• What to Expect: Initial Evaluation

    If our medical team in the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens determines that your child is a candidate for bariatric surgery, and insurance verification has been confirmed, we will schedule you and your child for an evaluation. During this visit, you’ll meet with one of our pediatric surgeons, our medical doctor, psychologist, dietitian and nurses. This visit can last up to four hours, but it allows us to get to know you better and learn what has brought you to this point.

    At the evaluation, we like to get a sense of your child’s overall health as well as the effect weight has had. We will also discuss various options that are now available for weight management, including weight loss surgery, and answer your questions.

    Several diagnostic tests may be needed during your evaluation, including:

    • Blood work
    • Glucose (sugar) tolerance test  
    • Consultation and study for sleep apnea
    • Other tests, as needed

    Once the evaluation and diagnostic tests are completed, a case summary is prepared. Our medical team once again reviews the case summary and a determination is made regarding whether surgical weight loss is a good option for your child.

  • From Treatment Plan to Surgery

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    As your family prepares for this surgery, it is our intent to provide you and your parents with lifelong tools and strategies for long-term weight loss and weight maintenance. This is exactly what occurs during your “Treatment Plan” appointments.

    You will spend approximately two hours at this monthly appointment developing and implementing a personalized diet and exercise plan. You will meet with a dietitian, exercise physiologist, nurse, and occasionally, a surgeon. Once the diet and exercise plan is in place, we anticipate you will begin losing weight and becoming healthier as you prepare for your surgery. If surgery is recommended after the patient has successfully completed the medically supervised weight loss requirement, a “letter of medical necessity” is prepared using information from the evaluation and treatment plan visits. The letter is sent to your insurance company to obtain authorization for the surgery and postoperative care.

    Once we have authorization from your insurance company, someone from the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens medical team will contact you to schedule a date for the surgery and preoperative education session. Included in this second visit will be a consultation with a cardiologist and an anesthesiologist in preparation for the surgery.

    During the preoperative education session, you will be advised of out-of-pocket costs for additional items that are needed following surgery:

    • Nutritional supplements, such as liquid protein, vitamins and minerals, not covered by insurance.  Vitamin and mineral supplements, protein shakes, powders and products, protein and low sugar healthy drink options.
    • Equipment, blender, hand mixer or Magic Bullet Blender, needed for post-surgery dietary preparation

    We will provide you with measuring cups, (both liquid and dry measure), measuring spoons and a water bottle.

    These items need to be purchased and brought with you to the preoperative education session. It is important to have all of the necessary items  to rehearse the postoperative dietary regimen at the  preoperative visit.

    At the preoperative nutritional education session, the patient and family will receive a binder with the post-operative dietary staging (eating plan), resource lists and tracking forms.  The patient and family will have the opportunity to taste a variety of protein shakes.  The dietitian will answer questions and provide several examples of post-op daily eating plans.

    Once the day of your child’s surgery arrives, you are well on your way. Adherence to the postoperative medical and dietary regimen is vitally important to your child’s speedy recovery and the overall success of the surgery. Once released from the hospital, you and your child will need to return for regular follow-up appointments with the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens team. Typically, all patients are required to return post-operatively at two weeks, six weeks,  three months,  six months,  nine months,  12 months, 18  months, and then on an annual basis. Your child will also need several tests done at regular intervals to measure progress.

    Our program offers a support group that meets every other month to discuss topics and share information that will assist patients in making long-term lifestyle changes.

  • Timeline

    The Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens at Cincinnati Children’s provides a timeline for our program.

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