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Pathway to Surgery

The following steps will guide you through the process of getting surgery approved and scheduled:

  • First verify that bariatric surgery is a covered benefit by calling your insurance company
  • Ensure that you may come to Chapman Medical Center for Bariatric surgery
  • HMO patients will need to receive authorization from their Medical Group via their primary care physician prior to seeing us

If you have questions about your insurance, please call our office. 

The steps to surgery are as follows:

  1. Sign up for free informational seminar
  2. Fill-out health questionnaire 
  3. Obtain insurance approval
  4. Preoperative evaluation with physician
  5. Office day


The free informational seminar is a no obligation presentation about obesity and obesity surgery.  The purpose of the seminar is to give you an overview of gastric bypass and gastric banding surgery, including benefits, risks, and alternatives, so you can better decide whether surgery is right for you.  Check out the schedule of upcoming seminars. Then you may register online or call our toll-free registration number (800) 338-3578.


The next step is to complete the patient health questionnaire.  When you register for a seminar you will be mailed a patient information packet that will contain the patient health questionnaire or you may complete it online.  If you did not receive a patient information packet prior to attending the seminar, you can get one at the seminar or you can download and print out the health questionnaire by clicking on the link above.  The information on the questionnaire enables us to write a letter to your insurance company requesting an authorization for surgery.  It also aids the physician during your office day visit.

In addition to the health questionnaire, we also need copies (front and back) of your insurance card.  Please bring the copies with you when you attend the seminar.


Once we have your completed health questionnaire and a copy of your insurance card, we can request from your insurance company an authorization for surgery.  We do this by submitting a letter of medical necessity, which describes your condition and the surgical procedure(s) to be performed.  Often insurance companies require additional supporting documentation such as a nutritional evaluation, a psychological evaluation, or evidence of the completion of a medically supervised weight loss program.  We will inform you what your insurance company requires and will assist you in obtaining what is needed.

After the letter of medical necessity and all supporting documentation are sent, your insurance company then will approve or deny surgery.  This step may take two weeks to many months time.


Once the method of payment is arranged the preoperative evaluation may begin.  You will be scheduled to see a physician for a history and physical so the appropriate preoperative tests may be ordered.  Required preoperative tests generally include blood and urine tests, cardiac clearance, and x-rays.  Additional tests may be ordered as necessary.  Before the next step (office day) can be scheduled, all of your test results from your preoperative evaluation, must be received by our office.


Once the preoperative evaluation is completed, you will be scheduled for an office day.  This is a busy and lengthy day.  You will attend a preoperative education class and nutrition class, undergo a psychological assessment and evaluation (if you haven’t already), and meet with the doctor for a history and physical. 

You will also be required to attend one support group meeting before surgery.  Click on the support group link below to see the scheduled meetings.

Support group schedule

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