Eight Steps to Bariatric Surgery
The mere fact that you're taking the steps to research bariatric weight-loss surgery options in Houston shows that you're serious about making significant changes to improve your long-term health and wellness. At the UT MIST Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, we understand that once you’ve decided to have bariatric surgery, you want to move toward that goal as quickly as possible. That's why we've created a step-by-step guide to help you understand what happens between considering weight-loss surgery and actually having it.
Steps for Weight-Loss Surgery at Houston UT MIST
Step 1: Calculate Your BMI and Gather Medical Information
If you're serious about losing weight, UT MIST has many options to help you achieve your goal. To see which weight-loss options might be right for you, calculate your body mass index (BMI) and consider your personal health. This step will help you determine whether you qualify for bariatric surgery—or whether a medical weight-loss program might better suit your needs.
Step 2: Participate in an Online Webinar or On-Site Seminar about Bariatric Surgery
The UT MIST team wants you to learn the fundamentals of bariatric surgery, so those who are interested in weight-loss surgery must attend one of our informational seminars before they can meet with a surgeon for a consultation. After the seminar, you will have an opportunity to ask any unanswered questions you might have, and you’re welcome to invite your friends or family members to attend as well. You may register for a seminar online or by phone at 713.892.5500.
Step 3: Review Your Insurance Information
This step will help you determine your insurance eligibility for bariatric surgery at our Houston practice. Typical weight-loss surgery eligibility criteria include a BMI of 40 or greater, or a BMI of 35 or higher with other serious weight-related health conditions. If you meet these criteria, most major insurance plans will cover your surgery. However, you should check your specific policy and contact an agent to obtain details about your coverage.
Some insurance policies require that you meet additional criteria prior to surgery. These may include, for instance, prior participation in a medical weight-loss program, documentation of previous weight loss attempts, and so forth. At UT MIST, we have experience working with the major insurance companies and are happy to assist you if necessary.
Step 4: Request a Consultation
Once you've calculated your BMI, participated in an informational seminar, and reviewed your insurance policy, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons. You can phone our office at 713.892.5500, or request your appointment online.
Step 5: Meet with Your Surgeon and Schedule Your Surgery
Prior to your consultation with a UT MIST bariatric surgeon, please remember to complete all of the paperwork given to you. Forms are also available online. During your first appointment, your surgeon will recommend a treatment option specific to your needs and lifestyle. This may include one or more of the following bariatric procedures: adjustable gastric banding (LAP-BAND® System), sleeve gastrectomy surgery, gastric bypass surgery, or duodenal switch. In certain cases, an endoscopic or incisionless procedure may be recommended. This is an exciting step, as you will likely schedule your weight-loss surgery at one of our area hospitals.
Step 6: Lose Weight and Stop Smoking Before Surgery
To demonstrate your commitment to improving your lifestyle and decrease the risk of complications during surgery, your surgeon may ask that you lose a certain percentage of your weight prior to surgery and that you begin a daily exercise routine. If you smoke, your doctor will require that you quit before your operation, both to improve your long-term health and to reduce potential risks of your operation.
Step 7: Conduct Pre-Operative Tests
Your surgeon will give you a list of pre-operative tests and requirements before surgery. These will likely include blood tests, urine tests, cardiology testing, and x-rays, along with appointments to see a nutritionist and psychologist, among others.
Step 8: Have Surgery
This is the step you've been waiting for: your weight-loss surgery! For most of our patients, their operation takes approximately 1 to 3 hours, depending on the procedure performed, and their hospital stay is 1 to 3 days. Upon release from the hospital, you will receive specific after-care instructions.
After your surgery, you will need to attend regular follow-up appointments to track your progress and identify any health issues. After your 24-month follow-up appointment, you will need to return annually for a checkup with your doctor.
Are you ready to seek professional help for your obesity? Request a consultation online, or call our office at (713) 892-5500 for more information about how you can start on your path to better health and wellness.
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