There are many good bariatric surgeons. Most of us have excellent experience and qualifications. Most have comprehensive practices with a knowledgeable team. Most have comprehensive and attractive web sites. And most of us look pretty much the same. So what makes us different? Just take a look and see:
1. One on One nutritional and exercise advice with Dr. Thomas.
Dr. Thomas is the author of the #1 best selling weight loss surgery book, “Skinny Jeans at Last” and is an expert on nutrition and exercise. Dr. Thomas believes the secret to long- term weight loss success is locking in a small number of eating rules. Surgery is just a tool to help you lock in these habits. The office visits following surgery focuses on these habits and any areas of struggle. Dr. Thomas has a unique “one on one” approach to help you lock in these habits.
2. Better communication
Dr. Thomas gives all his patients his cell phone number and encourages patients to call with any question, any time. And for the few times Dr. Thomas is not available his nurse Erica takes his calls, not some impersonal answering service. Dr. Thomas’s office staff (Katie, Rachel, Lisa, and Sierra) are also very knowledgeable and are there to help with any question, any time. Frankly, people often pay concierge doctors 10,000 dollars per year for this type of access.
Patients rarely abuse this privilege and it makes it all simple. For years Dr. Thomas did it differently. He had monthly seminars and monthly support groups. Now if a patient has a question they do not have to wait for a seminar or block off that time or drive that distance.
When a patient has a question and calls, that question is specifically answered which improves communication. If a patient is in need of emotional support we encourage them to call the office and talk to the staff while they are feeling that emotion. And we consider this our job and just as important as the surgery.
3. 13 years’ experience
Very few have had a bariatric practice this long. Dr. Thomas was one of the first few in Texas to do laparoscopic gastric bypass, to begin doing the lap band, and more recently the sleeve gastrectomy. That is translated into a unique understanding of the pitfalls to success.
4. Access to our dietitian, Caroline.
Caroline has been working with Dr. Thomas for 10 years. She is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable Bariatric dietitians in the country. So if you have some nutritional questions, she is there to help. .
5. Copy of Dr. Thomas’s book
Skinny jeans…at last! Secrets to long term weight loss surgery success. There is no other book out there like this. It gives you the mindset needed for long term success.
6. Designation by the Surgical Review Board as a Center of Excellence Designee.
Dr. Thomas was one of the first in the Houston, and the East Texas area to get this coveted designation. Do you remember the Good Housekeeping seal of approval? It was something of the past that placed its seal on quality. The SRC is that. It requires surgeons to document in a central database their results in terms of long term success with resolution of co-morbidities and complications. Only surgeons with low complication rates and good outcomes are allowed to participate.
7. Medical billing
Medical billing is extremely complicated. It is like a board game with constant changing rules. Issues are common. It is important to be able to call with your concerns and get an answer. Our office does that.
8. Extremely good Cash prices
Our office has 13 years experience getting insurance companies to approve and pay for the surgery and we are very good at it. However if your insurance has a bariatric exclusion then you have no choice except cash. Our cash prices include everything; the hospital charges, the surgeon charges, and the very important one year follow up visits ( ranging from monthly to a minimum of every two months-whatever helps you the most)