Ranting & Raving & Seeking Advice

Posted by Sherry , Monday, May 3, 2010 Monday, May 03, 2010

Banded Friends, I need some advice.

I just called my doctor's office today to schedule a fill. This will be my first one as at my 4 week post-op visit I was told that my barium swallow showed my band to be offering 'perfect' restriction. I knew I was feeling hungry but figured they were the experts and I'd see what happened.

I was told to come back in a month to reevaluate and possibly get a fill. This made me nervous as I could see that my ability to 'pack it in' was growing stronger every day and I expressed as much to P.A., Brett.

Brett's last words to me as I left his office two weeks ago were “If you are able to eat 6 ounces of medium-well steak at one sitting, give me a call and we'll get you a fill.”

So since that visit, I've done eat'n them 6 oz of medium well steak TWICE. And usually with some vegetable. And I'm still hungry less than three hours later. Even a rookie Bandster knows that means its fill time.

I call today and am told the first available appointment is in FOUR WEEKS. Yeah. Um, nope. I refuse to rely on my willpower for the next four weeks. I sure as hell didn't pay $27,000 to gain back the 15 pounds I've lost. I threw a ROYAL FIT (as only I can do) and convinced the receptionist to put me in as a 'double booking' knowing I'd probably have to wait awhile.

I asked the receptionist if this was normal and she said "Well, the idea is to make your next fill appointment before you leave the office after each fill." Obviously this woman does not have a band or she would know that makes NO SENSE AT ALL. How the hell can I know if a month from now I will need a fill or not?

So, my questions are as follows:

1.Is this a normal wait time? Seems obnoxious to me.
2.Is there a way to just find a 'fill' doctor? How would I go about this?

I'm floored and pissed and feel taken advantage of. If I'd known this was going to be the case – that they are just "SO busy!” and need me to know in advance what my hunger level will be, I probably would not have chosen this practice to begin with. And you can better believe I'm going to tell them this on Friday.

Ok, rant over. Deep breaths.

18 Response to "Ranting & Raving & Seeking Advice"

Angie Says:

At my place in the beginning they'd encourage us to make appointments for once a month or so and then cancel if we didn't need them, so at least we had the spot. That certainly is frustrating!

tessierose Says:

That sucks. The receptionist at my Doc's office told me when she made my first appointment that I should just make my next fill appointment for 4 weeks after my first one and that if I don't need it, just cancel that way I'll keep myself on the schedule. I hope it works out for you.

amandakiska Says:

My fill doc makes appointments two to three days in advance. She is not associated with my surgeon in any way. There are also Fill Center USA offices that do fills in various locations around the country. I've never used them, but I've never heard anything bad. I think you did the right thing and I guess if you keep using this place, you'll know to schedule an appointment before you leave their office.

Gilly Says:

Call and tell them that you want any cancellation they have. And then take Angie's advice. I never leave our clinic without another fill appointment already made.

Stephanie Says:

It's been my experience that before I leave the office, they make an appointment for me 1 month out, either as just a follow up or a fill as needed. My office isn't super busy all the time so if i need a fill, they can usually squeeze me in on a short notice...

Sherry Says:

Thanks ladies -- follow up though -- so you basically schedule an appointment for every month of your life until you hit your sweet spot? Its kinda hard for me to do that when I have to find a sitter and more importantly -- I've never ever waited less than an hour to be seen there. Its like taking three hours out of every month just for a 20 second fill. seems excessive.

Gen Says:

Keep calling and bugging them. Explain again the situation, and say you did not know you were supposed to make an appt before you left the last one.

I totally agree with you, this is way wrong and you should not have to wait 4 weeks. Last time I called my office I got the same thing...4 weeks!.....Then I called a few more times until I got an earlier date (which I eventually canceled, but at least I had it if I needed it!)

Amy Says:

My office is pretty much the same way. It SUCKS. So, yes, I schedule an appointment as I am leaving. So far, I've not needed to cancel it. And I understand the time issue. I have to drive 1.5 hours each way to my appointment, so it's a solid 4-5 hours each time. Sigh. I can't wait to hit restriction and stay there for a (long) while!

Jenny Says:

Before my surgery my doctor mapped out all of my appointments for the year. They don't seem too terribly busy when I go in so I usually don't wait too long. I'm lucky, I know. I think 4-6wks is the average for needing a fill. Especially in the beginning, my doc said you can lose restriction quickly.

Drazil Says:

Okay - I realize I don't have a band but that just plain sucks. Where is their empathy and compassion for you?? Keep us posted and yes - you tell them like it is when you see them - or I'm sending Draz and the pimps after them.

Cindylew Says:

Check out Fill Centers USA. They have locations all over the country to help people in your situation and those who have their surgery abroad.
The only drawback is they don't take insurance of any kind and I believe the cost of a fill is almost $400.
I had surgery at Temple University Hospital (in Philly) and it's a mess every time I have to drive into center city for an appt. I'm only a week out of surgery so haven't yet made the decision as to where I'll get my fills...Temple, or my closest Fill Center location about 13 miles away.

Marie Says:

That sucks to wait. I've only had one fill but I through a hissy when they said they do fills very 6 weeks. I said if I needed a fill I wasn't going to wait 6 weeks. Especially in the beginning. So they scheduled me at 5 and said I could come in earlier if I needed to. Now mind you I haven't tried to call last minute so I'm not sure if I could get in. But he doesn't seem excessively busy so we'll see. Good luck!!

Girl Bandit Says:

Yep...not good enough that they didn't tell you this...good on you for standing up for yourself. I knew my place did monthly appts but when i went to book them I could never get a time that suited me. My clinic is 1 hr and 10 mins away so a 2.5 hr trip...I work 2 days and study another and they have really stupid clinic times. So I booked my appts months ahead to suit me. I am currently booked up till I leave for chicago in Sept....this works for me as I get an appt time that suits me. I felt super angry about it first time and felt like you that they had my money and where was the after care??? You know...the most important bit but now all is great. Hope you can work something out

Camille Says:

I'm sorry. This really sucks. I would look at alternatives, but you already paid for your follow up appointments and probably don't want to pay twice. Do you have a regular doctor that could call and schedule for you. Sometimes that will make them fit you in. I'm just brainstorming. Good luck!

Southern Belle Says:

Sherry, I would call them every day until they got me in on a cancellation. At my surgeon's office I do make an appointment for 3 weeks after my fill, if I don't need it I cancel but I always make another appt so I am on the books. Plus if you book ahead (after this fill) you can schedule that sitter well in advance and have the afternoon to spend doing "mommy free time!!"

Linda Says:

Sherry - It took me a long time to get restriction, so I've had lots a fill appointments. While you're still trying to reach the green zone make them every month or three weeks. Once you reach your sweet spot then you can make them as you need them. One trick I used was that I had my NP's contact info and once when I desperate and they told me it would be 2 weeks I contacted her directly and she had them squeeze me in some of her free time. It pays to makes friends with the staff. Good luck!

Janelle Says:

I call my doctor when I want a fill and can get in within a couple days. I got my band in Mexico, so my fill doctor is not associated with my surgeon at all. I am sure there are other places to get fills but I am not sure how to find them besides maybe googling it. I got a referral from my surgeon for this doctor because everyone said she was really good (and she is) so it was easy for me to find one. Good luck and I hope that somehow you get in before 4 weeks... I know how awful it is to wait for a fill (my doctor was stuck in Europe for awhile when it was time for my second fill!)

Jacquie Says:

Crap! I cannot believe if their process is to make the appt. 4 weeks ahead at each appt. they DIDN'T TELL YOU! Unbelievable. I guess you'll just have to make these appts. at the time of your appt and cancel if you don't need it at the time.

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