Once you have decided to undergo a weight loss procedure, you will go through a series of bariatric surgery steps. The bariatric surgery process can be broadly divided into three stages: preparation, surgery, and recovery. All these stages are equally important to achieving safe and predictable outcomes and meeting your goals and expectations from this surgery. Your commitment to complete each of the steps to getting weight loss surgery will set you up for outstanding results at the end of this journey.
Want to learn more about the bariatric surgery process? Contact Jet Medical Tourism® today.
How quickly can I get bariatric surgery?
Most patients are naturally excited at the prospect of achieving freedom from obesity through weight loss surgery. One of the first questions they want to ask their surgeon is: “How quickly can I get bariatric surgery?” On average, it may take anywhere from one to six months to have your weight loss surgery. Your age, health condition, BMI, financing and insurance aspects will determine how quickly you can get bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery process is faster without insurance
While it may seem counter-intuitive, if you don’t qualify for insurance coverage, your bariatric surgery timeline may be much shorter. Insurance companies typically have long waiting times. You will have to fulfill several pre-requisites in order to complete your weight loss surgery approval process with the insurer. But if you are paying for it out-of-pocket, you will have no administrative delays and your steps to getting weight loss surgery will be fewer.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How to pay for bariatric surgery without insurance
Decide early to expedite your weight loss surgery process
Some patients make the mistake of ignoring their obesity condition or procrastinating on their decision to start their bariatric surgery process. Delay is likely to increase your BMI further, worsen your co-morbidities, and extend your weight loss surgery approval process. The ideal way to reduce your bariatric surgery steps and complete your journey faster is to decide early and go ahead with the surgery before your age, BMI, and co-morbidities start creating more challenges.
How long is the weight loss surgery process?
For insured patients, it may take up to six months or even more to complete their steps to getting bariatric surgery. Without insurance, you will have more flexibility to accomplish your bariatric surgery process within one to two months from the date of your first weight loss surgery consultation. Here are a few things to keep in mind about how long is the process for bariatric surgery.
- Younger patients with a BMI of 40 to 45 and having no co-morbidities may have the shortest bariatric surgery timeline.
- To save time, start working on your fitness even before you are ready to move forward with your gastric sleeve surgery consultation.
- During the initial consultation, ask your surgeon how long does it take to get a surgery date if you pay for the procedure out-of-pocket?
- How long does the bariatric surgery process take will also depend on your readiness to follow the pre-surgery guidelines of your surgeon.
- If you smoke, be prepared to stop the habit right from the moment you ask your surgeon how to start the gastric bypass process.
- Set aside dedicated time for post-operative recovery when you make an estimate of how long is the weight loss surgery process.
How long from consultation to bariatric surgery
From your first consultation to bariatric surgery, it may take about three to six months on average for insured patients. If insurance coverage is not involved, your surgery date can be scheduled as early as one month from the date of initial consultation. If the surgeon determines it is an emergency, your bariatric surgery process can be completed in a matter of days or weeks. Here are a few tips to shorten your bariatric surgery steps.
- Be proactive during your weight loss surgery consultation, ask questions, and make a faster decision to reduce the time for surgery.
- Submit your medical history records and other documents to the surgeon before the consultation to save time to determine candidacy.
- If you have insurance, talk to your agent to know their requirements for weight loss surgery approval process and inform your surgeon.
- How long does it take to get a surgery date will also depend on how busy is your bariatric surgeon and how is their appointment schedule.
- If you have to adjust a medication schedule, get approval from the prescribing physician to reduce the time from consultation to surgery.
- How long from consultation to bariatric surgery could ultimately depend on how quickly you decide and pay an advance deposit.
Steps to getting weight loss surgery
Whether you plan to undergo a laparoscopic gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery, the primary bariatric surgery steps will remain the same. However, if you want to use insurance coverage, your weight loss surgery approval process will have some additional steps. These steps will be largely knocked off if you choose the self-pay option for your surgery. Here are the key steps to getting weight loss surgery for insured as well as uninsured patients.
Step 1: Preliminary info session
Once you have identified a dedicated and reputable bariatric surgery provider, you will make an initial call to their patient coordinators to obtain preliminary information about the steps to getting weight loss surgery. You complete this informal session over the phone, online chat, or via a video call. If you are satisfied with this session, you move on to the next step.
Step 2: Weight loss surgery consultation
Your initial consultation with a qualified weight loss surgeon will be the most profound step in your bariatric surgery process. During this consultation, the surgeon will review your medical history, assess your BMI and possible co-morbidities to determine your candidacy, answer all your questions, show before and after images, and order a few medical tests.
Step 3: Education and pre-op lifestyle support*
Your steps to getting bariatric surgery may include a session where the surgeon or their trained staff will educate you about the preparatory steps for the surgery. They will explain you the benefits and risks, and discuss the role of post-operative diet. They may also create a medically supervised diet and exercise plan for a few months to improve your health and fitness level.
* This step may be mandatory only if you are seeking insurance approval.
Step 4: Authorization from the insurer*
If you are eligible for insurance coverage, your surgeon’s staff will help you complete the necessary documentation. They will communicate with your insurer on your behalf to obtain a formal authorization letter approving your coverage. Discuss any out of pocket costs with your surgeon even if you have insurance and arrange to pay as per their payment terms.
* This step may be mandatory only if you are seeking insurance approval.
Step 5: Physical and psychological evaluation
One of the important bariatric surgery steps during the final stages will be a physical and psychological evaluation. Depending on your health and co-morbidities, your surgeon may want you to undergo a few tests. They may also require a professional evaluation from a counselor for your emotional and psychological readiness for the forthcoming weight loss surgery.
Step 6: Scheduling the date of bariatric surgery
Once you are all set for the surgery, your patient coordinator will schedule a date of surgery that is mutually convenient to you and the surgeon. That is the point when your real countdown would begin for your big day. If you are traveling out of town for your procedure, you can also make your travel and stay arrangements at this point with help from your coordinator.
Step 7: Liquid pre-op bariatric diet for two days
As part of your weight loss surgery process, you would have already started working on your diet and fitness following your initial consultation. But just before your scheduled date of surgery, your surgeon may require you to go on a strict liquid diet for at least 48 hours. This will ease your liver fat, regulate your metabolism, and make you fully ready for your surgery.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Preparing for gastric sleeve surgery: A step-by-step guide
Step 8: Undergoing bariatric surgery as planned
On the day of surgery, you will visit the hospital or bariatric center where the nurse will check your basic health parameters. In the operating room, you will be placed under general anesthesia. The bariatric surgeon and their team will perform your gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery as per the pre-determined plan. You may have to stay overnight at the hospital.
Step 9: Post-surgical recovery and bariatric diet
Post-op recovery process is a vital element in your bariatric surgery steps. Be prepared to rest at home for at least one week before you can slowly start resuming your regular activities or return to your workplace. You will have to follow a systematic post-op bariatric diet plan as advised by your surgeon and nutritionist. Your weight loss journey has now begun.
Step 10: Follow-up appointments and long-term care
The steps to getting weight loss surgery do not end with your surgery and recovery. Make sure you maintain your follow-up appointments with the bariatric surgeon, stay committed to your post-op diet, and take your medications and nutrition supplements as prescribed. Long-term commitment to your health and fitness will dramatically change your life.
How to start bariatric surgery process
An indecisive mind is your adversary when you are struggling with obesity. To start the bariatric surgery process, pick up the phone and make a call to a trusted treatment provider. That one fateful phone-call can become your launch-pad to a life full of health, fitness, and self-confidence. A professional service provider will guide and support you through every step of the weight loss surgery process, and help you achieve permanent freedom from obesity.
DISCLAIMER: Some or all of the hyperlinks embedded in this web page may link back to Mexico-specific surgery procedures. Those links are only meant for general information purposes, and may not have any relevance to the content of the given web page. Readers should exercise discretion and consult a medical professional before making any decisions related to a choice of procedure or a choice of location for treatment.