Getting Approved – What is Required?

When I started thinking about having gastric bypass, I was curious about what tests I would need to get approval from the doctor, and from my insurance company. Here I wanted to briefly share what I was required to do for my clearance, so others will know what COULD be on their list as well.

After my initial meeting with the doctor I was told my insurance request would be submitted right away, and would likely be back in less than a week. But insurance approval is only one step – my doctor required the following medical clearances in order to schedule a surgery date:

  1. Physical with lots of bloodwork from my primary care physician
  2. EGD – required hospital visit and being put to sleep for a short time – they put a scope down your throat
  3. Chest x-ray
  4. Upper GI – had to swallow barium….most of it came back up….ick
  5. EKG – heart clearance
  6. Echocardiogram – further heart clearance because I have high blood pressure
  7. Pulminary/Sleep Clearance – this is a lung and breathing doctor who has to make sure you don’t have breathing issues or sleep apnea.
  8. Mental assessment – they let me skip this, but most people do have to get an evaluation.
  9. Mandatory meeting with office nutritionist
  10. Mandatory meeting with office trainer
  11. Mandatory meeting at the hospital where I am having the surgery to learn what to expect
  12. Mandatory attendance at a support group at the office to speak with other patients so you can truly understand what is involved.

Whew. I am not writing this to deter you – rather I just want you to understand that you could have many tests to schedule. That said, I got all of these done in under 2 weeks. My turnaround time from the day I walked into the office, to my scheduled surgery, was about a month. So, it can be done quickly – but you have to be diligent about getting everything scheduled and completed as quickly as possible!

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