VSG & Me (Pre-op Info, Intial Consult) - Arizona, AZ

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I had decided to look in to weight loss surgery,...

I had decided to look in to weight loss surgery, initially I thought I wanted lapband, but a friend had recommended that I research Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG); I visited my primary care md and had her full support, she then referred me to the Weight Loss Institute of AZ. I called on 07/09/2016 and scheduled my visit for 07/12/2016. At this visit I received a consultation with the entire team from the Medical Assistant, Maria (who was my saving grace through this process) , Rhonda, the financial/insurance specialist, Sarah the nutritionist and Dr John J Debarros, my surgeon. This visit did last about two hours but a lot was done. We decided which procedure I would get (lapband or VSG) the pro's and cons of both procedures. The recovery time for both and which had the highest success rate, and which one would be a good fit for me, When I arrived my insurance was already confirmed, so Rhonda met with me and gave me information of what my out of pocket would look like. Sarah, immediately but me on a meal plan that began to eliminate foods that were not healthy. Maria then took my medical history, previous physician info for the last 3 years as well as took my lab work . These people, would begin to be my team; they gave me the expectation on how long it would take to obtain insurance approval and all the steps we would need to take. I was given a checklist to work on and from there everything went very fast.

Insurance, Nutritionist visits, weigh ins, oh my....

So I had decided on VSG. My insurance covered the procedure with pre certification; so my insurance company required 3 months of medically supervised diet. 3 years of weight/medical history with a BMI or 40 I did not require any comorbidity other than being overweight. So every month, I weighed in met with Maria, Dr DeBarros, and Sara. Every month I was so worried that the number on the scale would go up and that would cause my insurance to deny my authorization. It was such a stressful time. In the 2nd month I completed and EGD which came back fine. I was then scheduled for surgery.

So at the final visit we reviewed financial information with Rhonda. Then Dr DeBarros in great detail explained what my procedure would be and he even drew an illustration so I could have a better visual idea. He answered all of my questions and I had plenty. On this day it was two weeks from the scheduled surgery date; so Sarah put me on the pre-op liquid diet. I'll be honest I wasn't the best at the pre-op diet but the second week I was determined that mistakes were not an option because I did not want any complications.

During the pre-op diet I lost 13 pounds. My procedure was to be done on an outpatient basis so I used this time to get all the things I would need. I researched until I was blue in the face. I never had surgery before and I was scared, but I was ready!

Almost a year out, what's next??

So I am 10 months out, for me I am what they call a slow loser hieghest recorded weight was 255lbs, my current weight is 199. The reason why I am ok with being a slow loser is that I don't have the problem with loose skin. It looks like a fairly natural progression in weight loss. I am having issues with hair loss so I did do a big chop.

I do pretty well with vitamins now; I learned my lesson. Initially I did not and started to experience numbness and tingling in my hands; I went to the md and initially she thought it was the beginnings of carpel tunnel, but a few more questions it was determined that It was more likely a vitamin deficiency. I don't take any super fancy vitamins, just normal centrum multivitamin with iron, caltrate calcium chew and a hair skin and nails vitamin; my vitamin level as are all really well. I used to buy Bariatric vitamins, but my pcp felt that they were mandatory and after checking my blood work her theory was confirmed. So I've been takeing these vitamins now for about 4 months and so far so good.

So I'm working really hard to get to goal weight as I have been researching plastics for a mommy makeover. I'll update in October check to check in with my progress and if I was able to loose the 20lbs to make goal!!

Before and after photos


Tempe Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. DeBarros was nothing short of amazing. Knowledgeable, compassionate, clear, honest and extremely professional. I am post-op and will share additional information as he supported and was there through the entire process from first visit to last.

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