I had heard about weight loss surgery over the last 10-20 years. I had success several times with Syndrome X diet, but the weight came back each time. I was able to reach 214# through diet. My wife and I met up with an Australian friend who attended our wedding. He must have been 500# back then, but was barely recognizable. It was then that I decided to look more seriously into bariatric surgery.
I was living in Russia. The internet was my only source of information, but I did have another friend who was recently banded and a sympathetic primary care physician. I found several websites with information, but quickly saw these were dominated by opinionated people. I was told I was making bad decisions and that a duodenal switch was the only answer. Sure enough, there was a doctor in Moscow performing duodenal switch and the price was low. I started to correspond with that doctor when I learned I was being transferred back to Houston. I decided I was going to use the broader resources available in the US. Bariatric Pal was increasing my source of internet information.
I initiated contact with Herrmann Memorial Hospital who were hosting an information session in March 2014. I didn't ask many questions as I was suspicious about the bias I had seen in much of the information. The presenter made a balanced overview. I gave them my Aetna insurance information and was told the approval process was 4 months because the facility had a special recognition from Aetna.
My initial consultation was exciting. I was collecting a lot of information. The doctor recommended me for gastric bypass, but sleeve was also an option. I had a second visit with a group of people and the dietician. The meeting was rather impersonal, but I could see people in a much worse condition than I was in. I started to second guess my own decisions and during a subsequent visit with the dietician, I had highly technical questions requiring another consultation with the doctor. I decided to change to sleeve following that discussion. I was concerned about potential for weight to come back and Bariatric Pal posts I had seen where there was too common.
I switched back to bypass to maximize weight loss and back to sleeve again to avoid dumping and have additional food options. The last change was after my Aetna approval. The final approval took a month. I think the doctor's office was waiting for other patients and send several of us in together rather than one at a time. I was a little frustrated with the wait.
I started my pre-operative diet at midnight on 2 September while finishing an alcoholic apple cider while chatting on Bariatric Pal. It was my last alcoholic drink. I weighed myself at 361#. I use an iPhone application to track weight. I found the pre-operative diet slightly exciting and lost seven pounds. I was enthusiastic about my prospects.
My wife drove me to the hospital on 11 September. I remember checking-in and have the pre-operative exams. I woke up several hours later with strong urging from the nurse. She asked about pain. I really didn't have any. In the first hours I was so careful with my first liquids. I did my exercise around the floor. I had very high blood pressure and found it hard to sleep. I watched a high school football game. I was released from the hospital and back to work after doctor's release within a week.
I have maintained strong compliance with the doctor's recommended diet and have initiated strong physical fitness regime. My loss continues each week. I have passed 100# loss and am preparing to ride my bicycle 150 miles for the MS150 in April. Wish me the best!
Height: 6 feet 5 inches
Starting Weight: 361 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery: 354 lbs
Current Weight: 229 lbs
Goal Weight: 216 lbs
Weight Lost: 132 lbs
Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 03/25/2014
Surgery Date: 09/11/2014
Hospital Stay: 2 Days
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval
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Minimally Invasive Surgeons Of Texas
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Houston, Texas 77030