Stomach surgery: meeting the surgeon

Yesterday I had my appointment with Doctor Charles Mosse of Canberra Bariatric. After being weighed and my BMI calculated and filling in all my personal details, Doctor Mosse took me in to his office to start our “consultation”.

He pretty much just ran through everything I’d heard on Monday night – the pros and cons of each option, and the risks involved. Doctor Mosse went over my blood tests and said I should take some iron supplements. He also recommend I see their dietician to see if there was a way for me to lose weight without surgery. Um. Why did he think I was visiting him?

I paid $185 for him to tell me stuff I already knew and check my bloods to see that I was okay for surgery. Already I could tell this was going to be expensive.

After our brief catch up I was escorted to the receptionist, Sue, who booked me in to see Jason Levett, the dietician from Monday’s information session, in two weeks. I told Sue that I knew I wanted to do the surgery – regardless of Doctor Mosse recommendation to see the Dietician first. I didn’t want to wait another two weeks and risk the few surgery spots filling up. So Sue booked me in for the surgery on May 26th, with an appointment to get consent on the 15th. I have to start the Optifast diet on the 12th – but I think I’m going to start it a little earlier.

And then came the big blow, something I had suspected was coming, but hoped would not – the surgery is not covered by my health insurance fund. As I am not covered under the item number for the surgery and thus am not covered for the subsequent recovery hospital stay. With top level cover, I would have paid $8,000. Instead I’ll be paying $20,000.

Yep. $20,000.

That there is my home loan deposit, it’s two trips overseas. Also I have no money to start with… I have enough money to cover the $8,000 I was hoping it would cost me, but don’t have – and won’t be able to save – the extra $12,000 in time for my surgery.

Thankfully I live in Australia and there are options available to me – namely bank loans and the Early Release of Superannuation scheme. As I have a life threatening illness (morbid obesity) and the surgery is not performed in any public hospitals, I am a prime candidate for ERS. Canberra bariatric supplied me with a letter from the Doctor detailing the issue and as soon as I left the Canberra Bariatric office, I drove to my Doctor’s and had her fill in the Practitioner form. After I get my evidence of identification signed off, I’ll be sending off my application – hopefully on Monday.

As the ERS can take over six weeks, and I am six weeks out from the day I booked my surgery for – I am lucky to have no serious debts that will stop me from getting a quick personal loan that I can pay off once the ERS payment comes through (touch wood).

So, there ya go – yay for the date, boo for the cost. Such is life.

Stats:

My current weight is 120.3kg

My current dress size is 24

BMI: 46

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3 thoughts on “Stomach surgery: meeting the surgeon

  1. I am sorry for the cost you are facing and your less than ideal experience mate. My name is Barry and I am a 57 year old man from Cook in the ACT. I found Dr Charles Mosse General Surgeon in the ACT to be a very skilled and talented surgeon, excellent result with no scar tissue mate. His receptionist over in Bruce was in my opinion very difficult, she overreacted to problems, said ‘no’ and I was left in tears after dealing with her.

    1. I am Glen from Canberra. I had my surgery with Dr Gananadha (2013) at the Calvary hospital. I believe he shares a receptionist with Dr Mosse. I also found the receptionist at Dr Siva Gananadha and Dr Charles Mosse rooms upsetting. She is too caught up in detail and loses the big picture. She was inefficient,upsetting because she is too focused on detail. She cannot adjust to anything. Yes, $9,000 does sound like a fair bit to pay mate. Is there any way for you to reduce this cost mate? Too bad you felt like another face in the crowd. I hope you have a better experience when you have the surgery done. Good luck mate!

  2. I recently had my surgery for a gastric sleeve as a uninsured patient. The cost was $6000 for the surgeon, $1650 for the anaesthetic and the hospital , at Calvary, was $13,651 ( I was originally quoted $900 less from that for the hospital which was the quote I used to get my superannuation but the hospital told me there was a price rise on July 1st.)
    On Medicare , I got back around $1000.
    It is a lot of money, but it will be worth it and the staff at Calvary hospital are fantastic. Also, I would highly recommend Canberra Bariatrics.

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