What are the routine tests before surgery?

Before surgery, basic tests are completed, including Complete Blood Count (CBC), Urinalysis, Chemistry Panel, and a vitamin/mineral level check. Other tests may include echocardiograms, sleep studies, GI evaluations, cardiology evaluations, or psychological evaluations.

What is the purpose of routine tests?

An accurate assessment of your child of teen's health is needed for their safety before weight loss surgery. If your child or teen has diabetes, certain steps may be taken to control blood sugar. These tests will determine liver problems, breathing difficulties, excess fluid in the tissues, abnormalities of the salts or minerals in body fluids, or abnormal blood fat levels.

Why do some patients need a GI evaluation?

Patients with significant gastrointestinal symptoms, such as upper abdominal pain, heartburn, or belching, may have underlying problems such as a hiatal hernia, gastroesophageal reflux, or peptic ulcer that our team will identify and treat.

Why do some patients need to have a sleep study?

The sleep study detects a tendency to stop breathing during sleep. Usually, this is associated with airway narrowing from excess fatty tissue in the airway. If severe enough, a person will be asked to use a mask attached to a breathing machine to keep their airway open when sleeping.

Why do patients need a psychological evaluation?

Participating in a weight loss program and undergoing surgery is a major lifestyle change for most people. Our psychologists will evaluate your child or teen’s understanding and knowledge of the risks and complications associated with weight loss surgery and their ability to follow the basic recovery plan. Psychological evaluation is a requirement for most health insurance companies.

Does weight loss surgery change the ability to have children?

Losing weight with weight loss surgery can resolve polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in young women and increase pregnancy possibilities. We suggest female teens use a form of birth control for at least the first year after surgery. Weight loss before pregnancy makes the pregnancy safer for the child and mother. 

Is weight loss surgery covered by insurance?

Yes. Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial insurance companies all cover weight loss surgery. Please call your insurance company to verify the benefits in your policy. If you are still unsure about coverage, call the billing office for the facility you visited and we can assist you.

What can I do before the initial appointment to speed up the process?

  • Please make a list of all the diets you have tried (a diet history) and bring it to your child or teen's doctor.
  • Bring any pertinent medical data to your child or teen's appointment with the surgeon, including reports of special tests (echocardiogram, sleep study, etc.) or a hospital discharge summary if your child or teen has been in the hospital.
  • Bring a list of your child of teen's medications, with the doses and schedule.
  • Avoid smoking, vaping or any tobacco use.