Seems to be working well for her. Of course she has to take her daily suppliments. She feels good with her asthma problems almost gone and back and knee problems totally gone; she looks great (except for the tummy scar . . . But they're doing the procedure laproscopicly now!) Heck, even her cholesterol level went from the high 200's to around 180! (All other blood tests including iron levels and total protein/albumin. . . are WNL!!!)
Without a doubt, this surgery, like any surgery, has its risks. They knicked her liver early on during surgery which resulted in about 1 liter's blood loss. She was symptomatic with this requiring a transfusion of 2 units of PRBC's . . . two days after the procedure!
(The surgeon did tell me about the knicked liver immediately following the operation. I told her that my wife would like a blood transfusion if needed!!! She told me that she would take a "wait and see" approach because Amy - my wife - was relatively young and healthy. ARRRGH!) Amy also had a small incisional post-op infection requiring me to pack her wound for about 2 months.
Was I totally for this procedure? No. But 9 months after the operation I now see its benefits despite the realized risks Amy suffered. Amy says that she would do it all again. She's happy! That's the bottom line, I guess.
Here's the main problem that I see! There are many hospitals offering gastro-bypass. But there seems to be no consistant nutritional follow-up!! No real national standard of care!!! This really is very sad. We know of a few other people who had this procedure who had poor nutritional advice in our opinion. One person was told to eat only three meals a day. . .and to eat it all! This person still takes this advice and still purges every so often because her pouch is too full! Another hospital hardly gives any post-precedural nutritional follow-up. I guess the patients just get a pamphlet on what to do. . . and that's it.
Amy had this procedure at a facility in MA where she did. . . and still does . . . recieve excellent nutritional follow-up. For a year post-op she sees the surgeon then sees the nutritionist. Additionally, there are support-group meetings that meet on a regular basis that focus on anything to do with gastro-bypass (usually they're are discussions about what foods work well and what foods don't. . .). Basically, Amy can eat anything. She does! But it is in real small amounts. . . serving size about 3 to 4 ounces per meal. Amy also eats about 5 to 6 times per day. This is what is recommended by the facility where she had her operation, and it seems to work well with the hundreds of people who had this procedure there. (These support group meetings where literally 200 + people attend have members - pretty much everyone - that are happy campers!!!!!) Additionally, she takes ALL of her nutritional suppliments on a daily basis. . . all of her vitamins and calcium pills. (The downer about this is that she will develop mal-nutrition if she didn't take these pills. Potential for mal-nutrition is a major side-effect of this procedure!!!)
What also make this program so successful is the Serious psychiatric evaluations Amy had to go through before they would do this procedure. To this facility's credit, if a person doesn't "pass" the psych-eval, they don't get the operation. I wonder how many other facilities offer this precautionary step!!!!
Lastly. . . Amy met all of the criteria so that our insurance company paid for 100% of the precedure. . . and 100% of the year's follow-up that I mentioned earlier.
Is gastro-bypass for everyone??? No! Are there risks??? Yes! Is there success??? Without a doubt, Yes!
I know there are horror stories out there about people undergoing this gastric-bypass. These stories need to be taken seriously. I also know that there isn't a consistant standard of care that is holistic in nature that can be followed and advocated by any and every facility that offers this procedure. There should be!!! And it is unfortunate that there isn't!!!
But with research, one can find a facility that does offer good nutritional and follow-up services and feel relatively safe in deciding to have this procedure. (There are always risks involved in any surgery!) Gastric by-pass, with the appropriate pre and post op care, and with the appropriate post-op nutritional plan can be and is a life saver.
If you're interested in finding more information, email me. I'll direct you toward Amy's email who, I'm sure, will be more than happy to answer any and all questions.