Have you had a gastric bypass or lap-band procedure?

  1. I am looking for success and horror stories related to these procedures. I have a family member considering this surgery - the closest hospital/surgeon that performs these is over 100 miles away from where we live and I know no one who has had these procedures personally. Thanks!
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    About puggymae

    Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 324; Likes: 61
    Associate Professor
    Specialty: OB, NP, Nurse Educator


  3. by   nursekatie22
    My mom had it about 5-6 years ago and she NEVER had any of the complications that I saw on my stint as post-op bariatric care nurse. I mean, sure the first 6 weeks of liquids just about drove her nutso, but she lost 180lbs and is fine. It's all about your mindset going into it. You have to be willing to follow the rules and do EXACTLY as your MD tells you. My mom has a friend who had the sx at the same time she did and after only 3 weeks, she was eating a whole 6-in Subway sandwich. SHE WAS STILL HEALING!! She continued down that path and she now weighs what she did before the sx.
    Most places are really good about telling the whole story and exactly what's going to happen so there are no surprises, etc and that helps the patient and the family a lot!
  4. by   brighella
    My mom had a RouxNY done almost 2 years ago and has had many complications. Kidney stones, sm bowel obs, and a month and a half ago 2 emergency surgeries, TPN etc. Now she cant (or wont) stop losing weight and she goes into the hospital to have a G-tube put into her old stomach to receive enteral nutrition next week - the day I leave on my honeymoon. She also has commented on how many of her bypass support group have issues with the malabsorbtion of key nutrients - crunchy hair, lots of slouching, fungal infections.

    Now I will add here that she has not exactly been dietarily compliant and she seemed to have some fairly unrealistic expectations regarding the whole thing. She was in a big hurry to get where she was going and flirts with anorexia nervosa from what I see. I think many people just expect that complications happen to OTHER people, and the benefits far outweigh the perceived risks. I know that from what ive seen though...i would recommend other avenues first. Having lost over 100 lbs the old fashioned way, I know I made the right decision for me.

  5. by   NoMoreStudying
    Quote from puggymae
    I am looking for success and horror stories related to these procedures. I have a family member considering this surgery - the closest hospital/surgeon that performs these is over 100 miles away from where we live and I know no one who has had these procedures personally. Thanks!

    Nope, but I learned something interesting at a lecture. The band is considered less drastic, but you can "eat around it." That is, if you're someone who grazes or snacks all day, you won't lose as much weight. Eat a little bit, it passes, eat some more, it passes, and so on. Whereas a bypass makes that more difficult as you are forced to change your eating style. This guy said he didn't even do bands anymore b/c people weren't as happy with them. Often, they're able to not change a thing with their lifestyle and they lose some, but not as much, so it's a waste.

    I've seen bad complications. Plenty of sepsis, some deaths, some chronic immunocompromised and chronic malnourished. But I don't know their whole stories. I'm sure I meet plenty of people out there that have had great outcomes that I just don't hear about it.

    I do have to ask: You know how Al Roker, Star Jones, and a few other celebrities still have chubby heads? Most regular bypass patients don't seem to have that. I think maybe it's the size of the pouch? I imagine people in the public eye get the really small pouches.
  6. by   Soup Turtle
    My aunt had it done. She lost a little bit of weight, but she gained it right back. She was a size 16 to start out with, so she wasn't thin, but she probably didn't need surgery!
    She experienced no complications.
  7. by   JoJo_Ga_Girl
    My best friend had lapband done in April and has since lost almost 100 pounds. It has been a lifesaver for her. Not only for her physical health, but also her self esteem. Lapband is great because of not having to actually cut the stomach. You lose weight slower but we all know slower is healthier. It also makes you pay attention to what you are putting into your mouth. You aren't going to lose just from eating very little...you are going to lose because you are going to make the right choices.

    My friend is a regular poster at obsesityhelp.com. There are a lot of before. during, after stories and photos to help you in your decision.

    BTW she got hers done in B'ham AL which is a 2 hour drive from her home in H'ville AL
    Good luck in whatever your family member decides!!
  8. by   jo272wv
    I work on a med surg floor which is also our hospitals Gastric Bypass unit. First of all the success and failure of either procedure is choosing the right surgen. Make sure that the surgen is certified in this procedure, also make sure that the post op floor is a certified bypass unit. We had two surgens in the past seven yrs. the first was not certified and outcomes were not always good. The surgen we have now has a high success rate with no deaths, much pre education, and he recommends the right procedure for the right person. I as a nurse am inpressed with both the lap bypass and the lap banding.
  9. by   Valanda
    A friend of mine wrote a book about loss surgery and her experience with it. She also co-authored a second book. I think they would make for good reading even if she wasn't my friend. She also gives lectures across the US. The books are, "Weight Loss Surgery: Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You!" and "Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies". Her name is Barbara Thompson.
    She is not a nurse, just someone who went through bariatric surgery, asked many questions, learned alot, and wrote about her experience.
    Both of these books may be available in your local library.
  10. by   Blackcat99
    My friend's friend had a gastric bypass recently. She has had so many complications. Lots of infections and then she had to get a G-tube because she was too nauseated to eat. She has been back and forth into the hospital about 4-5 times since her surgery. I would not recommend it to anyone.
  11. by   puggymae
    Thanks, these were things I wanted to hear. My sister is thinking about having the surgery and we want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  12. by   jetscreamer101
    I know several people that have had both proceedures done. 2 brothers had a gastric bypass (not my brothers). They had them done at different facilities. The one had very little complications and felt the staff at the center he went to supported him very well with their knowledge, understanding. He has lost quite a bit of weight and looks good. The other brother has had many complications, and did not feel supported by the center he went to. He has lost weight, but he doesn't look to healthy anymore. I also had an ex-coworker whose sister had a gastric bypass and she died from complications seveal days following the proceedure.

    I work with 3 women that have had the Lap band done. 1 has slowly lost weight and continues to slowly lose more weight. 1 has never made it back to have the band inflated (or whatever they do). The last one went in to have it inflated, it had moved so they scheduled a procedure to get it back into place, but a pregnancy test right before the proceedure was positive, so they couldn't do it.
  13. by   AfloydRN
    My EX- father in law just had the lap band done. He has lost 50 lbs before they even tightened the band. He says the pain was mild and he feels great. Says he is just not hungry anymore and doesn't focus on food anymore. You know w/ any surgery there are associated risks- sometimes we roll the dice.
  14. by   Blackcat99
    Please tell your sister to contact food addicts anonymous at 4623 Forest Hill Blvd. #109-4 West Palm beach, FL 33415 and ask about ordering the pamphlet called ' A guide to abstinence." It contains a very healthy delicious lifetime eating plan. I am a food addict and I have lost about 92 pounds. I am so grateful that I never risked my life by having any kind of bariatric surgery. This food plan gets rid of the constant food cravings that I use to have. I knew a guy at work who also talked about getting the surgery and when he finally did he died on the operating table! I have heard about people getting the surgery and losing weight and then regaining all of the weight back. Why risk it?