Gastric Bypass Surgery- Harmful or Helpful? - page 2

Hi again, I have been a perpetual yo yo dieter my whole life. Before I was pregnant with my son, I had lost (on a very low carb diet) about 70 lbs. Since he has been born ( over 3 1/2 years... Read More

  1. by   JailRN
    Here's my story. Married '73, 5'5" 103 lbs. Hubby 6'2", 190 ex-pro football player. Fast foreward, 2 kids, lazy and now it's '99 hubby 415#, had long limb rouw-en-y. Opened him from sternum to naval. Took 6 weeks to heal, diarrhea, didn't get OOB for 4 days, in hospital for 10 days, G-tube, A-line, pneumatic stockings, foley, forced protein, 55gms/day. put powdered milk into nonfat milk to boost protein, made pudding and soups out of that. Lost 200# in a year, ended up with 6 hearnias, but the ins covered the tummy tuck, because he had the hernias. (Of course it was done by a general surgeon, not a plastic man, so the scar is really ugly, had a complication and ended up with a gapping wound that needed BID wet to dry dag changes for a year. It started off using an entire roll of kerlix, ended up with just about 6" gauze.

    I was 308 but couldn't afford to be out of work for that long, so waited for laproscopic bypass, with a different surgeon. had surgery 12-26-01. So far, I have lost 119#, gone from 3x tops, 4x bottoms to a med top and lg bottoms. Had surgery at 1100, was in recovery until 1500, up walking at 1700, d/c from hosp in 3 days total. Back to work in 10 days. Now I have to pay privately for the face lift, underarms, breasts tpo put back on my chest, (they're at my waist now,) and the tummy tuck. IT will cost about 30,000 dollars. NOW, my husband, who has been supportive all along is getting scared. Will I leave him when I look that good? Will other guys suddenly find me attractive, where before, only he loved me. I say it doesn't matter, I 'm committed to him, Time will tell him.

    I had tried every diet out there, and was successful, but for me, it was a temporary fix. Becauss it wasn't a lifestyle change, I went back to the french fries. potatoe chips, chocolate, 7-up that I drank before and gained all of the weight back. plus 20# for each diet.

    For me, surgery was my only option left. It isn't easy, it's a tool to help you loose. If you're hell bend and determined to regain weight, you can force yourself to eat and stretch out your pouch, (I had a short limb roux-en-y,
    I have no diarrhea, but I can't drink anything but h2o, or I get sick, diet peach snapple, that I used to love now tastes like syrup,(ugh), anything carbonated blows me up like a balloon after 1 sip< (my stomach is the size of my thumb, but slowly stretching to hold 4 ozs. I had to learn not to eat under pressure, and take my time, which means cold food. I now work out with a trainer 3x week. and walk at least 3 miles/day,(most of it in my job)
    I have more energy, I can fit into my car better, my chair at work better, my seatbelt fits better. My BP is WNL, no more sleep apnea, no more heartburn, or reflux, of course sex is incredible,

    Yes, your BMI needs to be a certain level, but if you have medical problems, that level is reduced. I think it has to be 45, but 40 with problems, mine was 50. We had another lady who was 209 when she had surgery, now, 11 months later, she's 110 lbs and a size 6. we almost attacked her when she came into support group. Of course, to add insult to injury, she was only about 22, so her skin went right back where it belonged. (I know, I know, I'm jealous.) I had to undergo, psych evla, pulmonary eval, cardiac eval, before they did surgery, I do know of people who didn;t pass psych and they wouldn;t operate on them. So they don;t do anybody who walks in the door. Wish we lived closer, to visit, Check your PM and e-mail me. Good luck in whatever you decide, but remember, it has to be a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix,. Any diet will work if you put in less calories that you burn. and that's how I ended up fat, too much in, not enough out.
    I have thought about this surgery myself... And Im just about to the point to jump on the band wagon... Since I work surgery I have seen many of the procedures done and the size of the people having it done. Yes you have to have a BMI of 40-45 with a medical condition or possibitly of (high risk) for insurance to pay for it. Also all the evaluations known to man to even get to speak with the Drs. If you self pay it will run around 20 thousand, and thats without complications... and this surgery has the same risks and possibilities of complications as any other surgery known , you are however at a higher risk for pvd, and pul emboli more than most other surgeries... If your a smoker its even higher risk. But on the other hand ... Your body has to be in the most optimal conditon to withstand the surgery and recovery and the mental state must be there as well. Yes its a livestyle change , and yes there is so many positive aspects about the change in ones self I have seen some blossom , and I have seen some fall.
    I am tettering on the fence , and Im leaning very close to the doing it because nothing has worked , I loose a few and I gain back double and the only change that occured was if I was overseas or not. I have always been overweight , everyone in my family is , There hasnt been a generation of our family that hasnt been large sized people.
    If I do have it done I will wait one year to have my boobs placed where they should and my butt tucked and tummy tucked and basically my chins removed. I dont wish to be a size 2-6, but a normal size would be nice. Im happy with my self as in a whole person but yes I would like to change my size... thats the only thing I wish to change . And now as I lean towards the knife I will consider it again , I have been tettering for 2 yrs now and well Im not getting any younger.... but I am getting wider.
    Love to ya
  3. by   JailRN
    Zoe, go for it. My boilogical family (Iws adopted at birth) are all 400-500 lbs, my adorted family was all normal size, my parents were very upset when I told them I had surgery (They live 3000 mi away), and I didn't go for my Dad'd 89th nirthday because I didn't want to get into a pi$$ing contest with them about how much Ieat (or don't) NOW< they have heard from other relative how good I'm looking and NOW they're more supportive. It's funny when you think about it, when you're thin and someone offers you a fppd that you don't want, you say no, and that's it.BUT, when you're fat and dieting, you're fair game-Oh just try it.--I spent All day making it-- One bite won't hurt and the list goes on and on. I really had to change my way of thinking and amswering and get a little more assertive Now I'm fine. I know what I can eat, and that's all. no more, don't care who gets upset. I have to live in my skin, with my sleep apnea, HTN, NIDDM, etc. (proir_ I have really good insurance and it cost me about $150 for the gas man, and a 20 co pay q time I see the surgeon (qmo) Someone thatI work with who has the HMO insurance only paid 5.00 for hers. nothing else. Lucky, (plus, we have ins that pays you 100/day on hosp 200 for the unit. so I kinda of got paid to have the surgery. My hubby says he wished he would have waited to have the proceedure that I had.Good luck
  4. by   RehabNurse
    One of my good friends who is also an RN had this surgery done about 1 1/2 months ago and to date has lost 33 lbs. She looks great and feels great. She has to go to a nutritionist as well as a psychologist to help with behavior mod and changing her outlook on food!
  5. by   NannaNurse
    Such good replies here......I'm getting ready to schedule my Roux-en-Y surgery sometime in October. As some of the others, I too, have tried every sort of diet....lost weight and then, no matter what I did, gain it back plus extra. I'm 5'31/2" and 228lbs. My husband and kids all support me........'do it for yourself or don't do it at all'.....I'm very thankful and feel fortunate to have such support.
    My ex would of said the same as yours........'you lost it before, you can lose it again'........oh brother. He is 6'6 and 160 forever.....even with all the pounds and pounds of junk food consumed daily!!! (another reason I hate him!!:chuckle )

    I do have some fears......I hate pain, but I'm willing to endure it to help myself coz' nobody else will do it for me.
    Keep your chin up and don't lose faith.

  6. by   shrpgrl
    I had it done 8/28/01 so it has been almost a year for me. I am down 150 and want to lose another 100. It was the best thing I ever done. I researched it for a year before I decided. I tried everything but was unable to lose. I even gained weight on Weight Watchers and I followed it strictly. I would be happy to answer any questions about it.
  7. by   Nurse Ratched
    I've seen at last count 6 co-workers have this surgery with varying degrees of success. One guy actually had his incision dehisce while at work. 2 of the six lost weight initially, but regained it when reverting to their old habits. 2 have managed to keep it off for 6 months. 2 others have had such complications (infections, etc.) that the weight loss has been a minor issue. One had to be re-opened.

    Research and weigh the options carefully and choose your doc even more carefully. Good luck!
  8. by   JailRN

    Hang in there!! I actually had NO PAIN!!! The bariatric co-ordinator was laughing when she disposed of my PCA pump, I didn't use any of it.(and I should mention, I'm a baby when it comes to pain. I sugggest anyone considering having surgery read carnie Wilson's book "Gut Feelings" very acurate.(except she said in the recovery room, she felt like somebody hit her in the stomach with a baseball bat. and I had no pain-lucky)

    good luck to those who have had the surgery, and to those of you who are considering having the surgery-obesity seems to be the only prejudice that's OK in this world, not politically corect to ridicule someone for their skin color, religion, dress, living arrangements, sex, hair, BUT just let a fat person walk down the street with a pepsi and twinkie and oh my, oh my. And don't think about flying. (notice-they don't give you 2 meals with 2 seats)
  9. by   NicuGal
    We have had several people I work with have this procedure. 3 are doing quite well, the 4th has had every problem in the book. She is constantly nauseated, no strictures or such. But, she is the one that doesn't go to the support groups or follow the regime. She didn't want to drink Boost for 10 weeks, so she went with another surgeon that puts his patients on baby foods right away. She continues to be food obsessed. You have to realize that this isn't a quick fix and you will be able to lose the weight and convert back to eating chips, etc, this is a life long thing. This poor girl also had her spleen nicked, 2 abcesses and she was so wacked out on her proteins and trace minerals she has been hospitalized 4 times. Right now she is on the cusp of losing her job because she has been off of work for over 6 months!

    If you are truly considering this surgery, get the best doc, go to your support groups and make sure you are doing it for you, not society! Best of luck to you!
  10. by   LasVegasRN
    I posted on something similar to this a while ago. I was considering the lap-band procedure. Have decided to go to the informational seminar that you are required to attend before seeing the surgeon. I do not want to go the gastric bypass route, just don't want my plumbing permanently changed and want to try something that is easily reversible should things go badly. Here's a website of the surgeon's here locally:

    My insurance does cover it, but I'm going to wait to have the surgery (if I qualify) until FMLA benefits kick in (in case I have any complications and have to be off work an extended amount of time).
  11. by   JailRN
    LasVegasRN, I too, looked into the banding before I had the roux-en-y done. I heard that there were too many who had the band deteriorate and were right back up to their pre-op weight. It also probably varies from surgeon to surgeon, but one of the registry nurses who works here occasionally, had the surgery. When I watched her walk down the hall, I thought to myself, "if my butt is that big 2years after surgery, for all that this involves, I'm going to put a bullet through my head"

    As for post op, every doc has a different theory, we're not allowed to use any protein drinks. hhhmmm. I know I'm not getting as much protein as my husband got after his. The reason, we're told is that htey don't want us to drink our food. they want us to get our nutrition like real people do, with the right food. as my long hair gets thinner, I almost wish we could drink. I'll hold a good thought for you that your surgery goes as well as mine did. and you're back to work in 10 days.
  12. by   SRNJIM

    I have had the surgery. Like you,. I haveheard every horror story that has been told. I am now a student nurse who would not be able to be in this program if I had not ost the weight.
    My surgery was on Jan 15, 02, and I have lost to date 86 lbs, with only 20 ore to go!!! I have had some discpomfort, some major flataunce (sp), tow endoscopes for a possible stricture (none is ethere and one Upper GI.
    Yes, you can sabatoge the surgery if you do not do some major behavior mod. However, the surgery helps you do that!!! Because of the modofication, you are not able to eat high fat/sugar foods without "dump syndrome".
    Have the surgery. The risks in the surgery are a lot less than thiose with out it and continuing to be obese!

    My cholestrol is 124, my B/P is 112/70, my CHF symptoms are nearly non-existant, my two "bad" knees trhat I have had scoped are PAINLESS!!!!!!! I feel great and my self-esteem has been boosted.

    DId I tell you I am 55 yrs. old??? I have the energy I had when I was in my 30's. Listen to your doctor and not to those who have only heard of their aunt's second cousin who ended up in the ICU.

    Good Luck,

    Jim :-)
  13. by   NannaNurse
    :kiss :kiss :kiss Thanks to all who have offered your advise and stories here. I too, have done lots of research and and anticipating my upcoming surgery.
    Your encouragment and support is much needed!