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Nervous, questioning, not sure...



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Hello, all, I have bookmarked this site to peruse soon when I get more time.

I have finally given up with dieting and wishing. Maybe it is time for me to consider help. I never wanted surgery before because all I really knew about was stomach stapling, and that was just too permanent and excessive for me to think about.

I have been reading about the lap band surgery instead -- less invasive, reversible (if necessary), and slower, which I personally think is better than the drastic measure that stapling is about.

I noticed that a doctor who caught my eye is doing a free information seminar on Wednesday, and I want to go hear more. He is actually a doctor who teaches the surgery, so even though he is farther away than some other doctors who do the surgery, I would probably prefer somebody who teaches over somebody who is simply close.

I don't even know what to ask yet... I guess this is more of a hello, and those of you who are better informed about this, if there is any info you can offer up, I humbly ask for your advice. In the meantime, I will read when I can and learn more.

For the record, I am 43, been overweight since my mid-20's, and my BMI is 43.5. I am 290 pounds at 5'7". I have asthma which I believe is weight induced, am pre-diabetic, and I have a history of cancer in my family which has me concerned beyond the other obvious ailments that go along with being this weight. :biggrin:

Nice to meet everybody ahead of time.

Beth

Edited by BethFromVA

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Hi and welcome....

go to the seminar, take notes, ask whatever occurs to you. That is a great first step!

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I don't think it's going to matter who you go to for information. They'll both have the answers to the beginner's questions. For that matter, the posts on this board probably has answers to most every question you have.

I'd suggest going to the close one.

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Good luck in your search for answers, I hope it works out for you. I'll tell you that I was miles away from considering something as drastic as surgery, until at a doctor's visit one time, I was just so depressed and fed up, I worked up the courage to ask (meekly) if I was a candidate for surgery. It's working for me so far, but it is a scary thing to consider, so take your time, research, and weigh the pros and cons!

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I don't think it's going to matter who you go to for information. They'll both have the answers to the beginner's questions. For that matter, the posts on this board probably has answers to most every question you have.

I'd suggest going to the close one.

Sorry, I didn't clarify myself. The one I would like to talk to who also teaches the procedure also happens to be the one giving the seminar on Wednesday. I don't know if/when the doctors who are closer to me would have a seminar, but I am interested in talking to (and potentially using) this doctor -- or somebody like him -- who also teaches the procedure. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable about who I may potentially use.

Anybody have thoughts on that?

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Hi Beth and welcome...

I'm from Richmond. What part of VA are you from? I went to two seminars, but both practices are from the same hospital. The first seminar left me very disheartened and thinking that the lap band would be ineffective. The doctor who presented the info is very pro-gastric bypass, and I was definitely not going that route. His info was very one-sided, and I left the seminar thinking the lap band was a gimmick and falling out of favor. Thankfully, I came here (LBT), and found another doctor and attended the seminar from his practice, and while not offering a get skinny quick card, he offered a very balanced and informative seminar with the pros and cons of LB and GB. Both surgeons required the patients to attend the free seminar prior to a consultation, so chances are, you'll need to go at some point anyway. I'm not sure how far you're traveling, but you have to keep in mind that you'll need to go back to that office for follow-up visits and fills. Good luck!

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That's good to know, that they want you to attend the seminars anyway.

It's not like the one doctor who appeals to me on paper is that much further away... maybe 17 miles or so. The other two are here in town, maybe a mile or two away. I can get to the further doctor using the toll road, so it's a pretty quick trip even though I'd have to go to him as often as it seems I will.

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I'm in Northern Virginia, Kiz. I was just in Richmond on Thursday-Friday for a teaching seminar.

I hate when doctors have an agenda rather than listening to their patients. Of course a gastric bypass costs WAY more than LB does, so he has a vested interest in such a procedure. I'm glad you walked (ran?) away from that one!

My mother is in the same boat in a way -- had breast cancer in her 40s, had a radical double mastectomy and two breast reconstructive surgeries which have both ruptured (first time was silicone, second time was saline). Now at age 66 she just wants them out. One doctor kept pushing for having ANOTHER reconstructive surgery -- one which would literally take muscle from her back to reconstruct her breasts! At this age she has become okay with the thought of no longer having breasts.

We have to do what is right for us. I never really knew there was a difference, and for me, gastric bypass was a HUGE no because it was SO invasive and SO permanent. This procedure looks much "friendlier."

I have just given up... I was thin until my mid-20s and then I ballooned, gaining about 100 pounds. I was fat for my wedding. I'm fatter now. I have asthma (likely due to my weight), I have been pre-diabetic for a while now (going in for another glucose tolerance test this week) and I have a large number of extended family members with diabetes, high cholesterol (usually in the mid- to high-200s), my joints hurt, I huff and puff, and... well, I just give up. :thumbup:

Edited by BethFromVA

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Beth, I'm sorry to hear that your mom can't just get the surgery she wants and needs without the hassle. After all she's gone through, it seems the doctor would understand and support her want and need to skip the reconstructive surgery. Geesh, at 66, you'd think the doctor would give her credit to fully make her own decision in whether she need reconstution or not. :thumbup:

I wasn't the least bit interested in getting GBS for the exact same reasons you said. Lap band may require more work on my part, but being less invasive and far less body altering, it was the only type of WLS I was willing to consider.

For 17 miles, I know I'd go to my first choice of doctors too.

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I am to the point that I am not looking for a quick fix, though I know this surgery CAN be a bit quicker than strict diet and exercise. I just want to be healthy. I will never get back the body I had in high school, and I am okay with that. I forgot to mention I have also lost my gall bladder due to my weight too... :thumbup:

As for my mom, she ditched that doc and found another. She's a tough cookie and won't be told what to do. What also helped is a lady where she lives had the surgery this one doc suggested and was in a LOT of pain -- not just in her breasts, but in her back due to the invasive removal of muscle! And after all was said and done, she found the results "just okay."

I love this site already, and I just joined last night. I was able to search the doc whose seminar I am going to go to, and so far he has gotten lots of kudos, as have his staff.

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BethFromVA...maybe this will help you feel good about going to the "far" doctor...I LIVE very near the medical center here in San Antonio. I'm a nursing student, my husband teaches LPNs/LVNs, and we are near the "pulse" of things. San Antonio has DISMAL traffice, by the way; all our interstates are torn up and under construction.

The Doc I chose to go to is on the far side of town away from me....he's about 20 miles away and instead of taking 10-15 minutes to his office, it takes me 45! BUT he's worth it! Of course there are good bariatric surgeons closer to me. Reputable doctors who do well by their patients. However, I preferred MY doc! He had the right combo of experience, bedside manner, and sympathetic staff to fill all my requirements. The seminar he conducted sealed the deal for us since he was approachable, and spoke in terms that even non-medical types could quickly grasp. My husband liked him too.

SO...you do what feels right for you! ANd there's nothing wrong with moving on getting the band once you feel it is right for you! :thumbup:

I also agree; if the surgeon you like TEACHES...odds are he's done the procedure a lot, is up on the most current research, and has a great success rate. Sounds to me like you have done your due diligence and picked a good one! Way to go!

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Beth, nice to read your note, this is also a new site for me, I am trying to find my way around the site, what you wrote is what I also could have written. My insurance company requires 6mo' before the procedure. I am 4 mo's into, It looks like I will have this done jan 2009 right after the new year. I have struggled also for a long time, I know my situation could be so much worse, and I am blessed to have good insurance, I must say I am a bit worried, and as you I NEVER thought surgery would be an option for me, but I'm 47 years old and want my life back. I wish us both well and hope to find someone on this site that can answer all the questions I have about the days and weeks following the surgery. Hope to talk to you again.

Pidgekk

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Hi, Pidgekk, and nice to "meet" you. :cool2:

I've spent hours now perusing this site. The search feature has been somewhat helpful as I'm sure all my questions have been answered here somewhere... I just hope there is some forgiveness by other members if I can't find them right away. lol

I will go to the meeting on Wednesday, and I have set up a meeting with my primary care physician to get some info or any feedback I may need (if he can answer). It is also to start the process (if I like what I hear Wednesday) of getting things started -- deeming it medically necessary, etc. Whatever the very very beginning stages are.

My insurance covers the procedure (though I'd like to get a better description of exactly what), and it covers skin removal surgery should it be needed later on. That is one topic I'm trying to find out about but haven't had much luck yet. I use the keywords in the search engine, but I get these humongous posts that are 10+ pages with the knowledge that just because those words are in the post somewhere doesn't mean it addresses what I'm curious about others' experience with excess skin.

Anyway... at this stage I'm beyond vain. I used to have dreams of getting my 18-year-old hot bod back. Now I'm more focused on health and quality of life. No matter what, even if I was thin, I wouldn't have that body, and I have grown past that. I think that's a huge step (well, I think it is anyway! lol).

Hope to talk to you more. I'm really enjoying the support and care that is shown around here.

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Hi Beth. I'm new to this as well and I live in Virginia....in the Roanoke area. I actually have my first appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday of this week (10/14). I'm very anxious to see what the steps will be for me and how soon I can expect to have surgery. LBS is the only choice in my mind...I also would not want a more invasive surgery like GBS. Like you, I am tired of being unhealthy and my life has changed dramatically because of being overweight. I used to be more active and have lots of fun in my life, now all I do is work and sit at home. My 75 year old mother is more active and healthy than I am! I am determined to get my life back. My husband passed away unexpectedly in February of this year and now I am not only unhealthy, but unhealthy and alone. But by the grace of God I am going to get my health back. I'm diabetic and take medication for high cholesterol and high blood pressure. All of these are currently under control, so my PCP feels I am an excellent candidate for this procedure. I guess I'll know more after Tuesday....but I am feeling very anxious. Let me know what's up with you and we'll stay in touch.

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