Carolinas HealthCare System

Pathway to Surgery

Following are the steps you'll go through as we help you achieve your goals for weight loss.

Attend our free information session
This meeting will help you determine if weight loss surgery is right for you, and it is required for anyone interested in pursuing surgery. Register for an upcoming seminar.

Complete a health history form
You will receive a health history form when you attend an information session. Be sure to bring the completed form with you when you meet with your bariatric nurse for your first appointment.

Verify Insurance
Our Insurance Coordinator will help you with any insurance or payment issues, including the need for a Pre-Authorization for the procedure. We will also go over all the costs, the expected coverage your insurance company will provide and any out-of-pocket expenses you may incur. You will want to contact your insurance company to go over your coverage and get your questions answered before scheduling surgery.

Consultation
Your bariatric nurse and surgeon will walk you through each step in the surgical process and review your healthy history form and insurance criteria. You'll also receive information about our other resources, such as psychologists and dietary consultations.

Prepare for surgery
Prior to surgery, your medical history will be reviewed to gain proper clearance for general anesthesia. Other tests or visits to specialists may be recommended or required. You may also be required to lose some additional weight before surgery to reduce the size of the liver, which can interfere with surgery and possibly increase your risk of complications.

Complete a psychological assessment
This assessment will determine whether you are in the best possible mental health to proceed with surgery at this time. Your psychologist will also help you prepare for surgery and the changes you will face after your surgery.

Pre-Op
Prior to surgery your doctor will go over last minute details, such as what you shouldn't eat or drink before surgery, any medications you are taking, and other necessary preparations.

Surgery
Your surgery will take only a few hours, and you'll be able to return home in 1-2 days. Before you leave the hospital, you'll receive information on what to expect during your recovery, as well as your surgeon's pager number. You can contact your surgeon at any time if you have a question or concern.

Post-Op
Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy patients will typically be seen postoperatively at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, 12 months and yearly after the first year. Adjustable gastric band patients will be seen postoperatively at 2 weeks and will typically receive their first band adjustment at 6 weeks. It is very important to follow up every 3-4 weeks to determine if a band adjustment is needed.

On-going support
We'll be there in the months and years after your surgery with continuing support you as you embrace a new, healthier lifestyle. Expect to have several appointments in the first year following your surgery.

Support Groups
Monthly support groups provides a forum for patients to share their stories and struggles throughout this journey. Check out the support group calendar for locations and times.

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