The National Institutes of Health recommends that “patients who are candidates for bariatric surgical procedures should be selected carefully after evaluation by a multidisciplinary team with access to medical, surgical, psychiatric and nutritional expertise.”

Insurance/Financial Counseling: Preoperative patients receive insurance and financial counseling to understand insurance coverage, requirements, out-of-pocket expenses and payment options. Patients who opt to self-pay for surgery will receive counseling on our self-pay agreement and out-of-pocket expenses. Our program insurance specialist also submits documentation for insurance authorization and initiates insurance appeals if insurance denials are received.

Medical Evaluation: Patients are initially evaluated by one of the program’s providers for medical candidacy for bariatric surgery. A detailed history and physical exam are performed, and a detailed “problem list” is constructed. Patients will also have a preoperative appointment with the surgeon’s office, which includes education and review of informed consent. After surgery, all patients have routine follow-up visits for medical and nutritional monitoring.

Psychosocial Evaluation: Patients are evaluated for psychosocial readiness for bariatric surgery by the program’s behavioral health specialist. Based on this evaluation, patients will see the licensed clinical social worker for psychological evaluation. Recommendations for additional mental health counseling and/or psychiatric evaluation may be made after the initial evaluation and will need to be completed before proceeding to surgery. Education may be recommended for mindful eating, which deals with barriers to weight loss, such as emotional overeating. After surgery, patients have routine follow-up visits with our behavioral specialists.

Nutrition Evaluation: Patients are evaluated by a registered dietitian to determine current nutrition knowledge and past diet attempts and to begin making lifestyle changes prior to surgery. Patients typically work with the dietitian routinely and receive extensive nutrition counseling and education both pre- and postoperatively. The program dietitians also play a role in monitoring nutrition-related laboratory results and educating patients accordingly.

Bariatric Education: Health education is a vital part of our bariatric program. Under the Blessing Bariatric Institute interdisciplinary team approach, patients benefit from input from an array of specialists. Bariatric education is designed to provide patients with the nutrition information, knowledge and ability to be successful in achieving and maintaining good health.

Support Groups: Monthly support groups are held for patients, and participation is encouraged both pre- and postoperatively. All support groups are led by licensed health care professionals and are in place to provide ongoing support and education to our patients. At least two support groups are mandatory for preoperative patients.

Preoperative Checklist: All patients must complete a standard preoperative checklist to obtain clearance for bariatric surgery. The bariatric team works with each patient during the pre-op process to complete the checklist. Depending on your medical history, additional tasks may be added to your checklist.

Surgery Stay: On the day of surgery, after your surgery is complete, your surgeon will contact your family or significant other for a brief conference in person or by phone. Each day of your stay, we will conduct morning bariatric teaching rounds on the bariatric unit to discuss your case, answer questions and review your current status. The surgeons, midlevels, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, students and residents may participate in morning rounds.

Contact Us

Contact our office at (217) 214-5800 for more information.