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Completely confused on cost/choice - Adelaide Girl needs help!

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Hi All!


I'm from Adelaide about trying to decide to go with either Dr Bessel or Dr Teague. After a disastrous visit with a doctor who will remain nameless who totally destroyed me, I booked two appointments with both offices. I thought it would be pretty straight forward and easy to choose.


Dr Bessel: Loved the staff, easy to get to, Dr Helen was wonderful! But the amount of pre-appointments seems daunting (and expensive) and I'm still not 100% sure how much it will all cost on for the gastric sleeve. Has anyone had one done through Dr Bessel? I seemed to get the impression that it's a new thing for them. I was all set to get bypass but after some research I think the sleeve is a much better option when it comes to risk. Did others find the pre and after care beneficial (i.e. the psych, the exercise physio, the dietician, etc?)


Dr Teague: So far I've only seen the initial consult doctor and...I was less than impressed. Not that he wasn't thorough, he just seemed to be going through the motions and seemed annoyed when i asked questions. The only reason I was thinking Ashford is that it bulk bills and I only have to go to the two pre-op appointments. Again, I tried to find out the total cost which seems to be $3500 for the sleeve? I'm also under the impression that they've done quite a few of them already.


I'm with HCF top cover and it ticked over in January. I called them and they said everything was covered and to call medicare to find out the rebate. The guy at Medicare had no idea what I was talking about with the code they give you and said I could get a rebate of $657, but on the sheet it says you can't get a rebate.


I'm really hoping someone has some tips or info they can help me out with because I have my first meeting with Dr Bessel's rooms this Friday coming, and if I decide to go with Ashford I need to cancel. I don't want to make this decision just based on cost.


Sorry for the rambling message, it's really late and I should be getting zzzs but this is stressing me out! Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer help :-)

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I am a patient of Dr Bessell's...and as far as I know, they do not do the sleeve. It's the band or the bypass with them. Of course, I haven't seen them for a few months now, they could have added the sleeve to their list of surgeries - but from every time I've talked to him, I got the feeling he was dead against the sleeve.


There is a lot of appointments before and after with them, that's for sure. The only ones you have to pay for are the psychologist, dietician and the exercise physiologists. I found the dietician to be helpful (I usually see Justine, she's really nice), the exercise physiologists helpful and nice but mostly unnecessary and expensive, and the psychologist - well, I didn't like him and didn't think over-the-phone consults were useful, so I went and found my own here to talk to face to face.  


I had the band, and through no fault of theirs, it failed. I was supposed to book in for a bypass, but due to personal reasons, have had to put that on hold.

The staff there are great, and I found the nurses to be not too bad after the surgery too.


I had a bad experience with the initial consult doctor at Dr Teague's rooms, so I ended up going with Dr Bessell, although it took me 6 months after that first experience to gather up the confidence to try again. I do have a friend who had a band put in with Dr Teague's rooms, and she was very happy with them, and everything associated with them. So I guess it comes down to personal experiences.


My cost with Dr Bessell was a flat fee of $5000 - but this covered absolutely everything with him. All fill appointments with the band, any time I wanted to come in and chat with him or his GP's, and it will also cover the cost of the bypass if I choose to go ahead with it. I never have to pay Dr Bessell another cent, as far as I understand it.


The excess cost for my private health (Bupa) was $500, and the anaesthesiologist fee was $1450. That was with STACE (I think that's what they were called), and they are the most expensive anaesthesiologist I've come across. When I had my band removed in January this year, I had a different one, which only cost $330. So, if you do go with Dr Bessell, when you're booking the surgery, ask him who the anaesthesiologist for the week is!  


As far as I know, there is no rebate from medicare either - or at least, I wasn't able to claim one.


Hopefully I've been of some help...and good luck with whatever decision you end up making. :)

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Thank you TJ123! I know what you mean with the initial consult at Ashford, it wasn't that he was mean or cruel but he just seemed to be reciting a speech he'd done a million times before and didn't seem very interested in hearing any of my history. Whereas I felt Dr Helen listened to me and helped me.

I guess I'm also really confused as to whether I get the sleeve or the bypass. Ashford told me the bypass is a lot more risky, AOS said the sleeve is. I think I might go see my GP and get a neutral opinion!

I'm booked in for my over the phone consult this Friday, I already see a psych so I don't really feel the need to speak to him but if it's par for the course I'll do it.

Thanks again, you've really helped me! I kept thinking last night that I think the thing with the AOS is the fact that if I have to go for check ups adterwards, I know I will feel happy and comfortable to go there, whereas going back to see the other guy... yeah... :-)

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I went with Ashford, and I also know what you mean. I don't like that Dr. Ask for your next appointment to be when their other Dr comes to Ashford, or you can drive to Morphett Vale. I can't remember the price all up, but I have been satisfied with the after care. I have a band though, not a sleeve, bur Dr Teague prefers the sleeve.

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