I've gotten so many questions and inquiries about the process of actually getting approved for the surgery! So today's blog will be a tell all about the process I went through to actually get the gastric sleeve surgery. This is in no way the only way to get the surgery. It all depends on your insurance and what they cover or the surgeons out of pocket fee. I have blue cross blue shield Alabama under my moms insurance and she seems to have pretty good coverage. I was only out of pocket the deductible  of $500 of which the insurance refunded me back like $476 dollars of  that amount which made my surgery less than $30.! 

The minimum criteria I had to meet were as follows:

(please be aware everyone's insurance is different so this may or may not be the criteria you have to meet)

1. Get reference from primary doctor to weight loss surgeon

- In my case I simply asked my doctor what he thought about me and the weight-loss surgery and asked for a referral.( we had been trying to get my weight down for a few months before I mentioned it) 

2. Attend preliminary seminar and set up consultation with surgeon

- Dr. Malipur has a mandatory seminar you have to attend in order to even get a consultation for the surgery. the seminar is about 3 hours it goes over the pros and cons of the surgery. He describes in detail, with nurses, previous surgery patients, and PowerPoint all the different types of weight-loss surgery and which one he recommends for each person individually. It was very informative and i'm glad he makes you attend the seminar. 

Who doesn't want to be educated on one of the biggest decisions of their life? 

- Once you attend , you set up your consultation. The consultation is $175 out of pocket. The insurance does not cover this and it is non refundable. I honestly can not remember if he contacted me or if I had to contact him to set up the consultation after the seminar. ( You'll find out for sure when you go)

- During the consultation they take your insurance information and while you're waiting to be seen, they call and get the requirements you need to qualify, they print it out and when you go back to speak with the surgeon he explains everything again, from the pre diet, the procedure, to aftercare, etc.He provides you with several printouts to take to take home for personal information, and several for your primary doctor, including sheets to be filled out by your primary doctor if you have to do the supervised diet. He also tells you how much weight you have to lose. I was required to lose 8-10 lbs before surgery. This number was based off of the initial 270lbs from my first weigh in with my primary doctoe.

3. Physician supervised diet for 6 months 

- After going to the preliminary seminar and consultation with Dr. Malipur. I went back to my primary doctor for my physician supervised diet once a month for 6 straight months. My doctor would fill out the paper work provided by Dr. Malipur and i would keep it in a file folder. the first day and the last day of the six month supervised diet had to be 180 apart. Because not all months have 30 days you have to be sure they are 180 days  or more apart from each other. For example , month one I went on the 7th, month 2 on the 1st, month 3, the 30th. etc. The months in between day one and day 180 did not matter as long as I saw my doctor once a month but the very last appointment for month 6 had to be exactly 180 days or more from month 1. No less or you would have to start over. 

- I was on a pretty strict diet, 1200-1500 calories, low carbs, fruits and vegetables. Basically any good delicious food, I couldn't eat! But my problem wasn't that I was over eating. My problem was I was not eating enough and when i was eating i was at the wrong time so my body would store everything I ate as fat. my metabolism was shot. I was literally working anywhere from 16-20 hours a day sometimes not sleeping for days at a time. couple that with stress. it was a lose lose battle. I ended up the first couple of months of the supervised diet losing about 8 lbs, month 3 i slowly started gaining weigh, i was eating at like midnight or 4 am and eating whatever fast food I could and between month 3-6 I gained about 10 lbs. my initial weigh in during the first appointment was 270 lbs this was June 2015. So by month 6 of my supervised diet I was up 10 lbs with no weight loss. I felt like a failure. I didn't know if I was going to get approved or not. I was worried. 

4. Provide 3 years of medical records showing you were 40% bmi or over 

-Self explanatory, simply went to hospital for medical records 

5. Attend Nutrition Class 

- I believe the class was $50 or $75 I don't know exactly but it was an all day thing. I had to take off work but it was required. (I ended up having to go to 2 separate days because I had to work so I finished most of the class one day and came back a couple weeks later for the last part.) They went over your diet after surgery. They explained how your eating habits will change. Your taste buds would be totally out of wack,  but most of all your exact menu of things you could and could not eat. No more carbonated beverages. ever! Certain medications you can never take. Eating slowly. absolutely no sugar! a complete and utter lifestyle change!!  

6. Put it all together

- So I kept all monthly papers, medical records, information that I had attended nutrition class and seminar in a file folder. Once I finished all steps I took all of this to Dr. Malipur. (no appointment necessary , just dropped it off) Takes them about a week to prepare everything to be faxed. They faxed all my info and I waited. By the end of the day I got an email notifying me of my approval!! so exciting!!Between June 2015 and December 2015 is when I was able to acquire all the information needed and attend classes etc. It wasn't until August of 2016 that I even considered going to get the surgery! partially because my family did not support it. I allowed friends to talk me out of it so I just kind of put in on the back burner until I was fully sure I wanted to proceed

Between June 2015 and December 2015 is when I was able to acquire all the information needed and attend classes etc. It wasn't until August of 2016 that I even considered going to get the surgery! Partially because my family did not support it. I allowed friends to talk me out of it so I just kind of put in on the back burner until I was fully sure I wanted to proceed. I honestly advise anyone considering the surgery to only tell a few people if any. Because its your decision. I learned during this process you have to do what is best for you and not for other people. Their opinion DOES NOT MATTER!! It is your life and your health. The next person has no idea what its like to live in your body. so do not give them any power over this decision.


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