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Surgeon TestimonialMatthew Metz M.D.First Impressions: Office environment - a bit harried and maybe could improve in some ways. Silly things, like the couch in the waiting area is VERY low to the floor and sucks you in. I have pretty good muscle tone and I still made funny noises getting up - can't imagine a superobese patient managing without help. Also, when they go to measure your height, the yardstick is tacked onto a doorframe with a cabinet right beside it. Like probably most MO patients, I'm a bit wide in the bumper, and the cabinet made it so I couldn't stand up straight, and the thing measured me at 5'4\" even tho I've been measured three times lately at 5'5\". rnrnStaff: I'd already dealt with Allison via their Yahoo-group site, and while she was sometimes slow in responding, she was very nice. At the office, I thought the staff was terrific, but I could see that they were busy to the point of frantic, and I thought they probably could use some help getting organized.rnrnDr. Metz himself is everything I'd heard he was. He's very young, also very nice. He took a lot of time with me explaining the procedure and patiently answering the LONG list of questions I'd come up with over the 8 months I've been planning for this surgery. He hasn't done as many VSG's as I might like (he's fresh out of his fellowship, where he did \"a bunch\", but he's only done 5 since coming to Denver), but I'm confident that he knows what he's doing. So far I feel very good about him. I also followed with an email with a few clarifying questions, and he responded within 24 hours. rnrnAfter surgery: Several members of the staff came to visit me while in the hospital. Very, very nice and very helpful! There still seems to be some organizational issues, e.g. moments where not all the people know what's going on, though. I had one person telling me my post-op diet was one thing and another person saying something different. Some of this could be the hospital, which kept putting \"gastric bypass\" on my chart, even though I told them I'd had the sleeve. rnrnDr. Metz is not only quite a talented surgeon but he's also a very nice guy with a great sense of humor. rnrnSumming it up - At a month out, I'm feeling great, and thoroughly enjoying my sleeve. It seems to me my experience has been unusually easy, compared to others on the sleeve forum, and I credit Dr. Metz. He explained that he goes to some trouble to avoid narrowing at the curvature of the stomach, and to leave a bit of extra room at the bottom, which can help with nausea and acid. He also takes care to get most of the gas used to make space during the procedure out of the body before he closes, and because of this I had very minimal gas-related discomfort. I highly recommend Dr. Metz to anyone in the Denver area who is considering Bariatric surgery. |
Just Checking in on November 27, 2008 7:19 am
I haven't been active on the forums for awhile. Last time I was active, there was just too much negativity. So I'll post here and steer clear of the zoo. If anyone wants to chat, I still get emails when I get PM'd, so zap me a note and say hey!
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I have been doing great. I'm down nearly 80 lbs since February, 59 lbs since day of surgery. I bought clothes a few weeks ago two sizes down, and I'm already having to safety-pin the pants. I have a lap, and I can sit in hard-backed chairs with arms and not feel squished.
In my pre-op class, I was told I could expect to lose about 30% of total body weight, which would mean I have 8 more pounds to go. I don't see why I shouldn't expect to lose quite a bit more - at least the 32 lbs I still need to lose to have a BMI in the merely "overweight" range, and maybe even another 62 lbs, to put me in the "normal weight" range.
I do have a little lose skin, and I wouldn't be surprised if I have a lot more before it's all over. If I look like a soup chicken I'll think about plastic surgery.
As for appetite, it's back, a bit. I get hungry at mealtimes, but I still don't need much food to be stuffed. I can pack away a lot of calories if I browse through the day, and I still have to struggle with that temptation when I'm bored at work - which is most of the time. But the one day so far that I actually really let go and just pigged out, I only ate about 1800 calories, which would still result in weight loss for me at this weight. Most days my intake is somewhere between 900 and 1200, more when I'm so tired of protein-only that I have to add a few carbs just to feel like I have a life.
I have also had some hair loss, but so far not enough to be noticeable on my scalp. I can see my hair is a bit thinner, but thankfully I had a lot more than most people to begin with, so now I just look the same as everyone else. I got a cute short cut and it looks fine, and I have to spend more time sweeping hair up from the bathroom floor and pulling it out of the dryer vent. Otherwise no biggie.
My surgery ended up costing me just under $6k (that was my 30% coinsurance, plus copays). It's the best money I ever spent on myself. I highly recommend this procedure.
Oh, and for anyone who is interested in the "God" side of this, if you go back to my first blogs, I tell the story about how I had made up my mind that the sleeve was the only surgery I wanted, and was initially told my my insurance (Kaiser) that they did not cover it. But I learned that one of the clinics that they work with for bariatric surgery was credentialling a new surgeon who does the procedure, so I asked to at least meet with the doctor in charge of the weight management program. He told me that Kaiser had a new policy - they just approved you for bariatric surgery - it was up to you and the surgeon which procedure you wanted to have. So I applied for the bariatric program, got approved, jumped through all the hoops (psych eval, classes, etc.), and chose the surgeon who does the sleeve. He agreed with me that the sleeve was the better choice for me, and voila, I was sleeved! It seemed like a God thing to me that, just when I was looking into it, Kaiser had only recently opened up its policy to allow for other procedures, and had only just begun credentialling a surgeon who did the procedure I wanted. OK, so you want to hear the rest? It turns out that not long after I got my sleeve, Kaiser decided to crack down again - they decided they wanted to look at longer-term evidence for the sleeve before they approved any more. Now, I have no doubt, with the latest 5-year data from Dr.'s Cirangle and Jossart, that they will quickly approve sleeves again. But isn't it wonderful that I slipped in during the brief window when Kaiser was approving the procedure? Stuff like this keeps reassuring me that God has his hand on me. I love that.
So that's my six-month update. Catch you in another few!