My Road to Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery

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beforeI can’t stand the picture above. It is certainly not flattering and hard to put out there for all to see. But it’s reality. The ugly reality that I’ve become morbidly obese. There, I said it. I’m morbidly obese. But this is a before picture. Things are going to change……

I’ve wanted to get weight loss surgery for several years since nothing else I have tried has worked long term. I was so disappointed to find out 2 years ago that my insurance policy had weight loss surgery as an exclusion. I spent the next 2 years trying to lose weight on my own. Then I got new insurance about 6 months ago and thankfully with my new insurance weight loss surgery is covered.

I went to an informational seminar with a local bariatric surgeon and started the process to get approved for gastric sleeve surgery. I didn’t think the lap band or gastric bypass was right for me. Everyone needs to make their own decision as to which surgery is right for them so talk to your surgeon and do your research. To get a date for surgery I had to do several things- get cleared for surgery with a metal health professional, go for nutritional counseling, and get a letter of medical necessity from my primary doctor who also had to verify that I’ve tried to lose weight with doctor supervision in the past but couldn’t lose enough or keep it off. The letter of medical necessity needed to show that I was not only overweight obese at 222 pounds but also have several co-morbidities such as diabetes, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea. Once I got those three things the surgical coordinator contacted my insurance company for approval. It took about a week and a half before my insurance company gave the approval for surgery. I was given April 25th as my surgery date!!! 

At 4 weeks out from surgery I had to get clearances from a pulmologist, endocrinologist (because of the diabetes), cardiologist, and my primary doctor. I was sent for lots of blood tests, stool sample, urine, breath test where you have to drink a special drink and then breath into a special baggie type thing, an EKG, a sonogram of my heart, and a stress test. For the month leading up to my surgery I felt like an 80 year old going to a different doctor every day but I was thankful that all of my body systems were being checked out to make sure I was ready for surgery.

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.

My BMI wasn’t that high so I didn’t have to go on a liquid diet pre-op like some people do. I just had to eat clean, low fat meals leading up to surgery and lose 10 pounds. The whole point of losing weight before surgery is to shrink your liver a little to give the surgeon easier access to your stomach below. I’ll admit that not every meal I had in that last month was a healthy meal. I had several food funerals for things like pizza, popcorn, tacos, and sushi……all my favorite things. I went on a trip to Los Angeles in the middle of my pre-op month so eating clean was hard that week because many of the meals were either from set menus or hotel food but I just made the best choices I could. But I’ll admit for some reason I had a hard time getting the right mindset and taking the preop diet seriously. I’m not sure why I had such a hard time getting in the right mindset. A week before surgery I put myself on a liquid diet with a small protein (3-4 oz) and veggie dinner and that did the trick. I ended up losing about 10 pounds in the month leading up to my surgery.

20160424_174558The night before my surgery I was told that I could have a normal dinner. I just had to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. So my last meal was sushi. I just made sure to not have soy sauce because I didn’t want to be too thirsty the day of my surgery knowing I couldn’t drink. My surgery was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. so I was so afraid I’d be thirsty or hungry the whole day and couldn’t do anything about it. I ended up drinking A TON of water the day before surgery so I was well hydrated even though I couldn’t drink all day. I highly recommend drinking as much as you can the day before surgery so you are well hydrated. I really wasn’t thirsty at all on my surgery day thankfully. I went to bed that night thinking about what my new life would be like.

Read about my Gastric Sleeve surgery day.

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.







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