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Do you see your surgeon annually?



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Hi there,

I’m coming up on year 3 after gastric sleeve surgery. I’m very healthy and maintaining within 5 lbs. of goal. I see my physician who recommended my surgery annually. My surgeon scheduled me for an annual Zoom call. Any particular reason I need to do it? I think I will ask my physician if she can add this to the package of things she manages for me (which includes bloodwork.)

My question is do you still see your surgeon annually?

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I do an annual follow up with our surgeon, originally in his local office primarily staffed by his RN (the practice moved out of the area before either my wife or I had surgery, but they maintained the office and support group to support their local patients) and then via telecon after the RN retired and they closed the office.

I think that it is much more important for the DS and RNY patients as they tend to be subject to more long term issues than sleevers, but I still like to keep up with it, looking at it mostly as keeping him on retainer so that I'm still in the files with current labs. That way, if our PCP has any questions in our care that may be relevant (...is this an issue from the surgery?...) she can call the surgeon and have a chat with him about it.

Nominally, most everything relating to labs, etc. can be done by your PCP, your surgeon may have some additional labs that they prefer to do in addition to what your PCP may normally do for an annual, and they may have ranges that they prefer beyond the basic "normal" range that is flagged on the lab report. For instance, our surgeon prefers that the vit D levels be kept in the upper end or the typical normal range, so his experience with bariatric patients trumps the PCP's more limited experience.

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Another way, they’re all different. I was every three months for the first two years, then went to 4 months because everything was consistently so good. But I’m back to 3 months because since my gall was removed 4 months ago I’m not absorbing Protein well. Sad face. I have blood tests before every appointment but sometimes my GP asks for another in between. She’ll probably send me for one when I see her in a fortnight to check how I’m going with my protein absorption after being on Creon for about 6 weeks.

I’m happy they’re so thorough & want to make sure I’m as healthy as I can be.

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8 hours ago, JessLess said:

Hi there,

I’m coming up on year 3 after gastric sleeve surgery. I’m very healthy and maintaining within 5 lbs. of goal. I see my physician who recommended my surgery annually. My surgeon scheduled me for an annual Zoom call. Any particular reason I need to do it? I think I will ask my physician if she can add this to the package of things she manages for me (which includes bloodwork.)

My question is do you still see your surgeon annually?

Yes. I have telehealth appointment. I like to check in and see how I’m doing because some changes are expected at different year marks (possible regain, etc)
Also I can ask questions I really want the answers to (like do I still have to separate food and drinks, etc.) and discuss if things I’ve noticed are normal.

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I saw my doctor every 3 mon for the first year, every 6 mon for the last 2 years and now I just had my 3 yr visit ( Oct anniversary) and he changed me to every year. I will keep up with those visits because that is what keeps you on the books as a "current" patient. If there are ever any issues it's easier to get an appointment when you are current. Also, since I do attend the support group, it keeps me in the loop for what changes may have been made. Also, they do keep statistics and I want to be counted in the "successful" group!

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I still see my surgeon annually, although I know others who switched over to seeing their PCP instead after the first year or two. As long as they know which labs you need and you don't have any complications, it should be OK.

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Thanks! I can see going to get weighed/measured but since they don’t have support groups thanks to… COVID19, I think I’ll re-evaluate for next year. 🙂

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2 hours ago, JessLess said:

Thanks! I can see going to get weighed/measured but since they don’t have support groups thanks to… COVID19, I think I’ll re-evaluate for next year. 🙂

Our support group went to Zoom. I'm glad they did the support group that way but it does lead to the usual Zoom problems. ("Hannah, you're on mute." "Hannah, you're not on mute." "Sorry, you froze..." "CAN YOU ALL HEAR ME?!")

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4 hours ago, vikingbeast said:

Our support group went to Zoom. I'm glad they did the support group that way but it does lead to the usual Zoom problems. ("Hannah, you're on mute." "Hannah, you're not on mute." "Sorry, you froze..." "CAN YOU ALL HEAR ME?!")

Our support group is virtual too and yes, we have the same problems. I wish we would go back to in person!

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Yes. Every year after my vsg surgery, I did two things: Full blood test and have a check up visit with my team including a barium swallow to check my sleeve. I was always paranoid I had stretched it. I will probably do the same now with my revision.

Sent from my SM-N986U using BariatricPal mobile app

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Thanks! My PCP is an internist in the same hospital as my surgeon. Last time I gave blood for each it was like a gallon. I’ll figure out how to get them to work together. 🙂

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I fall in to the other category no I haven’t seen anyone in that office after about nine months when I was presented with a cash bill of $200. I wonder if this is a function of whether your insurance company will pay for the visit I was a self pay surgery at a certified center of excellence…
I do think continued follow up appointments are brilliant - well my internist can run my blood work there are some specifics to WLS that certainly must be beixed.

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My insurance will cover it, I'm just not getting much out of it. First-world problems.

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I stopped monthly visits after 1.5 years, then about three appointments about 6 months apart to talk about eating during my binge running phase. At these appointments, my plan was modified to be 4, then 5 meals a day. Then adding a Protein Drink. I felt like I was eating all day long and after getting used to 3 meals a day it was not a pleasant feeling, oddly enough.

I then started the annual physical routine with my PCP where they would do the appropriate blood work and I did my annual weigh in since I don't weigh at home.

Good luck,

Tek

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