinating with various doctors, and managing the required paperwork. If you have the time, it may be worth it to you.

Edited by Jabsie
ValerieKGorman likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the helpful info! To address Aussies concerns, I hear your point and believe it's valid , however, I have successfully followed diet and exercise regimens many times in the past twenty years and lost gobs of weight each time. I have all the knowledge and experience. At this point I need the help this Bariatric tool can provide and am eager to get on with it so I can do what needs to be done to take control of my health. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was 2 months for me, with many apps. with the surgeon, dietitians, psychologist, cardiologist, and my PCP. That said, I had actually started the process a year earlier under different insurance. When we lost that coverage, I'd had more than a year to think about it. It was different bariatric program at another hospital, although both are rated 1A Bariatric Centers of Excellence.

Loree likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the various appointments probably took me 2 - 3 months.  None of these appointments revealed any issues so I could move forward rather quickly once I finished my 6 month diet.

Oh,  if you have not been diagnosed with sleep apena check with your surgeon to determine if he will want a sleep study.  This seemed to catch some folks in the group I was with by surprise.  Since I already used a machine I was able to skip that step.  Stopped using the cpap with days.

ValerieKGorman likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, bcd said:

All the various appointments probably took me 2 - 3 months.  None of these appointments revealed any issues so I could move forward rather quickly once I finished my 6 month diet.

Oh,  if you have not been diagnosed with sleep apena check with your surgeon to determine if he will want a sleep study.  This seemed to catch some folks in the group I was with by surprise.  Since I already used a machine I was able to skip that step.  Stopped using the cpap with days.

I just got my diagnosis of apnea actually, independent of pursuing Bariatric surgery, so I got that box ticked! ;)

bcd likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From initial consultation to surgery date, it was less than 2 months for me. My consult was in mid December, my approval came through the same day they submitted it late January and my surgery was February 17. My insurance does require a 6 month supervised diet, but I had seen my primary care doctor for phentermine in the past (had to go in every 30 days for a new prescription), so my bariatric surgeon's office just used that to fulfill the diet requirement. The only other pre-op requirements I had were an endoscopy and the psych eval. It was a crazy whirlwind.

ETA: Even though I wanted the process to go quickly, I definitely see the wisdom in having the process take a little longer. It's a big adjustment and could be really overwhelming to move so quickly for some people. If you're already well versed in nutrition and have spent some time doing research, I think it eases the transition, but it's crazy to me how unprepared some people are even with a 6 month supervised diet under their belt. There's definitely value in taking time to really prepare yourself mentally and emotionally before surgery.

Edited by athenarose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my ins. requires a 6 months NUT. visit, with my consultant it will be 7 months. I spoke with my dr. assistance and she told me at month 4 they will start sending all the paperwork to my ins. so I will have approval by the time I am ready. Plus my dr. requires a 3 week liquid only diet so I should be ready and tired by the time I have a date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I had my sleeve it took about 4 months but i pushed it to month 8 months due to work . I had do to 3 months for my NUT visits and took time to do all the other tests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to the general session with the group in July and had surgery in February. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had my first visit on June 15th and will have the sleeve most likely July 25th.  I too have a timing issue (traveling out of the country in September).

 

ValerieKGorman likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first doctor's visit was almost exactly 2 months before I had surgery.

After the initial consult, I had one additional visit for a laparoscopy during which they found that I had an ulcer.  They prescribed meds for it, and a month and a half later I had my VSG.  

I was self-pay, and there is little regulation regarding the procedure here.  That said, I had extensive knowledge of the procedure, the post-op requirements, and a back-story of yo-yo weight loss that would make the Smothers Brothers proud.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha, I was ready when I made the appointment however the surgeon had another plan & since he literally holds the knife I had to pay attention. The insurance & the doctor demanded me do an 8 week medically supervised diet plan..... one full year of weight charting & then I was ready... All in all I think it was 2/3 months. I've never been disappointed. Best thing I've ever done.

Oh, forgot about the psychologist review! DAMN, somewhere around 196 questions more or less asking the same thing in different ways... To me that was the worst only because I'm not a reader

Edited by Loree
tmcgee likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's likely a surgical laser rather than a knife or scalpel --- and I know, I know, picky picky picky!  :):):)

Loree likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first appointment was mid January.  My doctor had approval and was ready to go mid March.  I had to wait until the end of April to get time off work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was about four months total for me. I agree that nutritional counseling is extremely beneficial. It helps you psychologically prepare for what's to come. I, too, am an educator. I was under the gun, as it were, to get it done before school starts. Surgery for me is on Monday, which will give me a month to recoup. Good luck to you!

Edited by Kimchan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from seminar to surgery date it was 5 months.. so that was april to sept. it could have been 4 months but unfortunately i have to wait 30 days to get birth controls out of my system because for whatever reason i cant take any for 30 days before my surgery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now