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TOPIC TITLE: Need some advice quick about my band dilemma
Created On 7/29/13 2:02 PM
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Junior Supporter

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2010

7/29/13 2:02 PM
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I know this is a long post but please bear with me and read the whole thing so you can give me the best advice.
Hi, I would like everyone’s opinion on how to deal my dilemma.
My band recently slipped.
I went to the doctor and he wants to do surgery, here is the dilemma.
I have been wanting to do the sleeve for a while now as the band is no longer working for me. I have many problems like severe acid reflux, throwing up which in the past has caused dehydration, low potassium levels, very low iron and at one point I had a leak in my esophagus from throwing up to much, in addition to that I've gained back a lot of weight and I’m still gaining.
I really think the sleeve would be a good idea, I discussed it with the surgeon, he said that Fidelis will not approve a sleeve when my BMI is only 31 (according to the online calculator I’m 33)
To get approved for the sleeve the insurance company needs to see over a period of six months that I have gained weight. My BMI needs to be at least 35 in combination with another medical condition like sleep apnea, none of which I have now but had before doing the surgery, or a BMI of 40 without another medical condition.
He said that even if insurance would approve it he would not remove the band and put in a sleeve at the time because there is a 8-10% greater chance of swelling which can lead to sepsis and even death.
He gave me 2 options, 1 is to take out the band and put in a new one which he could do in one surgery and 2 is to take the band out, wait six months, gain back the weight and then be approved for the sleeve.
I am very undecided, on the one hand I want to just have it the easy way and put in a new band but I know that I’ll go back to my old ways of tightening it too much, throwing up and then all the problems will come back. On the other hand I really want the sleeve because I’m hoping that it will work better and also to avoid all those health issues that I have with the band.
I have spoken to Rabbi Twersky as well as a few people who have the band and most of them recommended that I do the sleeve. My friend said I’m really a better candidate for the sleeve. Her husband had both surgeries and she is so much happier that he did the sleeve.
I have this fear that insurance will not approve the surgery in six months or that I won’t lose fast enough with the sleeve and I want quick results even though I know that losing too much too fast will just make me gain it back.
I am very worried about waiting six months to get the sleeve because when I had the leak in my esophagus and they had to take out all the liquid to avoid surgery to fix it I gained back 70 lbs in six weeks, if I can gain that amount in six weeks how am I going to look in six months?
I also asked my therapist for advice from an emotional point of view, she is worried that if I gain back all that weight I’ll become severely depressed again which might lead to more problems I had in the past like cutting or hurting myself out of frustration. She said I need to look at the bigger picture and know that I’ll lose it back after doing the sleeve, but she’s worried that I won’t be able to deal with the frustration of gaining all that weight.

I would like to know the success rate of the sleeve surgery in general and I especially want to hear from people who had the band and then the sleeve. I want to know the advantages of doing the sleeve vs. the band. I want to know how it affected them, did they lose weight quicker than with the band, was there no throwing up or acid reflux?
I kind of made the decision to do the sleeve and I left a message for the surgical coordinator on Friday but she hasn't called me back, I’m hoping she didn't send in any paperwork to insurance yet as I really would like to get your opinions before I do it.
So please advise me what to do.

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