Waiting Period Before Bariatric Surgery May Be Unnecessary

If you are relying on your health insurance provider to cover the costs related to your bariatric surgery, you may have heard about the mandatory waiting period. Many insurance companies require a patient to wait up to six months from receiving approval before they can have the actual surgery. The health insurance provider’s logic seems to be that those six months should be used to adapt to a new diet, increase your physical activity, and begin preparing for the lifestyle changes that will shape your long-term success after your surgery.

A new study may help to convince the insurance providers that this waiting period is unnecessary. After following 440 people who had bariatric surgery, 116 of whom were required by their insurance companies to wait six months, no significant difference between those who waited and those who didn’t was discovered in terms of weight loss prior to surgery or one year after. All patients received psychological and nutritional counseling before their surgery, and all patients were given time to prepare, physically and mentally, for their new post-surgical lifestyle. While it may not be unreasonable for an insurance company to mandate a waiting period, six months does not seem to be necessary for a patient to experience long-term success from the bariatric surgery.

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