Last night, we discussed the ins and outs of weight loss surgery on my Facebook page. Here is an overview of what we discussed for reference. Thanks so much for tuning in and participating in the discussion. I plan on continuing to add content on this site for reference, as I hope to continue to encourage and help others who are starting or are on their own journey. It will be located on the Weight Loss tab at the top of the page.
Where I had my vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery.
I had VSG surgery on August 15th, 2016 at Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Alabama by Dr. Steven Fendley. I am currently 18 months out from surgery and have lost a total of 125 pounds from my highest weight. You can visit their site HERE for more info.
Who would benefit from/ should consider weight loss surgery?
- Those who have given it their absolute all in dieting and exercising and haven’t been successful in losing weight or keeping it off in the long term.
- Those who have other health problems that are exacerbating or contributing to the weight gain and/or inability to lose weight. (i.e., comorbidities such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, just to name a few.)
Insurance coverage or self pay? What is required to qualify for insurance coverage?
Personally, my insurance covered 100% of my weight loss surgery, except for co-pays for doctor visits and tests, and admin fees. Everyone’s insurance requirements are different, so check with your provider to see what is covered. Your surgeon’s office should be able to navigate you through doing everything required to be approved by insurance. Here are some things that may be required for your insurance to approve and cover your surgery.
- BMI (body mass index) of 35 with comorbidities. (same as mentioned above)
- BMI of 40 or above with no comorbidities.
- Three to six month period in which you are required to adhere to a low carb diet, monthly weigh-ins, and to lose a small percentage of your overall body weight to qualify for approval.
- Psych evaluation
- Occupational Therapist visit
- Approval from your general practitioner (I had to see mine three times during the six month period)
- H pylori test
- Sleep study
- If over 50, a colonoscopy. (If you have had one recently, you shouldn’t have to repeat it.)
- If over 40, a mammogram. (If had one recently, shouldn’t have to repeat)
- Nutrition class
- Attend a support group
There again, this will all depend on your specific insurance requirements and surgeon’s office.
If going to self-pay, the list of things required before surgery greatly decreases.
Weight loss surgery is not a cure-all for obesity.
You will lose weight in the beginning, but your long-term success will be dependent on the degree to which you adhere to your surgeon’s guidelines. ( Low carb diet, not drinking carbonated drinks, exercising regularly, taking vitamins) The first 8 months are what they call the “honeymoon phase” where your weight loss is easier. Past that, it gets a bit more difficult and the weight loss is slower.
How can friends and family support their loved one?
By being supportive and encouraging without being pushy or pressuring your loved one. Weight loss surgery is a very personal decision and in addition to the physical aspect, there very much is a mental and emotional aspect as well. Give your loved one grace and space to allow them to confide in you as they feel comfortable to do so. The last thing they need is to feel pressured about how much weight they are losing, how fast they are losing it, and what they are eating. The best thing is for you to pray for them and be there for them when they need.
How can I be successful in the long run?
By adhering to your surgeon’s guidelines.
- Eat a low carb diet, 45 -50 grams or less of carbs per day. (while you are in the weight loss phase. Carbs can increase slightly when you reach the maintenance phase)
- Eat between 80-120 grams of protein per day
- Don’t eat and drink at the same time. Wait at least 30 minutes to an hour after eating to drink.
- Don’t drink carbonated beverages.
- Exercise regularly.
- Take you vitamins.
Okay. I think that is the general idea of what we talked about last night. If you missed the live discussion, you can view it anytime HERE and are more than welcome to chime in and ask any questions you may have. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Have a creative day, Amanda