Exploring weight loss surgery options and losing 110 pounds (or so)

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Lap Band Pre-op Appointment

Today was my first appointment! YAY! When I scheduled my appointment, the receptionist mentioned that it would be a 2 hour appointment as I would meet with the surgeon, "Dr. L",  and the dietitian. When I arrived, there waiting room seemed "busy"...not what one would expect for a small town private practice. That made me instantly think the doctor was running behind...ugh!  After about a 30 minute wait, the man I recognized from website pictures walks into the lobby ON HIS WAY OUT THE DOOR! He pauses to apologize and said that a patient at the hospital (across the street) was having complications and they couldn't get a hold of this patient's doctor. So...he was going over there to check it out. He paused, but it was obvious that he knew that this was serious and he may not return.

The clinic staff scrambled and the came up with a plan. A nurse took my vitals and sent me back to the waiting room. I was one of three potential lap band patients. We were each waiting for our first visit. In light of the recent emergency, it was decided that we would do a group session to get the typical "first" appointment information. We meet together with the dietitian and she went over the basics.

The dietitian shared the "Recommended Dietary Changes Before Surgery." The following are the recommended changes.

  • Do not skip breakfast-eat three meals a day
  • Have a good source of protein in the morning, such as an egg, 1 oz. cheese, yogurt (100 cals or less), lean deli meat, etc
  • Decrease portion size
  • Make better choices when eating out (low fat/low cal)
  • Increase intake of fruits and vegetables. Try to eat 2 different fruits each day AND 2 different vegetables each day. Vegetables CAN NOT be corn, peas, or potatoes
  • Increase activity (walking/swimming/videos)
  • Decrease intake of deserts/candy/sweets/baked goods/ice cream
  • Decrease fat in diet (choose low fat more often and avoid fried foods)
  • Decrease caffeinated and/or carbonated beverages, and calorie-containing beverages
  • Drink at least 64 oz of water per day. Any caffeine-free, calorie-free, non carbonated beverages can count towards daily water intake
  • Decrease alcohol consumption or completely avoid
  • Begin an adult, chewable multivitamin every other day, such as Centrum or Centrum Silver. Make sure the multivitamin contains 25-30 different vitamins and minerals. Bariatric Advantage is a good place to start (online)
  • Avoid snacking or eating after 7pm (or 3 hours before your longest sleeping period)
  • Practice CHEWING foods thoroughly. Slow down rate of eating.
  • Practice SIPPING beverages-no "chugging" or gulping
  • Keep food records and return
The dietitian said that if Dr. L was there, he would say absolutely no regular pop from this day forward. Phew...glad I switched to diet YEARS ago! The "rules" we would focus on now would be
  1. Eat breakfast and include a protein.
  2. Begin documenting in the food journal 3-4 days a week.
  3. Eliminate beverages with calories.
That seems very doable!

This was my first ever experience with a dietitian and, I have to admit, she wasn't half as scary as I envisioned! She even said things like "Dr. L and I encourage treat days" and "you will never hear me say 'only buy nonfat products'" and "you can have a cup or 2 of coffee, but I wouldn't recommend a pot."

The appointment did indeed take over 2 hours, but I only spent about 25 minutes of that "in" the appointment! I will see Dr. L next Tuesday and then back in a month for the next visit.

I had been such a ball of nerves when I began researching and making the initial appointments. Ever since that initial call was made, I have been at peace. It's a nice feeling! One question I did ask was about the required psychological eval. I wondered if I should make an appt soon, or if that should be done later in the process. It was recommended to go ahead and make the appointment now as it may take some time to get in. Good to know!

My only concern at this point is that I have documented weights (on clinic records) with a BMI above 40 for the past 2 years or 35 with co-morbidities. I am pretty sure that I have high blood pressure and have for the last 2 years. HOWEVER, I also don't really go to the doctor unless I am sick...and I rarely get sick!

Oh...another tidbit of info that I was excited to hear was that Dr. L can, if you are a good candidate, do the procedure with ONE incision and not the typical 4 or 5! Cool!


  1. Yay for your first appointment! You've officially started your journey, so exciting! Those are great new guidelines to start incorporating into your daily life. One quick thing, you might want to call your insurance and confirm if a % of weight loss will be required for surgery AND your physician's office to see if they require 10% weightloss for patients with a BMI of 40+. Your weight will be submitted to insurance with what you weighed in at today, but getting a head start with loosing if required speeds up your surgery date in the end. And, sad your Dr had to step out today :( I would've been bummed.

    I'm looking forward to reading your journey. If you ever have any questions, need to vent, squeal with excitement; give me a shout :)

  2. Oh honey, I am so excited for you! I will always be here for you to vent and listen. Love you!

  3. Thank you for the sweet comment! :) I'm so nervous..........