South Texas Lap-Band has developed a program to help our Harlingen and McAllen weight loss surgery patients succeed on their weight loss journey. Here is an overview of the steps you will need to take to prepare for weight loss surgery and achieve optimal long-term results.
Step 1 - Patient Seminar
[Bariatric Program - Dr. Mario del Pino] South Texas Lap-Band holds free seminars for those who are interested in knowing more about weight loss surgery procedures. In these seminars, held by Dr. Mario del Pino, the public learns who qualifies for the surgery, the benefits, the risks and the alternatives. Dr. del Pino also explains what is involved before and after surgery, as well as how to afford it. People feel at ease knowing that the staff of South Texas Lap-Band is available to answer any questions that they might have. Please remember you are always welcome to come back again for another seminar.
Step 2 - Office Visit
After you attend our seminar, please call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. del Pino, our weight loss surgeon. When you come to South Texas Lap-Band for a visit, you can be assured our staff is prepared to help you understand what weight loss surgery means and how you can go through it faster and easier. The first visit will probably be the one that takes the longest. This visit helps us learn the details and your specific needs. Dr. del Pino will meet with you on a one-on-one basis. He will answer all your questions and he will help you decide which procedure is best for you, such as gastric sleeve or gastric bypass in McAllen. Dr. del Pino might also consider whether you might be a Lap-Band McAllen patient. In addition, he will determine whether additional workup needs to be done so that your surgery will be performed safely.
Step 3 - Education
South Texas Lap Band is dedicated to educating its McAllen weight loss surgery patients on how they can lead a healthier lifestyle, and ultimately enjoy an improved quality of life. Our offices contain brochures and information that patients can take home to review and share with friends and family. We believe that in order to achieve the results you want, you and those around you must understand how weight loss surgery works.
Step 4 – Payment Options
Many Insurance companies cover weight loss surgery procedures; however, each insurance policy is different. Our staff will work to help you understand the criteria required by your insurance company. We will submit all required information to make your approval process run as smoothly as possible.
If your insurance company does not cover that weight loss surgery, or if you do not have insurance, don't get discouraged. You will be impressed with our patient financing programs. Please, feel free to ask our staff about them.
Step 5 – Pre-operative Work-up
All patients without exceptions must complete extensive mandatory work-up to minimize the chance of complications and maximize safety and excellent outcomes of weight loss surgery. The work-up is the same for all weight loss surgery procedures:
- Psychology or psychiatry evaluation: mandated by insurance companies to make sure you understand what surgery is all about
- Nutrition evaluation: to assess your nutritional knowledge and status
- Physical therapy evaluation: to assess your mobility and plan for post-operative work-up plan
- EGD and biopsy: Dr. del Pino evaluates the anatomy of your stomach and rule out diseases of the stomach
- Pulmonary clearance: requires pulmonary function tests and chest x-ray. May require additional sleep studies if the specialist suspects that you suffer from sleep apnea
- Cardiac clearance: requires EKG and lipid panel. May require additional testing including 2D-Echo and/or stress test to assess the fitness of your cardiovascular system
- Pre-operative anesthesia evaluation. The specialist who will put you to sleep during surgery meets with you before surgery and reviews all the pre-operative work-up information to determine the best and safest anesthesia for you
- Pre-op lab work