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Surgeon TestimonialAmir Moazzez M.D.After agressively studying my options, I had narrowed it down to two Doctors, and decided to go with Dr. Moazzez. He is located less than 5 miles away from me and conveience was a factor, but certainly not my only criteria. I met him last week on January 10th - I attended one of his seminars. The session was rather informative. He knows what he's talking about. He did most of his schooling at Georgetown Medical - and that is very impressive. That's an incredible school. He's never lost a patient before. He's done well over a thousand procedures, he's got experience. He's well mannered, educated, professional. Before I went to that seminar, I did my fair amount of homework on him too. I had been to his website many times, I had reviewed what his patients had to say about him, and I even spoke to many of them. I looked in to his credentials, I totally scoped him out. Everything about him was positive. I simply couldn't find any dirt. I looked and looked - but nothing. His patients adore him, they all have great things to say about him - and I admit that when I met him, I liked him instantly. And I'm a very judgy type person - but I liked him! I asked him challenging questions, he never blinked, he just answered properly, with a smile on his face. I felt comfortable with him. I have my one on one consultation with him on January 24th and I'm sure I'll have more to say after that!rn |
5 Days Post-Op on February 10, 2007 1:38 pm
I did it! I'm a bandster! Surgery was on Monday and it went well. The huge hernia I had is now gone, and in addition I have a band. Monday and Tuesday in the hospital was a breeze and I had no trouble at all. I walked a lot while I was there and the staff took great care of me. I had my best friend and my sister in law there with me the majority of the time, and they kept a good eye on me. A person that I met through these boards was also scheduled for the same surgery with the same surgeon, for the next day. She and her hubby popped in to visit after I was in recovery – it was really nice – and in turn, I popped over and visited her the next day while she was prepping for surgery. Besides that I had only had one other visitor, a very close girlfriend. It was good that way, it allowed for just enough “entertainment” and just enough rest. Perfect mix.
Tuesday night when I got home I wasn't able to sleep. I tried every position in every location of my house (bed, sofa, recliner, and couch) and I was basically just miserable. I think somehow I got 3 hours in, but it just wasn't enough. On Wednesday my lungs felt weak, as if they were going to collapse. All I wanted to do was take one big breath but I couldn't make that happen. I could barely blow the Spiro meter thing at all. It was horrible. But when I woke up on Thursday morning, magically, my lung issue had disappeared and I could totally breathe. Whatever my problem was, it was intermittent. I had some nausea that morning and ran to the sink about 15 times, thinking that I had to barf, but nothing ever happened. That wasn't much fun, but finally after about 2 hours the nausea magically disappeared too. And Friday was the first day that I felt really great. I got a full night sleep the night before, I had no nausea issues, no lung issues, no problems, I had an appetite, I was moving around well, and I felt like I could do whatever I wanted to do. Same goes for me today, and I'm attending a local party tonight!
I could easily go back to work on Monday, I feel fine, but I am not in any rush to get back to the office. Besides, it's a free week of medical leave for me, so I'm going to enjoy it. I work twice as hard as anyone else when I'm in there, so this doesn't really bother me.
To sum it up, I had no pain what so ever, no soreness, and no gas problems. In fact, my pain medication remains virtually untouched - I had two tbsp of it, but over 90% of the bottle is still there. Sleeping was difficult but it got better by the day. I had about 2 hours of nausea total, but that also disappeared, and I had one day of funky lungs, but that's also gone. If I drop something, I am able to slowly bend over and pick it up. I can put my socks on myself. I walk a good amount, not outside, just within the house. I can do the stairs with no problem. I did laundry yesterday, washed the dishes, and can do normal household activities.
I haven't been consuming much intake this week, certainly not as much as they recommend us to. There is no way I could drink 64 oz of water right now - it's just not going to happen. A typical day has been one glass of apple juice, one glass of water, one glass of chocolate unjury protein mixed with low fat milk, one pudding, and about 10 or 12 TBSP of some sort of cream soup with all the content drained out of it. That totally fills me up and I don't want anything else. I don't crave anything else. I couldn't handle anything else. Friday was the day I woke up with an appetite, and I definitely consumed more on Friday, I probably had three times the amount of soup I've normally been having and I think I added sugar free jello in to the mix as well. But here it is Saturday, and the appetite is not here again. Its 5 pm. and all I've had is one chocolate unjury and about 10 small sips of water. I'm going to have some egg drop soup in a few minutes though.
The weight has been dropping off this week, that's for sure. My numbers look like this:
1/24/2007: Highest Known Weight: 206
2/1/2007: After doing Atkins one week for the Pre-Op Diet, at my Pre-Op appointment I was 202.
2/5/2007: Surgery Day: 199.4
5 days post-op: 196.2
For all of you that were rooting for me and sending me notes of encouragement and wishing me well with the surgery, thank you, a thousand thank yous! I've been recovering well and I have no complaints. :-) My follow up appointment with the surgeon is on Wednesday (Valentines Day) and hopefully he’ll give me the thumbs up to start mushies. I’ll post more after that appointment.
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Surgery Tomorrow (Posted 4 Feb 2007) on February 4, 2007 8:13 am
Well, I've been "peer pressured" by Cynthia Louisa to make a blog post prior to surgery - so here goes!
I have to be at the hospital at 0715 and the surgery begins at 0915. They expect that I will be released no later than Noon on Tuesday. I'm on the pre-op liquid diet, and my tummy is growling as I write this post. For me it was an all weekend liquid diet, so this started at 0900 yesterday. I just figured I'd sleep a lot, wake up, have some chicken broth, sleep some more, wake up and have some broth, go back to bed. That way I wouldn't think about food or see food or smell food... But that plan hasn't exactly worked. I've actually been pretty productive this weekend. I was close to changing my surgery date to Tuesday, I didn't want my team of medical people to be hungover from the SuperBowl parties - but then the other side of me wants to press forward and do this as soon as possible. I'm hoping that the medical team performing on me are like major medical nerds or something and not at all interested in todays game and the beer chugging that goes with it. :-) I'll be chugging broth as I watch the game. I'll post more later on in the week after I return home from surgery!
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Pre-Op Done, Surgery in 10 Days (Posted 1/26/07) on January 26, 2007 12:22 pm
Well I've completed the remainder of my pre-op tests. Two issues came up. I have a severe case of obstructive sleep apnea and now I am sleeping with a wonderful CPAP machine on a nightly basis. That takes some getting used to! But if all I have to do to fix my problem is sleep with a mask at night, I'll happily do it! And hopefully after the WLS, the apnea will go away, maybe 6 or 7 months down the road. The other issue was that I have a hiatal hernia - a pretty big one. I had no idea, but it's going to be fixed when they do the Lap Band. I'm excited - only 10 days away! I probably won't have anything more to post until after the surgery...
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Pre-Op Testing (almost done - 20 Jan 2007) on January 20, 2007 4:07 pm
I've done the majority of what I have to do. I've met with the nutritionist, I've done all of my blood work, I've had my X-rays, I've had the psych evaluation, did the EKG, had the Upper GI done, the urinalysis, and so on. Since I'm a self pay, I know exactly how much each test cost and I've been forking out the money for the past week! I only have 3 things left to do - my sleep study test is tonight, and on the 25th of January I have my Gallbladder Ultrasound and my ABG. That'll wrap up all the preop testing. So far I haven't had any problems and my test results have been fine. I'm curious to see how my sleep study goes since I do toss and turn and sometimes have a difficult time falling asleep - but I guess I'll know the answer tomorrow morning! All of the pre-op testing was rather easy, even drinking that chalky white fluid for the Upper GI wasn't as bas as I expected it would be. Soooo after all the test results are in next week I should know if there are any complications or problems that are going to prevent me from doing this - I'm keeping my hopes high for the best!
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13 January - Reality is Kicking In on January 13, 2007 8:22 pm
For nearly 2 years I've toyed around with the idea of having weight loss surgery. I'd read about it, think about it, and then dismiss the idea. Having my insides all sorts of rearranged and stapling up my stomach - I don't know - it was just too drastic for me. But I knew that I had to do something, because I wasn't very successful on my own when it came to losing weight. Then I heard about the Lap Band. I started checking that out, and it seemed so much more up my alley. I could get the help I needed without reorganizing all my internals, it seemed safer and it was reversible. Life has a way of creeping up on you, and I guess I just got busy. Work was demanding and taxed my schedule. I was finishing up a Masters Degree and the courseload was heavy. The timing was never right. After toying around with the idea for 2 years, I decided to revisit weight loss surgery and look at the new statistics. I wanted to see how things had improved, what enhancements had been made, how the cost had changed, etc. I liked what I read and I knew Lap Band was something I had to do. I actually have some down time in my life right now and I could easily manage to do this and take a week or two, perhaps even 3, off of work. If I don't do it now, who knows what life will bring me 3 months from now. Like I said, life has a way of creeping up on you, and I don't want to miss this opportunity because "I got busy". So - I plan to get this done quickly - and I mean quickly. The holiday season was very slow for me, so I spent the most of December doing all the research I had to do. I agressively reviewed all my options and made the firm decision to press forward. Now it's January and it's action time. I've been visiting with doctors, going to seminars, contacting patients, getting my money in order (I plan to self pay) and now the appointments are made - and the journey is really starting!
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Posted January 13th:
I'm 36 years old and I'm already over 200 lbs. I can't tell you exactly how much I weigh because I haven't bothered to weigh myself in a long time. I get all bummed out when I see what the scale says. But I'd guess that I'm around 205 lbs with a BMI of something like 40, 41, whatever. The kicker here is that I'm only 4'9. Short and fat, not a pretty combination! I didn't have weight issues until probably the age of 21 - but for nearly the past 15 years my weight has steadily been increasing...I remember when I used to wear a size 7, then a 12, 14, 16, 18 and the saga continues. I'm ashamed to admit what size I wear now, so I just won't. I decided that 2007 was going to be a much different year for me.
I agressively researched my options and I applied due diligence in my homework. I decided that I was going to have the Lap Band done, and that was final. I read everything there was to read about it, I watched every video, I passionately studied the topic. Now I simply had to decide where to do this - which doctor and which location.
I'm a pretty impatient girl that likes instant gratification - and when I decide I want something, I don't like to wait for it. I knew that my Insurance Company (Kaiser Permanente) would only approve the procedure after I went through a 6 month evaluation process. I'd have to see the Kaiser Nutritonist every month, I'd have to keep a daily log of exactly what I ate, I'd have to document my habits, and then after all that, I may or may not get the referral to have the Lap Band Done. I really wasn't eager about "wasting another 6 months" of my life. I wanted to begin my new journey as soon as I possibly could. And if that meant that I had to pay out of pocket, fine. After all, people pay for what they want. People pay for convenience. I had looked in to all the associated costs, and I knew that this would cost less money than buying a new car.
So back to the final decision - which doctor to go with. After all my homework on this, I narrowed it down to two people. One is less than 5 miles from my house, he's experienced, he's good, he's going to cost me about $20,000 or probably a little more. The other one is in Mexico, he's three times as experienced, he's good, and he's going to cost me $10,000 or probably a little less. There was nobody in between that I wanted, and trust me, I looked at doctors from Tennesee, Texas, California, South Carolina, the entire Washington D.C. area, Sweden, Switzerland, India, and on and on. I wanted a good surgeon with a good record that graduated from a place that I've heard of - but I also didn't want to break the bank. I went round and round, trying to decide if I would go with Dr. K in Mexico or Dr. M in Virginia.
Dr. K has done three times as many procedures as Dr. M because Mexico's laws aren't as strict as in the United States. Three times as much experience! And half the cost! Wow! But it's in Mexico. I've never been there before. What if the power goes out while I'm being operated on? What if the water is bad and I get all messed up from that? What if they steal one of my kidneys when I'm all drugged up on pain killers? What if I get kidnapped, what if they steal my passport? None of that is worth saving $10,000 dollars. So I did more homework. Agressively. I went to reputable sources and I researched as much as one could research. I probably spoke to 60 of Dr. K's patients. Spoke to them on the phone, exchanged emails, spoke to Dr. K's staff at least a dozen times, on and on. It turns out they are running a totally legitamate operation, there is nothing to worry about, and every single one of his patients has awesome things to say. I couldn't uncover one bad thing, not one. I persisted. I had to find some dirt somewhere. But, no, there was no dirt to be found. This was a totally valid route to take, I just had to make the decision. And I might add, that price tag of $10,000 would include all of my travel expenses for me and my best friend (no way would I go there alone), plus all of the medical costs).
Then there was Dr. M in Fairfax Virginia. Talk about convenience, he is located less than 5 miles away from me. When doing the Lap Band, after care is extremly important, and getting those fills are a big deal. Dr. M was definitely conviently located for me. I'd also met him before. He knows what he's talking about. He did most of his schooling at Georgetown Medical - and that is very impressive. That's an incredible school. He's never lost a patient before. He's done well over a thousand procedures, he's got experience. He's well mannered, educated, professional. I did my fair amount of homework on him too. And again, I simply couldn't find any dirt. I looked and looked - but nothing. His patients adore him, they all have totally positive things to say about him - and I admit that when I met him, I liked him instantly. And I'm a very judgy type person - but I liked him! I asked him challenging questions, he never blinked, he just answered properly, with a smile on his face. But if I go through him, it's going to cost me somewhere between 20 and 21 thousand dollars. Twice as much as the other place. I'm not trying to be thrifty when it comes to my health care, but I'm also not trying to blow ten thousand dollars if it's not necessary.
So both doc's are good. I'm torn between which one to go with. I had to find a good doctor close by that would do my fills after I returned from Mexico, if I went with that option. After lots of investigation, I found one in Vienna, one in Woodbridge, and one in Fairfax that would do my fills. All at a similar cost. With that being hashed out, I had to make that decision on which doctor. Since I'm an immediate gratification type of girl and had no desire to wait, I wanted to see what surgery date I could get with each, and if there was a significant difference, of like 3 or 4 weeks or more, that would by my deciding factor. I'd go with the Surgeon that could do it first. So, Dr. K (Mexico) could operate on 1 Feb 2007. And Dr. M (Virginia) could operate on 5 Feb 2007. 4 days apart! Urgh. I finally decided that my peace of mind was worth the money, and in the end, I knew I'd be less nervous about the whole thing if I went with a Doctor practicing in America. So I made my choice and I scheduled the surgery with Dr. M.
Now my pre-op date is 1 Feb 2007 and when I go that meeting, I have to have all of my pre-op tests done. That means I'm going to be one busy fool for the next 2 weeks while I run around and try to get psych evaluations, sleep study tests, EKGs, blood work, and whatever else is required. But my mission has started and I'm very excited!