I just saw our first laparoscopic loop duodenal switch patient (surgery in November, 2013) for his ~6 month post op visit. He not only went from 256 lbs to 206 lbs in 6 months, but he has been off all three of his diabetes medications (including insulin- which he had been on for many years) and all blood pressure medications since 9 days after surgery!
I am so excited to be able to provide this outstanding procedure for the management of diabetes, obesity, and all the other medical problems associated with weight.
Thank you to him (no names due to confidentiality) and his family for trusting me to perform the first duodenal switch in Colorado on him back in 2013.
In addition to the many other DS cases we have subsequently performed, we have already done 3 duodenal switches this week alone at Rose Medical Center, and patients are now coming from all over the U.S. to undergo this incredibly effective and safe procedure.
To your health!
We began performing the Duodenal Switch in 2013 for the surgical treatment of resistant type 2 diabetes mellitus. Since then, patients have been coming from all over the U.S. to have the procedure, not just to manage their diabetes, but because of the outstanding long-term weight loss associated with the DS.
Yesterday, June 17th, 2014, Fox 31 came to Rose Medical Center to film one of our surgeries. They interviewed our outstanding patient (who has a significant family history of diabetes), they interviewed me, and they were in the operating room for the procedure.
Shaul Turner, a fantastic journalist from Fox 31, is interested in following our patient over her weight loss journey, and doing an extended story to chronicle her progress.
I would like to thank Ms. Turner, Justin the Videographer, Rose Medical Center, our Team, and, most importantly, our amazing patient (who will remain nameless for confidentiality issues at this time), who graciously agreed to have her story told to the world!
Thank you, everyone, for helping bring the Duodenal Switch to Colorado, and for giving our patients a potential tool to beat diabetes and obesity!
Bariatric Surgery Is Not a Covered Benefit For Colorado
Last month I attended my local Medical Society’s meeting in Denver. The title of the meeting was, “The New Insurance Exchange—What Physicians Need to Know.” Representatives from Connect for Health Colorado, the CO Division of Insurance, and Denver Public Health were on the panel to help explain how the insurance coverage under the Affordable Health Care Act will work, and how it will affect physician practices and health plan contracts.
During the Q&A session I relayed a question from one of my patients to the panel: “Which plan on the exchange covers bariatric surgery?” According to one of the panel members, “This is not a platinum insurance program. If someone wants that kind of plan, they can purchase it outside the exchange.”
With the rising incidence of obesity, and new evidence showing that Bariatric Surgery (gastric bypass, duodenal switch, sleeve gastrectomy, and lap banding surgery) has the potential to improve or even cure diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and heart disease, it seems odd that our state-funded health insurance does not cover such a vital service. Medicare and Medicaid cover bariatric surgery, as do most of the commercially available plans offered through large corporations.
The Colorado Insurance Exchange ostensibly exists to fill the gaps for patients that have previously been uninsured. These Coloradoans, statistically, have a higher incidence of diabetes and the other health problems listed above. So why doesn’t the Exchange cover these life-saving procedures?