Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Steps to approval for Bariatric surgery

I mentioned in yesterday's post some of the steps that I have had to go through to try to get approved for the surgery.  In case you didn't see them I will repost them here.

Lose 5% of starting weight
Meet with nutritionist regularly
Psychological clearance
Sleep Study and clearance
Blood work
Several appts with surgeon before and after surgery
Support group meetings before and after surgery
Letter of medical necessity from primary dr.

To be totally honest, I just started to lose the 5%.  I figured I would have several months to get 12 lbs off right?  "I can do that in a few weeks" was my mode of thinking.  But, when I started scheduling my appointments I was able to get in with most of them much quicker than I thought.  So I have been trying to eat well and make good choices in the hopes that this may all happen sooner than I thought.

I figured my psych clearance would consist of an appointment and that I would have to wait for his report.  Nope.  He typed it up right there after our hour long talk and sent me on my way.  He also told me his wife had bariatric surgery which made me feel like I was in the right hands :)

I had my annual appt with my OBGYN last month.  I have kind of been using him as a primary dr for a few years now.  I called him a week before my appt and asked him if he would order the bloodwork that the surgeon wanted me to have and we could discuss it at my upcoming visit.  I figured it was a long shot but I got a call back and he said he would be glad to.  We discussed my results at my appt.  I asked him if he would write my letter of medical necessity and he said yes.  I figured I would have to wait for it.  Nope.  He typed it up, printed it and sent me on my way with the words "I will see you in a hundred pounds from now!".  He said he has seen me lose the weight and that he knows this will be a great option for me.  Huh.  Another person on board.

Because the questionnaire that I filled out at the surgeons office labeled me at risk for possible sleep apnea, the surgeon said I needed a sleep study before moving forward.  So I went and had one within a week.  Again, this was quicker than I expected.  I was hooked up to about 30 wires and wondered how I would possibly sleep.  Yet I did!  The results from this test took longer, about a week and a half.   And when they called they said I do in fact have mild sleep apnea.  I had 13 respiratory events per hour but the cause for concern was that my oxygen dipped down to 84%.  I also apparently had 50 periodic limb movements and was awaked 7 times per hour from those. Sooooo.  Now I go back and have a second sleep study with a CPAP machine to see if that helps.  Then after that I again have to wait for the results to be read.  If things are better then hopefully he will sign off on me having the surgery and I am sure order me a CPAP machine :(

Support Group...I was pretty iffy about this.  I wasn't sure how I would like it.  My awesome friend Laura again accompanied me and we made a fun day of it.  The meeting was actually pretty good!  The leader was nice, and there were people who were pre-op as well as some post-op.  It was a small, friendly setting with only 8 of us I think.  I liked it so much that I was disappointed when I realized I can not make the next one because we will be out of town. 

I have a nutrition class scheduled for March 3.  I did meet with the nutritionist on the day of the consultation with the surgeon.  She made me realize that I eat fast.  I never realized I did, but she said meal should be lasting 20-30 minutes.  WHAT?  More like 5 for me!.  And also to my surprise, my husband spoke up in the meeting and said he is realizing that his eating habits are not helping me.  Huh.  We are all growing here I guess.

And last, an EKG.  I have a meeting with a new primary dr close to home.  I cant use my OBGYN forever now that my babies aren't babies anymore! She was recommended to me from a nurse who works there.  Hopefully she will be able to do my EKG and send that along to the Bariatric office.

So, those are the basic steps that I am going though.  I figured I would do a post on it in case anyone else is tossing this option around in their head.  Before December I knew nothing(accurate) about bariatric surgery.  I have done lots of research and have lots of statistics .  Before December I never thought this was an option for me.  But, the further I get into the process, I am feeling pretty sure it is just the tool I need to succeed once and for all.



divad said...

I remember from my brother's surgery that it was a lot of prep work, as you are experiencing. I am quite certain it will be worth it. Not easy, that's for sure, but it will certainly give you the result you long for.

♥ Drazil ♥ said...

Wow - congrats! Excited for you!

Kristen said...

keep us up to date!!!

Anonymous said...

New follower here. Cannot wait to read about your journey.