The decision to pursue weight-loss surgery is a very personal decision that is not taken lightly. Many patients spend more than a year researching their options and evaluating whether weight-loss surgery is right for them.
Even after you make the decision to proceed, starting the process can still be scary and confusing. The caring staff at the New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery has the resources you need to determine if you are a qualified candidate, and which weight loss option is best for you.
Your Steps to a New Life
1. Call the New Life office to speak with our Patient Advocate
2. Attend or view online our Bariatric Informational Seminar
3. Fill out new Patient Paperwork (CLICK to visit Patient Forms page)
4. Schedule a Surgical Consultation
5. Obtain Insurance Approval
6. Attend Pre-Op Educational Class
7. Final Pre-Op Evaluation
8. Surgery Day
9. Attend your Office Follow-Up Visits
Our Patient Advocate works with patients to assist them in beginning the process of weight-loss surgery. She will verify your insurance coverage, benefits and help you start meeting any criteria your insurance plan requires for weight loss surgery approval. Our Patient Advocate also helps you understand the pathway to surgery, and become familiar with our Staff and services at the New Life Center.
It’s essential that patients fully understand the risks, benefits, and personal commitment involved with weight loss surgery. We want to make sure your questions are answered and that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. That’s why each new patient is required to attend a free weight loss seminar and meet Dr. Williams or you may view the seminar online.
During your surgical consultation you will meet Dr. Williams and our Bariatric Certified Nurse, Sarah. At the surgical consultation, we will determine which medical clearances may be appropriate for you. Each new patient will undergo a routine preoperative psychological screening visit. You can also expect to have some blood work and tests performed at the New Life Center office during this initial consultation. These tests may include screening for stomach bacteria called H. pylori and measuring your basal metabolic rate. Knowing your metabolic rate helps our dietitian guide you more scientifically.
During the initial consultation Dr. Williams will discuss all of your surgical options as well as the risks and benefits. Your surgeon will lay out a plan, with the multidisciplinary team at the New Life Center that will include everything needed to obtain insurance approval and prepare you for a safe and successful weight loss surgical experience.
Obtaining Insurance Approval
The New Life Center team will help you obtain insurance approval. We like to submit a request for coverage “that no reasonable person would refuse.” Our insurance specialist will help identify what these specific requirements are for you and will ensure that all insurance requirements are met. Our New Life Centers insurance specialists have more experience successfully obtaining insurance approval for weight loss surgery than anyone else in East Tennessee.
Attend A Support Group
Every patient is expected to attend at least one support group meeting prior to having weight-loss surgery. It is well recognized that patients who regularly attend support groups have fewer complications and better long-term weight loss. We have support groups lead by our professional staff and previous patients. Both types of support groups offer unique support for patients. Please see our detailed list of local support group’s available as well as contact information and driving directions.
Pre-Op Medically Supervised Diet Classes
Our pre-surgery program offers monthly medically supervised diet classes to help satisfy certain insurance requirements. These classes are offered twice weekly to accommodate varying schedules. Our classes go far beyond diet counseling and help patients learn to make lifestyle changes through nutritional choices and preparation, physical activity, stress management, and more.
Preoperative Educational Class
Education is the key to any successful weight loss surgical program and is the cornerstone around which New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery is built. Once you are approved for surgery, you will attend a 4 hour Preoperative Educational Class taught by our knowledgeable multidisciplinary team.
In this class our Bariatric Certified Registered Nurse will give you preoperative instructions designed to reduce complications. She will also discuss how to care for yourself after surgery and what to expect during your hospital stay.
Our certified dietitian will explain step-by-step meal progression and the special needs that may arise after weight loss surgery. She will provide a detailed explanation of the postoperative diet phases, how to prepare them, appropriate choices and what you will need when you return home after surgery. There is also critical information on the appropriate vitamin replacement regimens depending upon your surgical procedure of choice.
Our clinical exercise physiologist will discuss the progression of exercise after surgery. Exercise is a very important part of a successful health and weight management plan and exercise instruction in our program goes beyond general recommendations. Each patient is instructed on the appropriate activity during their hospital stay and the activities to perform in the first month after surgery. Patients follow up with the Exercise Physiologist at regular intervals of two, seven and twelve months post operatively where they receive an individualized exercise prescription to improve stamina and strength. We understand the time constraints in our patient’s busy lifestyles so our Exercise Physiologist selects exercises that involve weight training and cardiovascular stamina to maximize efforts in the shortest amount of time.
Patients will take a test at the conclusion of the class. The goal is not to fail anyone; however, if someone misses a question it gives us an opportunity to address that point again to ensure that we have communicated effectively. Patients will leave the class with all of the material presented in class.
Final Preoperative Evaluation
Two weeks prior to surgery patients return to the New Life Center office for your final preoperative evaluation with the bariatric nurse and exercise physiologist. During this evaluation our nurse practitioner will review the patient’s preparation and required documents for surgery. You will undergo a complete physical examination and have an opportunity to review and sign your operative permit. You will also have a consultation with our exercise physiologist. She will review your current physical condition and develop a plan for activities to be used in the immediate postoperative period.
The New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery team is proud to be able to provide comprehensive compassionate care for our patients. You can rest assured that you are in excellent hands. We have had the privilege of taking care of more patients through their weight loss surgical journey than anyone else in East Tennessee.
Long Term Follow-up Visits
New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery is dedicated and committed to your new life. Our surgical weight loss program provides follow-up and support for those critical first 12 months after surgery with our experienced multidisciplinary team. Routine follow-up visits are performed at two weeks, 4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and annually for life. Follow-up visits include vitamin and nutritional evaluation with our bariatric certified registered dietitian, long-term psychological follow-up, and exercise evaluations by our experienced exercise physiologist. Clinical evaluations including an assessment of vital signs, a physical examination, and an Anthropometric evaluation (weight, BMI, % body fat analysis). Patients desiring skin reduction surgery can also receive information about these treatments as well.