Gastric Bypass Surgery- Harmful or Helpful? - page 3

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   Lacey
    Just my 2 cents. In just 4 weeks, I saw two gastric bypasses go horribly wrong on two young healthy women. I have a friend that works in another ICU and sees bad ones all the time. By bad I mean leaking anastomoses that turn into sepsis, into ARDS into DEATH. At our staff meeting we were told to expect a lot more of these surgeries because the insurance reimbursement is so good. Our hospital is investing on more giant beds and is considering a bigger cat scanner.Other hospitals have opened entire units for this surgery That means more surgeons will start to do them and you know what that means. Even the experienced ones are screw ups. The hardest thing is watching the families at the bedside. the patient is paralyzed and sedated on a vent and is not suffering at all but the families go thru hell. Even the "Successful" surgeries have a lifetime of problems. My advice is please try and get your eating under control using a noninvasive, safe method, Find a way to motivate yourself. I know it's hard, but this surgery is not the quick fix that you may think. Every one of those ICU patients families never thought that they would have this kind of a problem.
  2. by   NannaNurse
    Why do people 'assume' that 'fat' people can't keep their mouths shut?? How much more 'control' do I need?????? I'm on a 1200 cal. lifestyle.......I limit my fat to 10 or less grams daily, try to drink a gallon of water daily, walk my 2 Greyhounds daily (1-2 miles), use our weight room several times weekly. I don't eat sweets.....don't really like em'. We limit our meat to chicken/ meat once in awhile......fresh fruits and veggies daily. Like most people who make this decision for surgery, we've tried every known diet with no success.
    This is not something I'm entering into lightly. I've spent time researching this, praying about this and speaking with other people.
    The surgeon has done this procedure over 200 times in the past year with only 2 complications........they didn't follow post-op instructions!
    I know the risks and I'm willing to take them.
    I'm really quite offended by the remark Lacey made. My eating HAS been under body doesn't respond! My personal experience has been that people who make remarks of that nature are SKINNY and eat whatever they want.........Oh to be tormented with THAT problem............
  3. by   SusanRN2004
    I don't know if it's good or bad...I know being overweight carries risks...

    I just wanted to share about a friend. She had the surgery last year and to date has lost 180 pounds. She now weighs 188 and is tall, so she looks good. She was just glowing when I talked to her this morning..wearing her new size 14 jeans.. She has had very few problems with the surgery...she went to the ER once for chest pains and they found she had a low K+ level. She also developed a hernia.

    She has been very good about following the pop, no her, the surgery changed her life. She can do things now that she was not able to do before. She is so happy all the time, it gets hard to be around her! (Especially now that she is thinner than I am! ) (just kidding)

    She said surgery is a tool, not a cure, you still have to work at it...but she would do it again in a heartbeat.
  4. by   nimbex
    Nanna, have 4 Rn's where I work that have been through the surgery... All doing wonderful, loosing weight with "expected post op complications" All required to attend a support group before and after

    - nausia- monitor foods, no carbonated, small frequent meals... seek md to determine if esophageal stricture is present.. few needed dilation and some developed hernias... but all treated, monitor symptoms and found solutions

    -electroylte imbalance: malnutrition. They were monitored through a dietician, started pre op and daily intake must be monitored and recorded by you, and adjusted together with the dietician.

    -dehydration, you've only a small pouch, and will feel full quickly and naturally avoid water... several said this was the hardest part... finding room for water when there was none.

    -Controlling food intake... loosing too much to fast... they had to find a balance with exercise to tone, excessive loss which created layers of skin and then hitting a plateau and needing to decrease or increase daily consumption to avoid the extremes... yes, they say you will stop loosing weight as pocket will stretch if you continue to eat too much.

    - Lack of knowledge and support through the process.. because you're a nurse.. now see yourself as a patient... you don't have all the answers and need to be in a support group of those who HAVE BEEN THERE... one nurse told me... during a support group meeting.. she was gagging on water.. nauseous... the leader immediately saw and said you probably have an esophageal stricture which needs opening... that's what it was!!! SHe thought that nausea was just something that would pass and it wasn't but was easlily fixed.

    Good luck, don't listen to any advise but what your heart tells you, but may I suggest to join a support group. Each of these 4 nurses did beautifully, but did have normal post op complications that they had to deal with.... likely you will too... So you'll need to have help from those that have WALKED IN YOUR SHOES.... not those that wish to just share horror stories to scare you away.

    Have one patient in my unit now... they are doing laproscopic gastric bypass, which has quick recovery. This patient did have lots of pain... but surgeon anticipated and ordered demerol Q2 hr. Ask you surgeon how he feels about pain management....You'll need to be comfortable to progress quickly to prevent the immobility complications which are common, and need to get OOB as quickly as possible.... don't forget the incentive spiromiter!!!!!!!!!!

    Rooting for a speedy recovery
  5. by   Lacey
    RE: Nannanurse:
    I didn't mean to offend anyone with my remarks about getting your eating under control. If you would stop and think about it, the reason this surgery results in weight loss ( if it doesn't kill you) is because your caloric consumption is restricted, now, if you have been doing that yourself like you said (1200 cal diet, exercise, etc.) and your body doesn't "respond", what makes you think your body will respond after the surgery? And for your info, I lost 65 lbs last year in a 7 month period, no surgery, no pills, I lost it the old fashioned way, calorie and fat reduction, the opposite way that I gained it! I am just reporting on the stuff I see on my ICU, I understand that many, many people have this surgery successfully but I wanted people to hear the other side of it. Don't shoot the messanger, please!
  6. by   NannaNurse
    Nimbex....thanks so very much for your encouragment and kindness.
    My surgeon is a compassionate and 'human' person. Already has orders for PCA/Demerol q 2hours. I know this won't be an easy walk, but that is something I'm willing to deal with.

    Lacey....Great for you that the 'old fashioned way' works. Like I said, I've been on and tried every diet....even the 'old fashioned one'....I lose wt and gain it back. Part of my decision is the physical aspect...smaller stomach & re-route digestion. It is also medically proven that after this surgery, craving/hunger decrease.
    Part of my decision is the mental aspect...KNOWING that my stomach will only hold so much......liquids for awhile, etc.....the support groups are a major plus.....oh I know....WW has alot of support groups......LAWL has them too.....been there, they don't last.
    This is a hospital based, hospital controlled program.
    This is a FINAL decision for me. Mental control has alot to do with any sucessful venture and this is my choice.
    Thanks for all the encouragment and 'rooting'.....