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Banner Bariatric Clinic (AZ) First Appointment



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Hi!

So I have an anxiety disorder and it makes talking on the phone really difficult for me. I already got set up and had my call with an Optum BRS nurse (who was super sweet) since I have UHC PLus. I got the ok to set up my first appointment but have been having lots of anxiety over calling to see how the process goes with all the COVID restrictions.

well today I finally did it! It may sound small but for me it’s a big deal. I go to an online seminar this Saturday and then I have an appointment with the dr I’d researched and liked most (Dr. Emil Graf) September 2nd as this is the soonest availability.

a couple questions..

A. What can I expect from the seminar and first appointment? I’m very nervous as I have a lot of experience being shamed by doctors. My weight is very emotional for me as I’ve tried my entire life to lose it.

B. Has anyone worked with Banner’s bariatric clinic in Gilbert? Or specifically Dr.Graf? I’d love to hear personal experiences. they’re In network for my plan and a COE. Dr. Graf had pretty good reviews and his little intro video seemed very warm, which is why I chose him.

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bariatric surgeons don't fat shame their patients. They totally understand.

they'll probably just talk about the surgeries, what to expect, maybe ask you what your expectations are, that kind of thing. If this seminar is with the other patients who are going through the program at the same time as you are, they'll likely have three or four of them. They'll eventually cover things like nutritional requirements, exercise, support, how to handle various situations that might come up, etc

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The seminar should be a toned down sales presentation for the medical procedures available. Everyone involved is either a caregiver, patient in need of WLS, or a patient that successfully went through the process. I've been through three "first" consultations. Once with a family member, once for myself, and once for a revision. Doctors are always very considerate.

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I did the seminar and consult appointment with Banner Estrella (pre-Covid). They are the same program, just 2 sites. The seminar is very low pressure. You will fill out a packet of info with questions about your health and demographics, including you insurance info. You have time for questions, but don't have to talk or share in the seminar.

I did my consult with Dr Heller. I weighed in, he talked about my health history, and discussed which surgery would likely be the best option for me. He was very kind. Everyone at the office was.

Both in the seminar and consult, weight was talked about from a completely normalized and non-judgmental way. You got this!

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