Gastric bypass surgery

  1. I was just wondering if any of you have had or know of someone who has had a gastric bypass surgery. I am contemplating having this surgery, at the recommendation of my physician, and am trying to find out as much as possible before I say yes or no. The internet is full of information, but I was hoping to hear first hand from someone here if they have gone through the procedure.

    Any information will be greatly appreciated.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   nursedawn67
    I used to work with 2 ladies that had it done. They look pretty good now...lost alot of weight.
  4. by   Sisu
    Hi Marianne,

    I have a cousin who had the procedure and she is doing REALLY WELL!!! She has lost about 90# and is doing great. Do whatever you need to do for you! Go you Girl!

    Sisu
  5. by   bjpeace
    Hi Marianne,
    I work in an ICU that receives GB patients. I also worked on a stepdown that received GB patients. Like all proceedures, education is the greatest strength. There is a website (I think its www.bariatricsurgery.com - your doctor should be able to provide this to you). The patients that had the best post op experience were the ones who were educated about their procedure and post op requirements. These pts were prepared to get up and walk every two hours, use their incentive spirometers every hour, and were understanding of the post op diet limitations. I have also seen pts with poor post op outings. Usually these were the one's who were non-compliant as early as an hour on the unit. My advice is this.... go to the website, attend pre-op classes through your MD's office, make an informed decision! And also......get a second opinion. This is not meant to discourage, if you were having a bunionectomy I would advise a second opinion. Find out the different techniques for the procedure. A lot of my pts. (and a couple of friends too) have had better recovery times with Laporoscopic procedures. Good luck to you! Let us know what you decide, and how things go! God bless.
  6. by   CriticalCareOnc
    I have taken care of patients who were for gastric bypass roux-en-y procedure. It was indicated because they already had medical complications owing to their weight. I had one case whose surgical site got infected with MRSA. It did not look good but eventually the site healed. Now she looks great! Good luck.
  7. by   Ted
    My wife just had the gastric bypass surgery about 2 1/2 months ago. Her surgery was complicated by a lacerated liver when they retracted it; lost a liter of blood! (Received two units of PRBC's two days after surgery.) Additionally, she developed a continue ooze of liquid from the incision site as a result of fat necrosis. (The incision was never infected.) So, for over 2 months I lightly packed her wound twice a day. We're no longer doing that though.

    My wife was over 225 pounds prior to surgery. For many years, she tried losing weight through a variety of programs including Over-Eater Anonymous, Weight Watchers, and through medical management taking Redux. Although her weight wasn't super high (many people who undertake this surgery weight 300+ pounds), she qualified for surgery with no problems with reimbursement from the health insurance company.

    She spent over 1 1/2 years researching this program. The particular program she chose is multidisciplinary in approach with a strong emphasis group support (The meetings are about twice a month attended by well over 50 people who have gone or will undertake this surgery). She had to get a psych clearance. She also meets regularly with the dietician. It seems to be a well-rounded program.

    She's happy she underwent the surgery despite the two complications. She's now lost over 35 pounds. Although she will never be able to eat the big meals she used to eat (and I still eat), she is able to "graze" throughout the day (about 5 to 6 times a day) eating very small portions of food usually about 3 to 4 ounces per meal. She, of course, has to take supplimental vitamins, minerals and iron probably for the rest of her life. She can eat any kind of food, just very small portions.

    It's been an adjustment for me to see her eat such small quantities of food. I'm concerned about malnutrition. But her follow-up blood work shows that she is fine. Her energy level is almost back to normal (the surgery and complications really took a lot out of her).

    I guess, despite the complications, it was a good decision. I'll tell you one interesting thing. When I hold her in my arms, it's like holding a different person. On one hand, it's a little wierd because I'm so used to holding a "well rounded" woman. On the other hand. . . it's exciting in so many ways. . .

    If you would like more information regarding the program, email me at efiebke@toolivenurse.com.

    Hope this helps your decision making process.

    Regards,

    Ted
  8. by   BadBird
    I have worked with 3 nurses that had that done. The first was over 400 lbs. and truly felt that was a life saving procedure, the only complication that I know of was a DVT which resolved quickly. The other 2 lost over 100 lbs. each and never had any complication. All look great. Most importantly the 400 lb nurse no longer needs insulin. Good luck to you.
  9. by   mattsmom81
    Interesting thread and I just yesterday watched a TV show following gastric bypass patients...I think it was on Lifetime for Women network.

    I agree with the posters who emphasize that the patients who do well post GB use a multidisciplinary approach and are actively involved and cooperative with the total program. Those that look at the surgery itself as a 'fix it all' solution, and go back to their old habits postop tend to be disappointed, have complications and even develop additional chronic health problems as a result. IME.
  10. by   eldernurse
    I have taken care of some of these surgeries gone wrong. Have you heard of the keyhole procedure? Just make sure you look into it and make sure the surgeon has done a lot of them successfully.
    And remember, this is a LIFE CHANGING surgery. Make sure you know that going in.
    I would love to hear from you afterwards, no matter what your decision.
  11. by   PediRN
    My best friend had it done in August of 2001. She has lost approximately 100 lbs, she looks and feels wonderful. Lots of lifestyle changes. She is NEVER hungry anymore, and as long as she watches what she eats (no sugar or high fat food) she doesn't get any dumping. She is actually doing her masters thesis on the cost of treating obesity-related co-morbidities vs. gastric bypass. Good luck!!
  12. by   LasVegasRN
    I know of 3 people that had the gastric bypass surgery done.

    #1 - ICU nurse, I met her about 3 years after her surgery, would have never known she was obese before. She looked great, exercised, ate healthy all the time. Only problem was she liked to bake and would bring chocolate treats for night shift! She'd never eat what she baked, but boy we were eating her share and more (delicious!). Joking aside, I mention that because I was in awe of her willpower.

    #2 - I met this lady about 2 years post-surgery. You could tell by her physique that she did not exercise because she looked like someone who was very large that lost a lot of weight by surgery and did nothing else. She was getting scheduled for her SECOND bypass surgery because she gained the weight back (unbelievable!).

    #3 - I met this lady about 20 years post-surgery. She was very thin, very saggy (can't think of a better word to describe). Had to consume a great amount of cheese daily to avoid "dumping" syndrome. I hate to say it but we could tell when she was in the bathroom, IT REEKED. Unfortunately she had her surgery when they didn't do psych testing beforehand - she was an alcoholic and a chain smoker. Died last year from complications from pneumonia. :stone

    I have to say I like Ted's post - you have a first hand account from a great supportive guy. Keep in touch with him!

    Let us know what you decide and how you do - there's pros and cons to everything, but one thing for sure - what you do up to and afterwards makes all the difference!!
    Last edit by LasVegasRN on Apr 17, '02
  13. by   lalaxton
    I used to work on a surgical floor in a hospital that did many bypasses, staplings, etc. Saw many of the different variations on outcomes that other posters have mentioned. Many motivated people did well, many did not. I also worked with a nurse who had had the surgery about ten years before I met her. She had lost weight at first then gradually started to put it back on. When I met her she was not obese but she was overweight. Unfortunately, her eating problems were probably due to depression which was not successfully treated, she committed suicide last year.
    I think the key to success is, as someone mentioned, a multidisciplinary approach which includes psychological testing and treatment along with the surgery.
  14. by   massEDgirl
    My sister had it done over a year ago.......had always been a big girl (runs in the family)...but let herself get up over 450lbs. and she was only 32 yrs old.

    she thought about the surgery for along time and the docter in our area that does it makes you go through a lot before he will do it.

    It has been over a year and she has lost 220lbs!!!..no complications....she feels so much better.

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