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jsmith01

No support from doctor.

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I am severely overweight.  I have been considering WLS for a while now.  My doctor says my health is bad and if I don't lose weight quickly, I might not make it another year.  I brought up the idea of surgery and he is completely against it.  He says I can do it on my own and surgery is a death sentence.  I said my weight already is, but he had none of it.  He want's me to go on a 500 calorie diet until my weight is more manageable.

I don't know what my options are at this point.  I will be private pay, I have no insurance.  I really need this surgery to be around for my kids.  I am very depressed about this all.

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Sounds like you need a new doctor. A 500 calorie diet is unrealistic, especially over the long term, and any decent doctor should know that. So my advice is to look for a new family doctor who can point you in the right direction to find a good bariatric surgeon. 

Given you haven't given any information in your profile, I can't offer any suggestions other than to check out the doctors section on the forum, and look for one that is either near you, or somewhere you are happy to travel.

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Just now, Aussie H said:

Sounds like you need a new doctor. A 500 calorie diet is unrealistic, especially over the long term, and any decent doctor should know that. So my advice is to look for a new family doctor who can point you in the right direction to find a good bariatric surgeon. 

Given you haven't given any information in your profile, I can't offer any suggestions other than to check out the doctors section on the forum, and look for one that is either near you, or somewhere you are happy to travel.

I think you're right.  Also, I will fill in my profile.

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Welcome! If you're private pay, you may not even need your doctor's approval (although I agree with Aussie that you should get a new doctor). My surgeon didn't require anything from my PCP (and I have insurance).  It's early and my brain is still fuzzy, but I would start by looking for hospitals that are designated centers of excellence, see which WLS surgeons use them and then search those names on this forum, start attending seminars and see if you find someone you like. You don't need your doctor's permission to take charge of your health. Just do it.

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2 hours ago, jsmith01 said:

I am severely overweight.  I have been considering WLS for a while now.  My doctor says my health is bad and if I don't lose weight quickly, I might not make it another year.  I brought up the idea of surgery and he is completely against it.  He says I can do it on my own and surgery is a death sentence.  I said my weight already is, but he had none of it.  He want's me to go on a 500 calorie diet until my weight is more manageable.

I don't know what my options are at this point.  I will be private pay, I have no insurance.  I really need this surgery to be around for my kids.  I am very depressed about this all.

So in 2010 and 2011 all the medical societies came to recognize WLS as the only proven route to weight loss. By 2013 the AMA - a pretty conservative organization - had done the same. Your doc is just wrong. 

WLS is not a death sentence. The death rate from surgery is 0.1 - 0.2 %, 1 or 2 per thousand, and severe complication rate is ~ 0.5%.  The death rate from being severely obese is much much higher. I have friends who are surgeons who also think WLS is bad, but their experiences were formed 20-30 years ago when it was much much riskier. 

If you like your doc otherwise just go back to him or her and say s/he is wrong and give him or her the data. If you had insurance, I would say: State you want a referral to a WLS surgeon or a second opinion since s/he is ignoring the consensus statements in the medical literature. It's ok to tell you doc that he or she is wrong. Sometimes they find that refreshing rather than challenging. Since you are private pay I would say: Just give me a recommendation for who has the best track record around here. 

If you are private pay you may have many more options. A lot of people on this forum have had surgery outside of the US because the costs are a lot less crazy. If you can still get insurance in NC that does not exclude you because of a pre-existing condition it might be worth it, but you know your own circumstances best. 

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I'm sorry your doctor is undereducated in the area of weight loss. Since this is your issue, it would be best to find a new doctor. However, being self-pay, go ahead and start looking for a surgeon. Your surgeon may be able to recommend a better doctor too. Don't be discouraged. You can do this.

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I never realized until I worked in healthcare how finding a doc that really jives with you is important - I would typically just look up a doc near me, go there until my current issue was resolved, and then peace out. I wasn't on medications or anything, so until my thyroid decided to jump ship, I never understood what it was to find and really establish with someone who is on the same wavelengths as you. Don't ever settle for a physician you can't stay with, especially if you're private pay. 

That said, I think any doctor who tries to put their foot down over a procedure that is fully backed with scientific evidence, is not a good doctor. Following evidence-based practice is an absolute must in the medical field, and a doctor who refers to a safe and medically backed procedure as "death" is ridiculous (especially while telling you you may not live if you continue at your weight!). 

As a private pay, look up bariatric centers near you, and schedule consults with a couple. Find someone you like and trust and start your journey. Don't let some befuddled dude with an MD behind his name stop you :)

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I lived in South Carolina for years, and I am convinced that the doctors in the Carolina's are a bit off. 

 - My OBGYN slapped me when I was in labor with my son.

 - My Dentist laughed at me Novocaine wore off as he was pulling a tooth and said "A big girl like you can handle the pain"  

 - Optometrist insists that I don't need a prescription because I was so young (24), 

- Concerned about my weight, new doctor tells me to go on the Mediterranean diet, doesn't check my labs gives me medication I am allergic too

Regardless, I was not impressed with Carolina doctors. Check out this site - http://www.surgerync.com/ - it's geared for WLS in North Carolina. 

You can do this, you want to make a change, don't let anyone stand in your way. 

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Oh my goodness, @Zyia!

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14 minutes ago, Zyia said:

I lived in South Carolina for years, and I am convinced that the doctors in the Carolina's are a bit off. 

 - My OBGYN slapped me when I was in labor with my son.

 - My Dentist laughed at me Novocaine wore off as he was pulling a tooth and said "A big girl like you can handle the pain"  

 - Optometrist insists that I don't need a prescription because I was so young (24), 

- Concerned about my weight, new doctor tells me to go on the Mediterranean diet, doesn't check my labs gives me medication I am allergic too

Regardless, I was not impressed with Carolina doctors. Check out this site - http://www.surgerync.com/ - it's geared for WLS in North Carolina. 

You can do this, you want to make a change, don't let anyone stand in your way. 

WTH?! That is the most insane list. No words....

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21 minutes ago, Zyia said:

I lived in South Carolina for years, and I am convinced that the doctors in the Carolina's are a bit off. 

 - My OBGYN slapped me when I was in labor with my son.

 - My Dentist laughed at me Novocaine wore off as he was pulling a tooth and said "A big girl like you can handle the pain"  

 - Optometrist insists that I don't need a prescription because I was so young (24), 

- Concerned about my weight, new doctor tells me to go on the Mediterranean diet, doesn't check my labs gives me medication I am allergic too

Regardless, I was not impressed with Carolina doctors. Check out this site - http://www.surgerync.com/ - it's geared for WLS in North Carolina. 

You can do this, you want to make a change, don't let anyone stand in your way. 

This list is just reprehensible. Ugh. 

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8 hours ago, jsmith01 said:

I am severely overweight.  I have been considering WLS for a while now.  My doctor says my health is bad and if I don't lose weight quickly, I might not make it another year.  I brought up the idea of surgery and he is completely against it.  He says I can do it on my own and surgery is a death sentence.  I said my weight already is, but he had none of it.  He want's me to go on a 500 calorie diet until my weight is more manageable.

I don't know what my options are at this point.  I will be private pay, I have no insurance.  I really need this surgery to be around for my kids.  I am very depressed about this all.

Wow. I can't even get my head around this. Time for a new doctor. Could be you'll have to lose some before surgery (like many of us), but even so: you deserve a helping hand and I hope you get it. Please keep us posted.

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9 hours ago, jsmith01 said:

I am severely overweight.  I have been considering WLS for a while now.  My doctor says my health is bad and if I don't lose weight quickly, I might not make it another year.  I brought up the idea of surgery and he is completely against it.  He says I can do it on my own and surgery is a death sentence.  I said my weight already is, but he had none of it.  He want's me to go on a 500 calorie diet until my weight is more manageable.

I don't know what my options are at this point.  I will be private pay, I have no insurance.  I really need this surgery to be around for my kids.  I am very depressed about this all.

GET A NEW DOCTOR. Run from this guy, don't walk!

You are completely right, your obesity is FAR and away the bigger death sentence than the surgery is!

I'm a father of five, ages 3 - 13, and I totally get where you're coming from about the need for the surgery. Wanting to be there for your kids makes it real!

No reason to be depressed, just shake off the dust from the crazy Dr. and move on.

So let me help you break it down really quickly-- your surgery options will probably be the sleeve AKA sleeve gastrectomy; or gastric bypass, aka RNY aka Roux-en-Y. There are pros and cons to both, and one of the procedures will probably be a better fit for you or appeal to you more. Read through the forum here and start to get a feel for each of the procedures. Once you feel like you have a basic idea, then ask lots of questions here!  

Find another PCP that is agreeable to you having weight loss surgery. Once you've found that person, he may have some idea of which surgery would be better for you, or may recommend a surgeon, and the surgeon may help decide. Again, just make sure you've asked questions along the way and that you feel like you're coming from a place of strong knowledge of the procedures and what's involved.

 If you truly ARE going to have to pay out of pocket, then the "usual" options are A) have the procedure done in the US (and paying out of pocket usually streamlines the waiting period and requirements) OR B ) have it done in Mexico, which is usually about half the cost of the US. Don't be immediately scared away from the Mexico idea, as there are definitely excellent facilities and surgeons there. There are a number of users on this forum that had their procedures done in Mexico. I myself thought I would have to go that route, and did the research, and picked out a surgeon with great reviews, who had done bariatric surgery at the Mayo Clinic for a number of years.

This experience with your Dr really isn't a setback, it's a blessing. Because it landed you here, and if you ARE considering surgery, this is a great group of people to get advice from :-)

Edited by Michael_A

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@Zyia That's an awful list!!!

@jsmith01 Lots of good advice here, so I'll leave that to others. I'm just here to sympathize. What an awful thing to be told: being overweight will kill you AND getting WLS will kill you??? And going on a 500 calorie a day diet is the solution??? This sounds like a doctor with prejudice against overweight patients (um, that would be 2/3 of the adult population of the US) and a lack of knowledge about WLS. 

You deserve a caring doctor who will do his/her best to get you to the healthy place you deserve to be. Find a bariatric doctor who will be that person for you.

Self-pay is pricey in the US but pretty affordable in Mexico, +/- $5000 in most clinics I saw in my research. That's only if you're comfortable doing it in another country, and I know not everyone is. 

Edited by Jen581791

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I'll third that!  Get a new doctor!  Most of us couldn't do 500 calories for weeks!!  If that's his suggestion, I sure hope he "suggested" vitamins and supplements, because with 500 calories you won't be able to get the nutrition your body needs... sorry just my 2 cents!!

i should also say, I was unhappy with my bariatric clinic after surgery so I switched.  I went into my starting clinic for my 2 year check up, and the PA couldn't answer my questions.  Told myself I wasn't going back and found a different clinic to do my yearly follow ups!!  You're the one that matters and if you don't see eye to eye check around.  Your body...

Edited by Cheesehead

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9 hours ago, jsmith01 said:

I am severely overweight.  I have been considering WLS for a while now.  My doctor says my health is bad and if I don't lose weight quickly, I might not make it another year.  I brought up the idea of surgery and he is completely against it.  He says I can do it on my own and surgery is a death sentence.  I said my weight already is, but he had none of it.  He want's me to go on a 500 calorie diet until my weight is more manageable.

I don't know what my options are at this point.  I will be private pay, I have no insurance.  I really need this surgery to be around for my kids.  I am very depressed about this all.

You don't say if you have other health problems? If you do, that might be why your dr said surgery is not an option for you right now?

I did a quick calc on your height, weight and age to find your basal metabolic rate. To maintain your current weight you need to eat roughly 3,800 calories a day. If you cut 1,000 - down to 2,800 calories a day you should lose roughly 2 pounds a week. 

I agree it would be incredibly difficult to go from eating 3,800+ calories a day to 500. I wouldn't be able to do it. Try that for a month and see if you can lose 10 pounds while you look for a new doctor.

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OMG that is basically what happened to me in September of 2015..The Dr Inhad said he would sign for a lap band  if I jumped all his hoops first!!  One year later I pretty much gave up.. Finally I switched to a Dr in a different town and she sent the request for me to have surgery the first visit ..  That was just this past February and I will have the surgery in July,....Please Don't wait over a year like I did get yourself a new Dr !!!!  Good Luck

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On 6/9/2017 at 7:55 AM, jsmith01 said:

I am severely overweight.  I have been considering WLS for a while now.  My doctor says my health is bad and if I don't lose weight quickly, I might not make it another year.  I brought up the idea of surgery and he is completely against it.  He says I can do it on my own and surgery is a death sentence.  I said my weight already is, but he had none of it.  He want's me to go on a 500 calorie diet until my weight is more manageable.

I don't know what my options are at this point.  I will be private pay, I have no insurance.  I really need this surgery to be around for my kids.  I am very depressed about this all.

@jsmith01, how is it going? You sounded so down about this. Hope you are feeling better.

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Yes, I would like to know too. I sincerely hope things are OK.

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