Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Now, 1st step is the education session last week where the surgeon describes the surgeries available and initial paperwork is filed with his office indicating a desire to have one of the procedures done.
2nd step is being called to inform you that you are a candidate and set an appointment with the surgeon. Most people don't realize that insurance companies require the patient to follow a supervised diet with their PCP or the hospital's group weight loss clinic for 6 months before the bariatric procedures will be covered by insurance. So if you are considering this surgery, get going with a program with your PCP. Wendell was fortunate in that his PCP's nurse just had her procedure done a few months ago and she knows the ropes. She started Wendell on his diet and supervised weigh ins in March this year.
Next will come the scripts for psychological evaluations and the nutrition evals and education.
This is a whole new world of weight loss.
Wendell is hoping for the bypass surgery. It's a bit more complicated and requires a 2 day 2 night stay in the hospital. He's good with that.
Pray all will fall into place easily.. that this is God's will for his life.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wendell and I went to an education session given by Magee Hospital Bariatric surgeons last evening. It was a 2 hour experience where the doctor explained the 2 most commonly performed bariatric procedures. One is lap banding and the other is gastric bypass or Roux en Y.
We both went in thinking that the banding would be better for him, but when we came out, we were both convinced that the gastric bypass is really the better choice for life.
You have to meet certain criteria in order to be a candidate for this surgery. The BMI has to be at least 35 or more with associated medical conditions like diabetes...... or a BMI over 40.
You also have to fail the supervised diet for 6 months. That is, you have to follow the plan for 6 months without gaining, but without exceptional losses too.
It involves life style changes in exercise and diet and requires life long follow-up.
The doctor described the risks and the benefits of each procedure. He mentioned that with the bypass, 85-90% of type 2 diabetics are not any more. That is exciting news. He also said that men do better with the bypass and the loss is generally more rapid in the first year than the banding. 70% of excess weight is lost that first year. The weight loss with banding is at a much slower rate, but also sounded to us like the complications could be a problem.. like the band slipping..
One thing I thought was interesting was that he said you can't eat concentrated sugars after the bypass.. you might try, but you won't do it twice. Also, you say goodbye to red meats and bread.
There is a malabsorption risk with the bypass, so one must be on vitamins and minerals daily for life afterward.
We learned that eating habits at the table would change dramatically. He described it as taking a very small bite of food, purposefully placing the fork by the plate, and chewing at least 20 times before swallowing. No drinks with meals either. No more fast foods.. meals will take 40 minutes or more to complete.
There is a psych evaluation, nutrition eval, and then labs and testing as needed prior to surgery. Wendell has 3 months of supervised diet therapy already, and the final testing and instructions are due the last 2 months.
We may hear by the end of this week whether he's a candidate, or perhaps early next week. I'm praying he will be chosen.
After he gets settled and is doing well with this, I'm going to apply myself. I asked about blood thinners and having the surgery, and he said it can be done with injections in the belly (Lovenox) and perhaps an IVC filter to catch the clots if any form.