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Weight Loss Surgery If you've had it, or are considering it, share your discussions here

Ok, here we go! Some questions I am sure you have all heard befroe

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Old 06-17-2003, 02:29 PM   #1
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Question Ok, here we go! Some questions I am sure you have all heard befroe

Hi! My name is GinaMarie and I am sure some of you will recognize me from the LoCarb board.

My DH Brian and I have decided to seriously consider WLS. I am 5 foot 4 and weigh 300 pounds. My BMI is 50. From what I have read, this qualifies me.

I have tried many, many programs and diets. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, but when I am done (or go off) I always gain back all the weight I lost plus some more!

My question really is how hard is the surgery on you, how awful do you feel afterwards? How long does it take to not feel awful? If I can't get my insurance to pay for it, how much will it set me back?

Any experiances that you can share will be great! I just started my research, so I have much to learn.

Thanks,
GinaMarie
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Old 06-17-2003, 03:25 PM   #2
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Default hey there gina marie!!!!!

of COURSE we remember you...

now, here are a few threads in which some of your questions have already been addressed [in my not-so-spare time, i'm thinking of compiling a list of FAQs and include all these wise [and wise-a$$] answers in them.

but at least this will get you started...

Taking the first step!

a few musings

I just don't get it.. (pity party, wanna come??)
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Keeping it off is a hundred decisions a day that help you maintain what you achieved. And that's the hard part. - L Sanders

start: 506 [Sept 2001]
weight at gastric bypass [Jan 29, 2002]: 409
current weight: 225
weight for plastic surgery: 200
final goal: 180

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Old 06-17-2003, 03:53 PM   #3
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Angry Thanks Jiff!

I knew you would respond!

Where should my first step be? Health Insurance Company (Cigna) or my PCP?
G
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Quote:
One who removes a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones...
Jan 1 - 311
Feb 1 - 301
Mar 1 - 300
Apr 21 - 300
Apr 28 - 298

First Goal 290 by June 07
Final Goal 185
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Old 06-17-2003, 04:23 PM   #4
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Hi Gina!!

I had Cigna as my insurance company, a little hint........I wasn't required to do this, but I know that it is required now. You need to have a 6 month Doctor supervised diet before being approved by Cigna.

Give your doc a call and get on some sort of supervised plan.......even if it's the normal diet the doc's hand out........doesn't really matter if you drop a bunch of weight or not, you just need that supervised diet.
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360/211/?
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Old 06-17-2003, 04:47 PM   #5
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Does it matter that I have been "doing" Atkins since January? My doctor does know that I was on it... I guess I need to talk to him...
G
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Quote:
One who removes a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones...
Jan 1 - 311
Feb 1 - 301
Mar 1 - 300
Apr 21 - 300
Apr 28 - 298

First Goal 290 by June 07
Final Goal 185
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Old 06-17-2003, 06:48 PM   #6
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Gina I don't know what the insurance company will accept. Have you been weighing in with him?

I would make an appt asap and get on a diet plan.........with the way weight loss surgeons are going, it could be a while before you get to see one. And really 6 months will fly by before you know it.
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360/211/?
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Old 06-17-2003, 06:54 PM   #7
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GinaMarie!

I like the questions...how hard is it on you? how awful do you feel, and for how long do you feel awful? I don't want to feel awful for a long time. I am hoping someone will come along and say I/we won't!!!!

peach
who may be living in the land of denial but planning on breezing through the whole ordeal.

Is it worse than birthing a baby? I didn't get to sleep through that but my labor was relatively short.
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Old 06-17-2003, 09:32 PM   #8
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gina... talk to your doc. if cigna requires a referral, get it from the pcp. but make sure to do your homework before that conversation,. you need to find a program that's been around for awhile, not a start up [so many docs/hospitals are jumping on the bandwagon].

and since you're on LAWN GUYLAND you have access to some of the best programs in the country

as for the doc-supervised diet, yes, as long as you told him about atkins, that counts. so does any prescription for meridia or anything else. make up your diet history.

and debkay is absolutely right: if you think your doc-supervised plan may not stand up, get on one now!!! it'll take awhile to get an appt with the surgeon, so you'll have time.

there are a few husband/wife couples who've had the surgery, and they've been really supportive of each other. they've done very well.

keep asking questions!!!!!
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Start your day with a smile, and get it over with.
Keeping it off is a hundred decisions a day that help you maintain what you achieved. And that's the hard part. - L Sanders

start: 506 [Sept 2001]
weight at gastric bypass [Jan 29, 2002]: 409
current weight: 225
weight for plastic surgery: 200
final goal: 180

Posts by members, moderators and admins are not medical advice. See your physician before taking advice found on the internet.
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Old 06-18-2003, 10:33 AM   #9
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Thanks all for your replies!

Debkay, did you have open or lap surgery? I am wondering if Cigna will approve Lap. I am also having trouble finding out what surgeons Cigna has "on thier plan". Or does it matter?

I would like to use Dr. Garber (sp) from the center for minimally invasive surgery. He is affiliated with my local hospital and has some good accredidations from what I have read. My DH is calling to get an appointment with him. We will also go see the PCP and see what's what with referrals and whatnot.

If Cigna does not cover lap surgery, I may have to pay my own way. I do not want to have open surgery at this point. I have had two surgeries in the past two years and don't want another open procedure. Plus, I think I would lose my job if I requested another 6 weeks of disability!

I am glad to have DH to go through this with. We will try to sechedule out surgeries some time apart so one can take care of the other while they are down.

Keep the advice coming! I love it!
Gina
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Quote:
One who removes a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones...
Jan 1 - 311
Feb 1 - 301
Mar 1 - 300
Apr 21 - 300
Apr 28 - 298

First Goal 290 by June 07
Final Goal 185
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Old 06-18-2003, 10:46 AM   #10
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Gina, my surgery, all three of them were done lap......he was able to go back in for surgery 2 and 3 through the same lap-ports. To be honest with you, I would have gone open if I had needed to, but was glad I was able to have it lap.

I had Cigna HMO through a VERY large corporation......my husband's employer. I needed a referral to my surgeon, which came from my very supportive PCP.

You should be able to get on the Cigna web site to search for surgeons.

Gina.......PLEASE exaust all insurance options before going self-pay. The reason I say that is, my complications and my hospital stay cost $900,000+. Had I been a self-pay we would be in bankruptcy.

Off to fix one of my kids a late breakfast.......
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360/211/?
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Old 06-18-2003, 12:34 PM   #11
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$900,00?????? DANG.....mine was $20,000 twenty two yrs ago and I thought that was a lot!

BOB
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Old 06-18-2003, 12:57 PM   #12
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Smile Did more research....

I can see Dr. Garber out of network with Cigna. The deductable schedule is not more that I can handle. We called for an appt. We will confirm tomorrow. First available appointment is in October. I am not suprised.

If he determines we are good candidates for surgery and the surgery is performed at an in-network hospital, which Dr. Garber is associated with one near my home, the surgery will be covered in network by Cigna. I will just need my PCP to precertify me/us.

So off to the PCP we go to have him put us on a stupid diet for six months. Thanks for the heads up advice Debkay! We are going to try to get him to recommend Atkins for us...

So, we shall see what happens next! I will keep you all up to date and may lurk around until my appointment with the surgeon.

Again, thanks for everything!
GinaMarie
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Quote:
One who removes a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones...
Jan 1 - 311
Feb 1 - 301
Mar 1 - 300
Apr 21 - 300
Apr 28 - 298

First Goal 290 by June 07
Final Goal 185
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Old 06-18-2003, 03:51 PM   #13
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Don't lurk Gina......post with us!!!!

Another piece of advice, find a support group in your area NOW and start attending as a pre-op. I did that and it was a very good thing.

Yep BOB......900,000+! Needless to say the complications were not fun.......but I am so thankful that I had wls. I'm finally living my life, and enjoying every minute of it.
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360/211/?
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Old 06-18-2003, 04:06 PM   #14
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Debkay - The doctor that we are seeing does host a support group that we will be able to attend both pre and post op. So that is a good thing. Going to see my PCP on 6/24...

I am so sorry to hear that you had complications. That must have been so awful for you. I am glad that you are doing well...
Gina
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Quote:
One who removes a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones...
Jan 1 - 311
Feb 1 - 301
Mar 1 - 300
Apr 21 - 300
Apr 28 - 298

First Goal 290 by June 07
Final Goal 185
GinaMarie is offline  
Old 06-18-2003, 06:07 PM   #15
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Default feeling awful

As far as the feeling awful phase ... I had lap RNY on 2/7/03 ... I had a complication ... an abscess that caused me to bounce back into the hospital for 2 subsequent admissions. During that time they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me ... I kept having fever/chills and accelerated heart beat. They did every test known to man and after discharging me for the 2nd time thinking I had a virus I was ... terrified. I thought I had some major complication and I was going to die. However, soon the infection showed up and with a few antibiotics and a few weeks of packing an open draining wound (YUCK) I was better than ever.

Now ... only 4 short months later I am -93 lbs and in control of my life. Food is a non-issue to me. I eat because I have to and not one time have I felt deprived. I am exercising regularly and have gotten out of a really bad relationship. Life truly is grand ... and better than I could've ever imagined. I am no longer invisible ... people stop to talk to me and say Hi to me for no reason. I think it is because I have a renewed confidence that I CAN do this and I will. The 'awful' doesn't last long. Without the complication I bet I would've been up and around in a week. It honestly wasn't that bad. The first few days are the worst ... but every day gets better ... just walk walk walk and drink drink drink and you'll see that you'll bounce back in no time.

Even with the complications I went back to work in 4 weeks.

Keep the questions coming ... that is the key to your success.

Leanna
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