I am 24 years old. I am a registered nurse, and the requirements of my job alone will demand a change in my lifestyle. Not to mention, I am ready to make some changes for myself. I have struggled with weight all of my life. I have decided to make some very significant lifestyle changes, but needed the help of this surgery to do it. I expect the recovery to be a challenge. I was scheduled for a laparascopic procedure, and was changed to open at the last minute. That has been hard for me to adjust to. I really wanted this surgery, and am determined to make it work for me.
Surgeon: Steven B. Hopson, M.D.
2/14/01--DAY OF SURGERY--250lbs.
2/20/01--SIX DAYS POST-OP--235lbs.
4/18/01--2 MONTHS POST-OP--201lbs.
2/20/01 SIX DAYS post op-- It has been a tough road.I was disappointed before the surgery began.I was under the impression that I was to have a laparascopic procedure.They changed me to an open procedure at the last minute.I was in pre-op holding when they said,"Oh no,it's not going to be laparascopic.It will be open because we had problems getting the equiptment into the hospital."I felt my stomach drop to my feet.I nearly cancelled the surgery, but my insurance will change in a month.If I had cancelled, I would not have had the surgery at all.I am still dealing with that unexpected turn of events.I had terrible uncontrollable muscle spasms in my abdomen for 3 days after surgery.Things are getting better.My doctor has me on Tylenol #3 elixer for pain.I can't stand to take it, so I just deal with the discomfort.The surgeon says that everything must be liquid for at least two weeks, hence no pain medication in pill form. I am having a few problems at this time.I am trying to drink on a fairly constant basis to remain hydrated.I am not hungry in the slightest.I am on 60cc of Boost High Protein supplemental drink for my three meals a day.It is a struggle to drink it, because I just don't want anything.I have not started my vitamin regimen yet.I know I must start immediately.I have had some nausea, but on a fairly rare basis.I have not thrown up at all.(knock on wood)I just don't want to drink anything.I am never hungry.I hope that changes a little, or I will always struggle to avoid malnutrition.I have been very uncomfortable.As I mentioned, I have had some significant pain and cannot get comfortable anywhere.I cannot sleep through the night yet.The longest length I have slept since coming home is 2hrs.Without fail, I wake up repeatedly.I wonder if anyone else has had that problem.I am hoping to get through this immediate recovery period, and see things get better every day.If anyone can shed some light on the post op experience--please do.
4/18/01 (2 months)201lbs---Things are going much better.I have lost 50lbs.This without devoting any real time to exercise.I have a very active job.I am in school full time and work full time, so I haven't had time to hit the gym.The weight is still coming off.I have noticed that the rate of loss has slowed.I will need to do the exercises to tone up.I am eating regular foods, but still very small amounts.I have not been hungry once since I had my surgery.My doctor says that I am doing very well.I am guilty of letting my vitamin regimen go.I have missed doses of vitamins over the passed 2-3 weeks.The major problem that I have right now is fatigue.I think that the surgery has the side effect of fatigue, but you can do things to worsen the effects.My schedule is crazy, and I haven't taken my vitamins properly.Please remember your vitamins.I am very happy that I had that surgery.I would do it all again.I have tried not to weigh myself every day.You begin to focus on how much you lose every day.It sets you up for disappointment.
My first impression of him was excellent. He was very caring and understanding. He assured me that he would do all that he could to assist me to have the surgery approved. My opinion of him is still growing. The office staff was friendly and receptive to my needs. I have one more appointment with him prior to the surgery. I will be given the majority of my information then. I have only been seen for the initial consultation. I was very impressed with Dr. Hopson in that one visit. He covered many of the high points related to the surgery during the consultation. He talked about the procedure, risks, lifestyle changes, etc. He also told me that I would have a more extensive appointment with him when I was approved. He and the office staff took care of attaining the approval. I did not have to get involved in that aspect at all. I have yet to experience his surgical expertise, but I have total faith in his ability. He has excellent bedside manner. I felt totally comfortable with him, which is rare with most physicians/surgeons. I would definately recommend him to a friend. I will be sure to comment on his surgical skill after my surgery next week. If there are any negative aspects, I can assure you that I won't hold back. As I said, I have only had the consultation up to this point. Stay tuned.
The surgeon's office did all of the work for that. I had the approval within a month after my consultation visit. The surgeon's office attained the approval over the phone. My surgeon intended on having me participate in a sleep study to check for sleep apnea to help approval. I was also to see a dietician. They actually gained the approval before either of these things were completed. I think that my body mass index(BMI) and current problems were enough to gain approval. I think it went through in a fairly timely manner. My insurance will change in about a month and a half. They could have stalled until my coverage was up. I have had a good experience with this HMO. They approved a breast reduction surgery for me in 1995 without hesitation. It all went very smoothly each of the two times that I have requested a surgery. I am actually disappointed that I will have to change my coverage to another company.