Weight-loss surgery is a major undertaking. Are you mentally and physically ready?
You'll undergo an extensive screening process to determine your readiness. Research
has shown the best results occur when patients know exactly what will be expected
of them before, during, and after the procedure. As one patient said, "You have
to wrap your mind around the fact that surgery is not the easy way out. It's a tool
– a pretty big tool – that requires commitment a lot of hard work. But if you do
the work and follow the results, you'll get fantastic results."
Sanford's pre-surgery checklist includes:
- Attend a Free Informational Seminar.
You'll want to know as much as possible about weight-loss surgery before you seriously
consider it. The Free Informational Seminar provides the perfect opportunity to
find out what's involved, meet the team and ask questions.
Attend in person or view online.
- Provide a documented weight-loss attempt.
Likely you've dieted many times throughout your life, only to have the lost pounds
return – and then some. What have been your attempts in the past year? To qualify
for weight-loss surgery, you must be able to show a supervised, documented attempt
to lose weight through diet and exercise in the past year. Further documentation
may be needed by your particular insurance company.
- Contact your insurance provider.
If you have health insurance, you'll want to make sure your insurance company covers
weight-loss surgery and what's involved to ensure coverage. Typically insurance
companies require that you meet certain medical indications. Download the
Insurance Worksheet to for a list of questions to ask your insurance provider.
You'll gain a better understanding of this at the
Free Informational Seminar.
Know, too, that some patients choose to pay for weight-loss surgery themselves.
Sanford's Patient Financial Services can help with financial questions and arrangements.
- Complete a nutrition therapy consultation.
At this appointment, you'll learn about the several nutrition programs available
to you. You'll also get help in deciding which program will best suit your needs.
- Complete a psychological evaluation.
You need to be medically appropriate for weight-loss surgery, but also emotionally
and mentally ready. At this appointment, you'll meet with a psychologist from the
Eating Disorders Institute in Fargo, which is widely recognized for expertise in
eating disorders and obesity. The psychologist will visit with you about your eating
behaviors, moods, stressors and coping skills. Your commitment and motivation to
change lifestyle behaviors and follow guidelines before and after surgery will also
- Have a consultation with your surgeon.
After your psychological, nutritional and medical evaluations, you'll meet with
the weight-loss surgeon of your choice. You'll learn more about the various surgical
options and which procedure will best meet your needs. And of course you'll have
the chance to ask questions. Your questions and concerns get top priority in all
- Complete financial arrangements.
After you have completed all consultations, your surgeon will submit the "request
for prior approval" to your insurance company. Please know this process often takes
time and will likely require patience on your part. After the approval, your surgery
can be scheduled.
- Tobacco Cessation.
If you smoke or use tobaccco, you have one more step. You must completely stop using
tobacco for one month before surgery. This is important for the best possible surgical
success and healing, as well as long-term success in your new way of life. Your
commitment to staying tobacco free for life is essential.