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General FAQs

    1. Are your surgeons board certified?
    2. Do your surgeons perform the majority of cases open or laparoscopically?
    3. What types of bariatric procedures have your surgeons performed?
    4. What is the mortality rate?
    5. What complications of weight loss surgery do you come across most often?  Is your rate of complications greater or less than the national average?
    6. Which bariatric procedure is best for me?  Why? What are the risks involved?
    7. If I want to have bariatric surgery, how long do I have to wait?
    8. How long will I be in surgery?
    9. What is the length of my anticipated stay?
    10. How long will it be before I can return to presurgery levels of activity?
    11. How will my eating habits change?
    12. Do you have information about bariatric surgery costs and payment options?

    1. What is the typical excess weight loss and improvement of associated health conditions for your other clients?
    2. Do you have clients who are willing to share their experiences, both positive and negative?
    3. What information can you give me to help family and friends better understand this surgery?
    4. What do you expect from me if I decide to choose a surgical solution?
    5. Does the program have established guidelines in client selection?

  1. Is there a dedicated facility and staff for my care?
  2. Does the program offer registered dieticians?
  3. Will you work with my primary care physicians to ensure total wellness?
  4. Will you work with me to get insurance approval?
  5. If I am denied by my insurance company, do you offer any financing options?
  6. Can I have reconstructive surgery here after my weight loss?  if not, can you recommend a surgeon?
  7. Do you offer accommodations and travel assistance for out-of-town clients?
  8. Does the program offer translation services for non-English speaking clients?

 

Client Financing For Bariatric Surgery Click Here For More Info

General FAQs

Are your surgeons board certified?

Our surgeons (Tom Umbach, MD, Matthew Apel, MD, Lissa Sakata, MD, and Andrew Rogers, MD) are American medical school graduates and board certified by the American Board of Surgery and have each completed a bariatric fellowship program.

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Do your surgeons perform the majority of cases open or laparoscopically?

Given our surgeons extensive training and experience with operating laparoscopically on clients, nearly all operations are safely started and completed laparoscopically.  Laparoscopic surgery benefits clients because of less wound infections, less pain, quicker recovery, and faster discharge.*

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What types of bariatric procedures have your surgeons performed?

Our surgeons have vast experience in bariatric surgery, performing an average of 1,000 cases per year, with the two most popular bariatric procedures: the gastric bypass and the gastric sleeve (Safe Sleeve) as well as a variety of complex cases, including revision bariatric surgery.

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What is the mortality rate?

Blossom Bariatrics’ mortality rate of 0.2% is significantly less than the national average for the gastric bypass which is 0.5%.  In addition, our mortality rate is 0 for gastric sleeve, which has a national mortality rate of 0.1%.* Our outcomes have been validated by a third party, The Validation Institute.

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What complications of weight loss surgery do you come across most often?  Is your rate of complications greater or less than the national average?

The types of complications vary based on the weight loss operation performed.  Most commonly, gastric bypass clients can suffer from nausea, particularly early after surgery.  This always resolves with time. Fortunately, major surgical complications, such as blood clots or intestinal leakage, are rare and much less than the national average.  Our doctors feel very strongly that proper preparation for surgery, both mentally and physically, greatly helps limit surgical complications.*

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Which bariatric procedure is best for me?  Why?  What are the risks involved?

After learning more about weight loss surgery by reading websites such as this one, you and your surgeon will decide the best procedure for you. Any and every operation entails some risks, including the risk of death. Remarkably, the risks of poor health and medical problems stemming from morbid obesity outweighs the surgical risks from weight loss surgery itself.*

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If I want to have bariatric surgery, how long do I have to wait?

With our Fast Track program, we’ve streamlined the process to complete consult to surgery in as little as 4 days. Depending on our surgery schedule, we may be able to get you in in as little as 2 weeks! To start the process fill out the Fast Track Inquiry form here: Get started with Fast Track.

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How long will I be in surgery?

The actual operating time for both the gastric bypass and the gastric sleeve are about an hour or less.  However, because of all the preparation and processes that occur on the day of surgery you can expect to spend several hours in the operating room area, including pre-op area, operating room, and the post op recovery area.

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What is the length of my anticipated stay?

If you’re traveling to Blossom from out of town, you can expect to stay 4-6 nights to complete your initial appointment, EGD, surgery and IV therapy.
With advances in anesthesia and laparoscopic surgery, clients are typically discharged from our surgery center a few hours after their procedure!

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How long will it be before I can return to pre-surgery levels of activity?

Our surgeons encourage clients to return to normal activity quickly after surgery.  There is no danger to you by performing normal light everyday activities, such as walking, cooking, and shopping – actually, we suggest you walk every hour after surgery to help expel the air inserted into the abdomen and to keep the blood circulating. Most clients find it enjoyable to begin light exercise program soon after their procedure.  In fact, an early return to activity is important for a safe and speedy recovery.  One important point is that while taking narcotic pain medication, clients should not drive or operate machinery.  Return to work is based upon your own personal recovery and the demands of your job.  Clients often return to work in as little as a few days post-surgery!

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How will my eating habits change?

Weight loss operations enable clients to develop a new and healthy relationship with food. After surgery, clients have all the knowledge they need to eat a healthy protein-based diet. Importantly, clients can and should eat a wide variety of foods. At a restaurant, people will not know that you have had weight loss surgery, but in your post-op literature, we will provide a card that will note you have had a procedure that you should keep on you at all times.

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Do you have information about bariatric surgery costs and payment options?

The price depends on a few factors including insurance coverage and medical history. We work with insurance a bit differently than other programs in the country. We utilize your general surgery, out of network benefits instead of the bariatric benefit so you may be surprised at how affordable surgery can be! The best thing to do is submit your insurance here so we can determine the best way to proceed.

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What is the typical excess weight loss and improvement of associated health conditions for your other clients?

Though individual results may vary, through the results of many scientific studies and years of experience, it has shown that the majority of clients will lose about 2/3 of their excess body weight. For example, if a client who is 120 pounds overweight, she can expect to lose 80 pounds and keep it off. Weight loss surgery generally cures or improves about three quarters of a client’s medical problems. For a client with diabetes, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol, there is 75% chance that the diabetes, sleep apnea, and/ or high cholesterol will resolve.* Post-surgical success is dependent on the clients ability to adhere to the criteria and suggestions set forth by our team.

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Do you have clients who are willing to share their experiences, both positive and negative?

It is very important that clients research thoroughly all the pros and cons of surgical weight loss.  This should include talking with other clients, reviewing our testimonials on our website, FacebookGoogle and Yelp, and meeting with your surgeon.  Ask around and you will be surprised how many people you already know that have had weight loss surgery.  Another fabulous resource for all weight loss clients is a website called ObesityHelp.com.  Many of our staff members have undergone the surgery they’re always willing to share their knowledge!

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What information can you give me to help family and friends better understand this weight loss surgery?

Unfortunately, it can be hard for family and friends to understand weight loss surgery. It’s up to you whether or not you share your entire journey through the weight loss surgery process with your family to help educate them. We encourage clients to bring a support person to their consultation and appointments to help them understand the process and procedures. Friends will quickly learn that this is not the easy way out, it requires hard work and dedication.

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What do you expect from me if I decide to choose a surgical solution?

Just as clients have many expectations of their weight loss operation, we have similar expectations of our clients. Successful clients follow the program guidelines, change their lifestyle, lose weight before surgery, and seek helpful resources. Perhaps the most important expectation is that clients understand this is a tool and a lifelong change.

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Does the program have established guidelines in client selection?

Our guidelines for bariatric client selection match those developed by the National Institutes of Health back in 1991.  Clients can qualify for weight loss surgery when they are 50 pounds or more overweight.  Additional criteria for selecting clients for surgery are similar to those needed for any major elective operation.  In general, client should be between the ages of 18 and 68, able to walk a block, have stable controlled medical problems, non-smoking, and be knowledgeable of the surgical risks.*

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Is there a dedicated facility and staff for my care?

We are dedicated to providing an exceptional client experience at our clinics and our surgical centers. This commitment includes extensive in-house testing, board certified bariatric surgeons, a Registered Dietitian, in-house therapist, pre- and post-operative support, and our own dedicated surgical center and staff.

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Does the program offer registered dieticians?

Preparation for weight loss surgery involves multiple steps. During the initial consultation, clients meet directly with one of our doctors. Clients will then meet with our registered dietitian for their personalized evaluation.

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Will you work with my primary care physicians to ensure total wellness?

A successful surgical weight loss program involves the client’s primary care physician during all phases of their journey. You will be provided with a primary care physician folder with all testing that was completed during your time with us. It’s important that you follow up with your PCP at 2 weeks, 6 months and 12 months post-surgery.

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Will you work with me to get insurance approval?

Our coordinators work with you to obtain insurance approval and maximize your benefits. Once we are able to verify that you have general surgery benefits, we are able to provide a custom quote for you. Simply submit your insurance information here and we will contact you with details and options!

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If I am denied by my insurance company, do you offer any financing options?

We work with multiple third-party lenders who are able to offer various financing options and terms. In order to determine how much your total out of pocket cost will be so you know how much you need to apply for, start HERE.

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Does your program offer support groups following weight loss surgery?

One the most important habits for a successful client is seeking support through various methods! Once you have completed surgery, you will be invited to our private Facebook Support group with other past Blossom clients. We encourage you to use the tools we’ve provided such as the Blossom Binder and YouTube channel. We also offer access to our bariatric coach, learn more about BariBoss HERE.

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Can I have reconstructive surgery here after my weight loss?  If not, can you recommend a surgeon?

Prospective clients frequently have many questions about the need for plastic surgery after major weight loss. However, the actual number of clients who eventually pursue plastic surgery is quite small. Most clients after becoming healthier and happier are satisfied with their new bodies. For those clients who still wish to have plastic surgery, we may refer you to a specialist for a consultation.

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Do you offer accommodations and travel assistance for out-of-town clients?

Yes, we do! Our program caters to traveling clients and includes hotel accommodations and VIP ground transportation to and from all appointments, the only thing you have to do is get here and we will take care of the rest! Visit our Fast Track page to learn more.

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Does the program offer translation services for non-English speaking clients?

Blossom Bariatrics is proud to offer their services in both English and Spanish. In addition, a full range of translation services is offered at Blossom Bariatrics.

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Billing FAQs

Will my insurance be billed?

Yes. The services that you receive during your stay with Blossom will typically generate about 8 to 12 separate claims that will be billed at industry standard rates to your insurance.

 

What if my insurance company sends me forms to complete?

Some forms are necessary for the processing of your claim’s others are just routine and may not need to be completed. Please reach out to the billing team and we will be happy to help you know what is necessary and what is not. 888-221-2297 or [email protected]

 

Will I receive a billing statement?

Yes! You will actually receive billing statements for each of the entities involved in your care during your surgery week until the claims are paid in full (Blossom Bariatrics, Blossom Medical Group and Warm Springs Surgical Center). These are for informational purpose only, they are not a bill.

 

I have Blue Cross Blue Shield why am I receiving insurance checks?

Unfortunately, some insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield choose to put their patients in the middle of the billing process by sending physician and facility insurance checks to the patient. These checks will need to be endorsed and forwarded to Blossom as quickly as possible. Our billing office is here to help with any questions that you may have, and in turn, may need your help with your insurance company from time to time.

 

Will the billing department be contacting me?

Possibly! It is our goal to make this process as seamless as possible but occasionally we may need the patient/or insured to help with some insurance information. This might include a simple signature giving us permission to appeal a claim or a letter from the patient regarding their procedure.

 

Will this procedure be applied to my deductible and out of pocket maximum?

Yes! We are not providers for most insurance companies so the majority of the claims will be processed out of network and will be applied to your out of network insurance benefits.

 

Who do I call if I have questions regarding a letter or something I received from my insurance?

Please direct all billing related questions directly to the billing department. The Blossom staff does a fantastic job on preparing the medical side and the billing department specializes in all your billing needs! You may contact the billing department by calling 888-221-2297 or you are welcome to email [email protected]. Hours are Monday-Thursday 7a-6p MST.

 

*Individual results may vary.

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