Lap Band removal. How can I get covered?

My work group policy with Anthem has an exclusion that does not cover any bariatric surgery. I paid for my own lap band 6 years ago. This year I have developed bronchitis twice (never had in my life) and I just start choking sometimes. No heartburn that I can tell but doctors says could be silent heartburn and suggested removal. My plan has denied the removal. I understand not covering for weightloss but I am developing respiratory issues. Any suggestions how I can get covered?

Doctor Answers 2

Aspiration/silent reflux

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The first step is a full deflate of your band. An esophogram should also be done. You probably have a hiatal hernia which is contributing to your problems. Reflux refractory to medical management in the setting of a hiatus hernia may be covered by insurance.

Fort Worth Bariatric Surgeon

Lap Band fill/unfill vs removal

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If the insurance does not cover your lap band removal, the option for you is to remove the fill on your band and with this the symptoms should improve, about your silent heartburn is correct and this will be a temporary measure for you while you can get the lap band removal. For this I understand it will be a little hard to find a insurance that covers you this kind of surgery in case they did not covered the first surgery.

Faustino D. Huacuz, MD
Mexico Bariatric Surgeon

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