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Help Please! So Many Questions?



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Can somebody help me please if they have advise. My current weight is 338lbs with a BMI of 45. I have decided on the Lap Band because I am mortified of having my stomach permanently cut. However, most people have advised a sleeve operation instead of a band. As it is now, True Results has advised me of a $2100 cost with BCBS insurance. I don't know what to do but I know I need to lose weight. Can anyone advise? What is the protocol to follow for a lap band to sleeve revision if I feel the band is not working? Will BCBS pay for a revision? What are the conditions? Should I just go for the sleeve? I have a friend who has had the band and after losing an initial 23 lbs has gained 6 of it back in 4 months and this is not encouraging at all. I need to make the best decision. Please help!!!!

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Had lap band and I never felt full. Even after several fills Of course I am only two weeks out of from sleeve surgery. There is certainly a difference already. There are so many lapband revisions to sleeve these days. What does your dr suggest. I was scared to have the sleeve.. But it all went well. Take your time in making a decision that is best for u. Research ..ask questions...and pray.over it. You will know what route u should take when the time comes.

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Im a band to sleeve patient and wish I would have gotten the sleeve first. Yes I lost 120lbs with the band. But it slipped and had to be removed. I gained 28lbs then choose to do the sleeve. Its more scary to think of having something bad happen with the band then getting your stomach cut smaller. At least for me it is. I had to have 3 surgeries if I would have just picked the sleeve from the start I would have had 1. Also it took me 2 years to lose 120lbs and I still didn't reach goal. Alot of people with the sleeve reach there goal in 6 months to a year. Of course everyone is different but that is what I have seen at least.

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Thanks for your responses. Did your insurances give you any issues to convert to a sleeve? Was there any protocol or waiting time? How did you justify having your insurance pay for your conversion? Or did you pay out of pocket?

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Johnny, for 10 years my husband attended weight loss seminars, and until the sleeve came along he rejected the idea of the other surgeries based on a lot of information. He has been overweight with serious health issues. We were both sleeved in November and December and are very thankful to have finally done this. I have felt like a million dollars, he has more issues with blood pressure, sleep apnea, and diabetes, but I can tell you one important thing. If we had not done this surgery I do not think my husband would have lived very much longer, so consider life as morbidly obese with debilitating issues versus $2,100, or another amount. He is 65 years old. Blessed to be sleeved,

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I had the band for 10 years. Lots of vomiting, never being able to get it adjusted correctly (fills cost $$)…I finally gave up on it after 3 years and had all the Fluid taken out. I still had the band inside my body for another 7 years, basically doing nothing.

When I heard about the sleeve, I was very excited. I had my band removed last October, but it had done so much damage inside my body that I won't be able to have my sleeve till next month.

From what I understand, the band now has about 50% failure rate. Why put yourself through that? Many surgeons are not even doing band procedures any more.

If you are not ready for the sleeve or bypass, perhaps you should just wait. You don't want to do anything you are not 100% committed to. As far as your insurance, you really need to talk to them. There are so many insurance companies, and BCBS is different in each state.

I will tell you this. If I could do it all over again, I would have had bypass or sleeve, preferably sleeve, but they were not doing it back then in 2013.

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You also need to realize that the cost may change, depending on a lot of things. At this stage, they're estimating based on their experience with the insurance company and your plan's stated rules. I think my initially quoted cost by the hospital was something like $600 (my insurance covers 90% of inpatient/surgery after meeting the deductible…this year anyway) and they discounted that to $450 if I paid them up front. But even though my surgery was 2 months ago, bills and claims are still rolling in. I got one the other day that said a claim for $800 was rejected. I don't expect this will all be cleared up for at least another month or so. I'm guessing I'll end up a little south of $1,000…but that is plenty reasonable all things considered.

As for follow up/revision operations, that completely depends on your insurance plan. I think most are probably covered but I really don't know. And personally, I didn't really want to count on it.

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I think you have some valid questions. I had the band removed 6 weeks ago and will revise to the sleeve on 12-28-13. With the band I lost almost no weight. I could never get the fills correct. To tight or to loss etc. My band slipped and had it removed. I think all insurance company might be different when it comes to revision. I know some insurance company only allow one weight loss surgery. You never know we're you will be in terms of insurance down the road. With my insurance I was already seeing a nutritionist for 6 months before going to see the weight loss surgeon. After they discovered the slip the submitted everything to insurance. My surgeon which does all type of weight loss.surgery said they band only has a 50 % successful rate and in 2013 the hospital only did 1. I think that speaks volumes. I think with any surgery you must make sure you have an experienced surgeon or things might go wrong.

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i was banded in 2006. i did well and lost around 75 lbs, wanting to lose another 20 or so. about a yr out the band slipped. i had a revision surgery and the dr replaced that band with another band. again about a yr later another slip and then i opted to have it taken out. he mentioned the sleeve to me after that but since i was of a more normal weight i didn't want to take that option. myself and dr thought id be able to maintain my loss. well over the past 4 years or so i regained all the weight. i wouldn't recommend the band to anyone. i hear too many stories of problems with it. i have been researching the sleeve for about 1 1/2 yrs , back and forth and i think I'm coming to decision. take your time. you will be ready, when you feel you are. research as much as you can and even get a few opinions. each time you learn more and more.

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Great advice here from everyone. This should help anyone make a decision. :)

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I was also banded in 2006. In 2010 my Dr went in to replace my band with a newer model. Out had slipped and he thought I would benefit. As it turns out, he perforated my stomach and we didn't know for 9days. I had a 50/50 chance of surviving the infection. I was 7days in icu and 5days on another floor. No band! Now 3 years later, all my weight back on, I am preparing for the sleeve. Different Dr.

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I had the band in 2007, no real issues except that it just never worked, could not get the right restriction, the only good thing that came out of it was no reflux at all since I had it.

I'm now looking into getting sleeve but have to go to Mexico because my insurance will not pay, its an exclusion on the policy. You never know what will happen with your insurance, will you lose it?. Will they stop covering WLS? If you're already thinking that you may want to go the sleeve route, then just do it. Ive never heard a sleever saying they wished they had went with the band. But many, lots, have wished they had went with the sleeve. Good luck with whatever you choose.

Lisa

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I had the band amd lost 90 pounds. Started having complications. Thr body either wants to reject thr band or absorb it because it's a foreign object. About 60% of lapbans patients need it removed within 5 years. I wish I had known that when I was banded. Like you, I didnt want somthing drastic or permanent but I have revised to the sleeve and im very happy that I did. It sounds drastic to do the sleeve, but I started to look at it like having a Tummy Tuck, I just got rid of the extra, the un-needed. Good luck to u.

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I had my band done in 2007, at that time, I thought that was the best and safest option. I lost 30lbs in the beginning, but my port flipped and I had to have a surgery in April '08 to fix it, then I had a leaky port which was replaced and for the last 2 years I've had hernia style pain nearly everyday from the tubing from the band to the port rubbing my muscle wall.

I have BCBS insurance and since the band was giving me issues, I had to wait 3 months to have a revision, but I had to have an appointment each month, I had to show medical records of my weight over the last couple years and I had at have the psyc evaluation again and see a nutritionist again also. All those appointments cost money, so it adds up.

Bands are time consuming and can get expensive, a specialist copay every week or two until you get to a place where your band is working, but as you lose weight then you'll need more fills cause your stomach will shrink some. The fills can be painful, one office I went to used Lanicane to numb the area before doing the fill, that was more painful then the actual needle stick. The other office I went to for fills did not numb the area, they merely had me sit up in a crunching position and he did the fill that way.

Some surgeons will not do a band removal and revision in the same surgery. The bands can cause damage to the stomach which can also lead to a healing time before further surgery can be done.

If you are unsure still, don't rush into one surgery when your considering another. Why put yourself at risk and in pain for multiple surgeries, if you don't need to.

Do your research and be confidant in your decision before you make it.

I wish the sleeve was an option for me in 2007 so I didn't waste the last 6 years of my life being fat and in pain. Then the only surgeries insurance would pay for was the band or bypass, and I didn't want the bypass, I figured the more stuff to move and reroute, the more risk of complications.

Good luck in your journey and your decision.

Edited by kymomofmany

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Please Please dont get the lapband!! Many of us have gone through such medical nightmares from the lapband. I would double check with your doctor and see how many succesful patients he has had with the lapband. Also do they do the adjustments under florescope? If not it is litterally a stab in the dark, really the adjustments are done by feel and the chances of having your lapband adjustment via needle blindly (because there is skin between the port and the needle adjustments to be made.) I had an adjustment where the doctor couldnt get a proper feel for the port after being stabbed with the needle over 7 times, he hit me with such force that the I could feel my stomach muscles when he pulled the needle/plunger and nothing came out. this all happened in front of my child blood shot out my stomach was badly bruised for days this was the last time i got adjusted with out the help of going to a radiologist. I used to be a medical assistant and I had never been treated so bad by a doctor and the treatment was awful. After that my band leaked. I am not saying that you will have a nightmare of adjustments and band failure. but I am saying surgery once for WLS is important!

So do your research, yes i understand about all the pro's for lapband, but i have lived the negative from lapband and it is not worth it unfortunately the sleeve surgery wasnt an option for me at that time. It became popular with in months after my surgery. I am now awaiting my lapband revision surgery date, and thankful for the right tool and doctor to do the revision surgery.

John you need to do what works for you and you are taking the best steps by researching first here. I pray for wisdom for your healthy life and the right path for what works for you.

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