I have been approved for an essentially free gastric bypass surgery (Roux en-Y), but the extensive surgery/recovery scares me and I would much rather have Lap Band surgery. That won't be covered by my insurance so I'd be paying about $15,000. Can you help me evaluate my options? And personal experience with either surgery would be great.
I live in Ontario, Canada and our health insurance (OHIP) covers Roux en-Y
but no other weight loss surgeries (from what I understand). My doctor was unaware of this and submitted a referral for Lap Band surgery
, which she felt was the right option for me. I'm fuzzy on exactly what happened, but her request was processed as if she had submitted a request for Roux en-Y instead, which I did not realize until yesterday when I went for the surgery orientation. I'm not under any obligation to proceed with the surgery, but I am
approved and maybe six months into a 12-18 month process. In an ideal world (for me), OHIP would cover Lap Band surgery, which is minimally invasive and comes with a much shorter recovery time than Roux en-Y. Since the Lap Band surgery is not covered I'd be paying about $15,000 out of pocket for the procedure. (I have that money, but it's also a substantial sum for me -- certainly not chump change.)
Basically I am wondering if: it is worth it to spend $15,000 of my own money for a Lap Band surgery, or if I should proceed with the much more extensive/substantial Roux en-Y which will carry very minor out of pocket costs. I am worried about the recovery time of the Roux en-Y (the surgeon suggests taking a full month off of work after the surgery) plus the lifelong malabsorption of vitamins/minerals, the higher likelihood of complications, etc etc. My primary goal is to weigh less and be healthier (and of course I understand that the two aren't synonymous).
I am 31, 5' 4" and I weigh 230 pounds. I lost a large amount of weight 6-7 years ago but have since gained it back. It's okay to make alternative suggestions but please keep in mind that I'm asking for information about these two surgeries, not information about how easy it is to eat less/move more.