Getting Started

Congratulations on making the first step in your journey to a healthier life. To make it easy for you we’ve provided the following step-by-step instructions!

Getting Started

Step One: Watch our Weight Loss Seminar
We do require interested people to watch an online seminar.  Please click here to complete the form for access to the seminar.   Online seminars are a convenient way to learn about weight loos surgery without leaving the comfort of your own home or office. You can register for the seminar by clicking here or call our office at 772-581-8003.


Step Two: Call Your Insurance Company
We encourage interested people to check to make sure that surgical weight loss is a covered benefit within your insurance plan. It is very important that they are not excluded in your specific policy. Criteria for coverage will vary among insurance companies. Secondly, you may need to provide your insurance company with certain information and codes to determine if the procedure is covered.

The following codes will assist you when calling your carrier to determine if these items are a covered benefit.

  • Primary diagnosis is Morbid Obesity E66.01.
  • The CPT code for the Lap-Sleeve is 43775.
  • The CPT code for Bypass is 43644 and 43645.
  • The CPT code for repairing or replacing your lap-band uses a variety of codes which include 43771, 43772, 43773 and 43774


Confirmed your coverage? If your insurance confirms that they will cover the bariatric procedure “If medically necessary” you’re ready to move on to Step Three!

No bariatric coverage? If your insurance states that obesity surgery is excluded in your policy then the bariatric surgery will not be covered by your insurance. But, we would like to help you with identifying other financing options. Please contact our office for more information at 772.581.8003.

**Additional facility expenses: As with any other Outpatient Elective surgery, you may have co-pay, deductible, or out-of-pocket expenses that your surgical facility may require you to pay.

Step Three: Complete Your Patient Information Form
Please help us by downloading and completing the Patient Information form before your first office visit. You can download the Patient Information form by clicking here.

You will need to visit our office so we can make copies of the following information and submit your paperwork to your health insurance company for approval.

  1. Medical Information:Please bring copies of any letters or medical records from other health care providers. Medical records for the past 5 years are necessary to file for insurance and to give the doctors a complete medical history.
  2. Physician Recommendation:If filing for insurance, please provide a written recommendation for weight-loss surgery from your primary care physician.
  3. Diet / Weight-Loss Info: Any documentation proving you participated in any diet / weight loss attempts. (This includes office notes, receipts or prescriptions.)
  4. Insurance card
  5. Driver’s License
  6. Physician Referral: If your insurance plan requires a referral for this consultation, please contact your primary care physician and have one faxed to our office fax at 772.581.8005 before your appointment.

Step Four: Call Us to Schedule a Consultation with the Surgeon
After attending either a bariatric seminar and deciding that surgery is something you are interested you have a couple of options, you can either make an appointment after watching the seminar online.  Alternatively, you can email us or call our office at 772-581-8003 and schedule a consultation. During your consultation, we will have an opportunity to go through your weight history with you, decide which surgery is best for you and personally go through your desires and expectations regarding the weight loss surgery. Following your evaluation with the surgeon, we will make an appointment for you, with the nutritionists and we will tell you how to contact the bariatric psychologist for an evaluation.

Pre-Surgical and Nutritional Guidebooks
In order to have the best experience and achieve your desired health and wellness goals, it is important to read these guidebooks very carefully and bring them with you to appointments and the hospital when you have surgery. It will also help you to remember any questions you may have for the medical team throughout your journey.

Pre-Surgical Guidebook

Nutritional Guidebook

Step Five: Make Your Appointments with the Psychologist and Nutritionists

For the health and safety of our patients, we follow the National Institute of Health (NIH) guidelines for bariatric surgery. These guidelines require a psychological evaluation and a nutritional assessment before bariatric surgery. After we have confirmed insurance coverage, or you have chosen an alternate method of payment for the procedure and have consulted with the surgeon you will need to make an appointment for your psychological evaluation. We suggest you do this immediately so that you can get in early. We will make your nutritional appointment for you which will be at Sebastian River Medical Center. At your nutritional appointment you will receive a food scale and a diet handbook and be instructed on how to use it.

There are a number of nutritional supplements on the market that are tailored for people preparing for this surgery. We have several suggestions in our dietary booklet that you will receive during your nutritional appointment. We do not endorse any one particular product. We have received positive feedback on several different products. These include Unjury, Isopure, Muscle Milk Lite and Pure Protein. Kellogs special K protein water is also a popular post operative drink.

Step Six: Your Pre-Operative Visit
Approximately two weeks before your planned surgery you will have your last appointment with the surgeon. At this appointment we will review several things including any remaining questions you may have about the process. You will receive a surgical packet explaining your post operative course, what to expect and resources available to you. Please bring all your prescription bottles so the nurse can explain any alterations that may need to be made. We will also review the pre-operative diet with you and make sure you have all of your supplies. This diet is designed to make your surgery safer by reducing your liver size through a reduction in the amount of glycogen stored within the liver. We want to assist you throughout this process.

If you have any questions, please email or call our office at 772-581-8003 so we can be of service. At Steward Weight Loss & Surgical Specialists we are focused on providing “patient centered” care at each step along this exciting journey!

Support Group
Our support groups bring together people who are going through or have gone through bariatric surgery. The support group provides an opportunity for our community to share personal experiences, feelings, coping strategies or firsthand information about health topics relating to bariatric surgery.

A person’s family and friends may not understand the impact of bariatric surgery, but our support group may function as a bridge between medical and emotional needs. Information shared in our meetings is kept confidential unless action is requested or vital to the safety of our support group members. We encourage you to bring your support person(s). Some of the information discussed may not be appropriate for children.

Meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at Sebastian River Medical Center, 13695 US Highway 1, Sebastian, FL, in the Dining Room at 6 p.m. Please follow us on Facebook at Steward Bariatric and General Surgery for extra support, tips and resources. 

The group is FREE and no need to pre-register. For more information call 772-581-8003.