Trinity Weight Management Specialists
It's important to choose the right place and the right team for your weight loss surgery. Trinity Weight Management Specialists have been providing surgical weight loss solutions for more than 30 years. Our board-certified surgeons offer minimally-invasive and traditional surgical approaches to weight loss, with follow-up support to help you meet your goals.
Surgical Weight Loss
To be considered as a candidate for surgery, most insurance providers require that certain criteria be met. The following is a list of qualifications which may apply to you:
- BMI greater than 40.
- BMI of 35 to 39.9 with one or more obesity-related diseases or problems, also known as co-morbid conditions.
- Documented efforts at weight-loss through a medically safe, well-balanced diet.
- Absence of other medical conditions that would make surgery unsafe.
- A willingness to lose weight and make changes in your eating habits and physical activity.
- Must be willing to stop frequent eating and drinking of high-calorie foods and beverages.
- You must be evaluated by a psychologist trained in bariatric psychology.
- You must be willing to increase physical activity and exercise as weight loss occurs.
- A commitment to yourself and your surgeon to keep regularly scheduled appointments.
Learn more about Trinity's surgical weight loss solutions by attending one of its monthly seminars. Call (309) 779-4400 to find out when seminars are offered and to register.
After all initial steps have been completed and surgery has been approved, Trinity Weight Management Specialists will coordinate the patient. Pre-surgical testing may include examination of the upper GI, a chest x-ray, EKG and lab work. The patient will also meet with the Bariatric RN and Bariatric Dietitian to complete pre-operative education and instruction.
The decision to consider weight loss surgery is an important one. It's a lifetime contract with your surgeon, bariatric team, family and yourself. It is an important decision and we appreciate your interest in our program.
Our bariatric surgical team includes a dietitian, mental health professionals, nurses, nurse practitioner, insurance specialist, program administrator, surgeons and caring team members - all with many years' experience treating bariatric patients. We feel that expert care is only possible through this comprehensive team approach and we are committed to providing bariatric surgery in the safest manner possible.
A very important aspect of our program is patient education prior to surgery. Each patient will receive an individual evaluation to ensure that surgery is tailored to the patient's individual needs and goals. All patients in our program will receive dietary and exercise counseling specific to the issues associated with the change in their lifestyle after surgery. Patients will meet regularly with our dietitian or nutrition expert for help adjusting to their new lifestyle of healthy eating. Individual guidance about appropriate levels of exercise and intensity will be provided.
It is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to health. Dedication to proper diet, exercise and mental health is crucial to obtaining the best results. The surgery is a tool that improves the patient's ability to lose weight while following the recommended diet and exercise program as prescribed by the Bariatric Center multidisciplinary team. The Bariatric Surgical Program at UnityPoint Clinic® Surgery is a comprehensive program offering several important advantages for patients, including:
- A dedicated team of specialists who have many years' experience in caring for bariatric patients.
- Nutrition counseling to discuss the nutritional changes necessary for bariatric surgery.
- Exercise consultation will provide individual guidance about appropriate levels of exercise and intensity.
- Facilitation of quality care through immediate access to all areas of specialized physicians within UnityPoint Health - Trinity.
- Accessible, lifelong follow-up care.
- Follow-through with primary care physicians before and after surgery.
Contact your insurance to confirm weight loss surgery is a covered benefit under your policy. The number for customer service is on the back of your insurance card. We will need a copy of your insurance card both front and back. We will also call your insurance to find out the criteria for you to meet in order to be a candidate for surgery.
- Complete the FREE Surgical Weight Loss Seminar Online to obtain more information on our program.
- If you decide to join our program after watching this seminar, you will be asked to submit your information in an online form that is sent to our Bariatric Team. Our Experience Specialists will contact you to set up your first appointment with the surgeon as well as collect your insurance information so that we may check your benefits and requirements. This ensures that your first appointment is informative and meaningful. If you have had prior weight loss or bariatric surgery, please call (309) 779-4400. There is a separate process.
- At the appointment, you will review your weight loss options with the bariatric surgeon and determine the next most appropriate step for your weight loss journey. If the choice is to pursue bariatric surgery, we will collect the one-time $200 program fee. This fee covers printed materials and dietitian appointments.
- You will also need to participate in a visit with our registered dietitian to go over diet choices and food labels. The Weight Management Specialists team is dedicated to helping you learn more about healthy eating habits and reading labels. Our team will work with you to schedule this at your initial appointment.
- Most insurance companies require certain evaluations to ensure your success after bariatric surgery. This can include cardiovascular, pulmonology, and psychiatric evaluation. These appointments will be scheduled by the bariatric nurse during your first visit.
- Depending upon your insurance requirement, we may provide a form for a provider to fill out each month for six months up until the time of surgery to monitor your weight loss progress. Documentation will need to include specific diet and exercise plans. Trinity Weight Management Specialists require you to be weight stable and not increase your weight during this six month period.
- You may also be required by your insurance company to obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity from your family practice doctor stating support of your decision to have surgery and health related problems from morbid obesity. If you currently do not have a primary care physician, our office will be happy to refer you to one.
- Once all information is collected and approval from the Weight Management Specialists team is given we will submit your information to you insurance company for approval. The approval process may take two to six weeks.
- If surgery is approved your surgery will be scheduled. Two weeks prior to surgery you will come in for pre-surgical testing: labs and x-rays, nutritional instruction with a registered dietitian, and preoperative education.
- Trinity encourages surgical weight loss patients to work with a physical therapist on an exercise program specific for the patient's needs.
- Trinity's Weight Management Specialists surgical weight loss encourages you to meet for counseling with a psychologist one month and two months post-operative for support on your weight loss journey.
Congratulations! This is just a beginning of a new life for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Long-term complications include hair loss, dumping syndrome, diarrhea, vomiting, ulcers, bile gastritis, hernias, foreign body reaction, infection and virtually any other post-operative problem. Fortunately, these reactions are not common.
Some patients develop severe difficulties in coping with their weight loss. These difficulties may include depression, separation from spouse, divorce and even suicide gestures or actual suicide. Generally the person who is well-adjusted and is helped through the procedure with a strong support system has a better outlook for a good recovery. On the other hand, a person with mental health difficulties pre-operatively may continue to have them post-operatively and they may even worsen.
Our team is committed to making your surgery as safe as possible. Advancements in the care of surgical weight loss patients over the past 20 years have allowed us to perform these surgeries with very low complication rates. Your personal risks will be individually evaluated at your consultation with your surgeon. It is important to remember that the risks of staying morbidly obese far outweigh the risks of surgery.
In the sleeve gastrectomy, approximately 75% of the stomach is permanently removed leaving a smaller banana shaped stomach that holds approximately ½ cup of food per meal.
- Educational Seminar
- Initial consultation with Registered Nurse/Insurance Specialist
i. Health History Review
ii. H. Pylori testing
iii. Finance & Insurance review
iv. Measurements & goal setting, Lab Work
- Group Dietician
- Cardiac clearance
- Pulmonary clearance
- Support Group Meeting
- Pre-Op Dietary Counseling
i. Visit one
ii. Visit two
iii. Additional visits as needed
- Program approval - Multidisciplinary meeting monthly
- Consultation with Surgeon
- Insurance approval and surgery scheduled
- Pre-surgical teaching appointment (2 weeks prior to surgery)
i. Pre-op testing
- Office visit prior to surgery with Surgeon (within 30 days of surgery date)
- Surgery (Current block Wednesday AM)
- Surgical follow-up visits (NP or Surgeon)
i. 2 and 6 weeks
ii. 3, 6, 9, and 12 months (dependent upon progress & surgery type)
iii. Yearly and as needed
- Post-op Dietary Counseling at follow-up visits
i. 2 and 6 weeks
ii. 3, 6, 9, and 12 months
iii. Yearly and as needed
- Vitamin Levels & Labs at follow-up visits
i. 3, 6, and 12 months
ii. Yearly and as needed
- Psychiatric follow up at 5 and 10 weeks and as needed
- Monthly support group
- Monthly walk-in weigh-ins during office hours
Trinity's Expert Team
Trinity's Weight Management Team has received extensive specialized training that allows them to help patients make the right choices and succeed. Pre-screening assessment, education, nutritional counseling and post-surgical support are all important parts of our comprehensive program. More than 3,000 patients have benefited from Trinity's surgical weight loss services and programs.
Each of our highly qualified surgeons is board-certified, with significant experience in both general and bariatric surgery. They've performed both traditional and laparoscopic procedures at Trinity as independent practitioners who treat patients referred by the Trinity Weight Management Specialists.
100 Pounds Lost, A New Perspective on Life Gained
Julie Schurbon knew it was time to make an important change. After years of struggling to lose weight, Schurbon shared her health concerns with her primary care physician who recommended bariatric surgery through UnityPoint Health® - Trinity’s Weight Management Center.
“I weighed more than 270 pounds. Now I’m down to 175,” says Schurbon. “I feel really good. I have so much more energy and stamina.”
Before her surgery, Schurbon says Dr. James Schrier and her care team walked her step-by-step through the process and encouraged her to attend support group meetings. Schurbon says the personal attention she’s received at UnityPoint Health has been second to none, and she’s feeling better than she has in years.
“I love that I can travel anywhere and I get to walk and explore,” Schurbon says. “I know I can reach out to the weight management team any time for support. They continue to always be there for me.”
Jake Doty Weight Loss Story
The pre-surgery training they put me through is something I didn't truly appreciate until after surgery. But for me, it made my experience a lot easier. I just can't thank enough all of Trinity's staff and their affiliates for this life-changing experience.
My surgery and path that I have chosen are something that I haven't and will not regret."
"For me, there is no better place to go for bariatric surgery than here at Trinity!
Anyone who may be considering any type of bariatric surgery should know that this team really supports you, the surgeons know exactly what they are doing and their professionalism and knowledge is top-notch. I made this decision after many months of struggling and having nowhere to turn. I would not even weigh at my doctor appointments.
I saw an ad in the paper for the seminar and came to Trinity. I am so glad I did! For me, this was and is a permanent solution to my chronic weight problem. I just wish I could have done this years ago, but I did not qualify for the surgery.
When I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and quit breathing for close to a minute, on top of my weight issues, I chose this path to go down and I am forever thankful I did!"