I decided to attend some seminars to meet some surgeons, hear about programs and so forth. It is relatively easy to do since the USA based companies come over all the time to get business. The three main ones that I was considering were: CORI, BARIX and LIVLITE.
The first seminar was the CORI one that I attended with my husband. There were a few things that I didn't like about it. First, the lady who introduced everything and did the beginning of the session seemed to fluff off the different possible complications. I also did not like that the surgeon was late for the meeting. I didn't care for him too much either personality wise. He was okay but just didn't seem very professional. Lastly, the big test for me was: DO YOU DO A LEAK TEST? For me, the Leak Test is HUGE. I live 30 minutes away, and don't want to die from a leak and feel that this test is important. Cori doesn't do a leak test. My husband by the way, got some negative vibes from Cori too. (Cori has since folded here).
LivLite was an option because the relatives that I have, had their surgery through LivLite. They sent me a video but honestly, that does not compare to meeting someone in person. I was put off that they weren't coming to Windsor for a seminar. Once I found out that they don't do a leak test, they were knocked out of contention.
The next seminar I went to was BARIX. Their presentation was far more professional than the one from Cori. They were straightforward, to the point, and no holds barred which I really liked. They didn't fluff of a single thing. They also gave me a ton of information and talking to others, they are great at giving information and give you lots of stuff after surgery. I also liked the personality of the surgeon who came, Dr. Poplawski.
After researching him online, learning that he used to do liver transplants (which is a very hard organ to transplant apparently) and that he hasn't had one leak in over 2,000++ surgeries, I felt he was the one. The final test: Do they do a leak test? YES, they do! So there you have it folks, that's how I picked my surgeon and place! John felt the same good vibe about Dr. Pop and Barix too so that pretty much sealed the deal that we both agreed on a surgeon.
One other thing I liked about Dr. Poplawski (and this could be true of all Barix surgeons - I'm not quite sure) is that he staples AND sutures. To me, that is almost like twice the reassurance that things internally will stay together.
An important part of the surgery -- make your spouse a part of your selection process if s/he will participate. There's nothing like two good sets of eyes/ears when meeting the different representatives.
I want to mention four great things about Barix before I go on. things that make them great.
1) They have a "complete" package deal with OHIP. Ohip likes them alot and seems to approve most of their applications. They do all pre-op testing (with the exception of a few things like a Psyche test if you need one) in their facilities in one day which means less running around to do on this side of the border for tests.
2) They have free parking and tvs free in every room. Little expenses that will be less expensive in the long run. As well, they also do a travel reimbursement and you'll get a check from anywhere from $100 to $600 back after your surgery. They did not offer this when I had surgery but now they do. You'll get more $ the further away you live from them.
3) in Ypsilanti, none of the doctors currently there make you go through a liquid diet before surgery. No expensive optifast or a week crying over having a liquid diet before surgery. You'll only have to do one day of clear liquids before.
4) They have the quickest turn around time from consult to surgery. If you want quick, this is the place to go. If you feel you need lots of classes on nutrition and exercise, this is not the place to go.