Here’s the situation... I have my revision surgery scheduled for July 24th. Turns out the ins. rep on the phone gave me her personal opinion, not the actual notes from the meeting. Nice. Anyway, BCBS has a policy re: weight loss surgery...They will NOT pay for a revision no matter what the cause of the failure unless you have a medical problem that must be fixed with surgery or it could cause harm. (Like a leak, obstruction, etc.) Otherwise doctors would be doing 5 and 6 revisions on one patient and keep billing over and over. So, both my dr. and the ins. dr agree that although this isn't my fault, I don't have an immediate risk to my health due to the malformation. Back to the appt... To revise to the bypass would cost about $14k, NOT something I could ever afford and the bypass is NOT a surgery I am willing to have for several medical reasons. It's ok if you have it or want it, but it's not for me. Anyway, the Dr. said if he fixed the malformation it would not really help me lose a lot more weight. Maybe 30 pounds or so. I then asked him if he would be willing to make the sleeve smaller and he said yes! (Not many dr.s will do this because there is a standard size for most sleeves) I understand about the standard size, but not everyone is the same and unfortunately there is no way of knowing before the surgery is the sleeve size will be a perfect fit for you down the road. Back to the surgery... it will be like getting the original surgery all over again. There is a little more risk involved because it will be my FORTH surgery in a little over a year but if I don't get it done now I will have to wait another year (I can't do it during the school year because of my preschool) and who knows how much weight I could gain by then. I will have to get a loan to do it now, and then pay it back with monthly payments and our tax return.
Why am I doing this? Because I just want to be on the same playing field as most everyone else who had the sleeve. I have been at a disadvantage since around 6 months out and never really got to experience the full benefit of this surgery. I know that making the sleeve smaller is very tricky because if it's too small I could run the chance of not being able to swallow anything but I trust the dr. I know this journey is still worth the fight. I have reached all of my main goals. I can walk, keep up with my kids, enjoy my life. But there's more... I need surgery to remove breast tumors and at the same time they need to do a reduction. It’s not a good idea to do this until I am around a normal weight range so they can asses the actual size they need to be. I need more weight off my back and hips. I need to reduce my symptoms of the PCOS which ravages my body EVERY day. The dr. told me right to my face that the only way I can reach a "goal" weight is with the bypass (which I won't do) but by making the sleeve smaller I could lose about another 50-60 pounds. Lots of people tell me to just eat right and move around etc. and do the rest on my own. the truth of it is, once you have a sleeve and remove your stomach, your body functions on a MUCH lower calorie range than other people so most sleeve people will stop losing weight or gain if they eat over 1200 calories. 1200 calories is the absolute lowest you can eat while still being nutritionally sound if you are a "regular" person. Soooo... I still have the hunger like a "normal" person with the body of a sleeved person. To lose weight I have to stay between 500-800 calories per day. I can't tell you how horrible that is. The hunger is unbelievable. I can't imagine doing that on my own. I believe in the VSG. Even knowing EVERYTHING I know now, I would do it again and WILL do it again. When working properly as it does for most people, the Sleeve is a medical miracle that restores life, happiness, self-esteem and provides a life-long tool to help battle binge eating, overeating and bad food habits. I do believe in myself. I believe that I made the right choice to begin with and need to see that through. Thanks for listening.