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Posted (edited)

Hey ya'll!! I just wanted to take a minute to brag about my surgeon. I chose Dr. Mark Smolik who is associated with Mercy One Bariatric in West Des Moines, Iowa. He is a straight shooter, doesn't sugar coat anything and takes as much time as you need to answer all of your questions without making you feel like he's in a hurry. His entire staff has been wonderful. I've had to do 6 months of supervised diet visits per UHC so I've gotten to know many members of his staff over the last few months. The nurses and dieticians work with you to make sure you are doing what you need to do to prepare for surgery and life afterwards. Again, they never make you feel rushed. The office staff is friendly and helpful. I have never had to wait past my appointment time; I'm usually called back a little early if they see me sitting there. They give you a "to do list" during your first visit and schedule all of your appointments (other than clearance appointments) that first day. That was nice for me as I tend to be a planner. You are weighed on a Tanita scale every time you go in so you don't have to worry about fluctuations between scales (I had that issue at the other big bariatric center in Des Moines). They divide the process into what they call Modules.

Prior to Module 1 is the lecture where you learn about the different options and have the opportunity to ask questions. It's a small conference room so there aren't hundreds of people there which was a huge plus for me. I didn't feel crowded. Module 1 is your initial RN assessment visit where you discuss your insurance criteria and they let you know exactly what you need to do. Module 2 is your surgeon consult where you'll decide which surgery you want to proceed with. They do an EKG in the office. I failed mine so I was referred to Iowa Heart for cardiac clearance...no big deal, I have failed EKGs most of my life and my heart is fine. After meeting with Dr. Smolik, you walk over to Mercy West and have labs and chest xray done. Module 3 is a diet and exercise class and these ladies are hilarious. They make it fun and you'll learn a lot. Mercy One program requires you to meet with the dietician twice but these visits DO count towards any visits you need for your insurance. You're also required to obtain psychiatric clearance using your choice of psychiatrists (they'll provide you with a list if that helps.) After you complete everything on your "to do list" then they submit to your insurance. Module 4 happens after you get approved and it's a pre-op teaching class. They'll request any additional tests needed at this time and have you go to your primary doctor for a history and physical to get cleared for surgery and they'll also schedule your surgery at this time. Module 5 is one week post-op and is a diet progression class. Module 6 is your 2 week post op visit with Dr. Smolik and also an hour long nutrition class. ((They want to make sure you are clear about your diet and Vitamins and discuss these things often during this entire process.))

You will have several follow up appointments post op where they'll check you labs to make sure your vitamin/mineral levels are where they need to be for optimum health and readjust your routine as necessary to make sure you remain healthy. They also offer monthly support groups.

They do give you a binder at Module 1 that you'll need to take with you to all of your appointments. I refer to this binder often as it contains a wealth of information.

If you live in Iowa and are considering weight loss surgery, even if you have already seen another surgeon, I highly recommend checking Dr. Smolik's program out at Mercy One. It's the best thing I've done for myself in decades! ❤️

Edited by LLaneRN

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I can second that. 😊😊

Though, to be honest, I never worried about wether i would like my surgeon. (I happen to, luckily.) I figured the surgeon just needed to be skilled, and if he was a jerk so be it. What I think is most important is the support staff, particularly the nurses, as those are the people who are the heart and soul of the team. The nurses at this office are phenomenal, without exception...

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I agree. However, the one I saw at Unity Point was rude and belittling and as an RN and a patient, I won’t tolerate that kind of condescending behavior. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. LOL. I was so grateful to meet Dr Smolik and his team. They’re an amazing bunch of kind hearted souls.

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The one leg at a time was attributed to Football. Some legends say Notre Dame, others say my own Ohio State University. At any rate , the humble retort from the player so addressed. " Yeah Coach, but theirs are a whole bigger than ours!"
That's me ,a fount of usless information. Jill of all Trades, mistress of none with no Masters enclosed in . Now my own woman, sink or swim. And alas I could still sink, yeah I am lighter, so more buoyant, but my shoulders are feeling shot. No breast stroke, Australian crawl or even free- styling! Just had surgery. April 4th on Right one, left one had been on the original surgery plans, still hurts with use. He is gonna ask at my 2-week checkup." Well, are you ready for me to do the Left?" The way I feel tonight, right arm aches when I put it in its sling but doesn't feel any better out of it. Can't sleep with my sling on, rides up and nearly chokes me. So I remove it and prop it up on its own soft pillow at sleep time. Okay got it down to a soft ache enough to sleep, things okay until I try turning over while asleep or slide down off my pillows. Then I must drag it behind me like a broken limb Ka'thunk Ka-thumpt and I'm wide awake, Back to the recliner,and it has its own detriments. Last night 3 and a half hours, never get more than 6 and I was always an 8- hour woman.
Dr Doolittle is gonna get a " does not play well with others in a gentle manner" I am still pretty miserable 11 days out, not too ready for any more shoulder surgery quite yet. And he really is a very person, good surgeon etc. But surgeon's motto is OPERATIONS ARE GOOD FOR PEOPLE, but not this person and not right now!

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I hope you start feeling better soon. I’m sorry you’re suffering.

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Posted (edited)

I would not put up with rudeness either. I am so sorry you had that experience and I am really glad you found Mercy.

What I meant was that, some people, (didn't mean you or anyone else in particular) really need that big emotional connection with their Doctor. And that is totally cool. I am just not that way is all. Only speaking for myself and some decision processing I made before even choosing a surgeon. :)

By saying the Doctor can be a jerk as long as he is competent, I meant my feelings don't get too hurt by a shitty bedside manner. Sadly, lots of Doctors who are great at what they do aren't so great at the patient relations part.

Thankfully I don't have to worry about that with Dr. Smolik!

Edited by FluffySaysForkIt!

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