I have an appointment with Dr. Mark Vierra at Stanford for a consultation on July 2, 1999. I have not yet had my psych. consult or my dietary consult. I am trying to arrange them now. I have severe arthritis and have a lot of trouble getting around. "They" say I am borderline with my weight, but I feel it is a problem. I cannot exercise except swim and it has not helped with the weight loss at all. My insurance is Cigna and I hope it will be covered. Any information, support, etc is greatly appreciated. Thank you for this web site.
Surgeon: Mark A. Vierra, MD
My appointment was yesterday--it all went okay. I found Dr. Vierra a little hard to talk to but I was extremely stressed. I think he had a hard time understanding that. He approved me for surgery on 9/22/99. It is a long time to wait but that is okay with me because I would prefer starting when my kids are all in school. He did say I was borderline for the surgery and one of the smallest he has considered but felt my medical conditions warranted it. I have seen many other people here who are about the same weight who have had surgery. I feel it is the best solution for me. My next hurdle is to see if insurance will approve it.
I received the call today that I am approved for surgery on 9/22. I am so excited but also very anxious. I believe my Insurance went through easily because my PCP initiated the thought of surgery in the first place and thus got it approved.
I was reminded on today's postings to keep our files updated. I didn't realize I had not in so long. My surgery went without a hitch on 9/22. I was in the hospital for 2 days. I have 7 very small incisions (one in my navel) which are all healing well. To date I think I have lost 351bs. The first 3 weeks the weight fell of so fast. Now it has slowed down just a little. I am very please with the loss. I was on clear liquids until about 5 days post-op and then my doc moved me to full liquids and now pureed food also for another 2 weeks. (I am 4 weeks post-op). I am tiring of the this soft food stage, but am also hesitant to move to regular food. I have not vomited and have only had one incident of what I think was dumpiing. I feel very fortunate for this. Overall, I am extremely happy I had the surgery.
I am about 13 weeks post op and wanted to post at the end of 1999. This has been an amazing year--especially the last 3 months. I am so happy with my decision for surgery. I have lost 53 lbs. to date. I have not started regular exercise yet due to pain from arthritis, but am starting now. I will go very slow. I am having some relief from the arthritis, but I am hopeful I will get much more after I lose another 50+ lbs. I am now basically out of clothes in my closet (from sizes I have kept over the years) and plan to take in some and buy a few to keep me feeling great. I wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR and my best wishes for success and happiness in the new millinnium!! HAPPY 2000!!! THIS IS MY YEAR TO HEALTH!
I happened to go to the doctor yesterday for another reason and was able to weigh myself! I am down to 193--58lbs lost forever. I updated my BMI today also (32.2). Finally, I am off the morbidly obese scale and am in the very overweight category.
Today I am down a total of 75 lbs and my BMI is now 28.2. This is after almost 6 1/2 months!! The weight loss has been very slow, but all of it has been without additional exercise. I walk much easier and with much less pain although my Rheumatologist will not yet let me walk for exercise--soon I hope. I can swim, but just haven't gotten into the pool yet. I went on vacation last month and freely wore a bathing suit without feeling terrible. I still have 25-35 more lbs. to lose, but I feel so good now. I am thankful everyday for this surgery.
My weight loss is at a crawl now but my BMI is now 27.0. I am only 2 points away from "ideal" weight! It has been 10 months since surgery and I can now walk for exercise--slowly. I feel so "normal" now and have had friends comment on how healthy I now look. I am very comfortable at this weight so I haven't been working as hard on the weight loss. I will be soon as I don't want to lose the window of opportunity for weight loss. One of the biggest successes for me has been the return of my self esteem. I was not really aware I had lost it until many friends have told both my husband and myself how I've changed. I feel I am like I was about 10 years ago. It is surprising how much major weight loss can help your emotional life. I will never say it makes everything in my life great again, but it sure helps. Of course, there are new issues to deal with, but now I have the energy and desire to deal with them. I feel as if I have been re-born and totally recommend this surgery to those who need it.
My first impression of Dr. Vierra was that he was difficult to talk to but, in fairness I was very nervous and also had difficulty explaining myself. I did not see him again after my initial consultation until the morning of my surgery. After surgery, his visits in the hospital were very brief, but I did get my questions answered. My hospital is a teaching hospital so his residents would come in a little more often. His office staff is good although at first I felt like WLS was not a high priority in their eyes. He limits his practice to only 2 per week, but has performed many surgeries. The hospital nurse who did my pre-admitting said he is one of the best in lap. surgeries of the abdomen in this area. I feel he is an excellent surgeon and am extremely happy with the results of my surgery. At my first follow-up appointment, Dr. Vierra finally sat down with me and answered all my questions carefully and made me feel much more relaxed. I believe his ability as a surgeon is far more important than his bedside manner. I think you just have to insist he spend some time with you. I did not communicate that very well in the beginning.
Regarding after care, I received information on what to eat (suggestions), but there was not a lot of information. I would say I have received as much or more from this site. I do feel I can call his office for any questions I have. Overall, I would recommend him especially for lap surgery.
Cigna, so far has been excellent. I am told by the hospital that it will pay 100% less my copay of $100. I have surgery on 9/22/99 and will find out for sure then. I have not even had to call the company because they approved it so fast. Since it is an HMO, I had to be referred by my PCP and had to go to her doctor. To me it is well worth it since I have not had to fight to get it covered.