Hospital Reviews(Stony Brook, NY) - Stony Brook University Hospital
Surgeon: Arif Ahmad
I am 54 years old, married and the mother of two grown daughters. I am also the grandmother of two adorable(of course) grandchildren. I have been heavy for over 30 years, and now it is taking a toll on my health. I met with Barbara Smith at Stony Brook hospital for an informational session. I will attend a group support meeting on November 6th and then have an meeting with my surgeon, Dr. Collin Brathwaite on Friday, the 9th. I have been investigating this procedure for almost two years. I know someone for whom it worked very successfully. But, I also know someone who passed on after the operation. It made me really, really consider all the implications and now I am definately ready. I want to be alive to watch those grandchildren grow. And be able to play with them, too. I will know more in a week and hopefully have a smooth ride.
11/09/01 I had a consultation with Dr. Brathwaite, Dr. Ahmad, Barbara Smith(Coordinator) and PA Laura Della Russo. All went so very well. They all agreed I would be a good candidate for the Lap RNY. So I set up a bunch of appointments with various doctors and so the ride begins.
11/16/01 Today I met with my shrink, Dr. Hauben. He already had all the papers from Stony Brook. He thinks the surgery is a great idea, although he gallantly said I didn't look like I needed it. He was very interested, even said he would mention it to another patient of his. I don't know what I was so worried about. I had a prepared speech memorized , in case he objected. I have the support of my husband(who says he loves me the way I am) and my oldest daughter. My younger daughter is dead set against this. We had a close friend of hers pass away from surgery and she is obviously afraid for me. Sometimes, I am too. But I know this is a chance of a lifetime to become healthier. This surgery wasn't perfected years ago, or I would have considered it sooner.
12/14 I have have all of my testing done;psych, sonogram, blood work, dietician and endoscopy. The endo showed that my esophagus was moderately to severly messed up(my words). I am hoping that this doesn't delay surgery. I am on medication to reduce the stomach acid, but I will have to wait for the test results to see if there are any stomach ulcers. The insurance forms are filled out and hopefully sent. I don't know the average time of response from my particular ins. co. so I will not start to worry for a while. The PA said they were scheduling surgeries for mid-Feb. That sounds good to me..just put me on a cancellation list and move me up.
1/12 I am approved! The ins. co. took a little while to make a decision because there were 2 holidays, and 2 holiday eves and 2 weekends, too. So when everybody finally got back to work they had my approval in a matter of days. I was anxious to find out, but not really worried. I talked to Laura at Stony Brook and she was to file papers with scheduling on Tuesday, the 8th. I tried to call the office, but the voicemail box was full. Laura said they were still scheduling for February, so that would make me happy. I think 02/20/2002 sounds good, but I will take anything. My stomach has settled down and will not stop surgery. For Christmas my daughter gave me a large weekender bag filled to the top with things I will need for surgery and recovery. She is so very thoughtful.
Ok, so I didn't get a Feb. date. Mine is in March. A date...a date... a real live date. My surgery will be on March 19,2002. It seems like it has been forever since I started, but really it has only been a few months. I will take the time to get everything in order so there is not much to so when I come home.
Feb.8...Haven't had much to report. They changed my date to the 20th, no big deal. I go for PAT on March 11, and I'll wait until then to get excited. I did have a great lunch with Lisa from East Hampton. I looked her up on this website and we e-mailed for awhile and finally met. Lovely lady,,it was so good to talk with someone in the same boat. I will be keeping in touch with her.
Had something scary happen. I will be having surgery at Stony Brook Hospital and today the news headline stated that some baby died while there because of gross hospital error. Just what I wanted to hear. I am telling myself that it means there will be triple guards in place when I go. I am worried about possible complications, and I shouldn't have to worry about hospital error. I have 41 more days!
Well, it's been a long, long time. I am now 6 months post-op and doing very well. The hospital experience sucked, but it was just a few days out of my life. And life now is good. I have lost 75 pounds (from leaving the hospital) and am only 10 away from my surgeons goal. I am off all meds and just take my vitamins. I am having a hard time with the calcium citrate and will probably order some chewables when I find them. I am down from a very tight 24 to a 14 in cheap clothes and 12 in really good ones. It is so much fun to get dressed now. I take so much more care(makeup, earrings, etc.) now than I did before. I have gone sailing in a very small boat and just this week took a canoe out in the creek. I NEVER would have done that before! I am not much for exercising, so I am glad that this weight just came off by itself. I am thinking now that I look pretty good just where I am, maybe just a few more pounds. I am 55 and I don't want to look like an old lady. I feel really young. In two days I will visit the plastic surgeon to discuss making me into a princess. Acutally, I don't think I would qualify, because it all would be cosmetic, but I am going to try anyway. I can live with myself like this. I don't take naps anymore and sleep soundly at night. This is really the way to live.(10/01/02)
I originally thought I would have Dr. Collin Brathwaite as my surgeon, but he decided that I was a great candidate for LAP RNY, not open, so it appears I will have Dr. Arif Ahmad. He is a soft spoken gentlemen, who explained various points of the operation to me. I had already attended an informational meeting, so I knew most of the basics. He answered all my questions, asked me some, and generally gave me a good feeling. His support staff is excellent. I called a few days later with some questions, received a call back an hour later with information.
I was very pleased with the insurance co. I was approved in 2 weeks, and that included 2 major holidays, so it might have been quicker. The doctor's office took care of all the paperwork.