Preparing for Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery | Cape Fear Valley Health
Bariatric Weight Loss Program
(910) 615-2274

Navigating the Steps to Bariatric Surgery

For you to prepare for successful weight-loss surgery, there are several crucial steps that must be taken along your journey. Bariatric surgery is not an instant fix, a cure all or "the easy way out." It is a complete and comprehensive lifestyle change. As with any lifestyle change, especially one where life changing results aren't uncommon, there is a level of commitment that is required.

As such, most insurers and health systems will lay out steps that may take three to six months on average to complete, prior to the actual surgical procedure. This time should be viewed as an opportunity to complete all of the necessary medical clearances, develop new habits, ensure that you are mentally prepared and have a support system in place. This process will allow for the most successful long-term outcome.

What makes our program unique is our team that focuses on helping you navigate these steps hand in hand. You can count on our bariatric team for personal support, expert guidance throughout your weight loss journey. That said, we are here to support you, but you are the one doing the hard work!

Step 1: Attend our Virtual Information Seminar

Please join us for an information session to learn how weight-loss surgery may help you or someone you care for shed weight, prevent the advancement of co-morbid conditions, and in many cases recover from these life altering diseases. In this information seminar, you will meet our surgeons, and members of your care team. They will educate you with an overview of the surgical options available, explain why our comprehensive approach and team of healthcare professionals will help guide you towards the best outcome possible. Our comprehensive approach leads to better, safer, more successful outcomes than ever thought possible.

Completing this step is the first requirement on your Bariatric Weight Loss journey!


Step 2: Verify Insurance Coverage

Consult your insurance provider to verify your Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery benefits. Please call the phone number listed on the back of your insurance card. When speaking to a representative with your insurer, please write down their full name, and direct extension in case you are disconnected. Make sure to ask about your immediate financial responsibilities, such as specialty office co-pays, required benefit deductibles and refer to the following codes to see if they cover these surgical procedures:

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: CPT 43644
  • Sleeve gastrectomy: CPT 43775

Every insurer has different requirements you must meet prior to surgery, we will discuss some of these mandatory requirements in greater detail.

  1. Primary Care Letter of Support - Nearly every insurance provider requires your doctor to provide us with a letter stating that they believe you are a qualified candidate for weight loss surgery based on several factors. Your healthcare professional may want to refer to our example letter of support here.
  2. Medical Records - Obtain relevant Medical Records and History from your PCP.
    1. We will need one (1) note per year documenting height, weight, and co-morbid conditions for the past two to five (2-5) years depending on your insurance.
    2. Please also supply any pertinent health screenings, i.e. Sleep Study or Cardiac work-up that was completed during this timeframe for our surgeons to review.
  3. Diet and Exercise Program - Some insurers require you to participate in or show proof that you have participated in a supervised diet and exercise program in order to validate and document prior weight loss attempts. If this is a requirement that you have not completed, do not despair, our comprehensive program has additional resources for you!

Step 3: Initial New Patient Appointment

After completing steps one and two, you will be contacted by a member of our Bariatric Surgery coordination team to schedule your new patient appointment with one of our Bariatric Surgeons. If you have completed step 1 above and have not heard from one of our offices within two business days, please call (910) 615-BARI to be directed to a representative.

Depending on the provider of your preference, you will schedule this visit at one of our two clinic locations, either Cape Fear Valley - Ferncreek General Surgery (Dr. Ejeh and Dr. Appresai) or Cape Fear Valley - Village Surgical (Dr. Classen) in Fayetteville. During this provider driven visit, you will:

  • Review your medical history, including annual screenings and lab tests.
  • Obtain nutrition counseling, discuss food journaling and review your current eating habits.
  • Discuss your unique plan based on your unique situation, including,
    • Current BMI
    • Weight Loss Goals
    • Medical Co-morbidities
    • Past and present weight loss attempts
  • Schedule any follow-up appointments and necessary labs.

Download and complete all of the required forms and releases to fill out and bring to this appointment here.

Step 4: Complete Pre-Surgery Appointments?

  • Psychologist consultation - You will visit with a member of our Cape Fear Valley Community Health Psychology team.
    • This visit helps to determine if you are emotionally prepared to make lifelong lifestyle changes.
    • This visit also helps to identify potential stumbling points and ensure that you have the building blocks for the continued support that you need.
  • Nutritionist consultation - You will visit with a dietitian to discuss the required pre and post surgical diets, review your eating habits, food journal and discuss the lifestyle changes that will be made moving forward.
  • Additional specialist appointments as required.
  • Support group attendance - Most studies indicate that having a robust support system including medical professionals and peers leads to better results long-term. Our program highly encourages participation in a minimum of one support group meeting prior to, and after surgery. Click here to go to Support Group.

Step 5: Scheduling Surgery

If you are a surgical candidate, once all program and insurance requirements have been met, we will submit everything to your insurance company for final approval.

  • You will have one Pre-surgical Provider visit with your surgeon. To verify completion of necessary steps (above) discuss the surgery day, pre-surgery requirements, and answer any questions you have prior to surgery.
  • Upon approval, an appointment with a Bariatric Surgeon will be scheduled for consultation and surgery date. We will also verify that any remaining balances and payment arrangements have been set up.
  • Following surgery you will have several post-op visits.
    • 1 Week Post-Op
    • 4 Weeks Post-Op
    • 3 Months Post-Op
    • 6 Months Post-Op
    • Annual visits are required.
  • Consistent support group attendance following your surgery will lead to your best results!

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