Halfway through my bariatric surgery journey, I met one-on-one with my surgeon for a second time. While researching information for this post, I didn’t find evidence of a lot of programs doing this type of appointment. However, my program did require it, and it was sort of a mid-program evaluation. My surgeon wanted to see if I was taking the program seriously and putting in the work required. He checked on my list of bariatric surgery requirements and reviewed my test results thus far. We discussed the remaining requirements and decided on a type of bariatric surgery. The halfway visit for bariatric surgery is a mid-progress check to see how well you’re adhering to the program.,
The Need for a Mid-Point Check
Your surgeon may want to see you for a halfway visit for bariatric surgery. This appointment is necessary for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is that insurance often requires documented evidence of a six- or three-month mandatory weight management program. By checking on you halfway through your visit, the doctor’s office will have documented evidence of your weight and other vital signs. This information will likely be passed onto your insurance company to show that you are following their weight management program before surgery.
Your doctor also wants to see where you are at with the bariatric surgery requirements he established for you. He can tell how dedicated you are to changing your lifestyle based upon how many requirements you completed. You should have completed around half the of the requirements by this point, but if you have done a little less, it shouldn’t be an issue. They just want to know that you are making an effort to get surgery. Bariatric surgery is a life-changing experience, and if you can’t commit to completing a program for three or six months, how can your doctor expect that you’ll stick to the lifestyle changes necessary after bariatric surgery?
Timeline of the Halfway Visit for Bariatric Surgery
The halfway visit for bariatric surgery begins like most doctor appointments: checking in with the registration desk. After the registration clerk has scanned your identification and insurance, verified some information with you and collected any necessary co-payments, you’ll sit in a waiting room until the doctor is ready for you.
At this point, a nurse will escort you back to the exam area, but not before a stop at the dreaded scale. At this point, you may have lost a little bit of weight if your doctor or insurance company required it. As long as you don’t have a significant gain, I wouldn’t worry too much about the number that shows on the scale. It’s just going to mark your progress in the program and how your lifestyle changes are going.
When you get back to the exam room, the nurse will take your vitals: blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation and temperature. The nurse will review your medications and ask how you’re feeling through this process. She may review the bariatric surgery requirements with you to see where you are in the program.
Meeting with the Surgeon
Once the surgeon comes in, he will check the notes left by the nurse. He may discuss the weight loss you’ve had and what lifestyle changes you’ve been able to commit to since the last time he saw you. The surgeon will review your test results and discuss any concerns he may have with you. Hopefully, by this point you have some of your clearances completed, like your cardiology, pulmonology or psychological evaluation.
Your doctor will review the remaining requirements you have. He will offer suggestions and encourage you to keep making lifestyle changes in preparation for bariatric surgery. The doctor may ask you to continue losing weight to prove that you are committed to the program. He’ll also ask you if you have any questions.
The big question you may need to decide at this visit is which type of surgery you want to have. There are three main types of bariatric surgery: roux-en-y gastric bypass, vertical sleeve gastrectomy and a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band. Hopefully by this point in your journey, you have done the research and have an idea of which surgery you want. If not, now is a great time to ask questions and ask your doctor’s advice.
My Halfway Visit Experience
My halfway visit for bariatric surgery occurred one week after I learned of my then-husband’s betrayal and decided to leave my marriage. It was an exceptionally tough time for me. Not only was I working my way through this life-changing physical and mental experience, but now my whole world was turned upside down.
Luckily, I have two of the greatest parents in the world, and my mom accompanied me to this visit. She not only wanted to support me, but also wanted to meet the doctor who would be performing surgery on her daughter. It was great to have my mom there for support. She helped me remember to ask the important questions and showed my doctor that I had family support.
My doctor was pleased with my progress. At this point, I had lost about 40 pounds. I also completed my cardiology, pulmonology and psych evals, along with three of my six nutrition classes. I still had to finish my physical therapy evaluation and three more nutrition classes. Prior to this visit, I also had my first upper endoscopy. We discussed how I was feeling and how I responded to treatment.
The surgeon reviewed my final requirements with me and scheduled a second upper endoscopy to make sure the ulcers were gone. We decided on gastric bypass surgery to help with my acid reflux (I ultimately ended up with a vertical sleeve gastrectomy because the surgeon couldn’t move my intestines enough for bypass surgery). Overall, it was a great appointment and another item checked off my list!
The halfway visit for bariatric surgery is a great time to do some self-reflection. Check to see how you’re doing with the habits you need to change in your life. For example, are you practicing to chew 20 to 30 times per bite? Are you slowing down when you eat? Have you quit drinking soda and other sugary drinks?
Also check in to see how you’re doing with exercise. Are you trying to walk more during your day? Have you found an exercise you love? Are you managing your stress better? Are you sleeping more? All of these habits are ones you’ll need to adhere to after surgery. Making changes now when you are pre-op makes your life particularly easier after surgery.
Surgery is a tough road. By changing your habits before surgery, you’re proving to yourself and to your medical team that you have what it takes to be successful. It’s so important to start working on and solidifying these habits now so that you can learn to work your tool successfully after surgery.
The Halfway Visit for Bariatric Surgery
The halfway visit for bariatric surgery is a mid-progress check to see how well you’re adhering to the program. Bariatric surgery is a life-long commitment. If you aren’t making progress toward surgery halfway through your program, your surgeon will likely question your desire for surgery. By having certain requirements completed, you’ll show your surgeon you want bariatric surgery. It doesn’t hurt if you’ve lost a little weight too. This mid-way checkpoint is a good opportunity to ask questions and make a decision on the type of surgery you want. Celebrate afterward – your halfway to the loser’s bench!
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They’ll check your weight to see if you’ve had any weight loss, as well as other vitals. The doctor will review any test results from the consults you have completed and advise you of any concerns. They’ll review your progress in the bariatric surgery program and advise on any further requirements you need to complete. You may also need to decide on the type of bariatric surgery you want.