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Keikix3
Keikix3 Posts: 42 Member
Hello,
My name is Sue. I have been using this website for about 2 weeks and found all of you.I have been gobbling up the information you are posting and have seen some of your stories. I am being recommneded for one of the surgeries by the weight loss program in my healthcare system. I was really surprised at the newer information I was given by a wonderful endrocrinologist who really listened and even wrote things down for me. I was under a mis impression that I was too old (70) and that if you had Medicare just forget the whole idea. Turns out that Medicare has changed some regulation or other in Jan 2015 and has loosened up the requirements. I am finally getting real concrete help and not just being told to loose weight without anything other than a paper with 2,500 calories. I am finding the diet tracker tools here fabulous and I am finally beginning to understand the different catergories of carbs, proteins etc. I would love to hear from any of you because I do not know anyone who has had this kind of surgery yet, and it feels kind of lonely not to know anyone to share with. I am also not sure how this message board works, or how I should introduce myself. Thanking each of you in advance, Sue PS is there a spell checker function? How do I find it? I am a hopeless speller :)

Replies

  • loriloftness
    loriloftness Posts: 476 Member
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    Welcome! Not sure what type of surgery you are contemplating. I had the sleeve (VSG) done last November. From my experience, the surgery was not really that difficult and the recovery and life since has been great. I'm not saying there aren't the occasional challenges or even times where I miss being able to eat the way I used to-- but they are brief in time. My health has improved so very much in just 6 months that I can truthfully say this was the best thing I ever did for myself. I am not as old as you, but not a youngster either-- almost 55. This website and this forum are wonderful for getting advice or just basic information. I have learned a lot just reading posts. Best wishes, however you decide to go forward. Lori
  • heathergshea
    heathergshea Posts: 38 Member
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    You should be incredibly proud of yourself for considering this life change. I had VSG on 4/27 and though I am early on I can say that it really has made a difference in not only my weight (down 31 lbs) but my whole outlook towards food and nutrition! Honestly I never considered nutrition in my daily eating. I knew if foods were fattening but I didn't consider nutrition. I would say that is a marked change and was worth the surgery. I just feel healthier. Good luck!!
  • cmchandler74
    cmchandler74 Posts: 510 Member
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    Welcome! So glad you're able to take the journey you want to take. This site is a fantastic place for education and support, and we'll be here for you. I had VSG on 2/17 and it's the best decision I've ever made for my health. Good luck with everything, and feel free to add me as a friend if you'd like. What type of surgery are you having?
  • hockey7fan
    hockey7fan Posts: 281 Member
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    I am 52 and I just had a revision from lap band to VSG on 6/1/15. So far, so good. I've lost 24 lbs since my pre-op appointment on 5/28 so that's not bad for less than 2 weeks.
  • Keikix3
    Keikix3 Posts: 42 Member
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    Hello everyone, thanks so much for responding and making me feel so welcomed. I am not sure which surgery will be recommended. We have learned about all of them but the lapband seems to be out of favor here in San Diego. I am not quite sure why that is. The idea of something being reversible and controllable is appealing. I am wondering how you chose your surgeon and how you got to him/her? Do people get second opinions? Also do all of you have some kind of a team that works with you? I am in a weight loss clinic/program now with many specialities. I have a long check list of things I have to do, and we go for the information seminar with one of the surgeons tonight. Do you have any ideas of questions I ought to be asking? I feel a bit like I am taking a crash course here, trying to figure it all out in a short space of time. Thanks again, Sue
  • jillcwatson1
    jillcwatson1 Posts: 100 Member
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    I am sure that the seminar will both answer questions you may have and bring others to mind. Feel free to ask those questions here. I have learned so much by reading the questions that other people have asked. I felt well prepared for my surgery may 7 and I am pleased to have had the sleeve
  • sinderstorm
    sinderstorm Posts: 225 Member
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    I ended up doing my surgery 2 hours from home, in the town where my parents live. That decision was made for a few reasons: 1) it is a Center of Bariatric Excellence, which has several requirements and standards that go with that designation. 2) my mom and uncle had done RNY's there and had good success 3) as I was a cash patient, they had a self pay package for the procedure (hospital stay, surgeon, anesthesiologist, and follow ups) that I could afford.

    Part of the Center of Excellence designation is the pre-op requirements. I had to go to information seminars, meet with dieticians, attend their support group, and meet with a psychologist who works with bariatric patients. It was a roughly 4 month process for me to do (again, I live 2 hours away), but I was very calm, confident, and educated about what I was doing when I was wheeled into the OR.

    Do your research, and find out who offers bariatric surgeries. Don't be afraid to look outside of your town to find the right doctor for you. Good luck!
  • jillcwatson1
    jillcwatson1 Posts: 100 Member
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    Although my hospital was not listed as a Center of Excellence, my surgeon was very strict in setting standards of excellence. I feel that I got and will continue to get a high level of care at my hometown hospital due to his diligence. I worked with a team of profesionals pre-op (dietician appts monthly, case manager that contacts me by phone for followups, support group that meets monthly, psychiatrist and counseling center, medical tests at the local hospital, etc. If I had gone to a Center of Excellence, I wouldn't have access on a regular basis to these services unless I drove 3 hours away for each occurrence, taking off days of work at a time to get it done. I wonder about those that have surgery in Mexico and give up this support. I feel that I will be able to maintain so much easier knowing that these people are only a short drive away...and someone that I can bump into at the local grocery store, etc on a daily basis. I feel so secure in my decision. So, check out what is available in your area. My insurance company suggested I go to my Center of Excellence, but then when I told them my surgeon's strict requirements, could not deny that I was going to receive excellent services here. His volume of surgeries in this area may be too low to get that certification, but otherwise his standards are still excellent.
  • loriloftness
    loriloftness Posts: 476 Member
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    mcconch6 wrote: »
    Hello everyone, thanks so much for responding and making me feel so welcomed. I am not sure which surgery will be recommended. We have learned about all of them but the lapband seems to be out of favor here in San Diego. I am not quite sure why that is. The idea of something being reversible and controllable is appealing. I am wondering how you chose your surgeon and how you got to him/her? Do people get second opinions? Also do all of you have some kind of a team that works with you? I am in a weight loss clinic/program now with many specialities. I have a long check list of things I have to do, and we go for the information seminar with one of the surgeons tonight. Do you have any ideas of questions I ought to be asking? I feel a bit like I am taking a crash course here, trying to figure it all out in a short space of time. Thanks again, Sue

    The lap band is not in favor here is Mpls either and the clinic where I went is actually considering not offering it as an option. According to them the overall weight loss average has not been good, and for some it involved a lot of work putting in or taking out fluid from the band to find the right restriction. The day I had my info seminar my surgeon had just met w/a person who had the band placed 3 yrs prior and had only lost about 50 lbs. The person was in to schedule a revision surgery from the band to VSG. I think each of the possibilities, band, VSG, RNY have pros and cons.
  • sinderstorm
    sinderstorm Posts: 225 Member
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    The lap band is falling out of favor for a few reasons. 1) the long term weight loss statistics aren't as good on it as on the RNY and VSG when you're out 5, 10, 15 years from surgery. 2) it is a foreign object in your body, and some people's immune systems attack and reject it, which can make you very ill. 3) it requires regular checkups and adjustments. You'll always have a button port in your abdomen that the docs use to access the band to adjust its tightness. 4) it doesn't have the hunger suppressing and diabetes resolving properties that the RNY especially and VSG to an extent have.

    The surgeon who did my VSG said that he's done many lapband to either VSG or RNY conversions over the last few years and really tries to sway patients away from the lapband and towards the other procedures because he feels they're more effective and patients have much better outcomes from them.
  • cmchandler74
    cmchandler74 Posts: 510 Member
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    They still offer lapband where I am, but in our seminar they explained that not only do most insurance companies consider it out of favor now when looking at long-term results, but they also have to do more medical intervention post-surgery for that type than either of the two others combined. I attend a monthly support group for bariatric surgery patients from the hospital where my surgery was, and the only two lapbanders there I have met are ones coming in to prepare for revision because of all of the complications they've had from it. That said, I know someone at work who has had it with great success, so it really just depends.

    The best thing is to examine your options and determine which one is best for you. VSG was right for me for a number of reasons, but ultimately, it's up to you and your provider to figure out what will be your best option.
  • lmryoung
    lmryoung Posts: 47 Member
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    Welcome! To echo what others have said, deciding which surgery to have really goes back to which your surgeon recommends for individually. My surgeon recommended RNY for me because I have chronic and severe GERD. (wait a second --- I HAD GERD, as in past tense, as in gone since my surgery!!!!) RNY is favored over VSG in this case as RNY can reduce or resolve reflux whereas VSG can worsen it. I also have a history of insulin resistance and I wanted the best chance possible to prevent that from turning into diabetes. If it had not been for those issues, however, I would've gone with VSG since it is a simpler surgery and doesn't create malabsorption. I was never interested in Lap Band because the idea of a foreign object in me grossed me out. But I read in these threads all the time about Band to RNY/VSG conversions and I have a co-worker whose band "slipped" several years ago and she has to have surgery to remove it. I was hoping for more of a once-and-done plan. At any rate, best of luck to you!!
  • BabeDeNoc
    BabeDeNoc Posts: 8 Member
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    Like Imryoung, I also had RNY because of GERD. I had my surgery at a Bariatric Center of Excellence an hour from my home. They had a very through program of several pre- and post-op appointments with the doctor and with nutritionists to explain every part of the process and to track my progress afterward (and I'll continue to be monitored in coming years). My surgery was Oct. 1, 2013. At the time I was 65 years old so the surgery was covered by Medicare. The surgery really brought about a wonderful change in my life. I no longer have the many health problems that were really dragging me down. It is an exciting process. My doctor explained that weight loss surgery is like a 3-legged stool. You will only be successful by using all three legs--the surgery restricts the AMOUNT you can eat at one time (1 leg), you will make the decisions to eat a diet high in protein and low in fats (2nd leg), and you must exercise to help your body become more healthy (3rd leg). I'm maintaining my 100 pound weight loss (went from a size 20 to an 8) by continue to follow my doctor's advice. Good luck mcconch6!