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Hello,

I am at the beginning stages of considering weight loss surgery.  I have rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure.  I am so nervous to even consider either surgery but my arthritis has me in pain often.  I think taking the weight off my joints will help.  How long does the process take from first meeting with a weight loss doctor until surgery?  I think I would lean more to sleeve...what is recovery really like?  Its all so scary to me.   

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Welcome! How long it takes depends on a couple things: if you’re using insurance or paying cash; if you’re using insurance, what your specific insurance requires; and finally, the specific protocol your doctor requires of patients. For me, my insurance requires six months of a medically supervised weight loss program (which is a pretty common requirement). But I had already done that through my PCP before meeting with my surgeon so I was able to use that and complete all the other doctor & insurance requirements within a couple months. From start to finish, from first meeting to surgery was less than three months for me. I will say though, even though it stinks at the time,  I think most people would say, in the long run, having to take six months or so to get mentally prepared for post-WLS life is really beneficial. The mental part is a thousand times harder than the physical and continues long after reaching goal. I can’t speak to what sleeve recovery is like, but RNY recovery was a breeze in my experience. The pain was gone within a couple days, adjusting to my new pouch & the new way of eating took longer (getting through the stages of eating and finding my new normal), but again, the mental part took the longest (and is still a work in progress). I hope you find the support and answers you’re looking for here! :)

Edited by athenarose

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Welcome..

I had the 6 month required diet.  If your insurance requires it, do your best to make the changes your program requires.  One of the most difficult is the no drinking with meals (usually at least 30 minutes after you’re finished) and chewing your food well (how many of us inhaled our food without tasting?)

recovery for me was also a breeze!  My daughter and son in law both just had surgery the same day (June 18) and were at the amusement park with 2 small kids less than 10 days later..considering the last time daughter went she could barely get the lap belt and harness fastened-they had lost enough weight (with pre op and liquid diet) that she had no problems..

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I didn’t have the six month diet requirement - but my surgeon was the out-going president of the ASMBS, and in super high demand. From calling his office for the first time to my surgery date was six months, just because that’s when he was booking new patients. There were a couple of classes/appointments I had to do - nutritionist and psych, one on one and in a group - and then two meetings with the surgeon before my date. 

Since I went into it a little unsure I’d go through with it, I wasn’t put off by the wait. And it was good for me - like a six month study period before the big exam!

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I had a roughly three month period of time between my first appointment with my surgeon and my gastric bypass.  During this time I lost about 20 pounds (which "shrinks the liver" making the surgery safer) and prepared myself for life after the surgery.  As my surgeon had a busy schedule, originally I was told that I would have a five month wait for my surgery, but then an earlier slot opened up and I took it.  :D

My only regret about having weight loss surgery is that I waited so many years to have it.

My best advice for you now is to become an informed consumer.  One way to do this is to read lots of posts here at TTF (thinnertimesforum) and be sure to check out each of the TTF forums.  This will allow you to become an informed consumer.  For example, there are important differences between the sleeve and gastric bypass, and you need to have the weight loss surgery type that feels right for you.  Also, be sure to find the best possible bariatric surgeon for your surgery even if it means traveling for the surgery.

We are here to support and inform you on your weight loss surgery journey.  

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Welcome!

From the day of seeing my surgeon (about an umbilical hernia) to surgery was about 5 months.

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19 hours ago, formyfamily3 said:

Hello,

I am at the beginning stages of considering weight loss surgery.  I have rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure.  I am so nervous to even consider either surgery but my arthritis has me in pain often.  I think taking the weight off my joints will help.  How long does the process take from first meeting with a weight loss doctor until surgery?  I think I would lean more to sleeve...what is recovery really like?  Its all so scary to me.   

I had a sleeve. I had *TERRIBLE* back and hip problems, plus sleep apnea and borderline hypertension and diabetes. My joints are SOOOO much better off after the weight loss. 

Don't be scared by the prospect of surgery. It has a very low complication rate and most likely your risks from hypertension are BIGGER than the risks of surgery. Be cold-bloodedly analytical and do not fail to consider the risks of doing nothing, e.g. living a shorter period of time with more disease because of the obesity. 

Best thing I ever did. Recovery was pretty uneventful (which is good) and I could have returned to work by 7-10 days after surgery.

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I don't have much to add to what the others have already said. It took me 6 months because my insurance did require the 6 month supervised diet. Like was already mentioned, that 6 month wait was actually a good thing to have. I learned so much and was able to be totally prepared physically and mentally for the surgery.

Like you, I was scared at first. By the time my surgery date got here, I was ready to go and not afraid at all.

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13 hours ago, formyfamily3 said:

Thank you so much for all the comments.

 

You have found a great resource to help you get informed about WLS: TTF. Look around and find some information that will help you understand the realities of life post-op, both the good and the bad (although it’s about 10,000:1 good to bad ratio for me). 

Reading through the blogs in the blog part of the forum might help you get a feel for the daily reality. I’d recommend starting there :) 

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