Weight Loss Surgery - Every Dr says have WLS but I cant




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KimberlyHeidi
02-24-2009, 11:56 AM
This is a rant pretty much and also a question if anyone has been in this situation.

I have tried everything and cant lose weight and have been trying since I gained over 100lbs which was when I was pregnant with my son who is now 7years old. I have PCOS, insulin resistance, pre diabetes and fatty liver.

All of my many Drs tell me to have WLS but I cant afford it and insurance wont cover it so we didnt bother to get my husbands insurance as it was so crappy.

I am told Lap Band prob wouldnt be a good option since I have so much to lose and am terrified of possible complications even if I could have gastric bypass. Does anyone know about lap band with a ton of weight to lose?


nelie
02-24-2009, 12:27 PM
Kimberly,

I'm sorry to hear about your issues. I think it depends on your situation but even at my highest weight, I never had a doctor suggest weight loss surgery.

What I do know is that there have been people who have lost 100+ lbs without surgery. I know it may be a long road but every step forward is an achievement. Don't believe WLS is your only option for weight loss.

Lori Bell
02-24-2009, 01:13 PM
There was I time I desperately wanted to get the lap-band. I'm totally not an expert in any WLS, (I haven't had one), but have known several gastric by-pass patients who never reached their goal and/or gained back every pound. Lap-band seemed to me more permanent because if you started to gain weight back, you could always go get a good fill and stop the gaining.

Our insurance would have covered the lap-band, and I had a consultation set up, but an (overweight) RN friend called my husband privately and told him how dangerous and life threatening the lap-band could be, (B!!S!!) and he freaked out and called my doctor and cancelled my appointment and basically refused to let me get it. So I'm doing it on my own...one calorie at a time.

I still think the lap-band would be a great aid in weight loss....but like I said, I am no expert!!!

What ever you decide, I wish you the best of luck. If you want to try it again on your own, I'll be here to support you (as well as many other cheerleaders)!


jillybean720
02-24-2009, 03:12 PM
So, you don't have any insurance coverage at all right now? Did you check to see if your husband's insurance had a specific WLS exclusion? Many insurances do cover WLS; you just have to read the section of exclusions to make sure it's not excluded from your specific policy.

Next, if you can't get it through his insurance and you don't have your own insurance, can you pick up a part-time job? Places like Starbucks and Home Depot offer benefits to part-time employees, and their policies cover WLS (I know this is true of Starbucks and have heard it also mentioned of Home Depot).

Regarding the Lap Band, yes, it is possible to lose a lot of weight with it. However, if you already have insulin resistance/pre-diabetes and PCOS, a procedure with a malabsorptive component (Duodenal Switch or Roux-en-y gastric bypass) has a better chance of fully resolving those comorbidities. The RNY has about an 80-84% chance of sending type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) into full remission, and the Duodenal Switch has up to a 98.9% chance of curing type 2 diabetes.

Speaking purely statistics, the RNY has a higher chance of long-term successful weight loss than the band, and the DS has the highest statistics for total amount of weight lost AND amount of weight kept off long term. That said, statistics are only averages, and some people do both better and worse than those averages.

IMO, the best way to choose a WLS procedure is to examine your personal issues that got you to this point. The band will only make it so you can't eat large portions at once, as it is a restriction-only procedure. If you are a frequent grazer, it probably won't help as much as you'd need. Also, if you have a big sweet tooth, it won't help much because I've seen many many band patients commenting that a milkshake slides easily through the band even when healthier foods like lean protein get "stuck" in the narrow opening.

All WLS procedures carry some risk. The band has a higher rate of a second surgery due to the band slipping, eroding, losing the port, etc., but it has lower risks for the initial operation since there is no cutting or removing of any organs.

Anyway, just my thoughts and suggestions :)

jiffypop
02-24-2009, 06:47 PM
WOW jilly!!! that was a great post!

now, Kimberly heidi - what everyone says is true. but bottom line, ya gotta find your own path. wls is for those of us who have hit the dieting wall and for whom nothing works anymore,. yeah, i know that there will be people coming in and saying that we just didn't try hard enough or long enough = and that's BS. they've either found the right combination for themselves, or they haven't hit that wall yet.

bottom line, one of the biggest reasons that i had the surgery was not to take the weight off. I've lost HUGE amounts of weight - repeatedly. BUT I COULDN'T KEEP IT OFF!!! and that's why i had the surgery - it offered me the best chance of losing it and KEEPING IT LOST!

soooo, do your homework, and if you decide that the surgery is the right choice, then figure out how to make it happen. if you decide to try the old fashioned way again, then focus on making the best plan you can - even if it means seeing a diabetes educator/dietician.

one way or the other, darlin, you can do this!!!!

nelie
02-24-2009, 08:44 PM
WOW jilly!!! that was a great post!

now, Kimberly heidi - what everyone says is true. but bottom line, ya gotta find your own path. wls is for those of us who have hit the dieting wall and for whom nothing works anymore,. yeah, i know that there will be people coming in and saying that we just didn't try hard enough or long enough = and that's BS. they've either found the right combination for themselves, or they haven't hit that wall yet.


I agree, great post Jilly.

Jiffy, I hope you don't take it as my intention to say that WLS shouldn't be pursued for someone who thinks it will be their path to losing the weight and keeping it off. I agree that those who have lost weight and kept it off found the right combination. For some miracle people, they found the right combination on the first try. For others, it took years, decades even to find the right combination. I would just hate to see someone think that if they can't get WLS that they shouldn't keep trying to find the right combination. I know its frustrating and for myself, I even gave up trying for years at a time because I thought it was a hopeless cause.

kaplods
02-24-2009, 10:12 PM
I would just hate to see someone think that if they can't get WLS that they shouldn't keep trying to find the right combination. I know its frustrating and for myself, I even gave up trying for years at a time because I thought it was a hopeless cause.

I'd like to echo this, because in researching wls, I've found that I am not a good candidate for wls surgery, either bypass or lapband. I have health issues that would drastically increase my risk of severe and possibly even life-threatening complications such as vitamin deficiencies, anemia, bacterial infections, and severe scarring/inflammation/necrosis. I have an autoimmune connective tissue disorder (which the lapband manufacturer says the surgery shouldn't be used with this disease as it increases the risk of severe, even deadly complications).

My primary doctor agrees that I'm not a good wls candidate, but a rheumatologist I was referred to for my fibromyalgia told me at my first meeting with him that I would never lose weight without wls, and despite my increased risks, wls was the "only option," for me. He in essence refused to treat me until after I had the surgery, and dismissed my concerns.

I've chosen not to pursue wls at this time, and I don't feel that my efforts are doomed to failure. I've made many changes, and I'm making progress. It's been slow progress, but it's progress nonetheless.

I know you mentioned in another thread wanting a jumpstart to your weight loss efforts. For me the psychological need for a "jumpstart" did me a lot of harm, and I'd encourage you to ask youself if it's really in your best interest. It was motivating to see a quick loss, but it was a temporary high because nothing after the jumpstart had as exciting a payback. It would inspire me to want fast results more than permanent results, and made crash dieting methods very tempting. If that's not true for you, carry on, but at lest consider it.

There are a lot of dieting "facts" and advice that I took for granted, because it was how I was taught to think about weight loss. I've had to unlearn a lot of that.

I think you may have also mentioned being insulin resistant - sometimes jumpstarts just don't happen for insulin resistant folks. I've never lost weight so slowly in my life, as after being diagnosed IR, no matter how drastic my measures, jump starts just don't happen. I had to really take my doctor's advice to heart when he said that even losing 1/4 lb a week, if done consistently, after only a few weeks, no matter what my starting weight, would put me ahead of almost every one who tries to lose weight, because most people give up after only a few weeks.

It's taken me four years to lose 63 lbs. I lost 20 lbs initially without trying because of some lifestyle changes. I did no better than maintain those 20 lbs for three of those four years. It's only been in the last year that I've found my "formula" for weight loss, and it's taken me a year to lose 43 lbs. The old me would have seen that as no success at all, and I would have given up because the slow progress wouldn't have been seen as progress at all. I would have given up seeing only failure, not the amazing success of 63 lbs. The new me, is very proud of those 63 lbs, especially since I have not regained during that time (except for small gains every year around Christmas - Christmas traditions are still my downfall). I've never in my life had four years of weight stability, let alone four years of declining weight. It's been a very gradual downward trend, but it's downward.

I'm not saying your weight loss would be nearly as slow as mine has been. I am hoping myself, for a bit more rapid success now that I've deciphered my recipe for success (low carb, low grain), but regardless of how successful I am at that, I'm refusing to allow backsliding as an option. If it takes me 20 years to lose all of my weight, so be it.

It's taken me nearly four decades of trial and error to find what works for me. A lot of that was working in circles because I was working harder, not smarter. I attempted and reattempted diets that weren't right for me. I didn't give low carb eating much of a chance, because I didn't think it could be a healthy plan. After two doctors recommended it for the insulin resistance, I learned a lot more about how to do a low carb diet in a healthy manner.

You can do it, you really can - but you've got to abandom some very ingrained dieting "traditions" that many people don't even realize they were participating in. I mean, it's "traditional" after all to binge after abandoning a particular diet. There's no law that says that you must go on an eating "vacation" before trying a new WOE, but that's often happens, and I think the only adequate explanation is "tradition."

It's dieting tradition to become frustrated and discouraged after a few weeks (or sometimes even a few days) without a loss. It's dieting tradition to see a gain, even a small water weight gain as a sign of failure. It's dieting tradition to see even a small variation from the food plan as not just a mistake, but as a complete FAILURE. It's tradition to decide that you can't swim, bicycle, or in anyway be active in public unless you're a certain weight. It's tradition to see a weight loss food plan as inherently unpleasant and depriving. Fatty, sugary foods are traditionally seen as indulgences. Fresh, beautiful fruits and vegetables traditionally, are not.

Weight loss isn't hopeless, but I think it means unlearning man of our weight loss tradiotions as much as it means learning new traditions.

I'm sorry, I'm starting to rant. Bottom line, please don't give up, this isn't easy, but it's not hopeless either.

AAAA
02-25-2009, 11:36 AM
Have you posted on the lap band message board at obesity help? They might be able to give you some good info.

Jacquie668
02-25-2009, 01:27 PM
A side note that you can also see about financing from your surgeon especially if it is a place that specializing in WLS. They may very well have financing options if you either cannot get insurance or your insurance coverage won't cover your surgery.

I had to pay the ER a visit in 2006, didn't have insurance, and the hospital I was at footed most of my bill because I qualified for that kind of aid. Upon deciding if I qualified I learned this financial aid group had other programs including consulting on financing options for various medical needs.

brittu
03-16-2009, 12:43 PM
What about a gastric balloon? It's non surgical and the manufacturer is running a year long study. Half the participants get the balloon but all participants seem to get a year long support program. Might be worth considering.

From what I googled it looked like there's a clinic in Vifginia on the trial.

Britt