The first step on your journey to bariatric surgery is to determine if you are a candidate for metabolic and bariatric surgery. If you are, we have outlined the steps that you need to complete on your journey.
If bariatric surgery is not right for you, but you still are determined to lose weight, we recommend looking into some of MUSC Health's non-surgical weight loss options offered by the Weight Management Center.
If you're ready to start the journey with us, please read on below.
Please view our new patient welcome video to orient yourself to our program and process.
Verify that weight loss surgery is a 'covered benefit' and is not a plan exclusion. Call your insurance company to ask them these questions (PDF).
Ask your insurance company if the following procedures are covered at MUSC Health by your insurance plan:
If required by your insurance company, connect with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian that may work with an MD who can help you meet this requirement.
You can use the progress notes if they address your weight, or you can use our sample form for your primary care provider to complete one per month.
Tell them you need monthly visits to discuss your weight:
Fax office visit notes or completed sample monthly supervised weight loss attempt forms to 843-876-4201.
Call us at 843-792-3046 to schedule your initial consultation to meet with the surgeon and team.
You will have labwork done at your first visit, and you will need to start taking vitamins and working on your goals, program and insurance requirements.
We will refer you to get your psychosocial evaluation at the behavioral medicine clinic. You will need to call 843-792-9162 to schedule this appointment once we refer you.
Obtain the 'Patient Informational Packet' after watching our new patient welcome video:
Complete the Patient Information Form and Nutrition Questionnaire and return these 2 pages to the bariatric surgery program office:
We encourage patients to use MyChart, the electronic medical record for MUSC Health, as we prefer to communicate with you this way, and you will be able to complete some of your required forms through questionnaires available in MyChart.
Once we receive your Patient Information Form and Nutrition Questionnaire, you will be contacted to set up your initial patient appointment to discuss your options for surgery with the surgeon, physician assistant, registered dietitian, nurse coordinator and patient liaison in our GI Surgery Clinic at the Ashley River Tower, 25 Courtenay Drive, Charleston SC, 29425. Parking is available in the Courtney Street Garage.
Be sure you have completed the Nutrition Questionnaire Form prior to the appointment and you will meet with the Registered Dietitian to discuss eating habits and vitamins.
You will need to call 843-792-9162 to schedule the psychosocial appointment with the psychologist at the behavioral medicine clinic at the Institute of Psychiatry at MUSC, 67 President Street, you can park at the Jonathan Lucas Garage at 97 Jonathan Lucas Street, Charleston, SC 29425. We are allotted a limited number of appointments, so it is very important to keep your appointment.
All patients are required to attend our Preoperative Education class to learn about medical and nutritional guidelines after bariatric surgery.
Labwork is done at your first visit with the team, and recommendations to start vitamins for all patients plus any additional vitamins for deficiency. You can see lab values, letters from the dietitians, and communicate with questions using MyChart, the electronic medical record.
During this time, please obtain any clearances you may need such as cardiac (heart) or pulmonary (lung), and testing for H Pylori if these are required by your insurance or the medical team.