Tale of the Dueling Surgeons

I feel like a hot air balloon that has been inflated and deflated all at once today. I am still processing what has transpired.

I had the consultation with the correct plastic surgeon this morning. First, I liked him a lot. He was polite yet thorough and seems to have a good bedside manner. He looked at the stomach area, my wound, and the lymphedema in the stomach and legs. He does recommend skin removal surgery, as the lymphedema and skin changes will not get better no matter how much weight loss I have.

The surgery is intense. It can be up to five hours long, and I will be in the hospital for about a week. After I go home I won’t be able to do much for a few weeks. And total recovery time is three to four months. He also said there is almost a 100 percent chance of surgical wound complications, but they are usually very manageable as long as I keep on them. Then he said their photographer would take photos and then I would meet with the surgery scheduler. All today! My mind was racing.

He then remembered that I have a hernia in my upper abdomen, and asked me to schedule a CT scan of that area. Then I follow up with him with the results and see exactly what we are dealing with. At checkout, I scheduled the scan for this Thursday in Canton, and the follow-up appointment on November 28. The surgery scheduler was not available so I was given her card and told that she would call me.

On my way home I was getting used to the idea of having this surgery first. Yes it is not the order I prefer but I do think it will help and still be progress in the right direction. Once home I called Medicaid transportation and arranged trips for this Thursday and Nov 28.

I also put in a call to the weight center to see if I have to continue monthly appointments with them, and what to do about next week’s appointment with bariatrics. I have not heard back.

However, after several hours I called the surgery scheduler. She said that they now have to wait until my follow-up to get on the waiting list and begin the preauthorization process. This makes sense because it depends on if they are able to remove the hernia at the same time, and if they have to get general surgery involved as well. She added that if they can do the hernia repair at the same time, that will help get the whole surgery approved. Then I asked about the timeframe after the follow-up. Get this: the surgeon has a waiting list of about 20 patients, and it will probably be six to eight MONTHS to get a date!!  What??!! The University of Michigan is really way too busy for its own good. All of my excitement just vacated my body. I was ready to cry again.

But maybe all is not lost. I decided to go ahead with my bariatric surgeon appointment next Monday, and see what he thinks. Maybe I can still go through with that surgery first, and then do the skin removal when I come up on the waiting list.

So, once again I am not giving up and I am going to keep on fighting. I just wish it wasn’t always an emotional roller coaster! Maybe it could be a nice Sunday drive every now and then LOL. But these are just minor bumps in the road in the grand scheme of things, and I am getting better with every passing day!

Thank you still for the love and encouragement. We will make it through together!



2 thoughts on “Tale of the Dueling Surgeons

  1. Keep that positive attitude going for you as that’s important for the surgery & also the healing following the surgeries! I too am in a very difficult situation too as I need to have surgery on my cervical spine & shoulder areas but I recently had 3 heart stents put in & now have to be on blood thinners for a year. So with that in mind they cannot do the cervical surgery & can’t do the surgery to change my pain pump & to make matters worse the pain clinic where I am under their care to maintain the levels of my pain they cannot do any of the blockers & high level pain injections as I cannot be on the blood thinners so therefore I’m between a rock & a hard place & I’m therefore in constant pain & very hard for me to do anything because of this pain.
    So I understand your frustration totally but keep up on the good work you’re doing & you too will get through this. You’re in my prayers!
    Luv you Aunt Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

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