My lap band story? Hmmm, I am not really sure what people put in here but I know what I looked for when I came to this site initially and that was an understanding of what the process was for Kaiser patients in Denver. How long does it take? How much does it cost? This is my story and I recognize that the process is different for everyone and Kaiser's process is always subject to change!
Applied. I decided after some long hard soul searching that I needed to lose weight. I have always been heavy/fat/fluffy/full figured - whatever you want to call it. I did what we have all done - lost and gained and then gained extra. I've maintained my current weight for six years (for some reasons the doctors /staff were surprised by that) but let's face it fat is fat. I'm a vegetarian and I am blessed not to have high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, or any of the other gamut of diseases that walk with obesity BUT, I did have a bad car accident a few years ago and my L4 & L5 are sitting on top of each other. They want to do surgery. I BELIEVE that if I lose weight I can stop the shots, the pain and avoid surgery. I also have Alpha 1 - no cure yet but I believe one day there will be. My symptoms with Alpha 1 are mild at the moment. I still have 80% lung function, use an inhaler - worst part is I get sick I get pnuemonia. If you have Alpha 1 questions feel free to ask me or google it. My mom is dying of it though and that's the other part of this journey, I believe losing weight will help ease any pressure on my lungs - maybe that will help. Thank God I've never smoked.
Kaiser required that for my height I would have to weigh around 310 lbs to qualify without two underlying medical conditions - first and only time I wasn't fat enough! lol. My two underlying conditions - my back and alpha 1. The conditions listed on their application but I'm sure there are others are: diabetes, sleep apnea, PCOS, hypertension, etc., etc., I was approved 6 or 8 weeks after applying. It seemed like forever but, the forever part comes later!
Then you wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. The current wait list in the metro area is around 9 months or so I'm told.
Blood work. (free) (Note they won't even put you in classes if you smoke)
Pre-class psych visit (not a big deal - questionaire to complete and lots of . . . do you suffer from depression - take anxiety meds - etc. I don't so I don't know what happens if you do) (speciality co-pay for me $40)
Six week surgery connections class (if you miss one you start all over again) (my co pay was $120)
More blood work. (free)
Nurse visit (doc visit co pay - for me $20)
Psych again (questions about process, etc) (speciality co pay)
Pre surgery evaluation and blood work (they do EKG and labs) (regular co pay)
Pre surgery visit with surgeon (speciality co-pay)
Two week nutrition class (free)
Surgery (each plan differs - mine is 30% of total cost - some are 50% and medicaid is regular hospital co-pay I think. Average per Kaiser's paperwork is co-pays from $5000 to $10,000) Now, please note you have to pay that percentage of any complications that may come up - PRAYING for non of that!!!
I also know they require a few post surgery support groups, another psych visit and visit with nurse.
The surgery coordinator Rita Payne is AWESOME! A real sweetheart!
My surgery date is July 19, 2010.
I'm scared but also looking forward to the positive changes! I'm hoping I will find my wings again!
To be continued . . . .
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Goal Weight: 150 lbs
Surgery Status: Pre Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 01/01/1970
Surgery Date: 07/20/2010
Hospital Stay: n/a
Surgery Funding: Combination
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval