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I am dealing with nerves regarding reaching out to the surgeons office. I have been doing research for a long time, I have probably watched hundreds of hours of youtube videos from all different kinds of perspectives, tons of reading online, just trying to find as much info as I can. But I have this fear of reaching out to the surgeon's office and I'm not even sure why.

Have any of you been there? Any words of encouragement or personal anecdotes? Thank you.

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I did the research years ago and just kept putting it off, coming up with excuse after excuse after excuse as to why not to have surgery. For me, the permanence was something that scared me and put me off doing the surgery for a long time. It was my health declining and fearing that I wouldn't be around to watch my nieces grow up that finally made me make the move. I'm 14.5 months post op with the Loop Duodenal Switch surgery and I only wish that I had done this for myself sooner.

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It's a big deal, so I think a lot of us are pretty nervous about it! I first started looking into WLS more than 15 years before I actually went through with it. I actually went to a consultation back then and decided against it. Like many other people, my biggest regret about WLS is not doing it sooner. It's not for everyone, but going to a consultation with a surgeon does not obligate you to do anything. If you've done all the research and still think you might want to do it, you owe it to yourself to take that next step and meet with a surgeon. Good luck!

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Posted (edited)

I spent over a year researching and working through the fact that I didn't want WLS. My Dr. had recommended it and I was angry about that. It finally came down to me going to different hospitals and attending the presentations concerning WLS. Then some more time writing up a pros/cons list to see what I could live with and what I could not live with regarding having WLS and not having WLS.

Edited by Postop

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I also was referred by my doctor years ago and thought about it but was too scared. I lost 100 lbs on my own then gained almost all of it back over 5 years, the last 30 lbs during COVID; that was the final straw I guess. Calling the surgeon isn't a commitment. You will still have a long time to decide assuming you have to jump through all the insurance hoops most people do. And you will need that time to prepare yourself for all the dietary and mental changes.

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Same here. My family doctor had been suggesting the surgery to me for over 10 years now because he saw how hard I was working trying to lose weight with nothing happening (he had me in the gym, trying different diet programs throughout the years, keeping food logs, seeing an endocrinologist, etc) . And even at his suggestion, giving me statistics, etc. I was still scared of the surgery. So I would do my own research here and there through the years but still chicken out when it came time to do anything more serious with it. It was until this year that I got more serious in the research because my A1C was reaching Type 2 status. I had always teetered on the edge but I was scared to finally go over. I didn't want or need another problem (already have high BP, PCOS, Insulin Resistance) so I bit the bullet and reached out. I was even more on board with doing it once I got to speak with the surgeon and had all my questions answered by him. I felt so much better about it all.

However, sadly during the pre-op testing I discovered I was now in fact a Type 2 diabetic. Something I did not want to happen and was trying to avoid. But this makes me want the surgery even more now.

This is a very personal thing and you have to do it in your own time. I wish you luck in whatever you decide. It's not an easy choice either way.

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Perhaps if you think of consulting a surgeon as more research, you will be less nervous. When you consult with a surgeon or enter into a program to have surgery (as we do in Ontario, Canada) you have all kinds of tasks you have to go through, blood work, seeing a nutritionist, maybe a psychologist, other testing like EKG etc. At any point in the process you can still change your mind. I didn't consider anything as a final decision until my surgery date was booked. I realize there are different processes every where and different requirements but it took me over a year between the first time I contacted the Doctor to my surgery and I learned so much along the way that even if I hadn't undergone the surgery I felt that time was still invaluable.

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Thank you for the input everyone. I had actually started looking into it a while ago, met with a surgeon and started working to complete all the steps they required. I was seeing my PCP who happens to consider weight management a passion of hers, so we were meeting monthly and discussing everything. She had offered a medication to help me, and I had such fantastic results that I felt like I didn't need to continue actively pursuing surgery. I was eating well, making good choices, exercising a lot, and losing at a healthy rate. Then without warning my insurance decided to stop covering the medicine I was on, which was a big hit but I still felt okay. Then some other life things happened and, well, here I am, having probably gained back everything I lost. I had gone through all the steps I needed to, got the blood tests and everything, I was just working on my six months (or however many it was at that time) of documented meetings with the doctor. Now, I feel more anxious, and I'm not sure why because I also feel like my success with the stuff I was doing made it clear to me that I can do this, and be successful. I think I have had a pretty serious increase in anxiety overall lately (have an appointment with a therapist set up to discuss this specifically), and I am wondering if that isn't why I am struggling now.

Did you go with the first surgeon you consulted with? Or did you end up looking around? The first surgeon I consulted with a few years ago does not still have a practice open where I went, so for insurance I will have to find another one anyways.

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This is all rough. I was on medication for weight loss too, but my insurance said I didn't lose enough for them to refill it. I also have bipolar disorder and anxiety and I agree that it's hard to focus on your weight when your mental health is acting up.

I am sticking with the first surgery center I went to because it's where my GP referred me and they're a large academic medical center in my area that has an excellent reputation for high volume. What you want in any surgery is for the surgeon to do a lot of your type of surgeries - practice makes perfect (I'm serious about this - I work in clinical research and all the studies show that surgeons who operate more have better outcomes, assuming the same level of complexity and that they are up to date in technique/safety protocols). I don't worry so much about the surgeon having the best bedside manner. I just want them to be technically excellent.

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I picked who I picked for several reasons. 1. I knew, via my husband as they are his co-workers, several others who used the same surgeon and office and 2. He's within my network so there is less out of pocket cost to me. Plus I looked him up to see what others, who I didn't know, had to say about him. I think he had like a 4.7 out of 5 rating. And seeing and speaking to him myself gave me good vibes about picking him as my choice. I never felt rushed or made to feel stupid no matter the type or how many questions I had. He took the time to answer them all.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, sassfordays said:

...Did you go with the first surgeon you consulted with? Or did you end up looking around? The first surgeon I consulted with a few years ago does not still have a practice open where I went, so for insurance I will have to find another one anyways.

i went with the second. The first was an intro to what types of WLS there were but then only wanted me to have 1 type and I didn’t want to be boxed in. The second was more open-minded and had a good aftercare program which was incredibly important to me.

Edited by Postop

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My mom had gastric sleeve 8 years ago and my aunt had gastric bypass 12 years ago. My mom wasn’t very successful due to underlying health issues that didn’t make themselves known until she was post-op. My aunt lost over 150 pounds. I researched for years and would bounce back and forth with the idea to go forth with it and I’d always back out. I finally decided that for my health and my children’s sake, this would be the best option for me. I would have mental talks, and journal about my ideas and thoughts on surgery, the pros and cons, what I needed to do to prepare myself and my family. I talked it over with the adults in my family and then talked it over with my kids, because it will affect them as well. When I realized the support I have that will improve my success rate, I couldn’t back down this time.

inhave one more dietary appointment before I can schedule my surgery and I couldn’t be more excited. Yes, it’s scary because it’s such a major surgery and many things in your life will change. I have two of my friends who now are going through the process as well and we will be each other’s coach and accountability partners.

Remember, those leaps thats are the scariest are usually the ones most worth it.

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7 hours ago, lizonaplane said:

This is all rough. I was on medication for weight loss too, but my insurance said I didn't lose enough for them to refill it. I also have bipolar disorder and anxiety and I agree that it's hard to focus on your weight when your mental health is acting up.

I am sticking with the first surgery center I went to because it's where my GP referred me and they're a large academic medical center in my area that has an excellent reputation for high volume. What you want in any surgery is for the surgeon to do a lot of your type of surgeries - practice makes perfect (I'm serious about this - I work in clinical research and all the studies show that surgeons who operate more have better outcomes, assuming the same level of complexity and that they are up to date in technique/safety protocols). I don't worry so much about the surgeon having the best bedside manner. I just want them to be technically excellent.

I had such good results while on the meds, down like 80+ pounds and then for some reason my insurance decided to suddenly stop covering it. Combined with some of the other stuff that was going on, that was just too much for me. My life was imploding, and then the pandemic really hit, and I was just...how do I manage all of this at the same time?

I also am not particularly sensitive when it comes to bedside manner. I would much prefer the surgeon be technically a wizard, but standoffish and not particularly talkative, than warm and friendly but new/inexperienced. The more times you do a particular thing, the better you are at it, so that makes total sense.

Have you met with your surgeon? If you have, did you have a bunch of questions for them? Can you think of any questions you recommend finding answers to?

I usually try to do enough research before I contact the professionals that I pretty much understand all aspects of the situation. I am a researcher by nature. Also when I met with the surgeon before I kind of got answers to the big questions I had that were specific to myself and my own situation. Now, I think I'm just anxious in general.

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5 hours ago, just_Rach83 said:

My mom had gastric sleeve 8 years ago and my aunt had gastric bypass 12 years ago. My mom wasn’t very successful due to underlying health issues that didn’t make themselves known until she was post-op. My aunt lost over 150 pounds. I researched for years and would bounce back and forth with the idea to go forth with it and I’d always back out. I finally decided that for my health and my children’s sake, this would be the best option for me. I would have mental talks, and journal about my ideas and thoughts on surgery, the pros and cons, what I needed to do to prepare myself and my family. I talked it over with the adults in my family and then talked it over with my kids, because it will affect them as well. When I realized the support I have that will improve my success rate, I couldn’t back down this time.

inhave one more dietary appointment before I can schedule my surgery and I couldn’t be more excited. Yes, it’s scary because it’s such a major surgery and many things in your life will change. I have two of my friends who now are going through the process as well and we will be each other’s coach and accountability partners.

Remember, those leaps thats are the scariest are usually the ones most worth it.

I bet it is so nice having friends going through this with you. That's gotta be reassuring!

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10 hours ago, sassfordays said:

Have you met with your surgeon? If you have, did you have a bunch of questions for them? Can you think of any questions you recommend finding answers to?

I usually try to do enough research before I contact the professionals that I pretty much understand all aspects of the situation. I am a researcher by nature. Also when I met with the surgeon before I kind of got answers to the big questions I had that were specific to myself and my own situation. Now, I think I'm just anxious in general.

All of my visits with everyone at the surgery center have been over zoom, because here in Boston, they are serious about COVID precautions. But I had one meeting with the surgeon in February and he answered most of my questions and said we'd have further conversations down the road. I have another appointment next week because I have more questions about the type of surgery (I take medications that would not be great with mal-absorptive surgery, but also I may or may not have GERD/gastritis, so although he and my prescribing doc both recommended sleeve, I want to know what his plan is for resolving any worsening GERD that might develop after sleeve).

I hadn't done much of my own research before calling the surgery center except watching their mandatory video (you have to watch the video before reaching out to them) but by the time they called me back the next week I had spent hours researching online and talking to my friend who had had WLS.

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