Thursday, March 27

Weight Loss Surgery

Well...never say never. I was positive I did not want weight loss surgery and if I even considered it, I would only be interested in the lap band. Many months later of pain, increasing disability and inability to enjoy life, TB and I have come to the conclusion that we need and want the surgery.

Yesterday we went to the N.J. Bariatrics Center. This wasn't our first visit. A couple of weeks ago, we went to an informational seminar about the two types of surgery and we had the opportunity to meet both of the doctors, Dr. Brolin and Dr. Chau. The seminar provided a great deal of information and input from a man who'd had a bypass a couple of years ago. We were especially impressed with this man and decided to schedule ourselves an appointment to see Dr. Chau, the surgeon who does the lap bands. Dr. Brolin does riskier bypass surgeries.

If we thought we were informed at the seminar, we learned even more at the consultation. We met with Dr. Chau who explained in detail the benefits and risks of each surgery and what they entail. We also met with a dietician who explained what our lives would be like -- food wise anyway -- post surgery. An insurance specialist explained all the steps we needed to take for precert. The whole process will take 3 months.

After hearing all the information, pro and con, and even knowing that my success rate may be as much as 20% less than average, I still want the lap band. TB was leaning toward the gastric bypass because of all the problems he's having controlling his sugar and because weight loss is faster in the beginning with that procedure. The gentleman we met had the distal gastric bypass which is a procedure for the super obese, people who need to lose 200 lbs or more.

TB and I decided that since he is in the most intense pain and the one who needs to get back to work, his procedure will come first. Our next step is to get letters of support from our doctors and to begin a paper trail that shows we are getting counseling about the surgeries.

TB decided that although he is terrified of it, he wants the conventional bypass because it will help him faster. It scares me but I can't sit here and dictate to him what to do when his pain is so severe he gives his quality of life a 1 on a scale of 5. That's pretty sad for a man of only 54.

And so we're off on this new journey.


CRIZ LAI said...

I think generally when a person touches the figure "4", things like this will happen. I hope both of you have some health insurance to cover for that.

My Dad has no diabetic problems in his family tree but somehow he ended up a diabetic. My Mum has a long history of heart problems in her family tree. That's the reason I'm monitoring my health very closely through regular blood screening.

I guessed it all lies in what we put into our mouths.. hehe. All the best in getting your surgeries done :)

jane said...

Cassie, I had no idea you were in such pain.
I just hope everything turns out for the best for you both.
*Hugs*, Jane :)

lori said...


My sincere apologies for blog-pimping but you should check out the interviews on my site with Lorraine Kay. She's a woman in her fifties, taking 120 units of insulin a day, who weighed 335 pounds when she went in for her surgery. Her diabetes physician had wanted a gastric bypass because he didn't think she would live the year without one. Her surgeon refused to perform the bypass because he didn't think she'd survive the surgery itself - he was willing to do the lap band though. Eventually, that option won out and she lost 40 pounds the first month. It's two years later, and she is now 125. She was incredibly high risk. I think you'll find the series of clips interesting. The first one at the bottom of the page is the longest but that's where she talks about her health when she went in.

Good blog. Good luck with everything. I hope you and yours find good health! :)

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