- HEALTH TRACKER
Before & After
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William S. Richardson
6/2004 After meeting my surgeon and finding out his high complication rates, I started searching for another surgeon.
7/25/05 I changed jobs for insurance reasons and began to work on the postop unit where Dr. Richardson and Dr. Kennedy sent their patients at Ochsner. I was so completely impressed by each of them. His skill is just amazing! He seems like a bit of a strict and dry personality until you get to know him better, but he is a very kind and caring surgeon. He literally held my hand through one denial after another while I cried... until MY day finally came for approval. He saved my life and gave me a hope transplant!
You could not choose a better surgeon than Dr. Richardson!! I'd like to see more on the aftercare program there, but as long as you follow the instructions you're given, you'll do just fine.
3/2007 Surgery went well, no problems at all. I can not say enough great things about this man and this hospital!
3/2009 2 years out and PAST goal!! Not a single problem or complication... from a size 30 to a size 12, before plastics!!
Latest Surgery Support Comments
8/2003 - Birth of my second child, beautiful baby girl named Katie! I was so blissfully happy with everything except my body. I've now hit my highest weight ever, 324 lbs.
10/2003 - Got back my surgical report from the C-section and saw "obesity" listed on it under diagnoses. Weight still hasn't gone down... deep and tearful desperation led me to a web search for "obesity". I found Obesity Help, and posted a desperate plea for someone to talk to... One lovely soul (wish I could remember her name) sent me a message with her phone number and we talked for hours throughout the night. I was convinced that THIS was my last hope. I began to scour insurance policies and job info so I could consider this option.
1/2004 - Relocated to California from Louisiana, forced to postpone surgery hopes with change of job...
9/2004 - Serious PPD issues including weight gain and broken knee after falling have delayed efforts at surgery, becoming badly reclusive.
3/2005 - Finally on track, back in Louisiana, found a surgeon and a job, insurance does cover surgery, but no details on requirements available yet. Appointment for surgeon went well, but insurance denied claim based on weight being "pre-existing condition" well DUH!! Have to prove no lapse in coverage (done). I'm on my way!!
5/2005 - Denied again, seems surgeon's office should have known about the need for testing, psych eval, and then they surprised me with a required "5 year medically documented weight condition" shot down my hopes and my confidence in the knowledge and ability of the surgeon's office staff. Started hearing bad things about surgeon from other nurses. I was working on a bariatric postop unit and gained great confidence in one of the surgeons there. His skill is amazing, and I think I want to see him for my surgery.... when and if that happens.
7/2005 - Changed jobs again... hospital coverage for surgery is 100% with $150/day hospital fee, that's IT!! I'm soooo geared up for this, and finally ready. Going to a seminar next month for Dr Richardson (the one I work with at Ochsner).
8/16/2005 - Appointments set for 9/2 (PCP) and 9/4 (surgeon) to start the process again!! I'm so excited!! I can't wait to get going!! Finally some HOPE!! My insurance goes into effect 9/2/2005.
8/29/2005 - It's 3 am and we evacuated our home!! Hurricane Katrina is coming and threatens to devastate New Orleans. We have fled to a hotel in Houston, TX. This is a worst case scenario... Sadly not all of my extended family was willing to evacuate. Will post more later.
8/30/2005 - Too difficult to post much, this has been a surreal experience. Our home was competely destroyed, my city is ruined.
9/2005 - Back to work, trying to move forward. Got appointments with the surgeon and didn't need PCP after all (per insurance company) so I got all ready, put everything in one day and was exhausted but it's done... now to wait for approval.
10/2005 - DENIED!! I was told my surgery was not "medically necessary" by the insurer's standards. I did some digging and found the hospital was self insured so I could appeal the insurer's standards to genuine healthcare people (HR department LOL) at the hospital, so I wrote a 3 page paper... and appealed, now to wait for appeal process.
11/2005 - DENIED again!!! Apparently the day before my insurance went into effect was the anniversary date for policy changes... The policy still covers 100% but now there is a 1 year "service commitment" and a $5000 copay. This time the denial stems from lack of 'service commitment' completion. I can do nothing at all, I must wait a year and then I can apply again.
2/2006 - My city remains devastated, no schools, not enough police, not enough sewerage, not enough housing.... living 4 people in a 1 room RV is harsh... it's time to move... COBRA will allow me to still get surgery with Dr Richardson, if I can cough up the copay. Moving to Texas next month for new job, and some stability in our lives.
5/2006 - Restarting the 6 mo diet since it has to be recent. Having severe gallbladder issues so I have to have it out immediately, no waiting for my RNY. VERY sad that my RNY could not be done with my Lap choley. I managed ok and healed well, just like my two previous C-sections.
12/2006 - Finally complete the 6 mo diet, called and have an appointment next month to repeat testing (must be within one year) so I get to do the dumb 600 question psych test again :P
2/2006 - FINALLY IT HAPPENED!!!! I GOT APPROVED!!!!!!! I waited a week for the bariatric coordinator to call me with a date after I gave her the confirmation number for my insurance company... so finally I called her, asking when they wanted me to be ready.... she says "it doesn't work that way, you tell us when, and we make it happen!" SOOO I picked the first available date after my current job ends... I will be REBORN on MARCH 7, 2006!!!!!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!