My VSG Journey: Pre-Op First Bariatric Appointment
Okay my dears I have now had my very first bariatric appointment. I had my consultation on September 26th at The Center for Weight Loss Surgery (CWLS) at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts. This was a very long visit. I don’t think I’ve had any doctor’s appointment go this long. I arrived for my appointment at 10:45 am my appointment was at 11:00 am. They had asked me to arrive 15 min before to make my payment (there is a program fee that isn’t covered by insurance), and fill out paperwork. However it was long for a good reason. I got to meet with the dietitian, the psychologist, do lab work, and meet the surgeon all at this appointment.
At this appointment I also received my CWLS book. This book is great it has lots of information. Like the different surgeries performed at the center. It also includes pre-op worksheets, all requirements (we’ll get into that in a little bit), nutrition section, exercise section, and a resources section.
Prior to scheduling surgery, the CWLS requires their patients to attend three support group meetings: The New Patient Instructional (done before your first appointment), one community support meeting, and one 0-6 month group. While they only require three they recommend you attend more meetings to get more information and education before surgery.
They do keep track of attendance for compliance. You can find out more about the individual meetings here.
Meeting the dietitian…
When I met her, she introduced herself and made me feel at ease immediately. We went over my food and water log. She also recommended I start a multivitamin and calcium citrate. It was suggested I start with the protein shakes so that I could start adding more protein to my meals and snacks.
After talking for a bit she took my initial photo and weight. The last time I had weighed myself was after the new patient meeting where I weighed in at 249.8 lbs. At this appointment I weighed in at 246.1 lbs. She told me I was on the right track based on all my logs.
Next up the psychologist…
I had a nice long talk with the psychologist. We discussed everything since my childhood. I told her when my weight became and issue and how I was currently feeling about getting surgery. She also said I was right on track, since my mind was in the right place. I am not looking for a miracle, I am looking for a tool to help change my life.
I got to meet my surgeon…
The CWLS has three surgeons: Sheila Partridge, MD, Medical Director and Associate Chair, Dept. of Surgery, Rajan Chahal, MD, General and Bariatric Surgeon, and Susana Wishnia, MD, General and Bariatric Surgeon. I will be having surgery with Dr. Wishnia. She immediately put me at ease with her kindness and knowledge.
We discussed what we were both expecting and wanted. She looked at my weight and recommended I lose another 10 lbs before surgery. Not only would this additional weight loss help thinning out my liver. It would also help lower my BMI and decrease my risk of blood clots. If for some reason I wasn’t able to lose the additional 10 lbs I should plan on injecting blood thinners after surgery. I do not want to do this (I hate needles), so I will definitely be doing all I can to lose those 10 lbs.
Because she had to send a pre-approval to the insurance company. She told me she wanted to see me again on the 24th of October to see how weight loss was going and to schedule my surgery as long as the pre-approval had been accepted, and all the pre-op testing.
Things I learned at this appointment…
I learned that I should expect to be at the hospital for at least 2 days. I also learned that they do semi-private rooms, which means two people in a room. If I wanted to do a private room I would have to see if there was one available and that there is also an additional charge.
Also I can expect to not have anything to drink for the first 24 hrs after surgery. The first “meal” will be the day after surgery for breakfast and I should be able to go home by dinner that second day.
There is a book that was recommended called (affiliate link) The Emotional First Aid Kit: A Practical Guide to Life After Bariatric Surgery. I actually got it for my kindle and it’s a really great read, with lots of information, suggestions and ideas. I really like that this author is not sugarcoating anything. She gives techniques on staying in control and again makes it perfectly clear that you weight loss is only going to happen and stay off if you can get in control of your brain. The text is easy to follow, makes sense. It’s great that it’s not written in that patronizing way someone who has never had a weight problem uses when talking to the weight challenged.
This guide walks you through your reasons for surgery, what to expect, how to handle any emotional barricades along your journey. It goes from the choice to have the surgery, to making a will, to pre-op preparation. There are profiles of people that illustrate things a person might experience themselves. I highly recommend anyone considering weight loss surgery to pick this book up.
I hope that you will join me on my journey and that we can have a community where we can support one another and not judge. If you have any questions or comment leave them below. I will try to answer them as best as I can.