Prepaidlab – How does it work?

On March 28, 2011, in Reviews, Tests, by Andrea

If you’ve been around the weight loss surgical block for awhile, you know lab tests are vitally important.

If you’ve been around for a long while, you’ve probably figured out that there are some tests that we need that many docs don’t know to order.  Some docs are good about ordering tests that their patients request.  Some?  Not so much.

Depending on how you handle the above scenario, you can either find a doctor willing to work with you better (which is what I do..) or you can find alternative ways to get your tests.  Prepaidlab.com is one way to do so.

Learned more about this great service back in December, and since then, the company has created a page of tests specific to WLS folk.

To help show how this service works, Chris over at Prepaidlab.com gave me a discounted code for a ferritin draw so I could go through the process and blog it for y’all to see beginning to end.

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Transthyretin (TTR)

On December 27, 2010, in General Nutrition, Tests, by Andrea

Transthyretin (TTR) is the test formally known as prealbumin.  It still is known as prealbumin by some labs, so be aware that the two names may be used interchangeably.

Transthyretin is a transport protein for thyroxine (T4) and retinol (vitamin A).  The main clinical use for a transthyretin level is for monitoring nutritional status as it is a better indicator of protein status than albumin.

This is a non-fasting test.

Range: 20-40 mg/dL Range given are from MY laboratory ranges.  Yours may vary slightly.  Adapt as needed.

A low level indicates malnutrition.

Need Labtests…

On December 9, 2010, in Tests, by Andrea

… but have a pissy doctor that won’t order the tests that you know you need?

There’s a new alternative.

By going here, you can pick your own tests, pay the Medicare costs (up front, but at the MUCH reduced rate), pay a $9.50 service fee, print out a lab sheet to take to a local LabCorp, and have the results emailed to you and faxed to your doc.  No one knows that YOU chose the labs, that you prepaid, etc.  Additionally, if you submit the labwork after you pay to your insurance, it will most likely be covered assuming labs are covered by your insurance, once meeting your deductible.

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WLS Vitagarten Lab Tracker Workbook

On November 10, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

Well, it’s been teased and discussed, and even some have purchased down in Houston, but here’s the Lab Tracker Workbook, First Edition.  I’m really horrible at self-promotion, so excuse the choppiness of this introduction.

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Suggested Pregnancy Labs

On June 8, 2010, in Pregnancy after WLS, Tests, by Andrea

So you’ve peed on a stick and you’re pregnant post WLS.

Now what?

Well.  That’s quite the question, isn’t it?  And the answer is multi-faceted depending on which surgery you’ve had, how far out you are, etc.

But for now let’s tackle blood tests.

I’ve had two kids post RNY Gastric Bypass.  And I’ve learned a few universal truths from those two pregnancies:

  1. most doctors have no clue what to do with pregnant WLSers (including the surgeons that DID this to us!)
  2. ask three medical professionals what to do and you’ll get three completely contradictory answers
  3. not enough attention was paid to my nutrition, despite seeing a nutritionist associated with my OB as evidenced by extremely low ferritin, serum iron, b12, and vitamin D levels

With this in mind, knowing what I know now, I’ve put together a list of suggested labs for the post-WLS patient.  These are not to be construed as medical advice, but simply if I were to end up pregnant tomorrow (and that had better not happen or Mirena and I will be having a long discussion requiring lawyers and a check with many $0′s…), this is what I would tell my doc that I wanted drawn and why.  (And yes, I really do walk into a doc’s office with lists of labs to draw.  If they don’t like it, I go somewhere else.)

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