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I can’t even begin to tell you how may times I sat down to write this blog post. After my first doctor/surgeon appointment, after it was approved by my insurance, the night before surgery, the week after surgery. SO MANY TIMES. But alas, here we are almost 5 weeks post-op and I finally getting my thoughts together enough to sit down and write it all down. I am so over the moon and excited to announce to the whole dang blog world that I had weight loss surgery!
I guess I’ll just start at the beginning. If you have read this blog for any length of time then you will know that I have tried many times through the years to lose the weight on my own. I have tried counting calories, cutting carbs, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Plexus, Advocare, Profile by Sanford, Adipex, working out, etc. You name it and I have tried it.
Last fall I finally decided enough was enough and a friend mentioned that she was looking into weight loss surgery and that just lit a fire in me and I spent the next few days researching all of the different kinds of surgeries, the surgeons in my area, whether or not my insurance covered it and finally made the decision to reach out to one and the rest is history.
I had my first appointment with my surgeon on October 23, 2019 and I had surgery June 9, 2020. Now that my seem like a really long process to some and it was! However my original surgery date was April 14, 2020 but thanks to COVID it got bumped back a few times but that’s ok because I fully believe that it happened at exactly the right time and exactly when it was supposed to happen.
I have been updating my IG stories in real time and a few weeks ago I asked if anyone had any questions about my surgery and today I am going to answer a few of them!
What weight loss surgery did you do and why?? My surgeon recommended I do the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG). VSG is where the surgeon removes about 80% of your stomach and leaves a super small new stomach in the shape of a banana. It limits the amount of food you are able to eat and also removes the ghrelin hormone, which is the hormone that signals to the brain that you’re hungry. This surgery is performed laparoscopically and has a fairly short recovery time.
What was recovery like and did you have any post-op pain?? I don’t remember any particular pain but I do remember waking up FREEZING to death in PACU. The next thing I remember is being in my room and trying to take a sip of water and then puking everywhere. I’m not going to lie, that first day was rough!! I mostly slept and threw up a lot but by that night I was fine. Around 11pm I was able to get up and walk the halls, brush my teeth and pass my water trial! The next day I went home and the only real pains I had were from my big incision because there’s one internal stitch that kept pulling and aching. Overall it wasn’t a bad surgical experience!
Did insurance cover your surgery?? YES! The first thing I did when I was thinking about surgery was to see if my insurance covered it. Their stipulations were that you have a BMI of 40+ with no co-morbidities/probems or have a BMI of 35-39 with at least one co-morbidity/problem. At my first appointment my BMI was 35 and I had high blood pressure so I qualified! My insurance also requires a 6 month program with an approved surgeon and you can’t gain any weight at each of the 6 month visits.
Along with those requirements my surgeon required that you get clearance from a cardiac doc, a psych eval, meet with a nutritionist, get a sleep study (and 30 days of CPAP use if you need it), and attending 2 support group meetings. I passed the cardiac and psych evals with flying colors then I had my sleep study. Worst night of my life, HA! Needless to day I have sleep apnea and had to get a CPAP and wore it religiously from December until the night before surgery.
Yes, there are a LOT of hoops to jump through but it really is all worth it in the end!
After my 6th appointment with my surgeon, I picked a surgery date and they submitted everything to my insurance. I was a WRECK. I always get so nervous when it comes to insurance approving things. Insurance has 2 weeks to approve or deny and of course mine took the whole two weeks! After that two weeks I was supposed to start my 2 week liquid diet for surgery but then COVID hit and my surgery got pushed from April to June. So typically from your first meeting with your surgeon you surgery will be 7 months from then. Not too bad!!
What are the scars like?? Honestly not bad at all!! I have 5 laparoscopic scars…2 tiny, 2 medium sized and one a little bigger but they all look like scratches at this point in time. So if you are worried about the scars I say don’t be!
Do you have loose skin?? I’m almost 5 weeks out and I can tell that my skin is sagging in my belly but it’s waaaaaay too soon to tell if it’s going to be loose or saggy or whatever. I’m sure I will have loose skin because I’m 37 but I’m going to try my hardest not at least make it look toned! HA!
Are you working out yet?? The most I have done since surgery is go on walks with ole Sophie pup. I am only cleared to lift up to 8 pounds right now and no ab stuff yet. However, I am feeling pretty great and feel like maybe my surgeon will release me to go back to OrangeTheory at my next appointment at the end of this month?!! Fingers crossed!!
How much weight have you lost?? In my first month after surgery I lost 26 pounds!! That is mind blowing y’all. And from my highest ever recorded weight I am down 56 pounds!! That is absolutely crazy!!! I still have 69 pounds to go until I reach my goal weight but I believe it is possible!! And no, I am not going to tell you my highest recorded weight or my goal weight just yet. I will one day but I am NOT brave enough yet!
There were way more questions that I will get to soon but I feel like this post is getting way too long so I will wrap it up with that.
Overall I feel pretty great at almost 5 weeks post-op and would recommend this surgery to anyone who has struggled for years to lose weight like I did. It is a tool and not a magic fix-all but it is so worth it in the end!!
If you have any questions at all about anything weight loss surgery related or otherwise please leave me a comment below or email me!! firstname.lastname@example.org