Jump to content

On Her Weigh - June 24, 2007


Recommended Posts

June 24, 2007

On Her Weigh

Lisa Manger takes first step in journey to shed pounds

By ANNE GEGGIS

Staff Writer The News-Journal is following the story of Lisa Manger, who had Lap-Band surgery to help her lose weight. This is the third in an occasional series.Weighty matters had been propelling Lisa Manger onto her scale almost daily since a surgical procedure May 30 made her stomach 90 percent smaller -- so the first official weigh-in was anticlimactic for her.

But for Diane Allen, who's been supporting Manger ever since she started trying to reduce nearly 18 months ago, the scale's unblinking 318.4 -- showing a total of 12 pounds lost -- set off Allen's cheers, which Manger joined in on.

"Wonderful," said Allen, a dietician at Halifax Medical Center's Weight Management program who monitors dieting patients, describing Manger's progress.

Two weeks after her Lap-Band surgery, Manger, in fact, was at the top of her class. Among the first three patients to get the new procedure at the area's largest hospital, weight loss ranges from 8 pounds to Manger's 12.

It's only the first step on a long journey. Manger said she wants to reduce enough to get into a size 16 -- from her current 28-30 size. And then maintain that for life.

She had the surgery, she says, because previous diets have failed and she needs help getting to a weight that would allow her to join a profession that could require a lot of time on her feet: nursing.

The reversible, surgical alteration to her stomach size came from having a Lap-Band implanted in her stomach. The band's constricting powers mean that it takes less food to fill her up. But the surgery has its costs and risks -- and the aftermath basically requires patients to give up normal eating habits.

As she waited to be wheeled into the operating room last month, Manger was philosophical.

"I might as well get food out of my head -- I'm not going to have any for a long time," she said.

A growing army of morbidly obese Americans is seeking bariatric surgery to solve a condition that a 2003 study for the Centers for Disease Control says accounts for 9.1 percent of the nation's health care costs. The 177,600 bariatric surgeries done in 2006 represent nearly a 1,000 percent increase in the surgery since it was introduced in 1992, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Bariatric surgery, when it was first introduced, was known as gastric bypass, in which the stomach and intestines were permanently altered. Celebrities such as Roseanne Barr, Carnie Wilson, Al Roker, and Sharon Osborne have joined the parade of those who shaped up through surgery.

The Food and Drug Administration in 2001 added the Lap-Band to the surgical options for those trying to find a way out of obesity. And it seems to be the more popular option in this area. While 76 have undergone gastric bypass since 2004 when Halifax Medical Center began offering it, Florida Hospital Memorial has already matched that number with Lap-Band in less than two years.

Industry projections show the Lap-Band is projected to grow from 15 percent of all bariatric surgery to account for 20 to 25 percent, while traditional gastric bypasses are projected to decrease or increase just slightly, said Dr. Neil Hutcher, past president of the metabolic and bariatric surgery society.

Some of the area's insurers haven't been so quick to follow along in covering Lap-Band surgery that costs about $16,000.

Medicare introduced its bariatric surgery coverage in November 2005 -- allowing the surgery at designated "centers of excellence" of which there are none in Volusia or Flagler counties. Most of Humana's group policies don't cover it, unless a special rider has been purchased. And Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida doesn't cover it either. A spokesman cited safety reasons.

Dr. Stephen Levine, who has performed 75 Lap-Band surgeries at Florida Hospital Ormond Memorial, said that about 50 percent of his patients have insurance for the surgery, a significant increase since he started the hospital's program.

Insurance companies' reluctance, he said, is easy to understand -- even though the surgery makes it less likely the patient will need costly treatment for diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure in the future.

"We know it will save money," he said. "But in all likelihood you will be with a different insurance company in a couple of years."

Manger, who works at a behavioral health facility, is grateful that the cost of the surgery isn't an issue for her. A $525 bariatric surgery fee is all that she had to pay, so far.

Within a few hours, she went from surgery to the recovery room to a hospital room for an overnight stay. She was up and walking around before evening.

"I feel like I've done a thousand sit-ups," she said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

June 24, 2007

On Her Weigh

Lisa Manger takes first step in journey to shed pounds

By ANNE GEGGIS

Staff Writer The News-Journal is following the story of Lisa Manger, who had Lap-Band surgery to help her lose weight. This is the third in an occasional series.Weighty matters had been propelling Lisa Manger onto her scale almost daily since a surgical procedure May 30 made her stomach 90 percent smaller -- so the first official weigh-in was anticlimactic for her.

But for Diane Allen, who's been supporting Manger ever since she started trying to reduce nearly 18 months ago, the scale's unblinking 318.4 -- showing a total of 12 pounds lost -- set off Allen's cheers, which Manger joined in on.

"Wonderful," said Allen, a dietician at Halifax Medical Center's Weight Management program who monitors dieting patients, describing Manger's progress.

Two weeks after her Lap-Band surgery, Manger, in fact, was at the top of her class. Among the first three patients to get the new procedure at the area's largest hospital, weight loss ranges from 8 pounds to Manger's 12.

It's only the first step on a long journey. Manger said she wants to reduce enough to get into a size 16 -- from her current 28-30 size. And then maintain that for life.

She had the surgery, she says, because previous diets have failed and she needs help getting to a weight that would allow her to join a profession that could require a lot of time on her feet: nursing.

The reversible, surgical alteration to her stomach size came from having a Lap-Band implanted in her stomach. The band's constricting powers mean that it takes less food to fill her up. But the surgery has its costs and risks -- and the aftermath basically requires patients to give up normal eating habits.

As she waited to be wheeled into the operating room last month, Manger was philosophical.

"I might as well get food out of my head -- I'm not going to have any for a long time," she said.

A growing army of morbidly obese Americans is seeking bariatric surgery to solve a condition that a 2003 study for the Centers for Disease Control says accounts for 9.1 percent of the nation's health care costs. The 177,600 bariatric surgeries done in 2006 represent nearly a 1,000 percent increase in the surgery since it was introduced in 1992, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Bariatric surgery, when it was first introduced, was known as gastric bypass, in which the stomach and intestines were permanently altered. Celebrities such as Roseanne Barr, Carnie Wilson, Al Roker, and Sharon Osborne have joined the parade of those who shaped up through surgery.

The Food and Drug Administration in 2001 added the Lap-Band to the surgical options for those trying to find a way out of obesity. And it seems to be the more popular option in this area. While 76 have undergone gastric bypass since 2004 when Halifax Medical Center began offering it, Florida Hospital Memorial has already matched that number with Lap-Band in less than two years.

Industry projections show the Lap-Band is projected to grow from 15 percent of all bariatric surgery to account for 20 to 25 percent, while traditional gastric bypasses are projected to decrease or increase just slightly, said Dr. Neil Hutcher, past president of the metabolic and bariatric surgery society.

Some of the area's insurers haven't been so quick to follow along in covering Lap-Band surgery that costs about $16,000.

Medicare introduced its bariatric surgery coverage in November 2005 -- allowing the surgery at designated "centers of excellence" of which there are none in Volusia or Flagler counties. Most of Humana's group policies don't cover it, unless a special rider has been purchased. And Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida doesn't cover it either. A spokesman cited safety reasons.

Dr. Stephen Levine, who has performed 75 Lap-Band surgeries at Florida Hospital Ormond Memorial, said that about 50 percent of his patients have insurance for the surgery, a significant increase since he started the hospital's program.

Insurance companies' reluctance, he said, is easy to understand -- even though the surgery makes it less likely the patient will need costly treatment for diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure in the future.

"We know it will save money," he said. "But in all likelihood you will be with a different insurance company in a couple of years."

Manger, who works at a behavioral health facility, is grateful that the cost of the surgery isn't an issue for her. A $525 bariatric surgery fee is all that she had to pay, so far.

Within a few hours, she went from surgery to the recovery room to a hospital room for an overnight stay. She was up and walking around before evening.

"I feel like I've done a thousand sit-ups," she said.

I can certainly relate to the THOUSAND SIT-UPS comment!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...