New Member - Fraser Valley

on 8/25/18 10:13 am
RNY on 07/31/18

Hi All

I just signed up for this forum/site recently. I have been lurking and reading posts and replies for some time and just recently had my RNY surgery on July 31, 2018 in Richmond. The wait for the Richmond team was about 2½ years from referral to orientation. I had my orientation in January 2018 so it was about 6 months after that for surgery.

My highest weight, in May 2017, was 394 pounds (I'm male and 5'11" tall). I lost some weight on my own and by going to Livewell (medically supervised exercise clinic) and after the orientation I continued to work out, using the guidance of the (Bariatric) Certified Exercise Professional (CEP) that is part of the Richmond Team (and what they taught me at Livewell). I was 354 pounds on orientation day.

I set a goal to try and get down to 300 pounds by the time of surgery, not knowing exactly when (or if) they would clear me and was 293 pounds on surgery day. I was in the hospital for two days and, ironically, weighed 298 when released due the large amount of IV fluids they give you.

The wait for the Richmond procedure was worth it - the team is very professional, well organized and was able to accommodate my needs in regards to scheduling all the appointments, tests and interviews as I live live in the Fraser Valley and it is a 2 hours commute to the Richmond hospital. They have a manual you can purchase for $10 and it is work every nickel (no more pennies) as it is very comprehensive.

I have been fortunate so far in that I have not experienced any nausea or GERD/indigestion at all. I have not experienced any feelings of hunger at all and I am currently in week 4 (pureed foods) of the diet plan.I have lost 33 pounds, as of yesterday, since leaving the hospital (22 days ago) and my BP has dropped down significantly.

For those on the wait list for Richmond - keep the faith, have patience and once they call you for an orientation you won't believe how fast the time flies.


on 9/6/18 1:23 pm - Parksville BC, Canada
VSG on 09/17/18

Congrats! I am so glad you are doing so well! I have surgery on Sept 17th in Victoria


on 9/24/18 12:27 pm, edited 9/24/18 5:27 am - New Westminster, BC, Canada

That is great to hear!

I finally had an appt. with my endocrinologist (I am Type 2 Diabetic) about 1-2 weeks ago and brought up bariatric surgery and it's a GO! They will refer me into the program - I've asked specifically for Richmond as I live in New West.

So glad, but now so scared.

Reading posts here and a great group on FB (hope it's OK to share this - I found it very useful - so reading about peoples success and challenges pre and post-op so I'm better prepared.

My family (wife & son) know, but not telling a lot of other people. My son said "I'm glad it's like a year or two away so I can lose weight, otherwise you'll be smaller than me!" - LOL (he's 6'4" and weighs about 220lbs ).

So trying to get information on waiting times, and found this: edure=83&procName=Bariatric+Surgery&adult=Y

So am I missing something? Doctors told me 1-2 year wait and depending on co-morbidities they can sometimes get people in quicker... based on what you've said it looks like 2-3 years is the normal wait time.

on 9/25/18 12:56 pm

That wait-times website is incomprehensible! I think perhaps that things are different with bariatric surgery because with most other surgeries, the referral to surgery is your "clearance" whereas with bariatric surgery you still have a bunch of hoops to jump through to determine that you're "ready" for surgery. So that adds an extra step that the wait-times site doesn't take into account. That's my theory, in any case.

It's my understanding as well that there's absolutely no way to speed up the time from referral to orientation; however, if at the time of orientation you are considered to be well-prepared, especially if you have comorbidities, that can speed up the process from orientation to surgery considerably. I've heard of somebody getting surgery 2 months after orientation in Richmond. (Mind you, with Victoria, it's at least 6 months for anybody.)

In any case, it's well worth preparing yourself before getting that phone call!

on 9/24/18 12:33 pm - New Westminster, BC, Canada

Question about the manual - can you buy it before being officially referred into the program? My doctor is sending the required forms in, but again I am very eager and want to learn as much as I can. I'm on a FB group, but the majority of people are from the US and this has been the only Canadian site (or at east has Canadian forums) with good information.

on 11/6/18 2:07 pm
VSG on 02/09/17

Glad you are doing well! I had a great experience as well. I'm now out in the Fraser Valley. At nearly two years post op sleeve I must say the GERD is HORRENDOUS. I should have selected bypass.

on 12/25/18 12:22 am - Abbotsford, Canada

Did you attend the winning at losing course in Richmond or did they find something similar in Fraser valley? I'm almost at 2 year wait mark. Any info is appreciated.

on 12/25/18 1:04 am

Those of you in the Fraser Valley, I encourage you to get a referral to the Medical Weight Management Centre in Coquitlam. I've been attending for a few months now (a whole day of travel for me), and it's a superb program. I expect it will help speed the process from orientation to surgery as well. They also have a post-surgery support group that meets once a month on a Tuesday night.

As for wait times, it used to be much faster to get into the Richmond program than into the Victoria program, but now that the Richmond program is well established, that has reversed.

And as I've said in other threads, I have no idea about the Fraser Health program, which it sounds like Dr. Ali Zentner is involved in. Because it's so new, it's probably way faster than the other programs -- if you can find out anything about it!