Patient education is the single most important factor in ensuring a positive outcome.

All patients are strongly encouraged to participate in education and support groups with our physicians, nurses and nutritionists.

How do I get into the Bariatric Surgery Program?

At the conclusion of an information session, you have the option of signing up for a one-hour initial office visit where you will receive a comprehensive physical examination and assessment from a member of our Bariatric Center team. Please call (518) 897-2531 if you would like to learn more.

What happens after I go to my first office visit?

The program staff performs a comprehensive assessment of your health prior to the surgery. You will be scheduled for a series of evaluation appointments. Some of the appointments include:

  1. A history and physical with an office provider
  2. A mental health screening
  3. A dietary evaluation
  4. A physical therapy evaluation
  5. Behavior, nutrition, and pre-operative classes

Also, you will be given a list of blood tests and possibly other tests such as a sleep study, x-rays, a pulmonary function test among others that need to be completed before surgery. The amount of testing to be done will be determined at your first office visit.

Will insurance cover weight loss surgery?

Most insurance companies do provide coverage for weight loss surgery. However, each insurance company has its own policy regarding this. If you decide to go ahead with surgery, the first thing that we ask our patients to do is to determine if their insurance company covers weight loss surgery. Other questions to ask your insurance company:

  • Is surgery covered at Adirondack Medical Center?
  • Is Dr. Michael Hill among the network of providers in my insurance plan?
  • Is a dietary consultation a covered service?

During your time in the program, you should contact your insurance company to determine if certain diagnostic testing is covered. Please be familiar with your policy and provide us with the referral forms and other information necessary.

Are there special instructions for the weeks and months before my surgery?

Yes. If you are a smoker, you will need to quit smoking for eight weeks before surgery. Your urine will be checked before surgery to ensure that you have quit smoking. Please keep in mind, if you don't follow this advice, your surgery will be cancelled. Smoking increases the risk of complications and smokers run the risk of needing ventilator support in the Intensive Care Unit following surgery. There is also an increased risk of ulcers if you smoke after surgery. If you're having trouble quitting, let us know so we can help.

Patients who take aspirin or special non-steroidal drugs for arthritis or joint pain must stop one week before surgery. These medications interfere with blood clotting and patients can bleed heavily after surgery. Likewise, many effects of herbal medications are unknown and it is recommended these be stopped three weeks prior to surgery, especially St. John's Wort, Gingko Biloba and Ginseng.

Exercise is an excellent idea before surgery. It helps you prevent complications after your operation. Walking is the best form of exercise. We know how hard exercise is for people who suffer from obesity. Give yourself realistic goals. For example, for someone who is not currently active, it is reasonable to work up to walking a total of a mile over the course of a month. Just start! If you are severely limited, we can provide a physical therapy referral to you for pre-operative conditioning. Just ask us - we are here to help!

What is the pre-admission teaching session?

You are required to attend the pre-operative education session within two weeks before your surgery. As this session, you will be given the information about what will happen on the day of surgery and during your hospitalization. We will also cover what to expect once you have returned home. Any additional tests may be completed at this time. You will meet with nurses at the hospital who lead the group. 

What can I expect the day of my surgery?

You will be given instructions that include not eating or drinking after midnight the night before surgery, although you can use a small amount of water to brush your teeth. You may also receive specific instructions regarding the use of medications either the night before or the morning of surgery.

To sign up for a free information session, call us today at (518) 897-2531.