gastric bypass/stomach stapling ?? - page 4

I have a good friend who is seriously considering having this surgery done. I have never taken care of pts who've had this procedure and don't know anyone who has. This really scares me because... Read More

  1. by   nursejws
    Good evening all, I just returned from a support group meeting. All the fears anyone has, that are considering this surgery, are normal. Before the meeting I went with my friend, who's post-op, to dinner...we shared a meal. We went to a chinese restaurant and ordered broccoli chicken...she took a few teaspoons of rice, about five slices of chicken, and a few pieces of broccoli. She also had about half a cup of egg drop soup. This was the first time we had gone to dinner together since her surgery, so I was amazed at her plate, but she was full, and took the leftovers home for tomorrow's lunch.

    It is VERY important to have a support group going through this. The program I'm going to go through is building an obesity center, complete with psychologist, dieticians, plastic surgeons, and exercise programs. We even have online support with all Dr's involved online for questions we have out of the blue. Now you know why I say this program is bar none. I went to 2 surgeons before heading to Baylor.

    Anyone considering have wls, whether it's the rny gastric bypass, or the gastric band, needs to realize surgery is just a tool. The rest is really up to you. Compared to how I feel now, exercising, eating right, taking vitamins everyday, having my hair fall out for about 3 month, and lifetime support is worth it. For ME, this is worth it. I quit smoking over a year ago because the surgeon said he wouldn't operate on a smoker. I did it in 30days, I also gave up diet coke at that time too. Occasionally I do have a diet dr. pepper, but usually decaf tea. I quit smoking just after my Dad passed away...that was hard, and although I planned on quitting by the end of 2001 ( I promised my Dad), I had another reason to let it go (the surgery)'s the promise to my Dad I will remember as to why I quit smoking.

    As far as exercise goes...this is Texas, so you will NOT find me outside walking around. You WILL find me doing water aerobics as soon as the pool is finished at my apt complex. I never felt better than I did when I was doing water aerobics 2-3 days a week.

    To each his/her own, this is what works for me. Even my husband is waiting to have wls. Will it be easy...NO? Will it be worth it...YES! IMO
  2. by   mattsmom81
    I think all of your stories are amazing and I applaud your efforts!

    61 # in 11 weeks, JP! WOW! I'm sure your docs are following you closely with this fast a weight loss.

    Good luck to everyone...keep us updated on your progress, OK?
  3. by   Sundowner
    I am so glad I found this thread!

    I have been exploring this option for myself for quite some time now, but I just havent had the nerve to go for it. I am ready now.

    I am 100lbs overweight, though I dont have any medical issues to speak of....or that I am aware of other than my knees arent doing well....I found this out when I joined a gym and couldnt handle it, my back aches as well, I lean against the wall when I pass meds, my cart is in front of me and I am leaning against the wall.......sad but true.

    I am from the Pittsburgh area and from what I understand through speaking to a few that have had the surgery, there is quite a long wait to have it done...aparently everybody is doing it .

    I also worry about the insurance nightmare. I have no idea if my insurance will cover this and I am wondering iif anyone can tell me how to go about finding out. I really dont want to get my hopes up and have them may kill me.
  4. by   JPRosselle
    Sundowner, You could call your insurance company yourself, or you could let the surgeon of your choice do it for you. The surgeons office is skilled on the lingo and such to make sure you are qualified. The response could take from 1 day to 1 year. I was one of the lucky ones. I was approved in less than 1 week. The surgeon's office will also go over the rules as far as the insurance goes, and they will go over everything (hopefully) you yourself will need. One of the best things you can do for yourself, is to research, research, research. A very good website complete with pictures is, they have chat rooms dedicated to this subject. They also have a "journey" so that you can read from start to finish what others have experienced. I had 100 lbs to lose as well. I have lost 61 since 3/6/02. I doubt I am the norm, but it gives you a snapshot of at least one life. Best of luck to you, and please keep this thread posted with our "journey".

  5. by   katiep
    Hello, I am an RGN working in the independant sector in the UK. We have recently started to pre-operatively assess and admit patients who are to undergo 'lap-banding surgery' for BMI's of 35+. I would be really interested to hear from anybody who has experience either as a nurse or a patient, regarding the type of pre-operative counselling given and also the type of pre-op preparation given, e.g. barium swallow, endoscopy and so on.

    Please get in touch,
    thanking you in anticipation
  6. by   Sundowner has been two years since I posted last in this thread....and one year since I had the surgery! I did the rny. I have lost 110 pounds give or take a few and now wear a wonderful size five!! :hatparty:
    My knees dont is so good.
    I still love food.....just not as much of it. I have had no complications or food aversions. It was a breeze thank God.

    I made an appointment with a surgeon in August of 2002....he wasnt able to see me until March of 2003. This gave me time to nail things down with the insurance company. I had the help of my PCP which was wonderful. Couldnt have done it with out him.

    As far as preoperative care....I know insurance companies have changed the rules a bit here in PA. It seems now that one must undergo six months of a doctor supervised diet before even being considered eligable. I luckily escaped that.

    I was required to attend a seminar, which was full of information about what to expect before and after surgery. I also was required to have a psych evaluation. Was handed tons of information on post operative diet.

    Pre-op testing consisted of upper GI series, ultrasound of gall bladder, and routine pre op testing...labs cxr ect. Of course there is a bowel prep before surgery and another gi series after surgery to check for leaks.

    I thankfully will not need any further surgery to rid myself of loose skin...I shrank nicely....I have no more flab than any other normal sized mother of three!
  7. by   SCRN1
    First off, let me say that I am happy for those who've had this surgery and have had great success with it. I don't get to see those kinds of patients and I wish I could.

    We get all the gastric bypass patients on our floor. Like I said, I don't get to see the ones who go off to enjoy life and do well with their surgery. I only see them while they're admitted to the floor when having it done...and worse, when they come back in due to complications. Even though our docs do this surgery the "safest" way and they have the highest rate of success than anywhere else around here, I still say this surgery scares me. I would NOT recommend it unless you're other conditions are at the point of killing you first.

    Even though there are lots who have great success stories to tell, there is a percentage that's too high in my opinion who have major complications, including DEATH. I see so many who are back over and over with things like leaks, hernias, or constant nausea/vomiting (not from overeating).

    Even though our docs do it laparscopically with about 5 puncture sites & one for the JP drain, it's not without it's risks. YOU STILL ARE HAVING THE SAME SURGERY DONE ON THE INSIDE NO MATTER WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE ON THE OUTSIDE. Of course, the incision site is quicker to heal if it's laparscopically. Just recently, we had a patient who ended up having to be "cut open" after her bypass because her spleen had been nipped during the surgery and she had to have a spleenectomy. This is just ONE of the MANY risks.

    All these patients must go through a rigorous screening process.
    - Must have a certain BMI.
    - Must have been on certain diets & failed.
    - Must go through a certain amount of psychological therapy.
    - Must have a secondary condition to the obesity such as diabetes, arthritis in the knees, have to use CPAP or BiPAP at bedtime, etc.

    I have seen lots of the returning patients depressed. Not only because of the current health problems, but also because they are mourning the loss of their previous lifestyle, which was centered around food. The stomach is reduced to 30 cc. (That is the size of the medicine cup that comes with a bottle of cough syrup for those who can't visualize how much that is.) Most of their families & friends are obese and they are continuing to live that lifestyle while the patient can't, but feel they have to see it.

    I could go on & on, but I've already said more than I'd planned. To those who've had it done and are having success, again, I congratulate you!
  8. by   Katnip
    We get the gastric bypasses on our floor as well. Our surgeons do them laproscopically, so there are 6-7 very small incisions. They all come up with a PCA for a day or two.

    We rarely see complications. In the last 8 months I think I've seen 1 that required a stay of more than a few days.

    We've had quite a few staff members get this surgery and the follow up is amazing. Of course, each person progresses differently, and some lose faster and more than others, but so far of the 10 who have had it this year, all have gotten rid of their sleep apnea, all are off diabetes and HTN meds. Quite a few are downright fit.

    We HAVE had several patients from other hospitals who had bad results. Some of them have had 5 or more correctional surgeries, and finally got referred to our docs.

    I firmly believe it depends on the surgeons. Interview more than one. Ask them about their personal many of these surgeries have they done, how many moderate-severe complications occur per 100, how many deaths have they had? If they do a lot, don't expect zero deaths. If the surgeon seems evasive or tries to blow off the questions, find someone else.
  9. by   adidas99
    My best friend's mom had gastric bypass done last june. she's tried diets and workign out, etc. And nothing worked, so they were able to get insurance to cover it. She did fairly well with it after surgery. Lisa and I went up there for it, and she was in alot of pain afterwards, and had an NG tube down her. But she does great now....she's lost a total of 90lbs! She has a card she carries in her purse that says she can have a childrens meal, because of this surgery(cuz we know some places are so dang anal about it) She does have her days where sometimes she doesn't feel good, and her stomach bothers in nauseated, or things dont settle right, after she eats.
    Last edit by adidas99 on Jan 29, '07
  10. by   redraccoon
    I had a laparoscopic RNY done 16 months ago. So far I've lost 120 pounds!!! And dropped 12 sizes in clothes!!

    My advice RESEARCH!! This is not some quick fix for morbid obesity. And if there are serious emotional issued tied to the eating they need to be addressed. This surgery is NOT for everyone and it is a HUGE lifestyle change. A person needs to really be prepared for that.

    This place ... ... has great info, before/after pics, and a forum for questions and discusssion. Theres also a place to read about docs in your area.
  11. by   hellerd2003
    Found this thread . . . am entering it a bit late. . .

    I had gastric bypass done three years ago. At the time of surgery, I was 27 y.o., had a BMI of 56 (ack!), chronic arthritis in both knees, s/p knee surgery x2, used a CPAP machine, and had been on every diet under the sun.

    I lost 191 lbs initially. Due to bad habits, I gained back 30 lbs in the past year and a half. I'm currently working on losing those, and have lost 5 lbs so far by eating sensibly and exercising. I know I will always have to diet and exercise to lose/ maintain weight. And for me, if I eat 1200 calories, I gain! (To maintain at my lowest weight, I need to stay around 1000).

    My husband also had gastric bypass 2.5 years ago. He lost 160 lbs, and did gain back 15 lbs. He's slowly getting back into the diet/ exercise habit as well.

    When I think of what I can do now physically, as well as the fact that I am the healthiest I've EVER been, I can honestly say I'd do this again in a heartbeat. I've been a member of a 1500+ support group, and have met many, many people who have had the bypass surgery. I know two who have died (one personally); appx. 5 that had "serious" complications (stroke, leak, died on the table), and they all said they'd do it again if they had to. The remainder of people I know have had no complications. They're living the life they've dreamed of.

    There are two groups of people that I've seen knock the surgery. The first are the people who are larger, or have a vested interest in a loved one remaining fat. Someone else having the surgery can be seen as a threat to who THEY are and what their relationship with their loved one is. The second group is the group that has never been fat, and cannot possibly understand what being fat feels like. Those of us who HAVE been morbidly obese and reached the point of needing surgery can, as a collective group, tell you that the risks following surgery are less painful and less scary than a life living as morbidly obese persons.
  12. by   JUSTYSMOM
    Just to add my 2 cents on this subject...

    I have 2 friends who have recently had the gastric bypass done laproscopically. They are both in their late thirties. One friend had it done in January. The other had it done in May. Both went to reputable surgeons in S. Florida.

    My friend who had it done in January is doing GREAT! She has lost 110 lbs so far,and still losing. She is off her blood pressure medications. Her back, knees and neck pain went away. She no longer huffs and puffs when she has to run up the stairs. Her gyrd has gone away as well. She has had no complications whatsover. She went from a size 26 (tight) to a loose size 12. She looks awesome! Of course, her skin is very loose. So her next step will be plastic surgery.

    My other friend who had it done in May, has had the complete opposite experience. She almost died during surgery. Her oxygen level wouldn't rise. They had a very hard time stabilizing her blood pressure. She also got a major infection. So, she ended up in ICU for 2 weeks. THEN she had to spend the entire month of June in bed. She was very weak, couldn't eat anything, had iv's in her...just miserable!

    Obviously, my friend who had the horrible experience does NOT recommend the surgery. My other friend who has had the positive experience, can't stop recommending it. She keeps bugging me to go for it. But I don't have the insurance or the money to do it. Maybe that is a blessing in disguise?

    They both say that the surgery is just a tool. They STILL have a "fat" head. They still have to diet. If they choose the wrong foods to eat, they WILL gain weight. There are some foods that they can never ever eat again.

    Lastly, all of my friends who work in the medical field say NO NO NO to gastric bypass surgery. They have seen the complications, misery, and death that CAN happen.

    I guess it is a very personal decision. One that must be thought through very carefully. You need to weigh the options- good and bad. Are you willing to risk death, in order to prevent it?