What Happens After You Request Bariatric Surgery

If you are considering bariatric surgery for weight loss, this overview can help you understand the process at Group Health.

Requesting Surgery

Your first step is to tell your primary care physician that you are interested in bariatric surgery. Your physician can refer you to Bariatric Surgery at our Group Health Medical Centers location in Bellevue.

The bariatric nurse will process your referral through Group Health's Clinical Review Unit. The Clinical Review Unit evaluates the referral request to determine if you meet the medical criteria for bariatric surgery and if the surgery is covered by your health plan.

Be sure that your doctor knows what diets you have been on in the past.  It is required that at least two be listed by name.

You will receive a letter approving or denying the surgery request. If denied, you will be told why and possibly have an opportunity to appeal that decision.

Back to: Bariatric Surgery at Group Health

Steps After Approval

If the request is approved, the approval letter will tell you that you will be receiving a new patient intake packet in the mail from the bariatric nurse. The packet should arrive within 30 days after you receive the approval letter.  If you don't receive the packet in 30 days, contact the Bariatric Clinic at 425-502-3454.

There will be an out-of-pocket expense of $500 for nutrition counseling that is not covered by insurance.  This will be explained in the packet. The packet includes our program booklet explaining the process and answering many questions. You will receive a checklist of the medical work up, information about the pre-op class and the support groups, as well as the nutrition requirement and diet.

Your packet also will include a psychosocial questionnaire and health history questionnaire for you to complete and return in enclosed envelopes. After those are received, you will receive a call to schedule a psychological assessment.

The bariatric case manager will review results of lab tests, studies, and consultations as they are completed. If necessary, the bariatric nurse will order additional medical assessments.

Surgery Is Scheduled

Once you have completed all required tests, studies, and referral appointments — and you have complied with any other requirements based on those assessments — you will contact the bariatric case manager to schedule a pre-op consult with the surgeon and the dietitian.  Your surgery will be scheduled following these two consults.

Post-Surgery Visits and Support

After surgery, you will have regular follow-up appointments with the bariatric team for 5 years and be encouraged to continue to attend one of the 7 bariatric support groups around the Puget Sound area.

If you live in Eastern Washington, Group Health can direct you to support groups in your community.

Also check the Group Health Bariatric Patients page to read the monthly bariatric newsletter with helpful advice and support, and to find a support group.

If you have additional questions or concerns, contact the bariatric nurse, Julie Grimm, RN, at 425-502-3454.

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