LapBand Surgery: Questions to Ask Your Doctor
If you are interested in undergoing the LapBand surgery, you will need to find a LapBand surgeon. To get started, speak with your primary healthcare professional for a referral or turn to your local phone book or the internet. With that said, you need to do more than just find a LapBand surgeon; you need to choose the best one. For that reason, ask many questions.
So, what questions should you ask your LapBand surgeon?
Am I an ideal candidate? This is the most important question to ask. If you did not receive a direct referral from your primary care physician, do not have your heart set on weight loss surgery. The ideal candidate for surgery is 100 pounds or more overweight, between the ages of 18 and 60, and has the commitment to restrict their diet.
How much does the LapBand surgery cost? On average, the LapBand procedure costs between $15,000 and $20,000. That is quite the average price range. This means that you can find varying rates. Of course, you want to choose a quality surgeon who is Board Certified and who is known to produce results, but why pay more than you have to. In addition to asking about the cost, price compare with other local surgeons.
Do you have a payment plan? Some insurance providers do cover the cost of weight loss surgery, but there are typically many rules and restrictions. If you are uninsured or if coverage is not extended, ask about a payment plan. In this case, it is recommended that you have a good credit rating. If not, at least have enough for a substantial down payment.
Will you perform the LapBand procedure? If you are receiving a consultation at a hospital or large surgical center, you could be speaking to anyone. This is not what you want. You want to have a consultation appointment with the surgeon who will perform your LapBand surgery.
Are you Board Certified? In the United States, a Board Certified Surgeon is recommended. When opting for a certified surgeon, you are given a certain level of peace, comfort, and guarantee. You know the person has undergone strict testing and is qualified to perform the procedure.
How many surgeries have you performed? Not only do you want a Board Certified Surgeon, but you also want one who has experience performing the LapBand procedure. Surgical experience is recommended, but the LapBand is different than other surgeries. So, make sure your surgeon has experience with the LapBand system. Not only is installation experience recommended, but adjustment too.
What is your success ratio? When it comes to success ratio, it is important to ask about complications and weight loss. Your goal of undergoing the LapBand procedure is to lose weight, ensure those before you have done so. Next, examine your risks. How many patient complications or deaths has your surgeon experienced under their care?
Can I see before and after pictures? Before and after pictures will not only give you insight into your weight loss potential, but it may give you comfort and peace of mind. A LapBand surgeon who has before and after pictures of their patients is one who is invested in their long-term success. These are hands you want to place your life in.
Can you speak to past patients? Hearing that a LapBand surgeon has a good rate of no complications and successful weight loss is nice, but best when coming directly from the source. Ask to speak with or meet previous patients. When doing so, ask questions. Did they like the surgeon? Were they pleased with their treatment before, during, and after surgery? Would they extend a recommendation?
The above mentioned questions are just a few of the many you will want to ask during a LapBand consultation appointment, but they are a good start. In the days leading up to your appointment, record any additional questions you think of.