Following an unsatisfactory outcome from my 1st surgeon (I have still not heard from him) I thought I should seek a second opinion… so asked around… and found a surgeon at another Private Hospital who had done Bariatric Surgery for a friend of my sisters (who worked in the medical industry) – with spectacular results (and the patient was VERY happy). It also turns out that this surgeon (35 years previously) had snogged my sister at a school dance… and was also the surgeon for my endocrinologist…. the “stars were aligning” (not that I believe in the stuff).
This consultation was very different to the 1st surgeon… First I spoke to a clinical nurse who explained the various surgical options and then I spoke with the surgeon…. The risks weren’t down-played, but the risks of not doing anything were also highlighted… also we looked at some very interesting stats comparing the long-term outcomes of the various types of bariatric surgery vs traditional weight loss strategies (diet, exercise) (See Swedish Obesity Study).
We discussed the pros and cons of various types of bariatric surgery… Lap Band Surgery was not considered a serious option, and it was clear that Gastric Bypass Surgery has significantly better longer term outcomes than Gastric Sleeve ( see SOS).
Gastric Bypass is a more complicated procedure, but it doesn’t involve removal of the stomach.. It also results in a reduction in absorption of nutrients, so if, post surgery, I slip back into bad food habits, a smaller percentage of that will be absorbed….This type of surgery is less “forgiving” if I over-eat or eat the wrong types of foods, so is inclined to encourage/enforce better eating habits… Because of the reduced absorption, I will need to keep a close eye on nutrition, also will be required to take calcium/multivitamin supplements for life.
I left this consultation completely satisfied that Gastric Bypass Surgery was clearly the best option for me… and in fact not having the surgery was not really an option at all (unless I didn’t want anything to change)… We were even able to set a date for the Surgery – Thursday 20th September, just 5 weeks away 🙂
This session (including the clinical nurse and surgeon consultations) cost $250.
After a month of running around getting a whole series of different tests, I had my follow up with my Bariatric Surgeon.
All test were OK… no major dramas… EXCEPT a biopsy from my Endoscopy suggested potential “Barretts Esophagus” – which, if present, could result in a very slightly higher risk of Esophageal Cancer.
My surgeon suggested he would check with the Endoscopic Surgeon to see if they could narrow down where the biopsy was taken from (i.e. whether it was from the top of the stomach rather than the bottom of the esophagus).
Again, this surgeon focused on the risks of the surgery (which is not a bad thing) and I left with the impression that he didn’t think it was a good idea to proceed.
I waited a week… and another…. but heard nothing.
I eventually chased up to see whether I should go ahead with a scheduled pre-surgery consultation with a psychologist. I explained that I didn’t know what the outcome of the previous consultation was, but I had the impression that the surgeon didn’t want to go ahead. The admin staff said there was nothing in the notes about not proceeding, but I decided to cancel the psychologist appointment.
I have still not heard back…
I have no issue at all with discussing the risks of surgery… on the contrary, it is important that patients are aware of these… But I was very frustrated at being “left hanging” I didn’t (and still don’t) know the outcomes of a whole months (and nearly $2,000)worth of consultations and tests.
My initial reaction was to forget about surgery… my hopes of the benefits and potential outcomes had been raised, but I had been frustrated by the process and it all seemed “to hard”… however, I decided not to give in… and seek a second opinion….
This consultation cost $125.
Today I had my initial consultation with a Bariatric Surgeon (referred by my GP) at a local Private Hospital.
I’d done my research and had some idea of the different types of Bariatic Procedures, but didn’t really know much about the process, risks or timescales.
The surgeon was VERY blunt about my medical condition, and spoke a LOT about the risks, which I think is a good thing,
He very quickly ruled out Gastric Bypass as an option but didn’t really explain why (I got the impression that the “risks” were too great).
Overall I found the session informative, and left with a much better idea about some of the risks of bariatric surgery… but this surgeon focused so much on the risks, I got the impression that he didn’t want to proceed with surgery… so was very surprised when he gave me a list of tests to get, and suggested I book a follow up appointment in a month or so once all the tests were complete.
Here are the tests he asked me to get :
- CT Scan
- Chest Xray
- Abdominal Ultrasound
- Dobutamine Stress Echo
- and also consultations with a Dietician and Psychologist
This consultation cost $250.