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Everything posted by Hello_Pumpkin

  1. I finally bit the bullet and called up my doctor's office down in Florida who placed my lap band back in 2013, and I made a consultation for the 23rd to speak to him about a revision to a sleeve. I'm very excited to finally get the ball rolling on this and see if this will be a sure thing. I was hoping to not have to travel back to FL for a revision, but it seems this is really the best way to go since this doctor did my first surgery and his prices are reasonable so far (I am self pay). Anything I should prepare for before this consult? Any general band to sleeve revision advice?
  2. For anyone who hates when someone is feeling down on themselves, then leave this post now lol. I don't have anyone who I can discuss this with in my everyday life, so I'm talking about it here. But I'm just feeling so defeated. I went ahead and made an appointment with my original surgeon to talk to him about revision from band to sleeve. My band has some sort of leak or disconnection in it and will no longer hold fluid. It's useless. Now, him doing the surgery is not the problem, I'm sure he'll do it. The problem is money. I work for the state of SC but they don't cover anything bariatric (BCBS Peba). I've applied to 4 or 5 different loan companies to see what rates they'd give me for loans and the first two said they'd give me a loan, but they won't give me the amount I need to cover the procedure. Then Care Credit and Prosper gave me a flat-out "no". I'm now in the headspace where I feel like calling up my doctor's office and saying forget it and I shouldn't even bother taking the trip to see him if I can't even finance the surgery. This just sucks. I feel like I've hit a wall and it's so disheartening because up until now I have been feeling so positive about taking the steps to get revised and now it seems like even though I want this so badly that it's not going to happen. If anyone else has had issues with finding financing but found a solution, please let me know.
  3. @Tim C Thank you for your reply! This made me so glad to read! I know you just had the surgery, but do you have any issues with heartburn or anything so far? My only worry about getting the revision from band to sleeve are all the people I see here who are getting their sleeve revised to something else because of GERD, hernia, etc.
  4. Hello_Pumpkin

    Band Leak and Revision Prices

    Hello, everyone! So, after having little to no restriction for quite some time, I finally found a doctor here in South Carolina who was willing to do fills without charging a huge amount of money and making me jump through hoops like Roper St. Francis hospital systems did. After multiple appointments with this new doctor it became clear that I have some sort of leak or disconnection somewhere in my band. The very first appointment he pulled almost no fluid out, then even after adding fluid in the band for two more appointments in a row after that, the same amount of fluid was not pulling back out and I really didn't feel anything restriction-wise. On our 3rd appointment, after once again only being able to pull a tiny amount of fluid out, the saline had a yellow tint which my doc stated indicated that blood was present and getting into the band. This solidified his suspicions that I had a leak. He felt that was the issue at the previous appointments, but he said seeing that tint was a dead giveaway. This doctor and his staff were so helpful and wonderful, but I feel their total pricing for having a revision is a little steep. Perhaps I am simply ignorant, and I expected it to be expensive, but wow. It's not the pricing of the VSG itself that I'm surprised by, it's the price they're adding on top of that for just taking out the band. They want about $25,000 total to revise me from band to sleeve and it also seems like they want me to do two surgeries rather than one. Financing is available, but I worry about taking out that amount. To break it down, they are charging $15,500 for the VSG (which is fine) but then another $9,000 on top of that just for the removal of the band itself. Just to clarify, the only doctors who ever touched my port and/or band was my doctor in Florida who placed my band back in 2013 and then this new doctor in SC who only did those fills I was speaking of prior. I know that the doctor here in SC who did the fills did not cause the leak with a puncture or anything since there was little to nothing in the band in the first place at the first appointment. I also hadn't seen my original doctor in a few years, and in between him and this doctor here in SC, no one else has messed with my band/port. The last time I saw/had an adjustment with my original doctor, I was good to go and had the right amount of fluid and restriction. It's been the last couple years that my weight has started to creep back up and I began losing restriction. I have no clue why the band began to leak or what caused it. As stated before, no other doctor messed with it, and I've not had any sort of accident that could have caused damage to the line, port, etc. I even had an Upper GI in 2020 when I was trying to go through Roper St. Francis hospital's bariatric department for fills and they told me the band was in it's proper place and there was no indication of a slip. They just said the liquid they had me drink during the imaging was going through fine and there seemed to be no restriction present. The point of my rambling is this...since the issue with my band is not anyone's fault and seems to be some sort of malfunction with the band itself, does anyone know ANY loopholes, per say, in order to avoid paying an arm and a leg for the charge of the removal of the band. Again, I'm not haggling over the price of the VSG, I'm attempting to haggle the price of the removal of the band itself. I know business is business, time is money, revisions take more time and resources, and our medical system here in the US is crazy expensive. But, I personally feel like I should not be financially penalized by way of extra cost for the removal of the band itself. The VSG part of the surgery itself I'm happy to pay for and am not trying to negotiate the price of, it's just disheartening that the band is essentially broken and my options feel like, 1) either keep a useless foreign object inside my body that serves no purpose, or 2) pay an exorbitant amount for it to be revised even though its failure is not my doing. To add to my annoyance over the situation, the band has been intermittently causing me discomfort; particularly at the port area. My surgical doc placed the port in the center of my abdomen right above my navel and as of lately, it'll feel sore and has even felt slightly swollen a couple of times. It almost feels as if the port moved or was pulled from the inside. The discomfort is similar to the discomfort you feel when a surgical incision or a cut is still tender...that's the best way I can describe the pain/discomfort. **In addition. I do have insurance, but it covers nothing bariatric. Any constructive advice is welcomed and I appreciate anyone who took the time to read this long-winded post!
  5. Hello_Pumpkin

    Band Leak and Revision Prices

    I don't think so. That's the weird part, the doctor himself didn't seem to indicate that he wanted to do two surgeries. But the office staff who I spoke to when asking about my next steps toward surgery were the ones who were indicating that they'd schedule 2 different surgeries.
  6. Hello_Pumpkin

    Port Placement

    Hello! Im just curious if anyone else has had a port placed in an odd spot? I had lapband in 2013 and my doc put my port right above my belly button. My new bariatric doctor has been perplexed as to why my previous doctor did that. I honestly don’t remember for what reason my original doctor did it for. My sister had gotten lapband about 2 years before me with the same doctor who did mine and hers was placed in a typical spot (upper side quadrant of the abdomen is how I can best describe it). My new doctor struggled to even feel for the port as it has seemed to migrate some and the first time he tried to check the fluid, he had to go into my bellybutton to get to the port. He expressed frustration as the bellybutton is difficult to anesthetize and just odd placement in general. I feel like this placement has caused me different issues. Anyone else have a port that was placed in a spot like mine?
  7. Hello_Pumpkin

    Band to sleeve concern.

    @mswillis5 I have dabbled with the idea of seeing a therapist. Years ago I used to see a therapist for other things going on in my life and she helped me tremendously. I think it could be beneficial to have someone disconnected from my everyday that I can bounce things like that off of. @S@ssen@ch Thank you for sharing your experience! After reading your comment, I think I really need to practice eating without drinking so much. Since the band will no longer hold fluid, it sometimes feels like a moot point at times. However, it’s a habit I need to create again to better my chances of success if I’m able to get the revision. I appreciate everyone’s input!
  8. Hello, I’m brand new to this forum so forgive me if I post in the wrong place or anything. I got Lapband back in 2013, and due to some recent issues with the band and less-than-stellar results in general, I am looking into having a revision to the sleeve. Long story short, my band no longer holds fluid, so it’s essentially just a foreign object sitting in my body and providing no real use. However, I have some concerns when it comes to potentially switching to the sleeve... In all brutal honesty, I was/am guilty of “eating through” the band. At times, I would drink too much liquid during meals thus negating the point of the band (disclaimer: this is not what caused the band to no longer hold fluid). Even though the band and sleeve are very different surgeries, I worry my bad habit will cause me to fail with the sleeve. Anyone gone through this and have advice?
  9. Hello_Pumpkin

    Band to sleeve concern.

    Thank you, catwoman7! I appreciate your response! I find I usually graze all day if I’m bored. I’ve realized this and due to that, and some other factors in my life, I’m actually in the process of striving to occupy myself more when I’m not at work so that I don’t become so bored that I graze or anything else. Typically, I am one of those who will eat a large portion in one sitting but each day can be different.

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