Weight Loss Surgery - Taking the first step!




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bella23
04-11-2003, 01:19 PM
Hi all,

I know some of you from other boards, but just wanted to get some advice or something.

I'm taking the first step in another journey by making a doctors appt to talk to her about geting WLS. I had talked to her about a year ago and she said that if my woe didn't work then we should talk about WLS. So I am going to call and make the appointment today. I have done a lot of reading and searching on the web and think that it is something for me.

Here is the queston I have: I was just wondering what kind of recovery you all had? I have 2 young kids and won't have anyone to help me with them. I also want to start working and was wondering if any of you took time off work and if so, how long was it?

Well thanks for the advice. I need it!

Bella23


jiffypop
04-11-2003, 03:55 PM
wow bella!!!! i had no idea you were considering this! but believe me, it's worth a serious look [notice i didn't say you shouldn't do it... that's absolutely your decision to make, and i know you'll ask all the questions and you're doing all the research...]

ok. recovery. some folks who have sedentary jobs sometimes go back to work after 2 weeks. i've known one or two who went back after 1 week, but they were self employed. these early-returners tend to be lap, not open.

the first couple of days are not pretty. you are generally on pain killers, maybe one of the incisions [lap] is draining, and youj're still feeling the effects of the anesthesia.

most important, though, for a mom with young children is YOU CAN'T PICK UP ANYTHING/ANYONE HEAVIER THAN 20 POUNDS for about 2 weeks.

my doc didn't want me to go back to work for 6 weeks but that's becuase i had been so sick going in. he let other folks go back after 4 weeks. my surgery buddy went back after 2 1/2 weeks a few hours a day, mostly because he was soooo bored.

come on, bella!!!! keep those questions coming!!!!

debkay
04-11-2003, 04:32 PM
HEY Bella!!!

I'm glad Jiff answered your questions, my recovery time was so odd because of the complications, and I don't work outside the home.

If you haven't done so already, check out obesityhelp.com great web site with tons of information.


loranden
04-11-2003, 05:03 PM
Boy, am I glad this question came up--you all taught me something today:D

My initial consult is for August 25. I never even considered WLS initially until I had my yearly checkup last week, then I have been doing some reading on both the COMPASS and ObesityHelp.com websites. Fascinating stuff. Of course, I will likely still have some questions and concerns before my appointment, so this part of 3FC is a great help to me :)

Not to be nosy, but what insurance do you all have, and how long did it take to get approved? My primary is Medicare, so I am trying to get a ballpark figure here.

debkay
04-11-2003, 05:49 PM
Lori, I had Cigna HMO. My approval took right around 2 weeks. I had all my ducks in a row when I finally went in to see the surgeon for the first time. I had done so much research I knew that my insurance company required a psych-eval and a visit to a nutritionist (sp). I did both of those before I went to the surgeon for the first time. I had letters from my OB-GYN supporting my decision to have wls and a letter from my orthopedic also supporting the surgery. I had a letter of medical need from my PCP. And I also had a letter written by me, telling my story of past diet attempts, my family history, and explaining why I thought I was a good candiate for wls. I also included a picture of my youngest child and I attached to the letter. All of this was forwarded to my insurance company by the surgeons office.

jiffypop
04-11-2003, 07:06 PM
oxford. and they didn't actually approve me until AFTER the surgery. it was a complication of having switched insurance plans [not carriers, but PLANS] within the past year. the preexisting condition nonsense, so i had to send them proof of coverage during the time in question. the approval came the next day... of course, what could they do... a woman who weighed 409 at the surgery, with serious comorbidities... pretty much a slam-dunk.

but, like deb, had to have the psych, nutrition, cardiology, respiratory, and the ever-popular diet history [won't tell you how many pages THAT took!]

i understand, though, that some insurance companies are now requiring 6 months of doctor-supervised diet. that doesn't mean that you have to wait 6 months while your PCP weighs you. but it DOES mean that he/she has to have some documentation that you've been trying stuff.. drugs, diets, WW, over time.

not sure if this helps... but if you have your little duckies in a row, the procedure should go fairly smoothly. just be sure to get all the referrals taken care of and all the paperwork done as early as possible... makes life easier.

gonnabethin
04-14-2003, 08:12 AM
I have BC/BS PPO. I was approved in about 2 weeks. My insurance did not require a psych eval. My surgeon sent in the paperwork with my history.

I am 5 weeks post op (open RNY). I was in the hospital 5 days. My husband took 2 days off of work to help me when I got home. I had a drain in for 5 more days at home. I was pretty much feeling low the first few days, but by the end of the week felt pretty good. I wasn't well enough to drive to dr. office for 1 week check-up and drain/suture removal.

I work in an office as an administrative assistant. I'll be off of work for 6 weeks. Fortunately for me, I have short term disability and the checks keep coming in!

I am now starting to eat solid food and having some problems. I'm still learning to eat slow and small portions, otherwise I'm paying the price.

The good news is I'm down 45 lbs. already.

Hope this helps.

Lorrie

bella23
04-14-2003, 10:34 AM
Thank you all for the informaion. The doctor and I talked about this over a year ago and she then said that my insurance Aetna and Trycare both will cover it. She has delt with this in the past and never had a problem getting the insurance company to pay for it.

My big problem is the fact that for all intents and purposes, I'm a single mother for the next year or two and to top that off, my husband doesn't support me doing this. He thinks that I should just loose the weight the normal way. (I wish he knew how hard that is!)

I didn't call the doc on friday (the day of the post) but I am going to make the consult today. I haven't made my mind up yet, but just need the extra info to see if this would be for me.

Again, thank you for all your words of wisdome!

Bella23

loranden
04-14-2003, 03:46 PM
Well....I've being doing right thus far!

My doctor has documented my weight fluctuations, as well as all the diets I have tried, as well as my current prescribed 1500 calorie plan. I can easily sign for medical records from my cardiologist, since I have a history of angina attacks and cardiomyopathy. Thank goodness I have an efficient PCP :)!

loranden
04-14-2003, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by jiffypop


i understand, though, that some insurance companies are now requiring 6 months of doctor-supervised diet. that doesn't mean that you have to wait 6 months while your PCP weighs you. but it DOES mean that he/she has to have some documentation that you've been trying stuff.. drugs, diets, WW, over time.



Funny, my PCP mentioned this at our visit! He is checking on me in 3 month intervals--my next appointment with him is on July 2, a little over a month before I see the WLS doctor in Pittsburgh, so that will be great timing. I am sure he is doing this not only to check on my progress, but to follow Medicare guidelines, since they can be such sticklers about certain things.

Also forgot to metion...I tried Xenical in the summer of 2000, and all it did was give me violent stomach cramps and the squirts--and nothing else! Not pleasant at the time, mind you, but funny now that I look back on it:lol: My doc also documented that I also used OTC diet plans as well.

jiffypop
04-14-2003, 04:23 PM
sounds like bella and lori really do have all those duckies in a row... wish we could ALL be that organized!!!!

as for xenical.. can you imagine that a drug company and the FDA thought that a drug that made people who move slowly have problems with 'excretion' was a GOOD THING?????? how DARE they!!!!??????

bella23
04-14-2003, 10:53 PM
Well after talking to my husband some more, I agreed to try Curves and their high protien woe for the next 6 months. If that doesn't work, then I'm going to talk to the doc about WLS and have my husbands support. And to tell you the truth, WLS scares the geebies out of me. I had hip surgary and that was the worst thing I have ever had done. I don't know if I'm ready for the pain again!

But you haven't seen the last of me, I will stay here (if you all don't mind) and cheer for you all!

Bella23

jiffypop
04-14-2003, 11:55 PM
<whispering> bella.. come sit next to me for a few minutes. it's a secret.

here's the deal. it could take up to 6 months to get an appt with a wls surgeon, let alone to get through all the testing that needs to be done. now, i'm not saying that curves won't work. i know quite a few people who have done very well with it. and high protein diets are fine.

but i'd hate to see you in a position where you go through the curves thing for 6 months or longer, and then decide that you want the surgery, and then you have to wait another 6 months or so for an appointment.

all i'm suggesting is that you make an appt with the surgeon for about 6-8 months from now. when [notice i didn't say IF] the curves plan works for you, you can cancel the appointment, if it doesn't work, you'll have a plan B...

yes, it might be construed as sneaky. but bella... you need to take care of yourself...

and while wls is no picnic, it's not nearly as bad as hip surgery. after all, you won'[t be standing on surgeried weight bearing joints!

and don't you DARE leave us!!!! we'd be hurt,. upset. sad. and that might drive us to eat.. and we can't have that!!!! <did the guilt work????>:lol: :devil:

bella23
04-15-2003, 12:27 AM
Ok, Ok, I wouldn't ever leave you all!! And thanks for the suggestion! I'll take you up on that. I'll still call and talk to the doc. after all, what hubby doesn't know, won't kill him! (at least this won't, lol)

You are really a modivation!

Bella23

loranden
04-15-2003, 12:31 AM
I say schedule the WLS consultation now, and if the Curves/diet plan doesn't work, the appointment still stands and you won't have to wait forever to get one. I was surprised to get one within four months; some people usually have to wait longer to get an appointment with a WLS surgeon.

In the meanwhile, I have my 1500 calorie/35 fat gram plan in effect. So far, things look pretty good :D