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Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital

Bariatric Surgery (Gastric Banding, Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass)

Weight-loss surgery can be a life-changing procedure for many people. At Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), we have the most established bariatric surgery program in the region. We perform hundreds of successful surgeries every year, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, LAP-BAND® and revision surgeries.

We know that investing time and effort before bariatric surgery leads to better weight-loss results after surgery. The LVHN bariatric surgery team is passionate about patient education: We work closely with you, in group and one-on-one settings, to make sure you feel confident, prepared and ready to take this next step in your weight-loss journey.

Our dedicated team includes weight-loss physicians, registered dietitians, physician assistants, registered dietitians, behavioral health specialists, certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNP) and bariatric surgeons, all of whom are dedicated to helping you have a safe and successful procedure.

Preparing for bariatric surgery 

Here’s what to expect from our bariatric surgery program:

Schedule your first appointment

After you attend our informational event or watch the videos online, you will meet one-on-one with a nurse to review:

  • Your criteria to determine if you meet the body mass index (BMI) requirements
  • Insurance coverage and discuss your financial obligations
  • Pre- and post-surgery education program

Schedule your physical

If you meet the criteria for surgery, you then meet with a CRNP for a physical examination. At the visit, we will review your medical, weight and diet history. When you come for the appointment, please bring:

  • Completed patient registration form
  • List of medications

You may want to ask your nurse some questions about the surgery, such as:

  • What are my surgical options?
  • Do I need to lose weight in the pre-surgery program?
  • Is there a special diet or plan required?
  • What lab tests are required?

Enter the bariatric surgery program 

Depending on your insurance, you enroll in either a three-month or six-month program.

  • Monthly weight check visits: You meet monthly with a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant to check your weight and discuss any concerns.
  • Behavioral health evaluation: You meet with a behavioral health therapist to help you recognize the reasons you eat. Do you eat because you are happy or depressed? Since the same triggers will be there after surgery, we help you identify and learn how to manage them.
  • Nutrition education: You participate in nutrition education groups.
  • Registered dietitian: You meet with our registered dietitian for one or more meetings to learn how to eat before and after surgery. You also may meet with an exercise physiologist to plan a safe exercise routine.
  • Group session: At the end of the three or six months, you meet with a nurse navigator during a group session to learn about specifics of the day of surgery.
  • Surgeon meeting: You meet with the surgeon for a consultation. You’ll need to see your primary care doctor to coordinate pre-surgery testing, such as blood work and electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).

Quit smoking

Quitting nicotine is mandatory for people having weight-loss surgery. It improves your recovery and reduces your chances of complications. Our Tobacco Treatment Program can help.

Insurance coverage for bariatric surgery

Having health insurance coverage is not a guarantee that your individual plan covers weight-loss surgery or that you will be approved for surgery.

Check with your health insurance provider regarding coverage to find out if:

  • Your plan provides coverage for weight-loss surgery
  • There are any exclusions
  • The insurance covers surgery at LVHN, including the three types of surgery we provide