21 Y/O Gastric Sleeve - Providence, RI

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I am currently 21 and have been overweight for...

I am currently 21 and have been overweight for most of my life. I am currently 282 pounds. Which is my highest official weight. My freshman year of college I went from being 220lbs to 240lbs. I was in a happy relationship and made my way up to 250/260 and had an even unhappier break up, thus bringing myself up to my ultimate highest. I have tried everything to lose the weight, only to lose some and regain it. I've done weight watchers, personal trainers, seen numerous nutritionist, herbalife, and Medi Weight loss clinics. Finally being this size, I have reached the ultimate discomfort in my weight. Struggling to put on shoes, to get up from low seats, snoring, lower back pain and heavy breathing, it just isn't worth it anymore. I'm ready to take control of my life again.

I attended my bariatric seminar on 2/11/15. I've officially scheduled my consultation for 3/23 with my surgeon. I've already scheduled my psychiatry evaluation for 2/24. My first dietary consultation (required by my doctor, he suggests 2) is 3/17. I will also be able to get medical clearance from my doctor by next weekend. My psychiatrist requires one one-hour intake and one two-hour evaluation. Being my age, it is not required for me to see a cardiologists and test for sleep apnea. I will have to have a gallbladder ultrasound and upper endoscopy though.

I am mentally preparing myself for all of this and I am trying to instill better healthy eating habits right now. Because this surgery is a tool and not a cure, I see it as, if I don't start to eat better and take better care of my body now, the surgery will be pointless and I'll just regain the weight afterward without the proper nutrition and fitness.

My consultation !!

So today I wrapped up my psychological evaluation. I'm cleared for the surgery! I also met with Dr. Pohl today, my next step is to have my proof of previous weight loss attempts sent to him for insurance purposes. Also, his office will order an upper endoscopy, a gallbladder ultrasound & I'll set up my appointment for my sleep apnea testing. I'm hoping to have this surgery by May or June, but everything seems so spaced out ! I went to the orientation itself over a month ago! I was also recently diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (pCos) & put on birth control.

I was concerned about my insurance denying me because upon further review of my policy it excludes bariatric surgery, I spoke with the doctor because he is also employed at the same hospital my insurance is through (my dad & the doctor work at the same hospital) & he said it's actually a glitch they've been having & I shouldn't worry about it *fingers crossed*

So tomorrow morning I'll call & have all of my documentation sent over from herbalife, medi weight loss clinics, weight watchers & a personal trainer & nutritionist I've seen in the past.

Things are looking good! It's just the time line!

Gall Bladder Ultrasound

So my gall bladder ultrasound is this upcoming Monday morning & my Sleep Apnea consultation is on April 8th. From there the doctor will refer me to a location for my sleep study & have my upper endoscopy (EDG).

I was initially hoping to have the surgery in late May, early June, I think now I'm looking at more so, late June, or July. I just need this done before I return to school in late August.

My doctor states that after I've finished all of my required testing that they'll send out the information to my insurance company for approval. Does anyone know how long that usually is? They said after its approved & they schedule me another appointment, my surgery would be scheduled 4-6 weeks from that date. Ugh, it seems so close but far away. I'm trying my best to get all of these test done as soon as possible so I can get this surgery done.


Today I had my gallbladder ultrasound! Next week I have my sleep apnea consultation & my upper endoscopy. Hopefully by April 25th, I will have everything done that I need. After my endoscopy, it's basically just my second nutritionist appointment, letter of medical clearance & my actual sleep study. My medical clearance, I already spoke to my doctor about, it's just a matter of getting it. I'm so excited, I'm hoping I have my surgery by late May/ early June.

Sleep Apnea & Upper Endoscopy

I finally went for my sleep apnea consultation yesterday. I was so sick, that my doctor actually thinks I have asthma. Tomorrow I have my upper endoscopy appointment. They still haven't called me to schedule my sleep study, I hope they don't wait too long to contact me about it. That's pretty much it for right now.

Update 4/10/15

Just wrapped up my upper endoscopy. Got the call from the sleep lap, which is now scheduled for april 27th. That will complete everything needed, so hopefuly i can have the surgery by June. On the 25th I'll get medical clearance from my primary care & on the 14th my last appointment to meet the nutrionist fullfillment.

Sleep Apnea

Tuesday I have my final required for insurance nutritionist appointment. I was also finally contacted for my sleep study which will take place 4/27. Like I think I stated earlier in my postings that I will get medical clearance on 4/25. That will officially be it!
From there on it will just be about getting my follow up appointment with my surgeon and getting approval from my insurance. I hope things work out.

So 4/14 - Nutritionist
4/25 - Medical Clearance
4/27 - Sleep Study

I already started my somewhat of my pre-op diet only because I was sick this past week and vomiting and I'm unable to eat large amounts and I'm actually scared anything will irritate my stomach. So I purchased a case of premier protein shakes and I'm just attempting to lose about 10% of my weight if possible, its a bit more difficult to lose since being diagnosed with pcos.

Tomorrow is my sleep study

So as of tomorrow night, I will have officially finished all of my pre op work up. I got medical clearance yesterday from my primary care. I finished my nutritionist requirements this past week. Tomorrow night, I have to report to the sleep lab at 8pm for my sleep study until about 6am they said. After my sleep study is complete, the results will be forwarded to my surgeon & they will submit everything to my insurance for approval. I found out yesterday I actually don't have PCOS. Which is good because I was worried having PCOS would hinder my weight loss progress. I currently weigh in at about 286lbs. My goal is to weight about 140-160lbs. A healthy weight & BMI for my height. Hopefully I get approved, once I get my approval, I'll post some more information & maybe some pictures.

Sleep Study, EKG & Chest X-Ray

So I had my sleep study last night, I'm my sure how that really went. Probably one of the most uncomfortable things I've had to do. All those wires & I'm someone who moves a lot in my sleep. We'll see how that went .... When I went to go get my medical clearance on Saturday my doctor was unsure if I actually needed an EKG & a chest x-Ray so she wrote me a slip for it just I case. Last night she called me & informed me I do need both, so I'm going to take care of those today. Everything is so close, i hope I get approved!

Finished with my pre op work up?

I went & completed my EKG & Chest X-Ray shortly after I posted my last status. I am so thankful that my dad is a doctor & works at the hospital I'll be having my procedure done. He has been able to pull a lot of strings & get my appointments scheduled sooner rather than later. Even though my dad is vocal about being against the surgery, it hasn't stopped him from being supportive & helping me along the way.

The manager from my sleep study location called me this afternoon & told me the doctor should have my results within 2-3 weeks. Has anyone ever heard that before? All my other testing a have been sent to my doctor within a week the latest. 2-3 throws my timeline off quite a bit. I'm hoping it doesn't take that long. My EKG & chest X-ray should be sent to my primary care this week then my primary care will give medical clearance to my surgeon.

How long as it taken some of all of you to get done with your work up? How long did it take from start to surgery date? Or start to insurance approval? I've been doing all of this since the second week of February.

Medical Clearance

So I am officially done with my work up! Woohooooo!! All I'm waiting for is for my medical clearance to be forwarded to my surgeon. For some reason, my doctors office seems to be dragging this out. Initially they wanted me to go have a chest X-ray done & an EKG, bam took care of it. Now they want a copy of my sleep study, why? I do not know. I feel as if they're trying to coordinate things, but they're only holding it up. Once my surgery coordinator has received everything they need, they will send it out to my insurance for approval.

What bothers me is I also post on another forum & actually found a few people who actually are looking to have their surgery done by Dr. Pohl too. The problem is even from their completion of their work up, is her insurance approved it within a week, then the doctors office was booking a month out from there & from there surgery is anywhere from 6-8 weeks. That right there is basically 3 months. I was hoping to have this surgery done by July the latest, because I am a full time student & go back to school in September. I read up that even though typical recovery is 2 weeks, many people recommend taking the 4 weeks just to get used to your new stomach.

So I'm just a little frustrated I feel like I hustled these appointments as quick as I could & there's no telling how long the insurance takes to approve everything.

Part 1 of the Waiting Game

My medical clearance which I originally requested back on March 7th, but my primary care had told me "no" because she needed the date of my surgery before approving, has become the longest part of this ordeal. On April 25th I was given the clearance but they have still yet to provide it to my surgeon & it has been a little over 2 weeks but the person who actually has to write it up, hasn't & everytime I contact her she's dodging my phone calls. My mother knows the physician who actually owns the practice & my mom had to contact him to get things moving along. The woman who's in charge of sending those things out I've called maybe 2 or 3 times over the course of the last 2 weeks & whenever they leave a message for her to contact me, she hasn't contacted me back. Last I heard she was attempting to get a copy of my sleep study, which confirmed I do not have sleep apnea & I just snore. Hopefully my surgery coordinator can have everything by the end of this week & can send it to my insurance for approval.

Feeling a bit discouraged

so after thinking I was done. I called my surgeon coordinator to just confirm everything & she now informs me that medi weight loss only logged me for one nutritionist visit, so that means I have a total of 3 nutritionist visits & not the 6 I was originally told I have. When I spoke to her last she told me she had 4 from medi & 2 from Roger Williams. Now I have to try to schedule 3 other appointments with my new nutritionist. Which puts me out until July. I have done weight watchers in the past, but apparently they're unable to retrieve any of my data from my account.

*sigh* feeling a bit discouraged cause I was hoping to have surgery before it was time for me to go back to school in the fall.

Insurance submission !

So when I contacted medi on 5/22 I was told that I was every visit was a nutrition consult. The woman at Medi was extremely helpful & told me to just have my surgeon coordinator to contact her & see what information they exactly needed. Well apparently without me even informing my surgeon coordinator (we were playing a long game of phone tag since 5/27) she was able to get the information she needed & start the insurance approval submission process!


Now it's basically the waiting part. I don't know how long this part usually takes for approval (or denial) from your insurance company. I've heard they have 45 days to respond or 30 days but usually take about 2-3 weeks, sometimes even less to give a response.

*fingers crossed* I hope I get approved. Excited that it's finally been submitted. I was worried I wouldn't have my surgery done in time to return to school in the fall, depending on how long it takes me to recover.

Can anyone tell me how long they waited for a response from the insurance company?

Denied Originally. Re-submitting again this June/July

I was originally denied surgery when I applied in June of 2015, due to my insurance requirement of having 12 months of both nutrition visits & primary care visits to co-sign the nutritionist. In August they changed it to 6 months but it had to be 6 months consecutive & my doctor still had to sign off on it monthly, but I never had that.

Starting in December I started to do my visits to the nutritionist & Doctor over. I will complete my 6 months in June. I had to revisit my psychiatrist to get clearance again. When I see my primary care this month she will medically clear me for surgery. Then I will see my nutritionist & Doctor again in June & send it all off to the insurance company. I hope to get approved this year. I'm really about my glo'up. *Fingers crossed* once I have my surgery I will put down my down deposit for my plastic surgery in Dominican Republic. I'm looking forward to having a TT + Lipo + BBL. I will most likely save my breast lift & implants for a local doctor & have them done in the states.
Dr. Pohl

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