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Va And Lap Band Surgery

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What are the odds of getting lap band surgery at VA?

I would like to consider it for me. I have diabetes and since getting good control of Diabetes my weight is close to 300 lbs. I think it could help diabetes, depression wieight, sleep apnea and other medical problems.

I am also service connected for flat feet and I have neuropathy and take a lot of medication. I am 62 and would like to live to see my grand children marry and have kids.

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Pete, I don't know if all the Med Centers offer this surgery. Bay Pines in St. Pete was doing them about two years ago.They had very strict requirements to be a candidate. You had to be referred by your PCP, and have a psychological exam. Also you have to had tried multiple weight loss strategies,( if you are like most of us you won't have a problem with this one)I have done lots of research on bariatric surgery, and the experts seem to believe that it is a really valuable tool for folks with diseases that are exacerbated or made worse by being overweight. You might want to call your closest VMAC to see if they offer it.

Take care of yourself and the grands!


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I think if would be worth a try. You would want a doctor to write a statement saying that your weight was a serious threat to your life and that if you did not get the surgery you would have a premature death. If the your VA primary care doctor would weigh in on this and say something similar it might help. I am just guessing because I have never heard of the VA doing something like lapband surgery. You know that they are going to try and tell you that you should handle it with diet and exercise. It might be easier through medicare but I don't know if medicare would pay. It seems like they should if it is a life threatening condition. I think I would call medicare and find out if they might do it. I bet the weight lose would really help your feet. I gained some weight and I found that the weight gain made my feet much worse. I think the terms "morbid obesity" would be the key to getting the surgery and getting medicare or the VA to pay.

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Pearl and John:

I really appreciate your feedback and kindness. I am digging into this as I think that if I go ahead and do this I probably will have a better quality and longer life. Even my wife wants me to do this and she is a dietician.

I was really down about gainig 40 lbs after working so hard to get better control of diabetes. When I weiged 250/260 even though overweight I could still buy clothes off the rack and I had a lot more energy.

Reasons I want it is to better manage by diabetes, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, flat feet, high blood pressure and probably a few other things I am overlooking.


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Pete, my wife had that procedure done and as I suspected she has started gaining her weight back after an initial loss. She has an eating disorder that can't be solved by surgery unless it is a connection of the esophagus to the anus.

The small pouch that is constructed by the sugery can be expanded with a little effort until you get back to a large pouch. She can now out eat me.

I said before the operation and will continue to say that a person has to deal with the reason for overeating through therapy or other alternative procedure.

This procedure will only work for those folks who really want to lose weight and don't over eat but still can't lose. If it is expected that the operation will force one to eat less it will only work for a short time.

Hope this helps. My suggestion would be to see if your eating habits can be altered before resorting to surgery...

Edited by Moe

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