The Pre Op Lapband Stage. What's involved? Pricing? Doctors? Etc

Thursday, 10 December 2015

I knew who I wanted to go with right off the bat. Professor Paul O'Brien from CBS in Glen Iris (Victoria). He's the main guy. When you google 'lapband australia' his website is first to come up.
It's He's been on a Current Affair and on the news and he's the one who brought lapband to Australia. People fly from interstate to see him and he's just an OG lol His team are really lovely too. When I called up to make some enquiries they were nothing but helpful and answered most of the questions I was going to ask him. So basically what I had to do was make an appointment with him and his office would send me some forms and his DVD seminar to watch which would answer most of the other questions I had. I needed a referral from a doctor to bring in with me for the appt which was easy. It took about 3 weeks to get that first consultation. When I got there any other questions I had left I asked and my main concern was discussed; being pregnant and having the lapband. Turns out that having the lapband while pregnant is completely fine because you're not meant to gain that much weight while pregnant anyway. The idea about 'eating for two' is incorrect and you should apparently only be eating just slightly more than you already do (When you get to a certain point in the pregnancy, they drain your band so you have no restriction in what you can eat). He gave me a book to read and another DVD with the '8 golden rules' of lapband. After reading and watching I figured that I could handle it and decided to proceed with the surgery. I was booked in for the 9th of November so all I had to do now was wait.  One thing I should mention here is that I didn't have to do a liquid diet before the surgery. That's done to decrease the size of your liver to minimise risks during surgery. I've heard most surgeons opt for this for all their patients but I asked and Paul said I didn't need to. I think its more based on your BMI and your bloodwork. I don't smoke or drink and I think that plays a part as well. Even if you don't 'need' to, theres no harm in it so if you're told to do the liquid diet before the surgery, just do it and don't freak out!

I dont have health insurance which made the fee pretty big but if I were to have gotten it, I would've had to wait 12 months before I could claim the surgery on insurance and in that time I would've had to pay a lot for insurance anyway and it would've only saved me about two to three thousand dollars. It was just a no brainer for me to do the surgery first then get health insurance later because it would've been a waste of time for not that much of a saving. I paid just under $12,000 for everything. Hospital, Surgery (including lifetime follow ups) & Anaesthetic. I thought this was pretty reasonable especially since it includes a lifetime of follow ups (follow ups meaning check ups and when you need fills and unfits and things like that. When you need follow up surgeries there are extra fees associated which is why its always good to have health insurance just incase that stuff comes up). One thing you have to be aware of when looking for surgeons is their follow up costs because a friend of mine saved money on her surgery but every follow up, fill and unfit costs her $100 each time. Also, keep in mind every surgeon charges different fees. Another friend of mine had the lapband done with a different surgeon from CBS but paid closer to $13K. I think when they assess you to give you a quote, they assess how much of a health risk you have and that may go into consideration for their pricing as well, so keep that in mind. Get quotes but more importantly find a surgeon that you're comfortable with because you're going to be in this for the long haul and you don't want to be stuck with some jerkoff.

Finally I got the surgery on the 9th of November and that was frigging nerve wracking! I was just so freaked out because I've never had surgery and I just wanted to bail. My husband was with me which helped ease the stress but then they wheeled me to the pre op area and I was alone with my thoughts shittingggggg myself. Finally got into the operating theatre and 30 or so minutes later they were finished with the operation. I didn't wake up until a couple of hours later and even then I was still out of it. I couldn't stay awake. I slept pretty much through to the next day and then slept most of that day too haha but it all depends on how well you react to the anaesthetic. My friend was completely awake from after she woke up and went back to work 3 days after surgery whereas I was out of it for quite some time, but more on that in the next blog. The time the surgery takes isn't long, its all just how you react to it. We arrived at the hospital at 6.30am, went in for the surgery at about 9.30-10am and left the hospital at about 3.30-4pm but it just varies person to person. Once you can sip some water and you're not vomiting or anything like that, you're free to go.

I think I covered everything thats involved in pre op but if i missed anything, just let me know :)

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