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The Wheels are Turning…

The wheels of my bariatric surgery process have officially been put into motion. With some excitement mixed with trepidation I had my first official office visit with the bariatric surgeon Dr. Adrian Dan M.D., F.A.C.S. Dr. Dan is part of the bariatric team at Summa Health Systems here in Akron, OH with Dr. John Zografakis M.D. F.A.C.S. (http://www.summahealth.org/medicalservices/weightloss) The journey thus far has been filled with some “hurry up and wait” periods and I was excited to finally in earnest start the journey. I was pleased that all of the paperwork that I took the time to fill out a week ago at home had made it to the office, and for once I did not have to fill out another scrap of paperwork during my visit. This in its own right was a little amazing as it is a pet peeve of mine filing out forms that have overlapping data fields at the physician’s office. All that was needed was for me to read and sign am informational document that outlined the process and what I was embarking on was no little operation.

The first part of the visit was the normal things, height, weight, vitals, past medical history, family medical history and finally my “before” photo. When I first met Dr. Dan I was completely put at ease. We talked in depth about the types of procedures that are available and what our plan of action should be. I will not lie, this discussion was scary for me. The implications of the surgery and truly understanding that this is permanent thing, does scare the bejeezus out of me. There is no going back once I enter this rabbit hole. While having the discussion with Dr. Dan he dropped a bombshell on me. He told me that I may need to have 2 bariatric surgeries. Due to my size, he may not safely be able to perform the gastric bypass RnY type of surgery. He feels that I may need to have a gastric sleeve procedure done, and then a year later a second surgery doing the RnY bypass to complete the entire procedure. Obviously my mind went racing with this news. Mainly what I kept thinking is “will my insurance provider cover this?” If they will only do one, what does this do to my overall plans? Will this be enough? Then to add on another secondary mini bombshell, Dr. Dan felt that it might be better if we first remove my gall bladder in a separate surgery before performing the bariatric procedure instead of concurrently. This I am not against, from time to time I get a gall bladder “attack”, and I would be very happy not to ever experience another one. Unfortunately that would require an additional week off of work that would really tax my vacation time coupled with the 3-4 weeks needed for the bariatric surgery.

I had plenty of questions, both before and after the bombshells went off, Dr. Dan was patient with me and answered everything to the best of his ability. He explained that his goal is to get me to a significantly lower weight by my surgery date so that he can just do the RnY and be done with it the first time around. However he did tell me that if he thought he could not safely do that procedure he would do the sleeve instead. He explained that it will take a lot of work on my end to get my weight down before the surgery. He will order me to 6 weeks of the Optifast diet prior to the surgery. This will probably drop at least 50lbs.off of me, and if I am able to drop an additional 20-30lbs. on my own prior to this, he is hopeful that this will be sufficient enough to do the RnY and not the sleeve.

So now I sit and wait, I am supposed to hear from the center in two to three weeks with the initial schedule that will be laid out for me. Hopefully this time will go by quickly for me.

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