200 pound weight loss leads to battle for skin surgery
'They get you part way there, they tell you you're going to be normal, and you're not,' says Ann Troop
After losing more than 200 pounds, a Moncton woman is asking the province to step up and help cover costly surgery to remove excess skin that she can't work off.
Ann Troop has kept her weight down for more than a decade, after having her stomach stapled 18 years ago, but she said she's only half way there.
Last Thursday at the surgeon's office, she discovered neither breast reduction nor the skin removal surgery are covered by the province.
“I drove directly to the [YMCA] and sat in my car and cried for an hour and then I came in and had a really good angry work out,” she said.
Troop said the surgeon told her she'd have to lose more weight before having a breast reduction, and then that would be considered cosmetic surgery and wouldn't be covered. Troop said the surgery would cost her at least $7,000.
The province won't comment on her specific case but said Medicare does not insure elective plastic surgery.
Troop said this isn't about vanity, but about necessity.
“I've squished myself into a sports bra, one that's too small and I have an athletic bandage tied around and I tuck it into my cleavage, and it's pretty tight and I get some pretty strange looks in the locker room,” she said.
Excess skin can be painful. It can tear, leaving the person susceptible to infection.
Sometimes, Troop said it hurts to exercise.
“I'm sort of the other side of the story that they don't tell you, they get you part way there and they tell you you're going to be normal, and you're not,” said Troop.
She said people stare at the ripples and folds left behind after losing hundreds of pounds.
As a supply teacher, she said she can't afford the cost on her own, but she's looking into to going to Cuba or Brazil where the cosmetic surgery is cheaper. She said she'll fundraise until she has the money.
Troop says she hasn't worked this hard to give up now.