Pre-Surgery Questions

Pre-Surgery Questions

Frequently Asked Questions before Bariatric Surgery

What is bariatric surgery?

Why should I have bariatric surgery at Little Company of Mary Hospital?

What is the track record of Gerald Cahill, M.D., F.A.C.S?

Am I a candidate for gastric bypass surgery?

Is the surgery covered by insurance?

How can they deny coverage?

How long does it take to get insurance approval?

Can I apply for financing for bariatric surgery?

Can I pay cash for the procedure?

Is there anything I can do to help?

Is a psychiatric evaluation necessary?

What is the purpose of all these pre-op tests and consultations?

How long does it take to schedule the procedure?

How can Little Company of Mary help me succeed in my weight loss?


What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a broad term encompassing many abdominal operations for treating obesity. Little Company of Mary's Bariatric Surgery Center offers patients the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and lap banding procedures to treat severe obesity. These laparoscopic procedures reduce the capacity of the stomach. In the gastric bypass, food then passes directly from a pouch into the small intestine. Many patients lose 60-80 percent of their excess weight within 24 months after surgery.


Why should I have bariatric surgery at Little Company of Mary Hospital? 

Gastric bypass surgery, performed at Little Company of Mary, is shown to be one of the best and safest surgical treatments for severe obesity. In December 2005, Little Company of Mary Bariatric Surgery Center was named an American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) Center of Excellence under the guidance of Gerald Cahill, M.D., F.A.C.S., Medical Director of the Midwest Bariatric Institute who performs weight loss surgeries at Little Company. There are only a handful of Bariatric Centers of Excellence certified by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery. Today, the Center proudly upholds its distinguished role as a Center of Excellence by offering most surgical weight loss procedures within the context of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, patient-centered program. To date, more than 1,500 surgical procedures have been performed at Little Company of Mary. Click here to learn more.


What is the track record of Gerald A. Cahill, M.D., F.A.C.S? 

Dr. Cahill is medical director of the Midwest Bariatric Institute and the highly successful Bariatric Center of Excellence at Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons. Dr. Cahill has been in practice for more than 20 years and has performed more than 2,000 successful weight loss surgeries.  Dr. Cahill opened the Bariatric Surgery Center in November 2001. He has extensive experience and special interest in weight loss surgery and advanced laparoscopic surgery. Click here to learn more about Dr. Cahill.


Am I a candidate for gastric bypass surgery? 

To be considered for gastric bypass surgery at Little Company of Mary you must:

  1. Be at least 75-100 lbs overweight.
  2. Have a history of weight loss attempts.
  3. Exhibit a willingness to participate in a multidisciplinary program at Little Company of Mary.

This minimally invasive surgery is ideal for people who have a body mass index (BMI) over 40--this index is an indication of weight taking height into account. Click here for more information about calculating your BMI.


Is the surgery covered by insurance? 

Most medical insurance plans do cover the procedure. We will assist you in obtaining the required insurance authorization and clearances.


How can they deny coverage? 

Coverage can be denied if there is a specific exclusion in your policy for the surgical treatment of obesity. Coverage can also be denied due to lack of medical necessity. This usually means the insurance company is looking for some form of documentation of past and failed alternative medical treatments, such as physician supervised dieting, medication, exercise, or behavior modification.


How long does it take to get insurance approval? 

From the time of your initial consultation, it usually takes about 7 business days to send a letter of medical necessity to your insurance carrier. Insurance carrier response is typically 3 to 4 weeks.


Can I apply for financing for bariatric surgery?

Yes. Click here to apply for bariatric surgery financing.


Can I pay cash for the procedure? 

Yes, cash arrangements as well as financing options can be arranged by our office.


Is there anything I can do to help? 

Yes, gather all the information together (diet records, medical records, tests) and letter from your personal physician stating that the surgery is a medical necessity for the treatment of your obesity. The more information we can provide your carrier, the more difficult it can be for them to deny you coverage.


Is a psychiatric evaluation necessary? 

Yes, we require all patients to see a psychiatrist to evaluate a basic understanding and knowledge of the procedure and the ability to follow the post-operative plan of care. Most insurance carriers require an evaluation and so we try to shorten the process for you.


What is the purpose of all the pre-op tests and consultations? 

As with all types of major abdominal surgery, there is a chance of complications. We need all these tests and consultations to obtain an accurate assessment of your health. Before proceeding with this major surgery we need to make sure you are medically sound for this life changing procedure.

 

How long does it take to schedule the procedure?

Once we receive insurance authorization we can schedule for surgery within 2 to 4 weeks once financial arrangements have been met and all your pre-operative consultations and clearances have been completed and reviewed by the surgical team.


How Can Little Company of Mary help me succeed in my weight loss? 

At Little Company of Mary, we're here to help. Listed below are links to reliable organizations with information that we think will help in your search for information on this treatment option.
 
American Society for Bariatric Surgeons
American Obesity Association
Obesity Help
Lap-Band
WLS Lifestyles Online
Bariatric Support Centers International
Bariatric Advantage
Bariatric Edge
 



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