Lap Band – Final Steps?

May 14, 2008

This morning I went to the Centerpoint Hospital in Independence, MO to have an EGD performed at the request of my insurer, Coventry of Kansas. The idea was to use the EGD to spot any “anatomical problems” in my upper GI tract prior to having the stomach banded.

The procedure is fairly simple. All I had to do was take off my shirt and put on a standard hospital gown, then the nurse got all of my vital signs and started an IV in my arm. This was the part that I was dreading…my veins are somewhat recalcitrant, and they don’t always pop to the surface with enthusiasm. Luckily no re-sticking was required, but I did have to sit in the prep room for around a half-hour watching The Price is Right before I was wheeled into the exam room.

Once there the Doctor explained what would be happening. Basically they would be injecting a strong sedative into my IV and checking with me over the next couple of minutes until I was pretty much out, and then they would proceed with sending a scope down my esophagus to take a look-see. The sedative included an amnesia-inducing effect, so much of my memory of the actual procedure is very hazy at best. I do recall being given oxygen and having the plastic guard placed in my mouth, and I do recall them putting the actual probe in my mouth and throat. I recall having to think a little about breathing through my nose, but the next thing I really remember was being in the recovery room and my wife joining me shortly thereafter.

After about 30 minutes in the recovery room, they unhooked all the monitors and IV and let me try standing up after having a glass of juice. I was a little woozy, but that was pretty much it. Jen drove me home and I’ve been pretty much just napping for the rest of the afternoon.

All of the tests and consultations that the insurance requested in this last round of coverage notifications have been positive – cardiac, pulmonary and now the EGD. All the results will be going back to my primary care physician, who will then get them to the surgeon so she can proceed with getting the approval from Coventry.

I did want to make a note here – while Coventry of Kansas HMO does cover the lap band surgery in general, it is completely up to the individual employer as to whether they include that provision in the policy selection they provide to their employees. We’re very fortunate that Jen works for the State of Missouri – their coverage is excellent, and to be honest if I had managed to find an in-network provider that would do the procedure with my current BMI where it is at I could have had this done a long time ago. So my hope is that I can have this procedure approved by Memorial Day, God willing. Once it’s approved I just need 10 days for the low-sugar liquid diet and then…bam!