- HEALTH TRACKER
I'm Not In Any Photos Yet.
Before & After
There are currently no before and after photos for this member.
See these instructions if you wish to submit your own Before & After photos.
No Public Goals Yet.
William S. Richardson
HE'S THE BEST! I had read so many other profile impressions of Dr. Richardson, that I thought I had a pretty good idea going in of who I would be meeting. Indeed, he was as described: personable and caring. While being direct, he was also very compassionate. He is the Director of Laporascopic Surgery at one of the region's leading hospitals. He graduated from Harvard Medical School and has been practicing at Ochsner since 1997. I was also very impressed with his staff. They are very motivated and dedicated to their professions.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
7/7/2004 - Today I took the first step in a journey that I hope will lead to a healthier, happier me! I had a consult with the nurse practicioner in my surgeon's office to discuss bariatric surgery options. I am married and the 43 year old mother of four teenagers. I suffered from gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy and it has been an uphill struggle with my weight ever since! My insurance company will cover a gastric bypass if "medically necessary". My bmi is 41.1 and I feel certain that I have sleep apnea in addition to an assortment of other mild co-morbidities. Tomorrow I am having extensive lab work and a sleep study. After that I will only be missing a psychiatric evaluation (scheduled for next week) before my paperwork can be submitted to United Healthcare for approval. I was told at the consult that this process could take 2-3 months. I don't want to wait that long and will be pushing for expediency every chance I get! Any suggestions to help in this process would be most welcome. This site has been a godsend and a real source of information for me as I deliberated this decision. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and insights!
7/13/04 - I called my surgeon's office today to see if they received the results of my sleep study yet. Not yet! The results have to be sent to a doctor first for analysis. I am pretty sure I have sleep apnea because they interrupted my study during the night to put on a CPAP machine. The surgeon's office said that's a pretty good clue and if the study comes back positive they will submit then for insurance approval without waiting for the psych eval and bloodwork results. In a perfect world, the insurance approval would take 2-3 weeks and another 2-3 weeks to schedule a date! Wow - my surgery could possibly happen in August! The more information I get on WLS, the more anxious I am to have this done. I know this is for me and I can't wait! Wish me luck on my psychiatric evaluation tomorrow.
7/15/04 - Still no results on the sleep study. Now that I am convinced I have sleep apnea, I am scared to go asleep. Fortunately, I fall asleep anyway! I called my insurance advocate in Dr. Moore's office and she encouraged me to call the sleep center directly. They told me to check back tomorrow. Once Dr. Moore's office has the sleep study results, they will file for the insurance approval, so I am very anxious to get those results. I had my psych evaluation yesterday with an awesome psychiatrist. His name is Dr. David Clark. He was very encouraging and has some inspirational stories about other patients he treats that have had WLS. He confirmed for me that the odds of someone my weight successfully losing weight and maintaing that loss with diet alone is virtually nil. I know this is not a magic wand, but WLS vastly increases my chances of losing my excess weight and maintaining for a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life! I am ready!
7/20/04 - I got my sleep study results today and I was actually surprised. I have mild to moderate sleep apnea. I was soooo convinced that it was severe. I immediately called Danielle, my insurance advocate at Dr. Moore's office. She assured me that mild, moderate or severe - I still have sleep apnea as a co-morbitity. She will send the letter to my insurance company by Friday. Once submitted, it will take 2-3 weeks to get an answer. On another subject - my oldest son just moved to Houston. I mentioned in my first post that I have four teenagers - I keep forgetting that Zachary turned 20! Anyway, he is a computer software developer and just accepted a job offer in Houston. I helped him move by driving the moving truck from New Orleans to Houston. I stayed overnight to help him settle in and then flew back home. You know where I am heading, right?!?! Of course, I was worried about fitting in a seat. It had been a couple of years since I had flown, and I gained at least 30 lbs over those past two years. The flight was almost full, but I lucked out in getting a row with an empty seat in between. Thank God, I was able to keep the arm rest up. Fastening the seat belt was another matter - I extended it as far as it would go and sucked in as far as I could go. It took me a few minutes, but I finally fastened. And to make matters worse, I was still crying about leaving my baby! What a mess - never again - no more flying until I lose this weight!
8/2/04 - Rough week last week. My insurance made a mistake and quoted coverage to my surgeon's office before my first visit. After I have jumped through all the hoops and sent my first letter, they explained that they made a mistake and there is an exclusion on my policy for WLS. I am devastated. I have a sent in an appeal and am now awaiting the outcome. There is a chance they will overturn their denial since they quoted coverage initially. Keep me in your prayers!
8/12/04 - Things are not looking good for WLS for me. I just learned that my denial was upheld after my appeal letter. I think I can appeal one more time, but it's not looking good. I am so depressed. I wish I would have known about the exclusion before I went through all the testing and dreaming...
10/11/05 - Can't believe it has been more than a year since I posted. To be honest, it was too depressing when I knew I could not be one the losers on this site. GOOD and BAD news update: I just found out yesterday that my employer has removed the WLS exclusion effective 1/1/2006! Since last year I have tried hard to lose weight (joined WW again!) thinking that I could not have WLS. I am more convinced than ever that I need this tool to lose this weight and have a healthier lifestyle. The bad news is that I am now an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina. I was actually in the hospital when the hurricane hit recovering from a nasty complication from a hysterectomy. I remember commenting to my Mom that even if I had insurance for WLS I wouldn't do it after what I went through with this hysterectomy (my tune has changed!). I developed an ileus (bowel paralyzed) from my surgery and ended up with an NG tube in my nose. One of the very worst experiences of my life. I am temporarily working out of Memphis. My family is scattered in 4 cities! Since last year, I have two more kids in college. I miss my kids sooooo much! Hoping to resume life in New Orleans by the end of the year. I spoke with my gyn surgeon in New Orleans today and he assured me that an ileus would be very unlikely with laporascopic gastric bypass. I am driving to New Orleans to see him on Monday. The bariatric surgeons work in the same place and he is going to take me over to see them. I will be pushing hard to get everything in place so that I can have my surgery as early as possible after 1/1/06.
10/21/05 - I finally spoke with the patient advocate in the surgeon's office. I have an appointment with Dr. Rachel Moore on January 6th. I am a little disappointed. I wanted to get this ball moving NOW so that I would have a minimal wait when the WLS exclusion is lifted from my insurance in January. However, I was thrilled to learn that I will not have to repeat my sleep study or psych evaluation. More good news - I will be back in New Orleans permanently one week from today. Memphis is very nice, but it's not home! I am anxious to return to New Orleans and be a part of the rebuilding.
4/6/06 - I've got a lot of updating to do! I started the process again with Dr. Moore's office but unfortunately found out in January that my insurance would not cover her. It was very unclear who they would cover. My employer has a program with United just for their employees. WLS in covered, but only at a UHC Center of Excellence (COE). Of course with Katrina, there is not one in New Orleans. The closest one to me was Baylor in Dallas. Then I was told that since the closest COE was more than 500 miles away, I could go to someone local if they were in-network. So I did some quick research on the surgeons who were left in New Orleans. It was a no brainer - Dr. Richardson or Dr. Kennedy at Ochsner. I lucked out - the day I called them was the same day they had their monthly seminar! You have to attend seminar before you can make an appointment. I attended seminar and made an appointment for the next week to see Dr. Richardson. I was so excited - finally, I was getting somewhere! Should have known better. Two days after my appointment, United called me to tell me that they made a mistake. Surgery would have to be at a COE after all. I hated the thought of traveling to Dallas! I want to be near my surgeon and support system. United thought Ochsner would be easily approved for COE status since they were COEs for other departments. Ochsner said that it was something they were planning to do anyway, but that Katrina had delayed their application. Since January, I have been calling both Ochsner and United and generally making a big nuisance of myself! But you know what they say about the squeaky wheel.... looks like surgery is in my very near future. Like next week! I can't believe it even as I type it. The past month has been any day now. My mother has been here for over three weeks waiting for me to get a surgery date. Everytime we thought we were at the finish line, another hoop to jump through popped up! But today, I have been assured that everything is a go. I did my pre-op testing yesterday. I ended up having to have another psyche eval whose results should have been sent today. One last hurdle - clearance from my primary. Saw her earlier in the week and the lab results were faxed to her this afternoon. I plan on being at her office tomorrow before they open to get that piece of paper! Looks like I am finally, finally going to be on the losing side next week. I haven't even had time to be nervous!
4/10/06 - IT'S OFFICIAL! UHC called to tell me I was pre-certified and I signed my surgeon's consent forms this afternoon. I am the first surgery on Wednesday, April 12th. If you are reading this, please say a quick prayer for me. I'm starting to feel some pretty big butterflies...
5/16/2006 - Obviously I am one of those profilers that irritate me so much by not updating... My lap RNY was on 4/12/2006 and I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. I had almost no pain at all (morphine pump?), even right after. I stayed in Overnight Recovery for the first night and went to a regular room late afternoon on the second day. I was discharged the next morning. Two things that I was dreading did not materialize. My surgeon had told me that I would probably have a drain and I was surprised when I realized that I did not in the recovery room. I was also dreading the much maligned leak test. To tell you the truth, I barely remember it (morphine pump?), so it couldn't have been too bad! I do remember using some swabs in my dry mouth that felt like heaven. The only drawback to the overnight recovery was that your visitors are very limited in when they can visit. So my mom, who was in town to help me was not allowed to be with me until I was tranferred to a regular room. But in overnight recovery you have your very own nurse, which was quite nice. Nobody was asking me to get up and walk, so I insisted on getting up and walking that evening. It was a little awkward with the catheter but manageable. After that, I was a walking fool! I went home with a pain prescription for liquid lortab which my mom made me take right when I got home. After that, I did not take it again. On the third day I was very uncomfortable with trapped gas which dissipated over the next couple of days. One week later, I was back at my desk job. The biggest problem I have had is finding a tolerable protein drink. They are all disgusting and the only one I like is Carnation Instant Breakfast. Since I have been on pureed foods, every morsel I put in my mouth is protein. I have also been constipated a couple of times which is quite miserable. I have never had this problem before and was not expecting it! I have not had any food disagree with my pouch yet and have not had any nauseau or dumping. At my two week visit I lost 16 pounds and at four weeks I lost about 25. So far (knock on wood!), this has been a very positive experience and I feel oh so blessed to have had this surgery. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that I am really, truly, finally post-op! Dr. Richardson and his staff have been incredible throughout this entire process. I am convinced that my positive experience is a direct result of his awesome skills. Good luck to all the pre-ops - I can't wait to see you on the losing side!
7/12/2006 - Three months! In some ways, it has gone by so fast. But in other ways, it seems slow. Especially when I get on the scale! LOL! I can't believe how impatient I am sometimes. It seems like I can't lose fast enough! However, when I stop and reflect, 44 lbs in 3 months is quite an achievement. There is always the temptation to compare yourself to others and I have tried hard not to do that. Another huge milestone today! I am now under 200 lbs. This was my first goal and it is so awesome. Not sure, but I probably haven't seen this weight in over 20 years. Some other WOWS: 1) No more sleep apnea which means I am now sleeping in my bed with my husband where I belong. It was so hard to sleep in the bed with my CPAP, so I ended up sleeping in my recliner. 2) Diabetes is gone! I was pre-diabetic for years before my surgery but had crossed the border in the six months prior to my surgery. Huge relief! 3) Fortunately I had a huge range of clothes in my closet, but I am running out of sizes! My underwear and bras are huge on me and I am going to have to relent soon and buy some new things. I am comfortably in a size 18 down from a 24. My shoes are also getting too big 4) I feel GREAT! No more getting out of breath just walking up the parking ramp. 5) My husband and kids are so proud of me and I feel like they also have more respect for me! 6) Can you believe it? I am really exercising! I am working my ellipitcal machine 30 minutes every morning. I have not had any problems with any foods that I have tried so far. Even though my surgeon wants me to get all of my protein from food, I have still held on to one protein drink first thing in the morning. It the only one I could tolerate (and I tried lots!): EAS Myoplex Chocolate Fudge Carb Sense Ready to Drink. Each drink has 25g of protein and is only 150 calories. I eat pretty much anything I want with the exception of sugar and fried foods. I can eat between 3/4 to 1 cup of food right now. This surgery was the best thing I have ever done for myself and my family. It is so amazing to know that I finally have a tool to lose this weight permanently as long as I work it! All my best, Lisa
9/28/2006 - Down 61 lbs. I feel AWESOME! These past six weeks have been pretty hard. My 20 year old daughter had major reconstructive surgery on her hips and pelvic bone at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. My original intent was to stay in Baltimore for two weeks and then commute back and forth from New Orleans for the remainder of her stay. But when it came time to leave, I couldn't do it. She was in so much pain. We were fortunate that my mom, my sister and her boyfriend also came to Baltimore to help out. Five weeks passed and I finally had to come home to keep my job. Since then, I have been going up on the weekends. I am especially grateful to the Ronald McDonald House. No way we could have afforded a hotel for all this time. We are praying that her pins and fixator will come out in a few more weeks and then she can come home to do rehab. Please keep her in your prayers. The whole time I was in Baltimore, I did not weigh myself. So it was nice to come home and find that I was 10 lbs. lighter! I found myself thinking over and over again how glad I was to have had my surgery. There was so much walking and it would have been a real struggle 60 lbs. heavier. The down side is that some of my good habits fell a little by the wayside. It was much harder to drink my water and carbs entered my diet again. It was also difficult to find my protein drinks. Also, no formal exercise, but I think I did enough walking to make up for it. Love to all of my fellow WLS buddies, both pre- and post-op!