Sfehrie

Avoiding the surgeon & nutritionist at 18 months out...

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hi all!

I haven't posted for a while, but have been reading forum postings since my surgery in December 2013.

I am posting in the 2-years-after forum because I'm 18 months out and there's not a forum for us.  :P

Here's what I'm wondering: Did anyone stop seeing their surgeon/nut after surgery and, if so, how long after? I am not planning on going back to my surgeon or nut b/c they make me feel very bad about myself, despite my success in losing nearly 140 lbs and keeping it off. Sure, they use "tough love," but, as a 40-year-old, educated woman, I don't respond well to being chastised and made to feel like I'm too stupid to go on living.  

I plan to see my primary care doc later this month b/c she can order the same blood tests the surgeon can, she thinks I'm doing great and don't need to lose 30 more pounds, she doesn't make me feel like an idiot child, and her insurance copay is $60 less than seeing the surgeon.

Don't get me wrong...I'm grateful for the help my surgeon and nutritionist have provided me, but I'm doing fine, I feel good, I look great, and I am generally happy. I don't feel the need to see either one of them again.

Has anyone else had this same type of experience?

Have a great day, everyone! 

Sarah from the Northwoods

 

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I too am not going back to my surgeon because my primary is cheaper and can provide the same service. not to mention my surgeon is famously behind schedule and I have to sit an hour aftr my appointment tim regularly, however, if I should up 20 minutes late, I am told I have to reschedule. this left a bad taste in my mouth and I havent been back.

 

edited to add: oh, I am 9 months out

Edited by uglydude

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I didn't go back to the surgeon either. Surgery is over, the PCP can handle things.

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I may not go back after the first year. My pcp can do the bloodwork with my physical.

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My opinion is that if the program is not helping you, it should be banned. There are bariatric centers of excellence for a very good reason. 1A is the best rating in the U.S.

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I went for my 2 year check up and that was it.  the visit lasted all of 5 minutes.  He weighed me told me I was doing great and he would see me in a year.   I meet with an endocrinologist  every 6 months and he does all my blood work.  He spent 1 hour with me today.  I was a bit anxious about the visit as I had gained a few pounds. He was okay as I told him I was actively working on losing.  I wouldn't return to anything who shames you instead of offering help.  

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I stopped seeing GB dr at 18 months. I plan to see my PCP for an annual visit for bloodwork every year from now on. Annual visits are free.

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I won't see my surgeon at all... unless a friend or 2 decides to have the surgery and I go with them as a companion... but my surgery was in Mexico.  My surgeon was amazing, considerate, VERY forthcoming with information, and super friendly (unlike most Drs I've dealth with who are far too arrogant for my taste... I can think of only 3 others in my lifetime who weren't).  If he was local I'd go back to see him as needed in a heartbeat.

 

I didn't have a nutritionist or dietician... the clinic does have a former patient and wife of the patient coordinator who goes over the post op paperwork and guidelines.

 

I have a choice of seeing my mother's surgeon who is local to me, offered to follow up with me, and was super positive about me going to Mexico... and paying cash for the visit... or going to my PCP / state employee health clinic.  If I drive the 1.5 hrs to my state employee health clinic my visit, labs, dietician, EVERYTHING is free. 

 

Ultimately, other than bloodwork and barring complications, pretty much anything I need to know I already know OR I know how to find the information.  If I'm losing weight, drinking enough water, maintaining energy levels, and not otherwise having health issues I don't need a surgeon, Dr, or dietician to hold my hand, pat me on the back, and tell me I'm doing ok... some people do and I'm not knocking that, I just think that overall there is far too much faith in the medical profession and it's time they stopped being idolized.  But that's also a rant for another day.  lol

 

Bottom line, if the Dr is rude, inconsiderate, or insulting... find a new Dr.  There is absolutely no reason to be treated like garbage.  :-)

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I stopped seeing GB dr at 18 months. I plan to see my PCP for an annual visit for bloodwork every year from now on. Annual visits are free.

That's my whole point. I really like my doctor, but there is only a few additional tests needed for my free physical that I need to do to see my PCP once a year. I won't even see the PCP this year since I do not need the physical.

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I continue to see my surgeon's office for periodic follow-ups. Having had some complications immediately after and later on, I feel more comfortable. They know what I look like in there. 

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The best rule of thumb is that you don't need the surgeon if you are feeling well, but call the surgeon if your symptoms are in the GI tract, then call your surgeon. That is what I'm doing.

Edited by Spunkycat

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I had my VSG in December 2013 as well. Congrats on your great progress! I definitely would stay away from your surgeon and nut if they are not positive influences for you. Shame on them for making you feel bad. And unless you are having complications directly related to the surgery, there's no reason you need to ever see them. Your PCP seems perfectly capable of providing the kind of support you need.

I never saw my surgeon or nut since surgery day. My PCP has done all my bloodwork. I saw a gastroenterologist when I had diarrhea issues 2 months postop. (The diarrhea was due to an infection, not related to surgery). I have had a few phone and email conversations with my surgeon's staff over questions about taking certain medications, but never needed to consult with him personally. And I never bothered to consult with the nutritionist. It's really not that hard to know what you should and shouldn't eat.

This is YOUR journey, not there's. Make it yours.

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I'm curious. Prior to surgery, I agreed to regular (at this point, annual) follow-ups for 5 years post-surgery. Anyone else have a similar stipulation?

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I'm curious. Prior to surgery, I agreed to regular (at this point, annual) follow-ups for 5 years post-surgery. Anyone else have a similar stipulation?

I think I am committed to a 1 or maybe 2 year followup, but I don't know what would happen if i didn't show...

 

Also, I had "only" lost 10 pounds at my "1 Month" followup with the surgeon (despite that it was actually only 19 (NINETEEN!) days post-op, and I had already somehow gone from a size 24 to a size 22). He said he thought I should have lost more by then and I FELT SO FRICKEN' BAD (SHAME, GUILT ETC), that it just put me in the dumps for the rest of the day. He really is a great guy and I felt like such a disappointment. I don't think he realized it was only 2 and a half weeks, not 4 weeks post-op.

I see him again at 6 months, and I will remind him it wasn't 30 days, it was just 19, and I had also managed to lose all 9 pounds of IV fluid they pumped into me in the hospital. 

On the other hand, I am now 44 days out and I have only lost 15 pounds, so maybe I am just going to be one of those slow losers... but as long as the numbers continue to get smaller, I will be just fine.

Edited by bondkatt

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I would have a few concerns, and I also have a comment.

 

First the comment: No surgeon/nutritionist should belittle you or make you feel bad about yourself, that's just lousy doctoring. We all did that for many years before we had this surgery! I canceled 2 weeks prior to my original surgery date and went with a different practice eventually because the NP at the original practice was belittling and made me feel like a bad 2 year old!

 

As for concerns, first you should be very careful that you get all the blood work you should. The blood work my surgeon does is pretty extensive, and since we can experience odd deficiencies you probably should check this forum for what other people are being tested for and make sure your PCP is checking all those things. Second, I have heard about situations (and I really don't understand the rationale) where people have a hard time getting someone to treat them when the move or otherwise can't see their original surgeon. If you can be sure this won't be the case in your area (maybe make some phone calls) then I'd say go ahead and leave the unpleasantness behind! Good luck!

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I'm curious. Prior to surgery, I agreed to regular (at this point, annual) follow-ups for 5 years post-surgery. Anyone else have a similar stipulation?

Yes, I was told 5 years. Interesting thread as it didn't even occur to me to have my PCP run the same blood tests. I like my surgeon and her group but i have to pay two co-pays for each visit. One to the drs and the other to pay for the appt at the facility. It ends up being $60 which isn't terrible but one principle I feel like I should only pay once. 

 

I am having an endoscopy in Sept as my WLS dr wants to see if my GERD is causing damage. After that, I might just use my PCP for the blood work. 

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