In This Issue
* Is Revision Surgery Covered?
* Thoughts for the New Year
* Recipe: Shrimp and Corn Chowder
Story: Linda Luessenhop
Is Revision Surgery Covered?
I just turned 67 and am having a problem of regaining my weight. I
had gastric bypass surgery 6 ½ years ago, and have kept my weight
around 170 lbs. for that length of time. I am 5’7” tall. In the
past months due to health problems and family situations, I have put
on 25 lbs and am so afraid of regaining all of the weight. I
believe you mentioned retightening the pouch. Would this be covered
by Medicare, or am I on my own? Any help you could give me would be
so appreciated. I have all your materials, books etc.
Medicare does cover the procedure in which a lap band is placed
around the pouch to tighten it up. This is the most effective
revision surgery to date. However, Medicare will only pay for the
surgery if you are morbidly obese.
At 5’7” tall and 195 lbs., your BMI is 30.5
which just puts you in the obese category. Your weight would have to
be 260 lbs. for the revision to be covered by Medicare. At that
weight you would be morbidly obese.
Revision surgery is viewed the same way as
weight loss surgery. It is a medical procedure not a cosmetic
one, so insurance companies and Medicare won’t cover a procedure
unless you are morbidly obese.
The cost of having a lap band placed around the
pouch would cost about $15,000 to $20,000. The fear in self-pay is
always what happens if something goes wrong. You can easily go
bankrupt having to pay for hospital treatment and a hospital stay
when you are paying for it on your own if you have a complication.
There is an insurance company called BlisCare Protection
http://bliscompany.com/ that will cover insurance for
certain surgeons who do weight loss surgery. You have to pay
for the insurance that will cover your treatment if anything goes
wrong, but they will insure only certain doctors. That is
something that you may want to look into, if you self-pay for a
Thoughts for the New Year
On the Back on Track with Barbara Program,
there is a forum in which we talk about our successes and struggles.
Recently, in light of the New Year, we have started to talk about goal
setting. The following is a post that was so outstanding, that I asked
the member for permission to publish it here for all of you.
I've historically been a very poor keeper of New Year's resolutions;
however, the changing of the seasons is something that resonates with
me. I find that setting my goals by the season works much better for
me. I can tell myself, "Hey, Self, it's just for three months!! You
can do that with your eyes closed!!" This makes it seem more doable
than looking at it for a whole year.
These are my goals for the Winter of 2009-2010.
Come the Vernal Equinox, I will review them and adjust as needed. As
it's been almost four weeks since I set these goals, I'm making notes
for myself showing how I'm doing.
1. Drink four quarts of fluids each day (I know
this sounds like a lot, but it seems to be what my body needs). Notes:
Meeting my goal almost every day.
2. Eat or drink 60 grams of protein per day in
supplements in addition to food. Notes: Getting better. Not 100% yet
but really close.
3. Continue journaling and expand it to include
some ideas and ramblings to keep it fresh. Notes: Getting better. It
4. Stop eating empty carbs and focus on protein
and vegetables. Notes: Improving - still a work in progress.
5. Exercise for a minimum of 1/2 hour five days
per week and log at least 2500 steps. Notes: Steps-pretty good.
6. Take at least two personal enrichment adult
education classes this winter. Notes: Just signed up for three classes
one of which is NIA* for exercise. This is dual purpose - it helps me
meet two of my goals.
7. Find one more opportunity to volunteer my time
to something that I feel is important. Notes: Still considering various
options and deciding where I want to volunteer.
8. Lose the other 10 lbs. of regain (lost 10 lbs.
during the Fall). Once back at goal, maintain my 5 lb. limit
faithfully. Notes: As of this morning, 4 lbs. gone; 6 lbs. to go.
You will see that my list includes some things
other than just weight-related goals. As Barbara said when I posted my
list to the group earlier, "We all need a balanced life. Sometimes I
think we can get too focused on our weight. Then when things go a
little wrong we are so devastated." That is so very true. When we also
concentrate on other aspects of our lives, though, it's easier to
remember that the weight issues are just a very small part of who we
are and what we are, so we can keep them in perspective.
Vivian in Cold Wyoming
* For information on NIA go to
Calling All Long Term Post-Ops
your surgery 9 or more years ago?
If so please drop me an email.
Shrimp and Corn Chowder
This is a great Southern dish perfect for these cold winter days.
2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 ounces baked ham, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
¾ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ cups chicken broth, defatted
¾ teaspoon dried tarragon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pound large shrimp, shelled, deveined, and halved crosswise
1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels
1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat the broiler. Place the bell pepper halves, cut-side down
on the broiler rack. Broil the peppers 4 inches from the heat for 12
minutes, or until the skin is blackened. When the peppers are cool
enough to handle, peel them and cut into ½ -inch squares. This can also
be done a day or two in advance and refrigerated in a covered container.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the oil until
hot, but not smoking, over medium heat. Add the ham and scallions and
cook, stirring occasionally, until the scallions are softened, about 2
minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, stirring until well coated. Add the
broth, 1 cup of water, the tarragon, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg and
bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the
sweet potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes.
Add the shrimp, corn, milk, and roasted bell peppers. Cover and
simmer until the shrimp are just opaque, about 3 minutes. Bring to a
boil; add the cornstarch mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, until
slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Makes 4 servings
310 calories, 6 grams fat, 37 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams protein
Please note that apart from the 2 teaspoons of
cornstarch that is used to thicken this chowder, all carbohydrates are
good carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates that cause our blood sugar
level to spike (sweets, white potatoes, white rice, pastas, etc) are to
be avoided. However good carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits,
vegetables, and legumes are good for us and are needed in our diet.
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of
this newsletter, please send it to me at
I want to offer Linda Luessenhop
special thanks for sharing her success with us. Here is her
My name is Linda Luessenhop, I had gastric bypass surgery on
June 26, 2008. It was performed by Dr. Yves Manigat at Our
Lady of Lourdes Hospital in New Jersey.
I suffered from an underactive thyroid
and severe sleep apnea for many years. I was a good eater,
always trying to eat the right foods, drinking lots of water
and exercising. However, the weight kept piling on
regardless of what I tried. It became harder to exercise as
I gained weight.
I felt unattractive and had very low
self-esteem. Although my husband, John, was very supportive
of me regardless of my weight, I had a very hard time
understanding how he could be happy with me, when I was not
happy with myself. I had back aches. I tired easily. I had
leg pain, and became out of breath quickly. My knees hurt
all the time. I could never wear high heels. I knew it was
time to do something, and I knew I should have done it many
Dr. Manigat gave me a new life. I have
gone from a size 24 to a size 5. I can play with my
grandchildren, and enjoy life. I could never begin to thank
Dr. Manigat for what he has given me. He has given me my
life back. I know that my husband is happier, mostly because
of how much happier I am. However, I have no doubt that he
is happier because of how I look too, although I know he
would never admit that. I know he loves me unconditionally.
I would do it all over again in a
heartbeat. I feel as though I have been given a second
chance at a new life, and I plan to enjoy it. Life is too
short and too precious not to enjoy it. I'm wearing my spike
heels again, and loving life.
Thank you so much.
Linda L. Luessenhop
of success stories is still low.
support this newsletter by sending your story.
If you have reached your goal weight (or close to
it), you have a success story to tell. Be proud of
your wonderful achievement and let the world celebrate
If you are one of the many support group leaders who
use my newsletters in your discussion groups, please
encourage your members to submit their stories.
Send your success story with before and after photo
files to me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com and I will include your story
in a future newsletter.
If you need help with the photo files, contact
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