BAKERCHI, I was self-pay so my process was extremely abbreviated compared to what the insurance companies require. I think you will find a lot depends on your particular insurance requirements plus it seems there are almost as many approaches to approval as there are doctors. I know their are a couple of big companies that have a long, complicated processes and several people on this site have shared similar experiences. I'm sure others will chime in with more specifics.
In my case, I was required to have some tests to assure my heart was in good shape, have a one-hour visit with a psychologist (I don't remember the questions, but it was a chat, not a questionnaire or anything like that), a visit with the nutritionist and of course a couple of consultations with the surgeon. Then as soon as I coughed up the dough, surgery was scheduled. Because I was self pay I could have gotten through my process and gone to surgery in as little as 4-6 weeks, I delayed surgery for a little while because of some scheduling issues in my personal life, but I went from first visit to surgery in less than three months. If insurance companies are involved it can take 6-12 months or even longer.
There is no pat answer to your question, but I'm sure others on this site will be able to help. Your best bet will probably be to research your insurance company requirements, pick a potential surgeon and have a consultation. Most surgeons also have support groups you can attend and orientation sessions that will give you information specific to that particular surgeon.
Good luck with your research and decision-making process. Drop by our April Chat to get a better feel for this group and the things we discuss. We're a friendly, chatty and helpful crowd.
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