Considering Weight Loss Surgery in NJ? 5 Things You Will Need To Get Started

The path to weight loss surgery success can be overwhelming at times. With the proper planning, you can help yourself by preparing for the approval process in advance. Here’s five things you will likely need before your bariatric surgery.

Let’s take a minute to define weight loss surgery

Bariatric surgery is a surgical treatment option for people living with morbid obesity – especially for those who have not sustained long-term weight loss success through other options.

Often referred to as weight loss surgery, bariatric surgery has changed the health and lives of more than 800,000 people in the past six years.

Generaly speaking, bariatric surgery could be an option for you if:

  • Efforts to lose weight with diet and exercise have been unsuccessful. Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher (extreme obesity).
  • Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea.
  • In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.
What do you need to to get started?

1. Attend a free bariatric seminar – If you are thinking about having bariatric surgery, a weight-loss surgery seminar is a great place to start. You will learn about the risks and benefits of surgery, the insurance authorization process, and meet with patients who have already had bariatric surgery.

2. Behavioral evaluation – No, your not crazy. Most patients considering bariatric surgery must undergo a psychological evaluation. A psychological evaluation is used to determine your mental & emotional competence. Bariatric surgery is a life changing experience, and you need to be prepared – physically and mentally.

3. Nutritional evaluation – In addition to a behavioral assessment, you will likely need a nutritional evaluation from a registered dietician. A nutritional evaluation is used to determine assess your eating habits and discuss your pre and post operative diet. Bariatric surgery requires life-long dietary commitments.

4. A letter of medical necessity and clearance from your primary care physician – A letter of medical necessity is a letter from your doctor certifying you are an appropriate candiate for weight-loss surgery. A medical clearance is a written letter of medical clearance certifying that your are stable to undergo surgery and general anesthesia. In most cases your insurance company requires medical necessity and the surgeon requires medical clearance.

5. Insurance Authorization – If your insurance provider covers bariatric surgery, you will need to obtain a pre-authorization. Essentially, a pre-authorization is your insurance company’s promise to cover the cost, or a percentage of the cost of your surgery. In some cases, this is not required. Ask your surgeon’s office how pre authorization is obtained.

And remember, always check with your insurance company and document who and when you speak with their representatives. Make sure to record the authorization number and confirm it with your surgeon’s office.

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