Issue #181 January 15, 2010

Share this Newsletter

In This Issue

* Is Revision Surgery Covered?
* Thoughts for the New Year
* Recipe: Shrimp and Corn Chowder 
* Success Story: Linda Luessenhop

Is Revision Surgery Covered?

Dear Barbara,
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.

Linda Forester

Dear Linda,
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  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 revision.


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.

Dear Barbara,
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 takes time.

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. Exercise-very poor-struggling.

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

Back on Track with Barbara

Internet Mentoring Program

Are you:

Suffering from emotional eating and can’t stop?
Grazing on carbohydrates and can’t control it?
Lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Feel you don’t know what to do now that you have had surgery?
Dying to be in better shape`?

 Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet
Mentoring Program is just what you need!


View a FREE Lesson and Listen to a FREE Telephone Seminar by
clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

Calling All Long Term Post-Ops

Was your surgery 9 or more years ago?

If so please drop me an email.

  Shrimp and Corn Chowder

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


1.      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.

2.      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.

3.      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

Nutritional Information
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

Success Story:
  Linda Luessenhop

I want to offer Linda Luessenhop special thanks for sharing her success with us. Here is her story:

Dear Barbara, 
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 years ago.

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

Congratulations Linda

My supply of success stories is still low.

Please 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 with you.

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 and I will include your story in a future newsletter.

If you need help with the photo files, contact


  Search Barbara's Website
Custom Search
Permission to Reprint
You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

Reprinted from Barbara Thompson’s free newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
Subscribe at  ”

Subscription Corner

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Would you like to receive your own copy?

It's simple! Just go to  and scroll down to the subscription form.

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to your friends and family and have them subscribe to receive their own copy.

Do you want to unsubscribe? Go to the bottom of this email and click the unsubscribe link.  You will be automatically deleted.

If you have any problems with this process,
call our office toll free at (877) 440-1518.

Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved