Archives for September 2013

Now What?

Yellow Lily

In case I haven’t mentioned it, I’m a Business Analyst by Trade.  So armed with the information about Lap-Band surgery my sister gave me, I did what I normally do with a new objective.  Research the hell out of it!!

I started digging for more details. What is it? What are the risks?  Who has had it done and who does it??   Comparing the various types of Bariatric/Lap-Band treatments and procedures.  Crunching the numbers.

This meant a lot of research on the Internet.  Reading blogs, finding medical journals and many discussion forums.  I also talked it over with friends and confidants.  Most importantly, I discussed this with my significant other.  And I slept on it… letting it all sink in.  Not that I got a lot of sleep with all this new data running through my head.  But it all made sense.

Once I was happy with the information and all my research, I decided this is what I really wanted to do…  I then chose the REALIZE band (more on that later) – Now I needed to find a qualified (to my standards) surgeon and the appropriate surgical centers in my area and start comparing their statistics.

If you are curious one of the better sites I found for comparison is Differences between REALIZE and ALLERGAN bands

My sister said to make sure that whatever I did, make sure the person and place has some connection to Dr Atkinson, the godfather of lap-band surgery…  So of course I researched him as well to see if he was the real thing.  he is…

I finally selected a great center, called The Las Vegas Surgical Center and went in for my required seminar.  The first step is always the most difficult.  This was a life changing moment.

Why Realize Band

After seeing photos, my impression was that the Realize is slightly different…wider and flatter band (to spread the pressure of the band out over a larger area) and flatter port, about the size and thickness of a quarter vs. lap band port which is the size of and double thickness of a nickel.  It was also observed by someone on lapbandtalk.com that “those of us with Realize bands get fewer fills”.  I’m not sure how true this is but since I have to pay for my fills after the 1st 3, let’s hope it’s true.

WOW! Walking out of my seminar started my mind reeling… I am a self-pay (as I mentioned in my previous post here)  so I started thinking about how to come up with the down payment and could a swing the financing.  Justifying it with, “what price could you put on your health”?  Talked endlessly with my other half about my excitement over the possibility of this actually happening, my fears of surgery, being off work, etc.  But I believe I had already made up my mind!  I WANT THIS!  Of course, he gave me his full support – thank you Babe for everything!

So the next day I called the Surgical Center and set up all the appointments necessary to start getting the approvals needed to have the surgery.

 

Notes of Interest:

1.  Obesity is a disease, NOT a choice. But we have the choice to make a difference. Obesity is the key public health threat in the United States – approximately 70 million adults are obese, obesity is the second-leading cause of preventable death and costs our healthcare system $147 billion per year.

2.  Currently, approximately 15 million Americans are 100 pounds or more overweight; however, only 1% of the clinically eligible population is being treated through weight-loss surgery.

3.  According to the ASMBS (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery), about 25% of potential weight-loss surgery patients are denied insurance coverage three times before getting approval, with 60% of these patients reporting worsening health during the waiting period.

4.  By my calculations, each lb. I lose will be costing me about $125 give-or-take (depending on number of fills I will require)