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Dr. in Calgary

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Started by KoobiesMum, Mar 10, 2007 11:03 PM
75 replies to this topic
75 replies to this topic

    KoobiesMum

    Newbie

  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: Mar 2007
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted March 10, 2007 - 11:03 PM

#1
I just found out that there are a couple of doctors in Calgary that do the lap band. I'd like to talk with anyone who has the procedure done with them. Thanks!


    Gaffer

    $16,000 Man

  • Posts: 725
  • Joined: Nov 2006
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted March 12, 2007 - 9:11 AM

#2
I am from Calgary, but had my band done by Dr. Coburn in Toronto. From what I have seen there are no Calgary Bandsters here who were banded in Calgary by Dr.Mitchell/Dr.Descouteux here.

All the bands that are being done in Calgary being paid for by Alberta Health Care, and we dont have the option of paying the Calgary Docs to do ours. The Calgary Clinic is limited to doing 25 bands per year, and this is the first year that they are being done. My Dr. was the one that trained the Calgary Docs, and he told me that they did 12/25 bands for 2006 when he was here to train them.

If you want to have your band done in Calgary you must meet certain criteria for BMI & co-morbitities, be refered by you family Dr., be accepted by the clinic, go through a 6 month supervised weight managment program and be prepared to wait 1.5 years to get a consult and another 2.5 before surgery.

Getting a band in Alberta is really tough right now. I personally was not willing to wait that long, so had to do a self pay in Toronto. There is no option for self pay in Alberta at this time.

Hope this helps,

Andrew


    argon

    Bariatric Hero

  • Posts: 2,316
  • Joined: Jan 2006
  • Location: QUEBEC
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • My Blogs
Posted March 12, 2007 - 5:29 PM

#3
Andrew said it best. Sorry if that's a disappointment. :eek:

Your options are to pay in BC, Ontario, (Montreal, I think you can pay too). That's just Canada... I assume you want to stay AS close as possible to home. And there's always Mexico.
Unless you want to wait and do it in Alberta.


    Gaffer

    $16,000 Man

  • Posts: 725
  • Joined: Nov 2006
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted March 13, 2007 - 8:26 AM

#4
If you want to stay close to home there are some Dr.s in Washignton and i think Idaho that are doing it, but I dont know who they are. Denver also has a Dr.Kirchebaum that many people here have used and he is pretty cheap ~$9500USD.

Funny thing, I got home last night in the mail, and I recieved my letter from the weight management clinic at the UofC which is the first step to becoming banded in Alberta. I was told to make an appointment for thier supervised weight management program.

I think I will skip it.

Andrew


    CanMacDaddy

    CanadianMacDaddy

  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: Feb 2007
  • Location: ALBERTA
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • My Blogs
Posted March 13, 2007 - 4:01 PM

#5
I agree with Gaffer.

I actually was referred by my doctor to Edmonton Surgeons almost 1.5 yrs ago and still haven't had a consultation. The waiting list then was almost 2 years then another >1 yr for surgeries. Sooooo coupled with Calgary docs on the AB Healthcare Public system there are not many procedures being done annually (hope i spelled that right....painful otherwise).

Maybe King Ralph's two-tier healthcare proposal wasn't that bad after all.


I decided to invest he $$ to get more helathy now as am 39 yrs old.

Good Luck
Mac Daddy


    KoobiesMum

    Newbie

  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: Mar 2007
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted March 13, 2007 - 5:24 PM

#6
Hi Andrew and thanks for the information. How much did it cost you to do it in Ontario? What were the steps that you had to take to go about it?
When you said that there were certain criteria that people had to meet to be accepted in the program in Calgary. What are they? What must the BMI be at and do there have to be co-morbidities? And are you saying that IF all goes fine in the program...it would be approximately 5 years before surgery?????


    KoobiesMum

    Newbie

  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: Mar 2007
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted March 13, 2007 - 5:28 PM

#7
Hi Mac Daddy. I have a very close friend that saw Dr. Davies and surprisingly she got everything done within a year and a half. Can people get in faster if they are really really heavy? Just curious.


    KoobiesMum

    Newbie

  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: Mar 2007
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted March 13, 2007 - 5:31 PM

#8
Mac Daddy, did you have surgery already? Or still waiting? What clinic is it?


    Gaffer

    $16,000 Man

  • Posts: 725
  • Joined: Nov 2006
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted March 14, 2007 - 12:31 PM

#9

Hi Andrew and thanks for the information. How much did it cost you to do it in Ontario? What were the steps that you had to take to go about it?
When you said that there were certain criteria that people had to meet to be accepted in the program in Calgary. What are they? What must the BMI be at and do there have to be co-morbidities? And are you saying that IF all goes fine in the program...it would be approximately 5 years before surgery?????


My cost for surgery was as follows:
Surgery = $16,000
Optifast (3 Weeks) = $210
Hotels & meals for my wife = $600.00
Flights to Toronto = $900
Car service & cab rides = $100
Total = $17,810 roughly
Getting my life back PRICELESS

I also submitted my claim and should be getting $1036 back from AB Health Care, as well as savings on my taxes as the suregery is tax deductable. That all depends on your income obviously, but I hope to get back at least $2500.

The criteria as I understand it to get into the program are a BMI of 40+. Comorbididites like sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other medical ailments caused by the extra weight also factor in.

I just got my letter from the clinic in Calgary Monday, about 9 months after my Dr. refered me to enter the weight management program. I did not have any comorbidities other than high blood pressure, but my Dr. also fudged my numbers to make my BMI 50, it was really 48.

The time from referal to surgery is looking like 4-5 years at this time. This is true of both the clinic in Calgary and Edmonton because I called them when I was refered and that was the time frame they gave me.

Also be aware that just because you are accepted into the program, it does not mean that you will be getting a lapband, you may be given the option of another surgery, or none at all based on your success in the weight management program.

When it came to me, I looked at the hurdles that were in place if I were to get it done in Alberta and I figured that those 4-5 years I would have to wait would be years that would be cut off the end of my life. Yes the $17K+ is steep, but when I look at what I would be losing interms of my health, ability to participate and be there for my young family it was totally worth it. I want to be able to ride bikes, go swimming, and do all those things that my weight was preventing me from doing.

Andrew


    JAC

    Banded Nov 6/06

  • Posts: 55
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Location: AB
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted March 15, 2007 - 12:17 AM

#10

I just found out that there are a couple of doctors in Calgary that do the lap band. I'd like to talk with anyone who has the procedure done with them. Thanks!

It is interesting what everyone says about what is happening in Calgary as it seems that some people have been able to fly through the steps to get the lap band and others have not been able to get through any of the steps. There are people that have done all these steps in 3 months, and others are being told it is a tremendous wait. I have no idea what the real truth is. This is what I have been told.

First you must be referred to the Weight Management Clinic. You can self refer by calling 9-Health. They will need to contact your family doctor, so if you have an appointment coming up, you might want to get them to refer you. Many of the family doctors have not heard of the Weight Management Clinic and what they provide, so it may be a longer process than if you contact them yourself.

Once you are accepted into the clinic, you have to "participate" in the program for at least six-months prior to you being referred to the surgeon. Participating seems to be going to the first three mandatory classes and then making a plan and trying to follow it. There is no one that actually follows up on your plan. They inform you of when surgery information sessions are held, and you must attend one of them to be on the path to surgery. They have said you need to be part of the Weight Management Clinic for 6 months, but I met the people that had the surgery in 2006, and since the Weight Management Clinic only started in March and the first surgeries were done in May, somethings about the timeline they are giving don't make sense. I also know that several families had several members banded last year as part of the 25. It made me feel somewhat ripped off as I think the health care money should have been spread around to more people than one family being able to take advantage of all the funding.

I personally went to Mexico and had Dr. Ortiz place my band. The cost was less for me going to Mexico than to Ontario and because my in-laws live just a couple of hours away from the clinic in Tijuana, I feel like I might actually make it back to Mexico at another time. I am glad that I have made the decision to get the band, but it is not without its share of issues that you have to deal with. As with any surgery or procedure, you just trade off one set of problems for another. You really have to decide what issues you want to deal with - being overweight, or changing your eating habits, exercise habits, sleep patterns, etc. Those are some of the issues I deal with.

Dr. Descouteaux is who I see for my fills and I do like him. He is very quiet but very caring and he does want to see everyone succeed. As far as contacting him, I made a call to his office at 220-8958. They would not make an appointment for me, but they gave a message to him and he called me back. I explained to him about my surgery and he asked me to get all the reports of my surgery and anything from my family doctor that would give him a history of me. He then told me to call his clinic and make an appointment. When I called the clinic, they would not make an appointment for me as there was no referal on file for him. I then had to call his office and it was quite a process calling back and forth between his office and the clinic, but eventually I got an appointment. I have seen him for three fills now. I think it might be getting close to the time when we don't have to pay for fills, but I have had to pay for two of the three fills.

Good luck with your decision.

Julie C
Nov 6/06
Dr. Ortiz, Mexico


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