Dallas Weight Loss Surgeon Emphasizes Importance of Informed Consent
Dr. David D. Kim explains the importance of choosing a board certified surgeon and educating patients with regard to weight loss surgery, in addition to highlighting the insurance approval process.
Dallas, TX—Informed consent, the process of educating a patient about a treatment plan and receiving permission to perform the procedure, should be the foundation for any weight loss surgery practice, explains Dallas bariatric surgeon David Kim, MD. He explains that helping individuals become well informed about every aspect of an operation, including the reasons for the initial diagnosis and the educational and professional background of the surgeon, can be just as important as surgical skill with regard to achieving a successful outcome.
Many patients experience anxiety before undergoing surgery, notes Dr. Kim; providing comprehensive details about the bariatric surgery process and everything that leads up to the operation, including obtaining insurance approval, can help to reassure individuals and make them more comfortable. The first stage is often determining health insurance coverage, he explains, a process in which the practice should provide assistance. Dr. Kim’s practice manager clarifies, “[At our practice], some patients have coverage only if they use an in-network provider and in this case, their surgeon would be Dr. Bridget Holden. If they have both in and out-of-network benefits, they choose between Dr. Kim, who is out of network with all insurances, or Dr. Holden, who is in-network with most insurances.” If the procedure is approved, Dr. Kim says the insurance company will specifically list the operating surgeon’s name in the authorization letter. He notes that the doctor is never switched at the last minute. Not all physicians will be available under all insurance plans, he adds, and people should ensure the covered provider is board certified and experienced in the method being performed. All the surgeons at Kim Bariatric Institute, his Dallas weight loss practice, are certified by the American Board of Surgery, he states, and they are also Kim Bariatric Institute Certified, an extended training program exclusive to the practice.
Dr. Kim indicates that he provides additional patient education at “Bariatric University,” an informative two-hour course offered to patients approved for surgery. During this presentation, he says a bariatric nurse coordinator clarifies the meaning of informed consent, goes over the details of the surgical procedure and post-operative care, and answers any questions. At the conclusion of the class, he says individuals will be given a questionnaire that will reveal their level of understanding, allowing the coordinator to resolve any areas of confusion prior to the operation.
On the day of surgery, Dr. Kim continues, the operating physician will once again go over the procedural details, whether performing a gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, or other approach, and answer any remaining questions prior to performing treatment. He emphasizes, “No operation is undertaken if the risks outweigh the benefits discussed with a surgeon at Kim Bariatric Institute weeks to months before the operation.”
Ultimately, Dr. Kim says he strives to make the weight loss surgery process as transparent as possible, as well-informed patients are typically the most satisfied with their results. He adds that some insurance policies, in addition to determining which surgeon will be approved, only cover surgery if performed in specific hospitals, so there are exceptions to every rule. He further encourages individuals to seek out a surgeon certified by the American Board of Surgery and select a practice that prioritizes informed consent and patient care. “We take your operation quite seriously and dedicate ourselves to your safety and your success.”
About David D. Kim, MD
Certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. David Kim is the founder and medical director of Kim Bariatric Institute. He has performed thousands of bariatric surgeries, and is the creator of the David Kim Inverted Gastric Sleeve™ procedure. In addition to being named a Castle Connolly “Top Doctor,” The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (formerly known as the American Society for Bariatric Surgery) has recognized him as a “Surgeon of Excellence.” Dr. Kim is available for interview upon request.
Kim Bariatric Institute
5204 Colleyville Blvd.
Colleyville, TX 76034
Fort Worth Patients: (817) 717-7447
Dallas Patients: (214) 614-7036