If your primary care physician believes you are eligible for LapBand surgery, you may be provided with a referral. Even still, you have the option of selecting your own surgeon. If that is the case or if you are bypassing your primary care doctor and looking for a surgeon, you will want to turn to your local phone book and the internet. These resources can help you find a LapBand surgeon. But, you need to do more than just find a surgeon, you need to choose one.
So, how do you properly choose a LapBand surgeon?
Examine costs. In the Untied States, the LapBand system can costs between $15,000 and $20,000. Since there is an average $5,000 gap, you will want to find a surgeon that has affordable rates. This is particularly true if you are considered a cash patient, as opposed to a patient with insurance coverage. If you need financial assistance, examine doctors that offer flexible payment plans.
Go beyond costs. As previously stated, cost is important. Of course, you want to select a LapBand surgeon that you can afford, but it is important to keep quality in mind. The LapBand surgery is considered a relatively safe procedure, but there are still risks. Those risks are minimized when opting for a trained and qualified surgeon.
Location. In the United States, thousands of bariatric surgeons are qualified to perform the LapBand surgery. This means that you should have a qualified surgeon within a reasonable distance to your home. On average, most patients need to travel less than 2 hours. Do not automatically believe the misconception that you can save money by opting for surgeon in a foreign country, such as Mexico. When including travel expenses, the costs are similar.
Board Certified Surgeon. In the United States, you should opt for a Board Certified Surgeon. These surgeons undergo rigorous testing and must follow strict standards. Not only does this reduce your risk of complications, but it should provide you with comfort and peace of mind.
Long-term care. The LapBand system is not a surgery that is considered a go and run surgery. Band adjustments are common. For that reason, opt for a surgeon that is invested in your long-term care. A great way to determine this aspect is to ask to see before and after pictures of previous patients. If none are available, the doctor may not care what happens to their patients after surgery. This is not a surgeon you want to choose.
Answering questions. Losing weight with the LapBand system involves more than just band insertion. For that reason, you are likely to have many questions. Whether you are curious about the diet restrictions before and after surgery or the surgery itself, get answers to your questions. Your LapBand surgeon should always answer your questions and be confident in their response.
Meets with you. Before undergoing LapBand surgery, you will have an initial consultation appointment. This appointment will determine your eligibility. Next, you will have other consultation appointments and follow-ups. This is to ensure you are adhering to the strict pre-surgery diet. At least one of these appointments should be with your surgeon. Don’t let the first time you meet he or she be five minutes before your surgery.
When researching LapBand surgeons in your area to compare, remember that LapBand is considered a specialty. It is common for doctors to perform other bariatric procedures. By searching for a bariatric surgeon, as opposed to a LapBand surgeon, you may find better results.