I've dieted successfully over the years but have never maintained a healthy weight for more than a few months at a time. When I turned 40 this year, I decided to look for another solution. To this end, I've been researching WLS for the last month or so.
Surgeon: James K. Weber M.D.
6/5/99: I met with a surgeon last week and I'm getting the ball rolling. I hope to have the surgery this August with Dr. Weber, who seems great. He spent a lot of time with me, patiently answering all of my questions. I have appts. set up for a psych evaluation, nutrition eval, ultrasound, and blood draw. I need to decide which surgery to have--a huge decision.
9/6/99: All preliminary work-ups are with Dr. Weber's office and we've sent in our first request for approval by Aetna. I've heard that my former employer is working with Aetna to change our policy so that it will no longer exclude healthcare related to obesity--and that it will perhaps now include coverage of WLS.
10/7/99: Aetna initially denied approval, but when they passed my request to Microsoft, whose policy I'm covered by, it was approved! I'm having RNY surgery tomorrow, 10/8.
8/2/00: Next week will be the ten-month anniversary of my surgery. I can't believe I haven't updated my profile until now! I've lost 132 pounds and feel great. Lately I've been focusing on exercising more regularly and I'm now taking a yoga class twice a week and swimming about four times a week. I'll be adding bicycling to the mix any day now.
4/26/01: One and a half years post-op now. I've lost 168 pounds and am perfectly content at my current weight. I find that my stomach's capacity has gradually increased but I still fill up easily--certainly more easily than I did pre-op, when I almost never felt full. I exercise regularly (did the Danskin Triatholon last August and will compete again this year) for the first time in my life--even learned to downhill ski this winter--and take enormous pleasure in being a middle-aged almost-jock. No complaints here. I'm going to wait another year and see how my skin rebounds before considering some nip-and-tucks. My thighs, arms, and stomach are saggy but I'm not sure the scars of surgery would be any easier to live with. We'll see.
A year-and-a-half post-op, I find that I miss my visits to Dr. Weber--that's how much I appreciate him! My first impression is no different from my sense of him now: He's an excellent surgeon and an honest, caring doctor. I've had nothing but good experiences w/his staff. They facilitated my insurance approval and were always friendly and courteous. A few weeks ago I received a $15 refund check from a co-pay that I made months ago that was apparently unnecessary--how often does *that* happen? He does emphasize exercise. He feels it's the way to maximize the weight-loss surgery tool--that is, he thinks the only way to get down to your goal weight and stay there, even *with* the surgery, is by exercising regularly.
Although Aetna initially denied, when they forwarded my request to Microsoft for review, I was quickly approved. I've heard that the written exclusion is in the process of being removed from Microsoft's policy with Aetna. Dr. Weber's office was extremely helpful and efficient in seeing my case through.