Monday, January 04, 2010

Deconstructive surgery

Today was the appointment to speak with a doctor about reconstructive surgery, and having spoken with him I am fairly sure I don't want any.

At first the doctor seemed to take for granted that I came in already having my mind made up I wanted the surgery. Understandable, but a bit time-wasting. He was focusing on giving me the reasons I can't get the surgery yet and selling me on what I'd have to do to get it -- namely, lose a minimum of 65 more pounds. Oi!

So I eventually stopped him and told him I wanted to go over the pros and cons, because frankly I wasn't sure what the benefits were to make the surgery worth getting. The cons are very clear:
  • It costs a lot of money and getting Cigna to cover part of it will be very challenging, if at all possible.
  • It's a minimum of six weeks off work recovering. I have plenty of leave time, but not a lot of "nothing needs to be done" time.
  • Lots of pain. He didn't talk much about that, but I've heard and read that plastic surgery is one of the most painful kinds, both in intensity and in duration (weeks of it without surcease).
  • Substantial risk of infection and other complications.
  • And now, on top of all that, the need to spend another year or more on an agonizingly strict diet.
I figured all of this might be for some significant health benefit, but really, he has nothing to offer. About all we have for benefits:
  • Looking better.
  • Better balance and poise, which would make me better able to do some athletic or acrobatic things.
  • Reduced (though never completely eliminated) incidences of fungal rash. (Note, this rash is a minor inconvenience at most, just a little itch which I readily control with over-the-counter generic clotrimazole cream.)
  • Maybe it's easier to buy clothes to fit, though not as much as you'd think, particularly since they don't usually tuck thighs (it doesn't work that well).
I don't mean to suggest that these things are nothing. I wouldn't mind looking better. While I don't feel like my balance and poise stop me from doing things I want to do, maybe I'd appreciate the improvement if I got it. Etc.

But all of these pros put together don't seem to outweigh any single one of the cons. They're not even on the same order of magnitude. And all of the cons put together, that just blows away the idea. So this ends this chapter of my healthcare saga.

(Oddly, it seems that for many people, the big downside of the surgery is the scar. Whoopdedoo.)

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