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Your Bariatric Surgery Journey

Your weight loss surgery journey begins when you decide to take this life-changing step to improved health and well-being. But this is just the first step in your journey.

Bariatric surgery isn’t just a procedure. It is a lengthy process of consultations, preparation, surgery and follow-up care to ensure you have the best outcome possible. It requires your full commitment.

Banner Health’s multidisciplinary approach to bariatric surgery includes individualized care from our team members, who are here for you before, during and after your surgery.

Follow along to see what happens at every step of the weight loss journey.

Step One: Do I Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and treat health-related complications, but it’s not for everyone. Visit Am I a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery to see if you may meet any of the criteria for surgical weight loss.

Not all insurance plans will cover bariatric surgery. Contact your insurance company to learn more.

There are multiple steps regarding insurance verification and clinic pre-authorizations which need to occur before you can schedule an appointment for an assessment.

Step Two: Schedule a Bariatric Assessment at Banner Health

Once you have decided to explore weight loss surgery, the next step is to meet with our bariatric surgeon, who will help you determine whether you are a strong candidate for surgery. The surgeon will help you learn about the pros and cons of different surgical procedures and answer your questions.

If you meet the qualifications, you’ll undergo a series of tests and lab work (preoperative evaluations).  You will also meet with a registered dietitian and behavioral health specialist to assess your readiness to undergo weight loss surgery and to discuss pre- and post-surgery dietary requirements. You will complete your individual requirements for your insurance plan.

Then, the insurance coordinator will send the results and authorization documentation to your insurance provider for approval. The insurance approval for surgery usually takes between five to 30 days, depending on the company.

If you don’t meet the criteria for weight loss surgery, do not be discouraged. We offer a Non-Surgical Weight Loss Program for patients whose BMI is unhealthy but does not qualify for bariatric surgery.

Step 3: Begin Your Pre-surgery Lifestyle Support Program

We offer a comprehensive continuum of care and will guide you through this time so you feel supported every step of the way as you prepare for surgery. During the next three to six months, you will have the opportunity to focus on your nutrition, exercise, and behavioral health needs.

Your support team will include the following:

  • A bariatric surgeon will help you determine which surgery is best for you and will perform the procedure.
  • A behavioral health therapist will help you understand the changes that will occur not just physically but emotionally and behaviorally. They guide you past obstacles in your care journey.
  • A registered dietitian will perform a nutrition assessment to learn more about your nutrition history. They will help you understand what, when and how to eat so you succeed pre- and post-surgery. In addition, you will be asked to stop smoking and drinking alcohol during this time.
  • An exercise specialist will work with you to gradually develop an exercise plan to ensure you are physically ready for surgery.
  • A registered nurse can provide clinical support and assist with answering your questions and concerns.

Step 4: Undergo Bariatric Surgery

Your bariatric surgical team will let you know how long your particular surgery may take and the expected time you will recover in the hospital. Time estimates may change based on your specific situation during or after surgery.

On the day of surgery, wear comfortable clothes, avoid wearing makeup and jewelry and bring your insurance card and driver’s license (or similar identification).

Step 5: Recovery and Support After Surgery

Your surgery is only one piece of the weight loss surgery process. Weight loss success is a lifelong journey that also depends on changed habits and behaviors. We want you to have excellent results and are committed to helping you achieve your goal of better health for a lifetime.

During your recovery, our bariatric team and your health care provider will be available for any post-surgery questions. Expect frequent visits in the weeks and months following surgery and regular visits annually.

You will need to begin a new diet and exercise plan. Your dietitian and exercise specialist will work with you to help you achieve long-term weight loss success.

Learn more about recovery post-surgery.

Depending on your program, you may also participate in ongoing bariatric surgery support groups to meet with others on the same journey.

Learn more about long-term education and support we offer through your journey.

Our Expert Bariatric Team

Bariatric surgery needs a multidisciplinary approach to obesity care. The Banner Health weight loss team offers compassionate, comprehensive and advanced care. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the safest, most successful bariatric patient experience possible.

Surgery is only one part of that care. Equally important is the education, lifelong follow up and support our team provides. Our team partners with you to achieve your weight loss goals and improve your quality of life.

Your team will involve a surgeon or surgeons, obesity medicine doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, behavioral health specialists, support staff, medical assistants and some specialists in cardiology, pulmonology and sleep medicine. We are all working together with you on your care.

Ready to begin your weight loss journey?

Watch our free informational video to learn about the different weight loss surgery options we offer as well as eligibility requirements and what you can expect as a patient in the program.

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