Six Months Out - Full Body Picture

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Surgeon

Okay, I've stated before that I think my doctor is the bomb! So, here's a bit of information about him for those who are contemplating weight loss surgery and are in South Florida.

Dr. Patrick Domkowski did my surgery on August 30, 2011, at Sebastian River Medical Center. His website is I had never heard of him prior to talking to my friend, who is a nurse at the hospital. Her glowing reviews on how he treats his patients and his amazing bedside manner led me to attend his seminar in March or April of 2011.

Dr. D, as I call him to myself, gave an excellent description of the weight loss surgeries he does. I was leaning towards having the Lap Band, but Dr D said that the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) was a better choice for people who have an addiction to sweets. He was looking right at me when he said it, and he was right!

I made an appointment that night for a consultation appointment with him, but had to cancel that appointment because I was in the hospital with pneumonia on June 2, 2011. I rescheduled it for early July and nearly missed that appointment because I had been in the hospital for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVTs or blood clots) and two pulmonary emboli until the day before!

Before I could have an appt with Dr D, I had to fill out several pages of information, including a written statement about why I wanted WLS and which WLS I wanted. At the seminar, Dr D told us that he would give us his recommendation, but he would perform the surgery we requested. The pre-consult forms required me to do some heavy thinking about why am I fat and how did I get this way. It took me several hours to complete them.

When I finally got in to see Dr D, I was a nervous wreck and he calmed me down immediately with his demeanor. He asked questions from my forms and listened carefully to my answers. When he actually asked me which surgery I wanted, he agreed that VSG would be the better solution for me. Because of my recent hospitalizations, he wanted to contact my other doctors and consult with them before scheduling me for surgery. I went for a second visit with Dr D to discuss those consultations and he advised me that I would have to have a filter installed because of the blood clots.

That caused another round of doctor visits to vein and blood specialists before I could be approved for surgery. Once those were accomplished, Dr D's office moved into lightening speed with getting me scheduled for the filter installation and VSG surgery. Because of medications for the blood clots, I asked that they be scheduled as close together as possible, so I had the filter installed on a Friday and had WLS on the next Tuesday. I did have one additional appointment with Dr D just before surgery. I felt like Dr D wanted to make certain I understood the risks of the surgery and wanted to reassure both of us that I trusted him to make sure I made it through the surgery. I did trust him, literally with my life.

My hospital stay was great. The hospital staff was very concerned about keeping me out of pain and about getting me up to walk as soon as possible. I've been told that I insisted on walking from the recovery bed, which was wheeled into my hospital room, to the hospital room bed, and then I decided that bed was too darn soft and I'd rather sit in the chair, which is where I was when I became really aware of my surroundings.

Dr D came in both that afternoon and the next morning to see me. I was discharged to go home by early afternoon and that's what I did. I've been back for three follow up appointments and Dr D has been amazing about answering all my questions at each visit. He doesn't even roll his eyes when I ask him if I should "genuflect, bow down, or kiss (his) feet" at the beginning of each visit.

I think Dr D hung the moon, and I know that he gave me back my life. I was dying very quickly from the complications after my pneumonia. This surgery has made it possible for me to contemplate living long enough to possibly see grandchildren.

I did talk to and research other doctors ahead of time, but I'm glad that I decided to go with Dr. Domkowski.

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