Frequently Asked Questions: - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Frequently Asked Questions:

The experience of both the surgeon and the hospital staff with bariatric surgery are important factors to consider when choosing a bariatric surgeon and bariatric surgery center. Questions prospective patients should ask include:

  • Is the surgeon fellowship-trained in bariatric procedures?
  • Peter F. Lalor, M.D., surgeon and medical director of the Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Wood County Hospital, is a board-certified surgeon with fellowship training in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery.  Dr. Lalor received specialized training in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric techniques at the Cleveland Clinic Florida. Dr. Lalor performs more than 250 bariatric surgeries annually.

  • What types of surgeries does he perform?
  • Dr. Lalor performs a variety of laparoscopic surgical procedures including the Sleeve Gastrectomy, the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, laparoscopic adjustable band (Lap Band and Realize Band) and the biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch. He also performs revision procedures for patients who have had surgeries previously.

  • Is the hospital properly equipped to handle bariatric patients?
  •       Wood County Hospital has 30 years experience treating bariatric surgery    patients. We have helped thousands of patients achieve consistent, permanent weight loss leading to better health, an improved quality of life and a longer lifespan. Our staff and equipment are especially suited to bariatric patients.

  • Does the staff have experience with bariatric surgical cases?
  • The Center for Weight Loss Surgery includes a multi-disciplinary medical team of specialists experienced in bariatrics that includes:  the surgical team, anesthesia team, medical specialist team, registered nurses, a licensed clinical psychologist, and registered dietitians – all experienced in treating bariatric surgery patients.

  • What type of follow-up care and support do both the surgeon and the facility provide?
  • The Center for Weight Loss Surgery offers long term follow-up services with Dr. Lalor and other members of the team, including a registered dietitian, to help assure our patients successful long-term weight loss.

  • Is the facility a Center of Excellence?
  • The Center for Weight Loss Surgery is a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, which means that we meet the highest standard of qualifications and credentialing for bariatric surgery.

Questions and answers about insurance and payment options:

  • Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?
  • Some insurance carriers do not provide coverage for bariatric surgery.  You must call your carrier directly to verify coverage and benefits. Ask specifically if surgical treatment of "morbid obesity" is covered.

    If your insurance carrier does cover bariatric surgery, you will need to go through the approval process, which involves meeting specific requirements.  If you are     denied, meet the requirements and try again. If you have an exclusion on your   policy for weight loss surgery, it will not be possible to get an approval.

  • What are the insurance company requirements?
  • Most insurance companies adhere to national guidelines regarding requirements for weight loss surgery. Documentation of the last three to five years of your primary care physician's progress notes with documentation of your health conditions is required by most carriers. In addition, many also require that you participate in a physician supervised weight management program.

  • Does the program accept Medicare?
  • The Center for Weight Loss Surgery accepts Medicare eligible patients whose bariatric surgery must be performed at a Center of Excellence.

  • Does the program accept Medicaid?
  • Yes, but pre-approval from Medicaid is necessary before you can schedule a consultation with the CWLS. Their requirements are very similar to commercial insurers.

  • Does the program offer self-pay or financing options?
  • For those patients who are uninsured or do not have weight loss surgery benefits with their current insurance plan, we offer a variety of financing options. Our financial counselor will help you navigate the options upon request.

  • How long does it take to pre-authorize my surgery?
  • Each insurance company has its own set of rules regarding surgical pre-authorization and they commonly request more information before approving or disapproving. The approval process can take up a month or more.