Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Answers for Chrissi...

The Fact that people find my story interesting still makes me feel a little weird.

Don’t get me wrong, though!  I’m glad that what I’ve done or what I’ve said has helped or inspired people to go make positive change in their lifestyle.  The effect I have apparently had on people has been a consequence of having this surgery that I never expected.   But, when I really think about all the people who I don't know, who know all about me...well...it just makes me chuckle.  

That being said, I LOVE getting comments from you guys...telling me what you are doing or asking me questions.  It really makes me feel like I am doing this for a reason…and keeps me writing.

So, I guess this is another reminder to feel free to ask me questions, or leave me comments...and I will always do my best to try and help you out!

Anyway, this is a comment that was left on my last entry by Chrissi.  Since she posted these questions publicly and they may be relevant to other curious readers, I figured it would be OK to answer her questions here.  

Hi Kristen.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. My husband and I enjoy reading your blog. I've been doing a fair amount of research on the surgery an I feel your blog has given just what I was looking for....information from a real person I can relate to about the surgery.

My husband's doctor is recommending the surgery and he will be meeting with the psychologists soon.. Also, my doctor has been recommending me to see a nutritionist and I think the surgery might be in my future too. I am nervous because it is major surgery, as you know and I sometime find that I dwell on the complications more than I should.

I am sure you must get a lot of requests for information. Would it be possible for you to share the name of your surgeon? Also, did you meet with more than one surgeon before making your decision on who would do the surgery? How long was the process from the doctors/insurance ok until you had the actual surgery? I know you are busy with your life. Congratulations, you look amazing. I don't think I mentioned that yet. 

I would appreciate any information you are willing to provide me with.




I had my surgery done at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  Check out the Weight Loss Center's" website here.  

My surgeon's name is Dr. Benjamin Schneider, but there are a few surgeons @ BIDMC that perform bariatric surgery.  He was the only surgeon I met with before my surgery and because I liked him so much, I didn't feel the need to meet with anyone else.  Dr. Schneider was phenomenal and (if you live in the Boston area) I would recommend him 100%.   

The process to schedule my surgery from start to finish took a few months.  (I got my referral in October, scheduled my surgery in January, and had my surgery in February.)  The first thing I had to do was to go to my primary care physician to get a referral to the weight lost center.  There were then several appointments with medical doctors, nutritionists, social workers, and psychologists.  Once I was approved by all of these people, I then made an appointment with the surgeon.   As soon as he approved me, I scheduled my surgery.  

In the beginning of the process, the center gives you a list of questions to ask your insurance company to see if you qualify and to find out how much of your surgery will be covered.  The entire cost of my surgery was covered, minus some doctor visit co-pays and a one time fee required by the center.  (I called it the "make sure you are serious" fee, but they said it covered costs of things not reimbursed by insurance.  It was 400-500$.)

Depending on your insurance your timing and coverage may be different.  The center seemed to know the different methods with the different insurance companies.  I was actually shocked at how easy it was.

I hope this helps!  Thanks for the compliments and good luck on your journey.  I hope you will keep me posted on how it goes!  : )


1 comment:

  1. Chrissi, you should definitely check out Dr. Sheila Partridge at the Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. She is fabulous! In fact, Channel 5's Chronicle will be airing a story about one of her patients in early April so be on the lookout for that. www.nwh.org/weightloss for more information about upcoming new patient meetings. Good luck!