Undergoing weight loss surgery is a process that requires 100% dedication from the patient. At TriHealth Weight Management, our expert team members work with you before, during and after your surgery to ensure a safe and successful recovery and help you lead the healthy life you deserve. Outlined here are the steps you will need to take on your road to surgery.
Step one: View the educational weight loss surgery online seminar or schedule a seminar appointment
The seminar is provided as either an online seminar or a scheduled seminar appointment. You will have the opportunity to get detailed information about bariatric surgery and ask questions. Scheduled seminar dates are Monday and Wednesdays 12:30 at the Clifton Weight Management office. Please contact the Weight Management Office to schedule a seminar appointment: 513 862 4957.
To be considered for weight loss surgery, you must either view our video seminar online or attend an informational seminar.
During the seminar one of our surgeons will:
- Review TriHealth Weight Management surgical weight loss programs.
- Discuss each procedure, in detail, as well as go over the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery.
- Answer any questions you may have about the procedures.
Step two: Schedule an appointment for a surgical evaluation with one of our bariatric surgeons: Dr. George Kerlakian, Dr. Kevin Tymitz or Dr. Katherine Meister
For this appointment:
- You will need to arrive with the online forms completed (diet history, weight loss history).
- Your past medical history, surgical history, social history, and current medications will be reviewed at this appointment.
- You may be asked to have other medical evaluations performed before a surgery date is scheduled, such as pulmonary or cardiology evaluations.
- Your weight and BMI will be taken. You will be expected to not gain significant weight from this point up through your surgery.
Don't be afraid to ask your bariatric surgeon ( Dr. Kerlakian, Dr. Tymitz or Dr. Meister) questions during this appointment. Receiving answers to the following questions may help you decide if weight loss surgery is right for you:
- What types of weight loss surgery procedures have you performed?
- How many of each procedure have you performed?
- Can this surgery be performed using minimally invasive techniques?
- Can I be considered a candidate for surgery even though I have one or more associated health conditions related to my obesity?
- Which procedure is best for me? Why? What are the risks involved?
- How long will I be in surgery?
- What is the length of my anticipated hospital stay?
- How long will it be before I can return to pre-surgery levels of activity?
- How will my eating habits change?
- Do you have information about surgery costs and payment options?
- What is the typical excess weight loss and improvement of associated health conditions for your other patients?
- Do you have patients who are willing to share their experiences, both positive and negative?
- What information can you give me to help family and friends better understand this surgery?
- What type of long-term, after-care services (such as support groups and counseling) can you provide for me?
- What do you expect from me if I decide to choose a surgical solution?
Once identified as a surgical candidate at this appointment, we will provide an overview of our program and begin to schedule your visits. We will provide you with a patient education binder which you will need to review and bring with you to all your scheduled program appointments.
Step three: Meet requirements for surgery approval
To be approved for weight loss surgery, you will be required to:
- Attend a nutritional evaluation/class to learn about your dietary requirements following surgery.
- Attend one-on-one nutritional visits.
- Attend a physical assessment/exercise class to obtain an understanding of the importance of exercise following surgery.
- Undergo a psychological evaluation and have any identified significant problems treated before surgery. Many insurance companies and our program require this evaluation to ensure quality outcomes.
As a result of the evaluations, it may be recommended that you participate in pre-operative educational counseling, behavior modification counseling, psychotherapy, and/or psychiatric treatment before being considered a surgical candidate.
Step four: Submit information to insurance provider
Once you have completed the required program and specialty visits and have been cleared, we will submit your information to your insurance provider. Many people ask how long it will take to schedule for surgery once we have begun the insurance approval process. Remember that providers are different in their approval process. It could take several days to get approval, but may take several weeks before the process is completed. Once you are approved, our surgery scheduling staff will contact you to schedule your surgery.
Step five: Schedule surgery
Once you have completed your pre-surgery appointment you will be called and a surgery date will be scheduled.
After we receive your insurance approval, your pre-surgery appointment will be scheduled. At the pre-surgery visit you will:
- Receive preoperative education
- Complete a pre-surgical office visit with your bariatric surgeon to sign your surgery consent (a family member or support person must be present to witness the signing of your surgery consent)
- Nutrition education visit with the dietitian
These appointments will allow you to gather more information and be better prepared for your hospitalization, dietary changes you will be encountering after surgery and will help you transition into the necessary lifestyle changes you will be implementing. These visits are scheduled on the same day in order to better maximize your time.
Step six: Undergo surgery
Following the completion of the previous steps, you will have weight loss surgery. Laparoscopic gastric bypass takes about 1.5 hours, with an average hospital stay of one day and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy takes about one hour, with an average hospital stay of one day.
Immediately following your surgery you will begin a clear liquid diet. You will be up in a chair within 4 hours of arriving on the nursing unit and walk the hallway the evening of your surgery. You will walk the hallway at least 5 times the day after surgery. You will have your first post-surgical office follow-up one week after your surgery date. At this time you will meet with your bariatric surgeon and the dietitian to address any post-surgical concerns.
Step seven: Life after surgery
You will be required to attend short and long-term follow-up office visits in our program to track your post-surgical and behavior modification progress. Standard follow-up office visits are typically scheduled as follows *:
- 1 week – surgeon and dietitian appointments
- 3 weeks – surgeon and dietitian appointments
- 3 weeks – primary care physician appointment
- 6 weeks – surgeon and dietitian appointments
- 3 months – blood work (fasting and drawn 1 week prior to this appointment), surgeon and dietitian appointments
- 6 months – surgeon and dietitian appointments
- 1 year –blood work (fasting and drawn 1 week prior to this appointment, you may need to call the office to get these labs ordered), surgeon and dietitian appointments
- Annual follow-up with surgeon and dietitian for 5 years and annual blood work for the rest of your life
It is recommended that you follow up for behavioral health counseling with the behavioral health provider after surgery. This can help you develop strategies to make and maintain the necessary lifestyle changes after weight loss surgery.
It is recommended that you attend our support group meetings as often as possible before and after your surgery. Find a support group meeting to attend.