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My experience with Dr. Nishimura was truly amazing. I was impressed not only with his knowledge and his skill but his bedside manner. He’s an old-fashioned doctor. Even though I could see that he was busy. He took the time to slowly explain everything and make sure that I understood what he said. Our discussions were not isolated to the procedure but we talked about things in our personal lives such as our kids and personal experiences. I was also impressed with his cautious demeanor towards my health during my post-op phase. It’s unusual to find these qualities in today’s medical professionals.
I was provided with a ton of literature during my initial consult. It explained everything from soup to nuts. From why are we doing all the pre-op tests to the diet after surgery. Risks and benefits of the surgery. It even had a detailed series of events of what will happen in the hospital on the day of surgery until you are released. I found the literature to be very accurate and helpful.
I was also impressed with the other areas of his practice.
• The nutrition portion conducted by Jill was first rate. The Optifast program enabled me to lose 48 pounds and bring my BMI down to 43.1 before my Surgery.
• Gail and Allison helped me with the insurance requirements and everything was in place to ensure my pre-approval.
• Samerra guided me through all the pre-op testing and I completed them in short order. It was discovered during my pulmonary evaluation that I have Sleep Apnea.
• I also found the Support groups to be an invaluable tool. I really look forward to the meetings and plan on remaining a member for the remainder of my life. A couple of members visited during my hospitalization. I appreciated the visit, as it truly showed patients supporting other patients.
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I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I've tried several diets including LA Weight Loss and Atkins. I can always loose the weight . But I always regain and then some. I've lost 80Lbs at a clip only to see it come back.
Besides my Weight, High Blood Pressure (controlled by meds) I consider my self relatively healthy. No Aches or Pains no previous surgery. I've come to the realization that this may not last much longer. I need to control of my Weight.
My wife had Lap band Surgery about 5 years ago. She didn’t do too well with it. Food constantly gets stuck. On top of that her weight loss has been dismal. I knew that I didn’t want the band. Still trying to convince her to revise to the Sleeve. But that’s another story.
So…on 12/7/2009, I had my first consult with Dr. Nish. Going Into the consult I had my mind set on RNY as I definitely didn’t want the Lap Band. During the consult Dr. Nish told me about all the procedures that they perform the Lap band, RNY and Sleeve. He explained the pro and cons of all the operations. I was intrigued about the Sleeve and I was on the fence for about a month between Sleeve and RNY while I did the research and completed all of my testing.
After doing the research and talking to people at the surgeons support group and OH, I decided the Sleeve was what I wanted. Yet I was ok with the RNY as it was considered the Gold Standard. But the Sleeve was my preference as it was to me the lease invasive of the two. Also I didn’t want to have my day ruined by some jerk at Starbucks who put sugar in my coffee by accident and I experience Dumping Syndrome. Also didn’t want to have the meds (NSAIDS) that I may need to take in the future limited. Dr. Nish told me that the Sleeve’s estimated weigh loss was comparable but slightly less than RNY in addition the sleeve is less prone to stretching as the pouch of a RNY. I was more interested in getting to a healthy weight rather than a normal BMI. Dr. Nish agreed that the Sleeve would be a good option for me.
Then I ran into the insurance hurdles. Cigna at the time approved the Lap Band, RNY and the DS. Yet they considered the Sleeve experimental and wouldn’t approve it. I fought hard. I brought the VP of HR (from my company) into the loop. He was fighting on my behalf with the insurance company via his inside contacts. I was denied. I appealed; My Surgeon did a peer review with Cigna’s medical director and provided all the facts and case studies. I thought I was going to get approved when Cigna asked me for a letter from my primary doctor recommending why he believed the sleeve would be better for me than the RNY. My Primary is a gastroenterologist and wrote a very detailed through argument. Even after that letter Cigna still denied me.
I thought it was Gods will that I not have the Sleeve. Thought maybe he’s trying to tell me to go with the RNY. So I gave up and submitted to divine intervention.
I was at the point in my life where I knew I had to do something. I was basically a walking stroke. And it was only a matter of time before something happened. I went into this with the RNY in mind. Therefore I decided to go through with it.
I was so prepared for the RNY. I was on the RNY board religiously for two weeks. I bought all the supplements including things like Papaya enzymes to help with food that got stuck.
When I woke up from my surgery, I remember “Dr. Nish said everything went well…You have your sleeve” I immediately fell back asleep. When I woke up again I said I thought you said that I had a sleeve. He said that’s correct. I found it too difficult to perform the RNY as you had too much belly fat. When you lose enough weight you can revise to a RNY at that point if you want.
He did explain to me when I signed the release form in his office that sometimes especially with Men, if there’s too much belly fat it makes it difficult to perform the RNY they may have to perform a sleeve or cancel the surgery. But since I did so well on my pre-op diet. He didn’t see that would happen in my case. But on my consent form I agreed to a RNY or a Sleeve either Laparoscopic or open depending on what was the safest thing to do.
I couldn’t tell you how happy I was. Again…I thought this was divine intervention.
Revising to the RNY isn’t a thought in my mind at this point. I reached goal in seven months with the Sleeve. I wear a 15 ˝” Dress shirt down from a 22” neck. I’m also wearing 34” to 36” down from a 56” waist depending on the cut of the pants. I can eat anything I want just in small portion sizes. The Sleeve has been good to me and I love my Sleeve.