One of the most frequently asked questions in our initial consultation process is “How soon can I get the surgery?” The answer to that question depends on the particular health insurance policy guidelines and requirements for bariatric surgery approval. The insurance part of the timeline is dictated by the insurance companies and can vary from less than a month to over 7 months. If the patient is a cash-pay for bariatric surgery the process is only medical. Many times cash pay patients are able to schedule their surgery within 2-3 weeks from the initial consultation. Please review the diagram below for a general idea on the steps involved from consultation to surgery date. At AIBL we process our paperwork and steps very effectively and can get insurance authorization as fast as anyone else can.
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After the initial consultation, the insurance coordinator will discuss with you your insurance policy guidelines and criteria for weight loss surgery approval, requirements of the program, expected timeline and estimated financial responsibility. Timing of the surgery depends on your insurance requirements, your preference as well as securing the financials. For patients with insurance coverage AIBL assists the patient to get an approval for the surgery from the insurance company. For self-pay patients the surgery may be scheduled when you are ready.
Once the surgery is approved by insurance and scheduled or scheduled directly for cash pay patients you will need to undergo a series of preoperative tests and consultations. AIBL will work with you to schedule the appointments in AIBL office as well as work with your primary physician to complete all the requirements. Many times all of the preoperative tests can be arranged in one visit to the hospital where the surgery is scheduled at. You will need to follow the pre-operative diet for two weeks as instructed by the dietitian preceding your surgery.
Once the preoperative testing is complete you will be scheduled for a pre-operative appointment with the surgeon. This appointment will last about an hour and you will be provided with all the educational materials and other documents if you have not already received them. All of your concerns are discussed, questions answered and consents signed. Specific written instructions and medication prescriptions are given to you for your use after the surgery.