Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Cat is out of the Bag

I think I mentioned that my sister found my blog. (Hi MacSis!) I put a link on my main blog site where I put more stuff about the family and random rants on random subjects, so it's not like I didn't want my family to come here. In fact, that's why I put it there -- so family and friends could find out about my plans without me having to tell everyone. I was trying to be low key. While blogging. Ya right.

Anyway, in spite of wanting it to happen, I was nervous about going to my niece's wedding on Friday. I figured everyone would have been talking about me and taking sides on whether it was a good idea. (Hey, I would in their place.)

But it wasn't so bad. The wedding was the focus and I didn't know most of the people so I doubt they were talking about me. The next morning MacSis and MacMom and I went to brunch at the hotel and talked about stuff.

During that time I had a revelation. If you had asked me a year ago if I was ever going to get weight loss surgery, I would have probably said something like "are you out of your mind?! That stuff is dangerous! Plus I'm not that fat. WLS is for *really* fat people. I bet I don't even qualify." To get from there to where I am now has been a very long process with lots of soul searching and research.

Therefore, I can't really get too pissed off when someone who hasn't really thought about WLS at all isn't exactly in the same place that I am about it. I went on a journey and I have to bring my friends and family along on the same journey if I want them to keep up and be supportive. I mean beside the general "I love you and I'll be there for you" kind of support. Specific support requires specifics.

So, in an effort to bring everyone along and to calm any lingering fears that people who care about me have, I will offer up the following:

-My surgeon (the awesome Dr. Awesome) has done around 4000-5000 bariatric procedures. He's been doing sleeves so long that when other guys were just starting to do them, he had already done about 500. In all that time, he hasn't anyone die on him. Not every bariatric surgeon can say that.

-The hospital I will be having the surgery at - California Pacific Medical Center -- is an award-wining hospital and a bariatric Center of Excellence. They were rated one of the top 41 hospitals in the US by some organization called LeapFrog. There is another study showing that hospitals that do a lot of bariatric surgeries -- at least 125 a year -- are significantly safer to have surgery at than ones that do 25 or less a year. (My surgeon alone does more than that and they have a bunch more bariatric surgeons operating out of CPMC.) There is also a study that shows that hopsitals with a 5-star rating on the Health Grades report had a 65% smaller risk of hospital complications than at a 1-star hospital and 41% lower chance that a 3-star hospital. CPMC has a 5-star rating.

-The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy has overall complication rates in line with the Lap Band. It is not a bypass type of surgery and there is no malabsorption. It is also considered by LapSF to be the best surgery for patients over 50 because it has this low complication rate while still having weight loss similar to bypass.

That's all for now... because of the wedding (which was very nice), I haven't had time to write about my surgical consult. That's going to be a long one, so I'll get to it in a bit.
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