How to Choose a Bariatric Surgeon


Dr. Lahmann and Dr. Joyce

Dr. Lahmann and Dr. Joyce

Choosing the right bariatric surgeon may be the most important decision you make. Your surgeon will provide essential support for you for years to come, so it's important for you to feel at ease with him. The team at your surgeon's bariatric office will also play an important role. It's a good idea to meet with them in advance. You will be much more confident and comfortable if you know who they are and how they can help you.

Some of the most important considerations you should keep in mind when choosing your bariatric surgeon are discussed below. Please know that we are here and ready to help. Call us if you have more questions or even if you just want help registering for our free informational seminar. We really would love to hear from you.

Certification

Accredation programs are judged by strict criteria involving a series of thorough on-site inspections during which all aspects of the program's surgical processes are closely examined and data on health outcomes was collected to ensure excellent preoperative and postoperative care.

Here is how we measure up at BMI Surgery:

BMI Surgery and Silver Cross Hospital’s weight loss surgery program has been designated a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) Accredited Center by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Experience

When selecting a bariatric surgeon, experience is extremely important. Experienced bariatric surgeons have been shown to report significantly lower complication rates and shorter operating times.

  • BMI Surgery has performed over 6,000 weight loss surgeries.
  • We compare favorably to all national benchmarks.
  • We have a remarkably low major and minor complication rate compared to local, regional, and national rates.
  • Our patients experience greater weight loss than published benchmarks.

Reputation

Check out the other patients of the bariatric center you are considering. Current and past patients are usually a good indication of the experience you will have. Especially significant are patients who are willing to act as a referral for their family, friends, and other interested candidates.

BMI Surgery features our patients’ history and before and after photos in the Home page of our website so that you can see real people and real results.

Long-Term Care

Your bariatric center should provide long-term care with follow-up appointments, information, and support resources such as Web-based clinical support tools to keep you connected with your bariatric practice and to allow your surgeon to step in precisely when needed to keep you on track.

  • BMI Surgery's band patients typically need to have their band adjusted several times during the first 12 to 18 months after surgery.
  • Bypass patients typically need to see their surgeons for 3 to 5 follow-up appointments the first year, then once per year thereafter.
  • Over time, gastric bypass patients will need regular checks for anemia (low red blood cell count) and vitamin B12, folate, and iron levels.
  • In addition, BMI provides patients with Web-based tools and support groups that can be helpful in adjusting to new daily habits.

Office Staff

Besides the surgeon, your bariatric team includes members of the surgeon's staff, such as the program coordinator and a dietitian. You will work closely with this team before and long after surgery, so it's important for you to meet everyone and talk about how you will work together to help you reach your goals.

BMI Surgery's bariatric program consists of a combination of the following healthcare professionals:
  1. program coordinator
  2. psychologist
  3. dietician
  4. exercise physiologist
  5. various other healthcare professionals
Each expert is dedicated to providing support for bariatric patients both before and after surgery. We also provide support groups that can be helpful in adjusting to new daily habits.

Insurance Network

If you have health insurance, choosing a surgeon that is part of your insurance network can significantly reduce out-of-pocket costs. But, you usually have to contact your insurance provider in advance to see if the surgeon you choose and the surgery you select are covered by your plan.

  1. Find out if you have insurance coverage for bariatric surgery.
  2. If surgery is covered, work with your bariatric practice to gather all the required documentation for pre-approval.
  3. Follow up to make sure your insurance company has received your materials.