Weight Loss Surgery - Post Surgery Care and Support
08-22-2002, 08:29 AM
I am interested whose surgeon has aftercare instruction, what kind and do they feel that it helps? Also who has local support groups and do they help you?
My surgeon's post-op care was barely anything. I had my surgery on a Monday and was home the next day with only the instructions to only take in clear liquids for 5 days. The hospital dietician did come in and give me a diet sheet... it was dated 1988 and it was for a VBG patients and not RNY patients. Five days later the surgeon told me to eat anything(except red meat) I wanted but in tiny amounts and to chew thoroughly. Red meat was allowed after a month. There you go, that was his aftercare instruction.
A wonderful woman named Karen Nisky started a support group at the hospital several months ago and we meet monthly. I am not sure that it helps me with any info because I am pretty far post-op but I really enjoy being in a place where we all know what it is like to be morbidly obese. It's like we are all kindred spirits... our hearts have had alot of the same pain.
08-22-2002, 08:47 AM
My surgeon does have a support group, but it is not a required thing and I do not go to it. I live in the burbs of Atlanta, his office and support group are both downtown Atlanta, I'm just not excited about going downtown if I don't have to.
I did find a local support group. I emailed a lady on obesityhelp who lived in my area, and as luck would have it she and another lady had just started a support group only miles from me. I have been a few times, a couple of times pre-op and a couple of times post-op. One of the things they stressed to pre-ops was, don't depend on your surgeon for anything other than doing the surgery, find out things on your own, and darn if they weren't right.
Because of the complications I had and the fact that my surgeon not once visited me in the hospital, I have no desire to go back to him at all, even for follow up. I have a very good PCP and I use her for my blood work. Thought I better add, I did see my surgeons partner, but not him while in ICU. I really think he was afraid of a law suit and figured the less contact he had with me the better.
I had to go back to my surgeon a few days after being released from the hospital to have a tube removed from my stomach and he not once mentioned anything about what I had been through. My husband was with me, I thought he was going to pop a cork over that.
Back to the original question, yes I believe my local support group helps. The ladies that run it do a good job of keeping everyone on topic, but also allow plenty of time for questions and answers.
08-22-2002, 02:00 PM
Alvin's doc's must be great...His surgeon and his partners were very good to give aftercare instructions, and not only do they have a support group, they have their own website forum. (I think anyone can visit it and read the post, but only people who are their patients can post. The site is part of Yahoo Groups and the name of the group is BaylorWLS) They have a very involved Clinical co-ordinator name Chris and even the doc's post and answer questions on the site.
As far as personal attention, it couldn't have been better. Alvin's doc Dr Todd McCarty is a member of the health club we are (it's associated with the hospital) and he told Alvin when he was in the hospital that he'd been watching his progress in the exercise dept. Alvin knew he had seen the doc, but didn't realize he'd been watching him. I think that goes above and beyond the call or duty.
Oh yeah, they have monthly support meeting where the have a panel of post op patients to answer questions from the floor, and also have specific topics to discuss, and they even have a clothing exchange each month. A really neat group.
08-22-2002, 10:19 PM
some are great, apparently, like barb and old alvin's. some are lousy, but well meaning, like mine. and then there are the non-existent ones, like debbieDS.
We have up to 150 people in a crowded room each month. too many to be effective. it's led by a toothpick-sized psychologist [who's actually pretty cool], and as long as the food **** dietician keeps her mouth shut, we're ok.
the new folks talk about vomiting and water, and the folks farther out don't want to hear it, but never contribute. some have now formed a splinter group, and it's pretty well closed to those they don't want.
we all came through the hospital obesity center, which has 5 surgeons and a nurse practitioner, who's also had the surgery. what most people don't know [yet] is that the nurse is leaving! she's had it with the hospital's policies, and is forming her own group. not quite sure what form it'll take, but since she won't be there, and the hospital is starting to require the docs to pay for using the center, this means that the obesity center will probably close.
so, stay tuned as the soap opera continues!!!
as for right after the surgery, we were given a poorly written handbook [and yes, i'm supposed to be revising it], and it's been working well. there's lots of info in it, but it's badly organized. and i haven't found anything MORE useful on any internet site yet.
and debkay, i'm planning to mail your copy tomorrow morning.. it's on PINK paper, even!!!
my surgeon has ALWAYS been available to me, but some folks in the nonsupport group have been complaining about him. not sure what the deal is. but i haven't had any problems with him. or his associates.
maybe it's just my attitude, or whatever. or THEIR attitudes..