Hello everyone. I was booked in to have a LSG done on the 20th of October 2017. Two weeks prior to that date, two significant things happened; 1) I started the Optifast: Intense program. 2) I watched a video of a Bypass procedure. I was already a fence-sitter for the preceding twelve months. I convinced myself that the only way I would go ahead with the procedure, is if I went into it with blinkers on (ignorance is bliss!). This worked through consultations with my surgeon, blood tests, even a gastroscopy, etc, all the way up to 2 weeks out from my date. This is when I came across the video of the full bypass procedure on Facebook. The blinkers were thrown off and I was no longer partially ignorant to the process that lay ahead. I clearly remember that I was three days into Optifast, my energy levels were high and my cravings were waning. Ketosis had kicked in and I was operating with boundless energy and enthusiasm. Upon watching that video, I had an epiphany, a moment of pure clarity; how had it come to this? I didn't want my insides messed with. It suddenly seemed entirely unnatural and violating. There was only one course of action after this slap in the face of reality; I would give weight loss one final, honest, red-hot crack. I read the Optifast booklet completely, several times. I learned their methods and rules. I followed them - strictly. The truth is, I was running from a fear that I didn't wish to revisit. I was choosing not to live that reality. I joined Optifast groups, shared recipes, learned new ones and refined my craft. After twelve weeks; the maximum recommended duration for intense phase; I was 30.2kg lighter. From 126kg to 95.8kg. It had become so routine to me, that when I transitioned to Active II stage (by force), I actually missed the three-shakes-a-day Intense stage. I spent the next five weeks on Active II stage, still losing a further 4.8kg. Then I went back on Intense stage, to lose the final 5kg needed to hit my original, surgery-assisted goal. That was two weeks ago. In two days time, I will weigh in at 86kg. Down 40kg from 126kg in 19 weeks.
I just wanted to share this to show to people who may be on the fence, with doubts and fears, that there's nothing wrong with having another go at it the old fashioned way. The WLS industry is not going anywhere - they will always be there for you. They may even be better at what they do in the future. You always have a choice and the strength to achieve goals.
OK it's all set in place now; Starting shakes 3 weeks prior Op date: 20th October I'll be taking 2 weeks sick leave and then 4 weeks long service leave. So back to work after the liquids / puree / soft foods stage.
Final app with Dr today. Going to sign authority and lock in the 20th of October. I'm nervous already But I have to do this for myself and my family. I'm on a path of premature death and degraded lifestyle.
Gee you have started early on the shakes! I'm meeting again with my surgeon on the 12th of September. Hopefully I have the guts (lol) to sign approval and confirm the whole thing.
At some point you have to start thinking about premature death and reduced quality of life. This is when the decision becomes a lot easier to accept. It's pretty scary and I want to go into it with a bit of ignorance... I wonder how far that will take me.
Where's all the chatter about ESG happening? I have the green light from my private health fund to go ahead mid October. Does anyone have links to medical research articles etc? How are people going post-op?
I have served 8 months waiting period for PHI with the intention of having a LSG. And now this procedure is gaining my attention!!! Does the ESG have a medicare number and did you fund it through private health insurance?
https://www.rthealthfund.com.au/ Employee eligibility You are eligible to join in your own right if you are a current or former employee of a: government or privately operated land, sea or air transport companygovernment entity charged with administering the land, sea or air transport industriesan employee of a government or privately operated energy generation and delivery entity including supply of electricity, gas, oil, petrol, coal, nuclear or renewable energycontract company where you are, or were, employed to provide services to an organisation described in 1, 2 or 3 above; orif you are a current or former member of Railways Credit Union Limited (now known as MOVE)
Great post - thanks for that. After a lot of phone calls and research, I have found a restricted provider for which I'm eligible (I never knew about them). They offer a high level of cover for the whole family for $61.45 p.w. which is pretty much on par with AHM, but this covers everything including pregnancy! (fingers crossed). The only listed exclusions are joint replacement and kidney dialysis. So, for me, the countdown has begun. 12 months is a long time - I just hope I'm certain about it by then.
I was with AHM for our pregnancy and changed to NIB after that. I have just read all of the plans on AHM's website and the only one that includes bariatric is the top level of hospital only cover at $31.15 p.w. for a single person. Even the top level Hospital+extras specifically excludes weight loss surgery.
How have you claimed bariatric on AHM 'lowest level of cover'?
I asked my doctor if the success rate data they go by, which is for the general popolation, showed any differences across different demographics. He quickly said no and that it was the same for all - an average of 65% EWL at 5 years. I couldn't really accept that, so I went looking at journals and medical research papers and found some interesting studies; The first one that caught my attention was this study by some Chilean doctors, who found that patients with a preoperative BMI of <35, 35-40 and +40 had a surgical success rate of 80%, 75% and 53%. They concluded that a LSG was more effective on lower BMI patients. This kind of makes sense if you factor that the superobese may have some extreme comorbidities that effect their potential to change lifestyle. Personally, having a BMI of 35, this firmed up my decision to proceed with a sleeve. But I wanted more data, specifically for my age group. This Chicago based study also found that lower preoperative BMI had an increased rate of success, along with; non-smoker, educated, employed. This report from London, which claims to be the largest comparitive study between LSG and RYGBP, breaks down the outcomes by sex and three age groups; <40, 40-49, >50. To my dismay, the study found that males under 40 and females over 50, had far worse outcomes compared to RYGBP, as this picture illustrates. However, on closer inspection, it is clear that the preoperative mean BMI for males under 40 in this study, is significantly higher at 56. Going by the previous study, it would follow that less effective outcomes would be expected due to the number of superobese patients in this group. Thinking about this data logically, it kind of makes sense that for young men to admit they have a problem and need help, they have to be in a pretty dire place. For me personally, I also find that at times I convince myself that I shouldn't be doing this, as if a BMI of 35 is normal. So I can see why young males are typically admitted in extreme cases. Here is another study which found that younger LSG patients achieved better results (75% vs 62% EWL) Just some info for those wondering and who's doctors tell them it's the same average outcome for everone.
I have spoken to a surgeon twice and to be honest, he was far more impressive / convincing than I thought he would be. I feel a lot of trust there already. I'm speaking with him again this afternoon and I will ask the above questions too.