- Name: Amy L.
- Username: browneyedgirl18
- Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
- Member Since: 8/30/2010
- BMI: 20.0
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: RNY (11/22/10)
- Surgeon: Joseph Caruana, M.D.
I'm Not In Any Photos Yet.
Surgeon TestimonialJoseph Caruana, M.D.Dr. Caruana upon first impression was kind, friendly, attentive, and very knowledgeable. Over time, my impression of him has remained the same, and I feel I was in very good hands during surgery. I have yet to meet with him for my initial post-op visit, so I cannot comment on that yet. I guess the onlt thing that I could complain about is the wait time to get an appointment, and the lengthy process. Synergy will not even allow you to meet with Dr.C for a consult until you have a letter of referral for insurance by your PCP and psychiatry consult, as well as any additional specialists you may see regularly, such as a cardiologist. Also, Synergy will not schedule your surgery until your insurance has paid for your first appointment at their office- even if they'ce already approved the surgery. It took an additional 2 1/2 weeks for Synergy to receive the payment from BCBS so that delayed getting a surgery date. The staff at Synergy Bariatrics is professional, compassionate, and very knowledgeable. You can tell upon first appointment that everyone there really cares, and loves what they are doing. Aftercare is very structured, and expected. There are follow up appointments at 10 days, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, and annually after that. They do labs at a every visit. They have a full equipped fitness club in their office, complete with professional trainers and classes, which a 3 month free membership is included in your post-op aftercare. Dr. Caruana was very thorough at addressing the risks of surgery, as well as his own track record of complications and how they were resolved. He spent a great deal of time with me at consult answering a ton of questions, and really getting to know me personally. he was very thorough on physical exam as well. Overall, I would rate Dr.C a 9 out of 10, being that I believe there is always room for improvement, but he comes pretty close to a 10. He has done over 4000 open rny to date, and his track record is excellent. He is rated in the top 5% in the country. I believe his surical competence is excellent, he is able to complete his procedures in just 45 minutes, with a very minimal long line incision, mine is only 3 inches long. His bedside is equally good, being very caring, attentive, and addressing any issues or concerns right away. The only complaint I would have about the office itself is that their phone and answering system could use some improvement. Because their office is so busy, unless you have an emergency, there really is no way to speak directly to a human, you will get a voicemail to leave a message at all other options/extensions, and then in most cases you get a call back in 24 hours, that is even for scheduling/rescheduling appointments, as I had that experience this week.
- Books & Literature - I love to read classics like Shakespeare, as well as more modern writers.
- Crafts - I am an avid scrapbooker and jewelry maker.
- Fitness & Exercise - I love the treadmill, weight training, and Zumba!
- Cats - He is a 6 1/2 year old grey tabby named George!
- Music - I am all over the board on music, just depends on my mood!
- Radio & Television - LOVE General Hospital, House, CSI, Bones.
- Vacation - We visit Disneyworld for a week every year.
|Here We go!
posted on 8/31/10 2:25 pm
Hello everyone...thank you for checking out my blog...hopefully it will be interesting, may be funny at times, and most of all I just want it to keep me sane through this whole process!
I have been thinking about WLS for a very long time now, did a little research, asked a few questions here and there, but it didn't really "hit" me until a couple of weeks ago when all of a sudden my legs feet and ankles swelled up like balloons, I was short of breath, and my blood pressure was crazy high. Got to the cardiologist, hopped on the scale - and whoa- 256 pounds the heaviest I have ever been- by far. I hadn't been on a scale in months, but boy was I upset. Now, they did put me on Lasix for the swelling, and I was down to 248 in two days time, but still, the heaviest I have ever been. And, something clicked, I said to myself "it's time". So, When I had my follow up a few days later with my primary doc I asked him how he felt about me having WLS, and he thought it was a very good idea. He immediately knew who to send me to- Dr. Caruana at Synergy Bariatrics, the best in NY State, and among the top 5 percent in the country, and only a 10 minute drive from my home! It was releaving after reading up on his credentials and medical reviews that he's done over 3500 WLS to date, and has a less than 0.5% complication rate. And, we have a state of the art Bariatric Surgical wing at Sisters Hospital dedicated to WLS, with 10 private rooms, dedicated staff that is trained especially in the care of WLS patients, and it's also ranked among the top 5% in the country. Very comforting. Atleast I know I should be in good hands for all of this.
Now, to explain to hubby what my plans are...he was very surprised. He did not expect those words coming out of my mouth at all. And, he was quite negative about it too. Said he felt I should just diet and exercise, and that surgery was a crazy idea - and gross! He just didn't understand. He is 6 feet tall, 193 pounds, solid muscle, goes to the gym 3-4 days a week, and can eat anything he wants. He doesn't get it that I have struggled for the past 17 years to get this weight off, and it just doesn't want to happen. I will kill myself at the gym, cut my calories like crazy- I've even tried Alli and Slimfast before with no success at all. It took me an entire year to lose 45 pounds, and I gained it all back in a matter of 3 months, and then an additional 20 after that! Back surgery last summer was my downfall. I was doing so well before that, had such a momentum at the gym, and did so well with my diet, but the recovery from surgery was way more than I bargained for, and it took a couple of months to feel good again- even after rehab at the gym, strengthening my back and legs, and doing the treadmill. But, when the scale wasn't moving, I lost all momentum. I gave up. Since then I've tried walking and cutting calories again, no success. After going over all of this with hubby, and explaining the surgery in detail, the recovery time, showing him statistics of success and weight loss rates, he seems to finally "get" it. He says if this is what I want, then he will support me all the way. Thank goodness. I was going to do it no matter what he thought, but it's so much better knowing he's on board now.
So, I got on the Synergy Bariatrics website and learned the steps I needed to take to complete their requirements prior to surgery:
1. attend information seminar online or in office.
2. complete and mail in registration packet.
3. get letter of referral from primary doc.
4. get letter of referral from psychiatrist.
5. Have appointment with surgeon.
6. paperwork submitted for insurance approval.
7. attend meeting with NUT.
8. attend atleast one support group meeting in office.
9. receive surgery date!
10. pre-op tests and bloodwork.
The entire process should take less than 2 months. I am expecting a surgery date somewhere around mid to late November. Gosh, I wish it didn't take that long! I would do all the steps in two weeks if I could! But, I can't get in to my psych's office until Sept.28th, so that will delay things a bit. I am gonna call each morning to see if there's a cancellation, so I can get in earlier. I see my primary doc next week. He already did a referral, but my insurance and the surgeon's office requires a specific typed up letter in detail of my needs for WLS , as well as a signed form approving my participation in pre-op workout program.
So, I hope you will follow me on my journey, maybe message me with some advice...thanks for reading!
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