Preparing for Your First Appointment
Making an appointment to discuss surgery is just the first step in your weight loss journey. Whether you were referred by a Medical Provider, friend, or family member phoning one of our office locations will get you started. One of our staff members will ask you a few simple questions and schedule an appointment for one of the many ways to officially join our program.
Explore our website where you will find a wealth of information on our program and services.
Your first visit may include a visit with one of our Surgeons or Nurse Practitioners and a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist for an intake evaluation. If provided to you please complete the packet on your past medical/dietary history. It will help our Providers better understand you and your medical/dietary needs. Our Insurance Specialists will insure that Bariatric Surgery is a covered benefit and our Patient Navigators will sit down with you to review a list of pre-surgery testing that is required. One of our Registered Nurses will provide education on our surgical procedures whether in a group or individual setting. Some of the pre-surgery requirements include blood work, Upper GI x-ray (UGI), Endoscopy (EGD), Psychiatric evaluation, attending Support Groups, Medical necessity from your Primary and possibly cardiac/pulmonology clearance. Many of these can be completed at our office locations or by our Providers.
Blood work may clue us in to other medical problems that need to addressed prior to surgery or add to the list of co-morbidities that make surgery medically necessary. We often find many of our patients have not seen Medical Providers recently or had bloodwork. We will be checking for diabetes, high cholesterol, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, thyroid, anemia, and kidney/liver issues.
An UGI x-ray requires you to drink a small amount of barium so we can assess your stomach and gastrointestinal tract. It may show that you have a hiatal hernia which can often be repaired during surgery. This test can be done in our Middletown and Suffern locations. It is also performed after surgery to insure that there are no issues/complications. You are fully awake, usually standing and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
An EGD is a test performed in the hospital, usually by one of Surgeons, which requires sedation. This test allows us to visualize part of your GI tract to assess for acid reflux, ulcers, hernias, and bacteria. You will need transportation and typically takes a few hours.
Clearances from your Primary, Cardiologist, and Pulmonologist may be required to insure that you are medically stable and able to handle anesthesia during your procedure.
Behavioral Health clearance is typically done by our Psychiatrist on staff who will assess your ability to understand surgery and its risks. Previous therapy or medication use will not automatically disqualify you from having surgery.
During your pre-surgery work-up you will be required to see one of our Dietary staff members who will give you advice and suggestions to transition into eating healthier. Any weight lost prior to surgery will make things safer. Some insurance companies also require that you see the Dietary/NP staff for 3-6 months prior to surgery.
You will have the opportunity to meet with your Surgeon on several occasions prior to surgery. They will help you make the decision in choosing which of the 3 surgical procedures will be optimal for you based on your medical history and lifestyle.