WLS Center E-Newsletter
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Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
I was speaking in Wichita Falls, TX at the beginning of May, I had
the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Kenneth Warnock. He made a
comment to me that I have thought of often ever since. He told
me that he makes sure that his patients know that no matter how
well or poorly they do after surgery, he still loves them. That
touched me. We need more Dr. Warnockís because a lot of us have a
rough time with this surgery over the long term, and we need to
know that someone still loves us. For those of you going through
rough times at the moment, I hope the article on dealing with
those times will help you.
In This Issue
* Program Fees
* Telephone Seminar on Exercise Ė Register Now
* American Society for Bariatric Surgery
* Research Article: Getting Help
* Follow Up on Water
* Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookies
* How Do You Maintain Your Weight Loss
* Spreading the Word in Michigan, Wisconsin, New York and Las Vegas
I received the following question from
Christina Lee from San Antonio, TX who has agreed to have this in
I love your website!! I recently called a bariatric surgeon's
office to inquire and set up an appointment for the surgery. My
insurance paid 100% but this office told me there would be one
thousand dollars in "program fees" that would not be covered, five
hundred at the time of the decision for surgery and right before
it. If the surgery is supposed to be fully covered, how can they
charge these extra fees?
We all think of our surgeons as those who have saved our lives.
And for the most part that is true. However, aside from bariatric
surgery being a profession, a passion and a calling, it is also a
business. While your insurance company may be paying 100%, many
insurance companies are paying 100% of a very low fee because the
insurance company negotiates the fee
they will pay with the hospital. There are some surgeons who are
receiving $1700 to perform the surgery. With that $1700 the
surgeon must cover malpractice insurance, a staff, office rent,
all of your office visits, their time reviewing your case, meeting
with patients who get scared off and never have the surgery, study
to keep up with their profession, taking emergency calls from post
op patients, perhaps pay off medical school bills, and a host of
other activities that we might not consider.
After all of this, they must still make a
There is continuing pressure for every
surgeon who performs bariatric surgery to have a
complete aftercare program,
especially in light of the new Centers of Excellence concept. Many
insurance companies will allow patients to have their surgery
performed only by surgeons who have such a program and good
outcomes. But insurance companies do not reflect these
requirements in the reimbursement that they pay.
The insurance companies are paying only for the
surgery, not for the aftercare that is essential for a successful
weight loss. No one does
this for free, so in your case, you have to pay athe
portion of what
the insurance company does not.
If you have ever had your gall bladder out,
you go to the hospital, have your gall bladder out, have maybe one
follow up appointment and you are done. Weight loss surgery is
obviously not the same. There are so many questions to be
answered. No one feels a need to buy a book like mine on gall
bladder surgery or to go to support group meetings with other gall
bladder patients. We have so many questions to be answered. This
whole process costs someone.
In general, this problem is not the fault of
your surgeon, but a problem with your insurance company that may
not be providing adequate reimbursement. I don't recommend
necessarily shopping around for a surgeon that doesn't charge for
a program. That other surgeon who doesnít charge just might not
have a program at all. And one of the ways of being very
successful with this surgery is to participate in all that the
program has to offer.
The paying of program fees is not very
common, but it does happen. I would very much like to hear from
other patients and their opinions of program fees and how
widespread this is.
You Canít Reach Goal without It
Barbara Thompson Interviews Exercise Guru, Jon Gestl
Wednesday June 23rd, 2004, 8:00 PM Eastern Time
I receive so many emails from people who are
concerned because they are gaining weight. It is very scary after
going through so much to get thin. So in planning my next
telephone seminar, I wanted to address this vital topic by approaching
it through exercise. Exercise is such an important key to getting
to and maintaining your goal weight. But letís face it, very few
of us really enjoy exercising.
I am very excited to announce that my next
telephone seminar will be on exercise with Jon Gestl, a former US
National Sportsaerobic Champion who had his own negative issues
about exercise to overcome. We will cover issues as what to do if
you have hit a plateau, how to exercise if you have limited
mobility such as a bad back or are wheel chair bound, and how to
stay motivated to keep exercising. Jon has a lot of handouts for
you that you will be able to download that will give you
The last telephone seminar was so popular that 114
people signed up! That is quite a crowd to be on a line and
asking questions. This time we will have an operator to field
questions so that none of us will be bothered by any background
If you are really serious about wanting to do
your best with your surgery, you wonít want to miss this fabulous
Click here for more information and to register:
Office Will Be Closed!
Our office will be closed from Friday June 11th
until Friday June 18th. We will be attending the
annual meeting of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery in
San Diego, CA. You will still be able to order online, but the
orders will not be filled until our return on the 18th.
So get you orders in early.
I hope to come back with updated information
and if you will be attending the meeting, I hope to see you
there! Our Exhibit booth is # 333.
Sometimes our very best plans get derailed because stuff happens.
I was en-route to Grand Rapids, MI to speak for Dr. Scholtenís
practice and the hard drive in my laptop died. That meant I didnít
have my presentation which is really good and really funny and I
was speaking in front of 260 people.
I tried not to panic and I
asked for help, and those I asked for help came through for me. My
husband was able to email the slides to Terri Martintette from US
Surgical who brought them to me. And eventually it all worked out.
But there were many scary moments in between.
Life provides us with many lessons and humbles us in so many
ways. Despite our best plans and efforts, things donít always work
out as we expect. This may relate to your weight loss at this
point in time. It may not be what you hoped. Or you may have hit
your goal and are now regaining weight. The lifeís lesson that I
just went through may help you.
You have a problem, youíre not perfect and life is
messy. And most important of all, you havenít failed until you
decide to give up. You are just being challenged. Believe in
yourself that you can find a solution to anything. You got this
far, didnít you?
Ask for help
We are not meant to figure out everything
ourselves, especially when it comes to obesity. This is a
worldwide problem that no one seems to be able to totally solve.
This surgery has given us a
tremendous tool but some
people have tools
that work better and more efficiently than others.
Go, please go. There is no better way (besides this twice
monthly newsletter!) to remind you that you are not alone. Your
problems are shared by so many others. Fellow support group
members can lessen your burden by providing you with inspiration,
encouragement, and tips on what has worked for them. If you donít
have a support group, try
http://groups.yahoo.com and join OSSG, the Obesity Surgery
Support Group. This will give you the online version. It is
important to stay in touch with those in similar situations
Some are better than others in helping you to deal with your
concerns, but definitely speak with your surgeon about any
challenges that you are having.
Many insurance plans cover psychological counseling. Your
difficulties may center on eating issues that you might not even
be aware of that are causing you to sabotage your own efforts.
Try these tips and see if they help you to get back on track.
And keep believing that you can do it!
Follow up on Water
In the May 1st e-newsletter, I
continued an article on water and suggested a taste test contest
using the different kinds of water. Thanks to Jen Busard for letting
us know how her support group did.
I made the survey a little harder. I had 4 kinds of bottled water
(spring water, municipal water, artesian water and tap water). Then
I had our support group guess which one was which. They didn't do
too badly. There were 13 members who participated, and 5 of them
guessed correctly. The others were very close. Their favorite kind
of water was spring water. The support group thought this was fun
"Weight No More" Bariatric Support Group
Peanut Butter Cookies
Thanks so much to Bobbie Bradshaw at the
Shepard Air Force Base, TX for contributing this recipe. This is a
recipe for cookies that we eat only once in a great while. But for
those rare times when we do eat cookies, this is a good recipe.
I have this recipe that I created from a recipe that originally
called for sugar. They just melt in your
mouth - it is pretty amazing that it does not call for
flour. Everyone that has tried the cookies loves them. Even
those who usually don't like "diet"
anything. It really helps with the protein.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup of peanut butter (plain or crunchy)
1 cup of Splenda
Mix these ingredients. Put some Splenda on a
plate. Drop by spoonfuls into the Splenda and roll the cookies
around. Place the cookies on baking sheet and use a fork to cris
cross the cookies. Bake them at 375 degrees for 8 to10 minutes.
Makes 16 Cookies - 4 grams of protein per cookie.
If you have a recipe that you would like to
share in a future issue of this newsletter,
please send it to me at
How Do You Maintain Your Weight Loss?
More Success Stories Needed for My
Are you 2 or more years post-op? If so, I need
to know what your secret is for maintaining your weight. I will be
using your story in my next book on maintaining
your weight loss long term. You must write at least 1 full page. Anything
less than 1 page will not be useable. I also need your before and
after pictures sent via email. I need to know how you eat, what you
do for exercise, and any tips that you have to offer. This will be a
tremendous help to people who are having the common problem of
weight gain following surgery, or are struggling to maintain their
Send your stories to
You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or
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from Barbara Thompsonís free e-newsletter featuring helpful
information and research material to help patients succeed following
weight loss surgery.
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