Preparing For Weight Loss Surgery

General Medical Criteria for Weight Loss Surgery: 

  • BMI equal to or greater than 40 or a BMI between 35 and 40 with comorbidities.
  • 3-5 year documentation of BMI at the above ranges
  • Five year history of failed diets

The precertification process for Weight Loss Surgery varies according to your insurance company’s requirements.  Listed are general requirements.  On your initial office visit, our bariatric coordinator will discuss your insurance company’s specific requirements and help you devise a plan to meet them.

Weight Loss Seminar

All patients are required to attend one of our Weight Loss Surgery Seminars before scheduling a consultation for weight loss surgery.

Initial Office Visit

At this visit, your physician will explain the surgery in detail as well as the risks, benefits and alternatives.  He will talk about what you should expect after your surgery.  He will also discuss the BEGIN Program, the importance of nutrition, exercise and joining a local support group.  After talking with your physician, you will be asked to:

  • complete a five year diet history
  • sign a medical release and take to your other physicians documenting your weight history and other co-morbid conditions
  • be aware of the requirement to complete the BEGIN Program at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center prior to surgery
  • join a local bariatric support group

You will meet with our bariatric coordinator to discuss your insurance company’s specific requirements and surgical copays.

Once we receive preapproval for your surgery, our office will call to schedule your BEGIN appointment.

BEGIN Program

  • attend the BEGIN Program at the appointed time (this program must be completed prior to surgery).

Please wear comfortable walking shoes for physical therapy assessment.

Set up visit

You will be seen by our physician to review your records, discuss the surgical procedure again, and answer any questions you have.  On this visit you will also:

  • be required to pass a written test about bariatric surgery and post-operative instruction
  • schedule your preoperative clearance labs and X-rays
  • schedule pulmonary or cardiac clearance if indicated
  • pay patient portion (copays and deductibles) due for surgeon’s fee when applicable
  • satisfy Mobile Infirmary’s financial requirements

You will be admitted to the hospital the morning of surgery, unless your medical condition warrants you being admitted the night before surgery.  Your hospital stay will be two to five days for gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy and overnight for Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB).

Please note that your account must be in good standing with our office and the hospital or your surgery may be cancelled.

Post-operative Visits:

You will be scheduled to see your doctor postoperatively at the following intervals:

  • one week (gastric bypass  and sleeve patients will also see the BEGIN dietitian at this visit)
  • six weeks (Adjustable Gastric Banding patients will also see the BEGIN dietician at this visit)
  • three months
  • six months
  • nine months
  • one year and annually

Note:  Adjustable Gastric Banding patients will be seen as needed for adjustments in addition to the post-operative visit schedule. 


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