Weight Loss Surgery - The Not So Rosy Side of WLS

View Full Version : The Not So Rosy Side of WLS

01-08-2009, 09:41 AM
It always irks me a little about people that don't know a darn thing about WLS talking about it being the easy way out and then point out all of the people who have failed at WLS. So, in light of that here are some of the CONS of WLS for me: All of you "oldies" feel free to add your Cons. I don't want people to say that they went into their surgeries not knowing what was possibly going to happen.

1. I have to take supplements the rest of my life
2. I can't eat bread, spaghetti gives me problems and chicken is.....stupid
3. I'm suppose to drink tons of water
4. I have a hernia, of course I'd already had two others repaired before this
5. I can have complications down the road: internal hernias, strictures, vitamin deficiencies, bowel complications, adhesions, kidney stones, on and on..
6. Saggy skin with skin disruption problems, odors, rashes, etc.
7. I still have a tendency to eat too fast and will foam and throw up on occasion.
8. I can't eat too much sugar; overload carbs, and too much fats give me the diarrhea and I can dump from the sugars going directly in my bowel and I will get sweaty, dizzy, nauseated, and of course diarrhea.
9. I have to eat pretty regular small meals because I now have a problem with low blood sugars and will be fuzzy, lethargic and weird.
10. I have to exercise regularly.
11. I'm terrible aware that I could easily gain my weight back and that gives me angst!
12. I'm having to deal with psychological problems about food and that deals with psychological problems in my life that cause me to turn to food.
13. The coldness is unbelievable at times, and my fingers go dead and can't even blow my own nose until I get them warmed back up.

There are problem more if I had the time to sit and dwell on them. But.....I don't have to sit because I can get up and move around without pain. I've been on a diet my whole adult life, without success, and nothing above is any different then it was before, EXCEPT, I'm in that light at the end of the tunnel. I'm ALIVE and will gladly do what I'm suppose to do to be able to be active, a participant in life, a giver to my family and community, not depend on others to tie my shoes, bend to get something I've dropped, go into the store and get me a motorized cart so that I can shop, have my poor DH go to the basement and do my laundry, go up the stairs on two legs instead of crawling up them like a dog. No longer have to depend on medications so that I can get out of bed in the morning to set on the couch all day. I can sleep more than an hour at a time without pain that made me cry and want to bang my head against the wall. I can walk to the mailbox without the use of a cane and shortness of breath. And oh so much more. Life is short and then you die, but baby, WLS has given me a chance to go out kicking!

01-08-2009, 10:05 AM
Amen Sister!

01-08-2009, 11:15 AM

Some of those "cons" to the surgery deter me from even thinking about getting the surgery.

Before you got the surgery, did you realize how many negative things would occur post-op? Just curious...

For me, the side effects seem to be worse than my personal condition and I think if I got the surgery I would be getting myself into trouble so, I think I'm going to stick to good old fashioned exercise and diet. I mean, I have about 100lbs to lose. I can do it, I think.

Sorry for the rant, just wanted to put my two cents in there.

01-08-2009, 11:26 AM
It's about knowing what to expect. . .WLS is the best thing I ever did for myself. But it was My choice and I saw the good the bad and the really ugly beforehand.
I was getting to the point where I couldn't move at all. That was scary. and no type of food is worth being a prisoner in your own body.

That being said many people think WLS is a magic bullet. . .it's not and its not for ppl to lazy to do it the "old fashioned way"
Everyone has to make the choice that is right for them
good luck Erica

01-08-2009, 11:44 AM
Erica: I knew every one of the cons could happen before I had my WLS. I had researched it for two years and thinking that if I just did this one more time or tried this that I could start losing weight and maintain. People die from the WLS and I knew this going in. But, I was dying also, but just in a slower more painful manner than a WLS kill. These cons don't happen to me everyday or even every week. My dear, do what is right for you. My hat is off to anyone who can lose weight by a plan and maintain that weight loss. I'm thrilled for anyone who can do it. But, when you get to the place I was at and there are so many like me, then you have to give it the WLS shot. WLS is not for everyone. I was such a mess when I came to this site, mad at myself for not being able to do it on my own, not wanting to give up my best friend, food, if I had WLS, on and on. I just wish that I had done it earlier and saved my joints and body from all the wreckage from obesity. Good luck!

01-08-2009, 02:04 PM
Thank you Nanj. I am not considering it, but a lot of my acquaintances are considering it when they are very capable to do the diet and exercise. They think it's a magic bullet where you can just do it and then go about your merry way. I am going to direct them to this thread!

01-08-2009, 02:59 PM
Sadly, many doctors also have this attitude. I've researched weight loss surgeries and determined that for me, the risks outweight the benefits (at this time). Last year, I visited a rheumatologist who was new to the area (the waiting list for rheumies in this town is usually a year or more), and in the first appointment he had me nearly convinced that wls was not only my only option, but that the risks I was worried about weren't really a concern.

Later, when my husband asked what information, the doctor gave had changed my mind, I realized that there wasn't any, I'd been drug along by HIS enthusiasm and dismissal of the risks. He didn't tell me that my estimation of the risks was incorrect, he just told me that he was not concerned with the risks (well, who cares what risks HE is willing to take with my life).

I already have a predisposition toward vitamin and mineral deficiency, despite a balanced diet and a multivitamin - I have inflammatory and autoimmune disease, possibly of the connective tissue (which would make even the lapband dangerous).

It was amazing to me that I found a charismatic doctor so persuasive as to completely bypass my logic circuits on the matter.

I do believe that weight loss surgery needs to be an option for people willing to accept the risks (providing they are truly made aware of the risks). It also should be covered by insurances, although I think less drastic measures should also be covered. I've known several folks in our area who resorted to wls because their insuranced covers it, when their first preference was to enter our hospital's intensive weight management program (a year to 18 months of behavior and diet therapy with a gym membership and regular sessions with a personal trainer, certified dietician, and the physician heading the program ).

Regardless, wls has to be a method of last resort, because the normal consequences (not just the extreme risks) are pretty severe. Regardless, whether a person is considering wls or not, anyone who thinks wls is the "easy way" doesn't know enough about wls.

01-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Erica, there are also multiple weight loss surgery procedures. These may be possible side effects (and I say "possible" because not all people even with the same surgery have the same side effects) for the gastric bypass, but a couple of them could happen even without the surgery (feeling cold, loose skin, etc.), and some of them don't happen with other procedures.

But also, note that in the last paragraph of her post, she talks about how HAPPY and healthy she is!

Edit: I have mixed feelings on the topic of WLS being "the easy way out." No, surgery is not easy. But I really do think it is the easier way to lose weight. And what's wrong with that? It is perfectly normal to want things to be easier. We drive cars, use remotes for the tv, use microwaves, etc., because they make life EASIER. WLS is often referred to as a "tool," yet I don't see other people being pestered for using, say, a power drill instead of a manual screwdriver. It is not some sort of moral or personality flaw to want something that makes our lives easier, ESPECIALLY when it comes to our health. Just my opinion :)

01-08-2009, 03:56 PM
Tools are designed for making our lives easier, that is the point. Yes WLS is a tool and we choose how we use it but the main thing is it is like a push start when on a swing, after you get the push you still have to pump your legs. Tools are only as good as the person who uses them and knowlage always helps

01-08-2009, 05:25 PM
Please don't anyone get me wrong. Would I do the surgery again? IN A HEART BEAT!!!!!

01-08-2009, 10:27 PM
Please don't anyone get me wrong. Would I do the surgery again? IN A HEART BEAT!!!!!

My grandma had her surgery 35 years ago and she says the same thing, she has managed to keep off over 100 pounds and stays around 180 to 190. She diets and works out 3 days a week and is pretty active for any age much less being over 80.

01-09-2009, 12:11 AM
I am glad to see you list the cons of the surgery. I knew most of them going into the surgery but I have discovered a few more since having it. However, the expected results far out weigh my inability to fit in a movie theater chair, possibly need a seat belt extender on a airplane, or have my foot doctor tell me my arches are falling because they can't handle my weight. This lifestyle is one to reckon with but it is anything but easy.

01-09-2009, 08:34 AM
My brother had WLS in dec and almost died. His kidneys are still not working on their own. He still has drainage tubes coming out of his stomach. He was doing great and then infection set in and with in 24 hours he was septic and blew up like a balloon. He knew the risk but never expected them to happen to him. He has already lost over 70 pounds and is to weak to even get out of bed. He has a long road ahead of him. Yes he is losing weight but its not an easy way or a quick fix. He had horrible back problems and had tried dieting and wasnt able to lose weigh and saw this as his chance at life again.I dont think its a magic pill ..it almost costed him his life! I know a lady who had it and has done great with it. Guess she is lucky!!

01-09-2009, 08:50 AM
WLS is an individual decision. I have experienced most of the cons listed but I'll tell you this. I'll take them any day over the cons of obesity. I can accomplish more in a day now than I could accomplish in a month before I had surgery. And I can do things I never could have done before. And I can do it with no pain. I, too, knew the risks. I knew I could die. But I also knew it was my only hope. I'm grateful every morning I can put on socks and tie shoes. I can take a shower and not have to sit down and rest before I put on my clothes. Simple little things that folks take for granted are such a joy to me. Yes, there are negatives. But they are so small in comparison I hardly notice them any more. Yes, I do know my sagging skin is not pretty but I look darn good in my clothes !!
I have a friend who chose not to have surgery after she had been approved and ready to go. I supported her in that decision. However, it did amaze me that one of her reasons was she didn't want sagging skin. I can't help but wonder if she thinks the rolls of fat are pretty. I do think she made the right decision for her for other reasons.
The cons do need to be addressed so everyone can make an informed decision. Thank you Nancy for doing that.

01-09-2009, 08:58 AM
dgramie, I'm sorry to hear that about your brother. That is why it's so important that people know the risks going in. These things can happen. My heart goes out to him and I hope and pray he will soon be better.

01-09-2009, 11:16 AM
I've heard a lot of people say that they knew the risks, but never thought they'd happen to them. I know that it's one of the things the rheumatologist who nearly talked me into the surgery had made me feel - that the risks were there, but would never happen to me (they'd happen to someone else, I guess) and yet everything I had researched said that I was in one of the greatest risk categories for complications. If they were going to happen to anyone, they were going to happen to me.

I think that unless you are prepared for the risks to happen to you, then you really don't understand those risks. Assuming the risk won't happen, really isn't much different than believing there is no risk. At the heart of "informed consent," is the knowledge that the risks are real and really truly (to quote Shrek) CAN happen to you. If you don't fully appreciate what that means, then you're not ready for the surgery.

Because of being at much greater risk for severe complications of gastric bypass, I was considering lapband, but learned that lapband was contraindicated by the manufacturer for autoimmune connective tissue disease (which I probably have, autoimmune for sure - connective tissue, probably). The rheumy wasn't concerned at all, saying we would deal with complications when or if they showed up (and he didn't think they would).

I looked more into why the lapband shouldn't be used by folks with autoimmune connective tissue disease - basically, the body over-reacts to having a foreign object in the body, and inflammation and scar tissue form around the lap band device, closing off the stomach, sometimes entirely, and creating such a mess around the lap band site that it has to be completely cut out, and the surgeon must figure out some way to reconstruct the digestive tract.

Well, I've already had two very serious health issues caused by the body over-reacting to a foreign body. The first wasn't even technically a foreign body. I had a root canal, and had all sorts of complications afterward, and the dentist said my body had been treating the dead tooth as a foreign body (and in doing so, damaged my jaw). Another was a device in my nose (called a nasal button) to plug a hole in my septum caused by the autoimmune disease. I had to have the button removed and surgery to repair the damage.
The trouble I had with foreign objects barely embedded in my skin, I'm just not willing to take the larger risks with an internal object. Especially since the stories I have been able to gather from people who have had trouble with the band in this way, inevitably have difficulty persuading their doctors that there is a problem. Instead, their complaints and symptoms are blamed on "getting used to the band," until they become life threatening (usually their fever spiking - this terrifies me, because even when dreadfully ill with a virus that is giving everyone else wh catches it a fever, my temperature rarely goes much past 99 degrees. For me, 99 degrees IS a serious fever, (my normal is around 97.4, and can even be lower).

It's hard getting at the real complication stories. People are often reluctant, for some reason, to talk about the down side, even when the complications they've experienced are dire. I'm not sure why that is. When I was researching the wls, I had a terrible time finding them. I would have thought it would have been easy (considering the numbers, when surgeons are willing to give the numbers, put it at the highest risk elective surgery). Gastric bypass once had about the same fatality risk as open heart surgery. Lap band is fairly low risk (if you don't have the autoimmune disease), but gastric bypass still has the highest risk, and highest fatality risk of all elective surgeries.

Despite my passionate arguments, I'm not opposed to the surgery. Though you might think I am from my words - but I truly believe that only the patients who CAN'T be talked out of it, should consider it. If you're truly willing to face lifetime complications and/or death for the opportunity that gastric bypass provides, it might be right for you.

I once read someone say "if they told us what it (gastric bypass) would really be like, no one would do it," and the person meant it as that being a good thing (as in thank goodness, they don't tell us what it's really going to be like). I really hope that's not how most people, especially the doctors responsible for providing informed consent feel, because if you don't know what it's going to be like, you haven't truly understood all those forms you've been signing.

01-09-2009, 05:26 PM
I'm brand new to the site, this thread is actually what made me sign up.
I'm 17 and I just had Roux-En-Y on November 10th. I had to go to a special hospital that does the surgery for minors.
I'll admit, the downsides are no fun. Sometimes things will get stuck, and it's pretty painful. There are days where I feel really tired because I'm not getting enough protein. But I think the reason you don't hear about the bad stuff too often is just the fact that, for most people, it doesn't matter. The pros almost always outweigh the cons. Life just after surgery was absolutely miserable for me, but I'd go through it again and again. And I'm only 2 months out, no where near my goal weight yet. Imagine how it feels for people who have been successful for 5 + years. Being the 'real' me is way more important than being able to eat whatever I want and not have to worry about dumping syndrome.
A teacher at my school had the surgery as well, and she had complications. She got a stricture and was on liquids for a long time. But even with her long hospital stays and problems getting food down, she still has no regrets.

01-09-2009, 05:51 PM
My friend's mother died from WLS. The first few years for her were great- she lost a lot of weight- she looked amazing!- she even had a breast job later!

Then one day she just started getting sick- and one day my friend went to visit her mother and her mother said she wasn't feeling well and when she got up there was BLOOD coming out from her butt when she went to the bathroom- it was black and they rushed her to the hospital (this was years ago btw). She died soon after- her intestines had collapsed and her kidneys stopped working- her blood pressure was too low they could not perform dialysis on her.

My friend is over 300 lbs but said she'd never do WLS.

I think people are ignorant when say it's easy- there is no way it's easy! It's such a risky procedure so no- I don't think it's the "easy way out."

01-09-2009, 06:06 PM
It's not the easy way out, believe me. It may be easier to lose the weight initially but there's a ton of things that go along with it. It takes a lot of work, constant monitoring, blood tests, other tests, supplements (not cheap!) and opens up its own set of problems.

You can't know everything before surgery (there are just too many variables) but you need to try and learn as much as possible.

01-16-2009, 02:24 PM
My sister had a gastric bypass five years ago. She weighed over 400 lbs. She is now around 200. That part worked fine. The part that is scary, is she went to her support groups, gave herself injections of vitamins, followed the doctors orders to a T. Now, five years later, she is addicted to pain meds because she has to take them daily, anti-nasuea meds daily, acid reflux meds daily. She vomits every time she eats, she had a twisted bowel that was repaired, she is skin and bone (except for the water she retains in her legs because her lymphnodes don't work.) In June of 2007 she was admitted into the hospital in Liver failure, we were told three different times she would not survive. She had to be flown to OHSU in Portland. She was in the hospital over 60 days. Her liver somehow made it through, but is permanantly damaged, and will most likely need a transplant. She was sent home with a feeding tube that she had to have for three months, it came out in November and now she is sick again, and has barely been out of bed since Thanksgiving. The doctors will not let her work, not that she could in her current condition. Has anyone else had any issues like this???

01-16-2009, 04:10 PM
Candi123: I'm so sorry about your sister. I'm hoping everything goes well for her and she recovers. Now, I'm curious and not just being nosy, but want to understand about what is happening to your sister. If you don't want to answer or can't, it is alright. The bowel thing was the last thing that my WLS talked to me about at my yearly checkup.

1. Did or does your sister have any underlying health issues before she had the surgery five years ago? Was her health good before she had the WLS?
2. Has she ever had hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney; does she drink alcohol?
3. Why was she on pain medication?
4. Why was she taking vitamin injections?
5. Has she been getting her blood work done on a regular basis?
6. Has she been getting a regular WLS physician checkup, like yearly?
7. Why has she been so nauseated and what was she taking for the reflux?
8. How old was your sister when she had the surgery?
9. If she was following the doctor's order to the T, then why didn't the doctor pick up on these things?
10. Did they say why she is in liver failure in 2007?

Now some people are saying to themselves, boy Nancy is being so nosy. But..the reason I'm asking is because I'm educating myself on things that I need to look out for and things that I or others might have to deal with. I know some people that have undergone WLS because it is their last chance at LIFE, not just a normal life, but LIFE. You saw that on Big Medicine. Some of the people had very few underlying health issue, besides obesity, but with family history, you knew that they were going to be very ill in the future. Others had heart, lung, diabetes, etc. issues that had to be under control and tested before they could have the surgery and WLS doesn't cure most of these issues. WLS might lessen the severity and give them a better quality of life.

I'm not being judgemental about your sister, because it is awful what she is going through, just trying to understand.

01-16-2009, 04:12 PM
After Candi123 wrote, it jogged my mind about your brother and would like an up-date on him if you could. Hoping everything is much, much better and he is on the path to good health.

01-16-2009, 05:13 PM
eh, eh, eh, the things I face prior to surgery were worse. If I had to do it over again, I WOULD IN A HEARTBEAT. I take no prescribed meds now. I was on 2 blood pressure meds, colesterol meds, mild diabetes, low self esteem, clothes were a b*tch to buy/fit/wear. Yes, I had an internal hernia, that was very minor to fix. Prior to WLS I had already had my gallbladder removed, kidney stones, etc etc. Yes, there are a lot of vitamin suppliments to be taken everyday, so what,,,beats the heck out of heart attack, stroke, or rigormotis. Do the research for yourselves, only you can decide what you want for you. Truthfully, I am so happy with myself now, my life, everything, it is amazing. I will be two years out on Feb 12, that is my re-birthdate.

01-19-2009, 03:41 PM
[QUOTE=nanj;2556179]Candi123: I'm so sorry about your sister. I'm hoping everything goes well for her and she recovers. Now, I'm curious and not just being nosy, but want to understand about what is happening to your sister. If you don't want to answer or can't, it is alright. The bowel thing was the last thing that my WLS talked to me about at my yearly checkup.

1. Did or does your sister have any underlying health issues before she had the surgery five years ago? Was her health good before she had the WLS?
2. Has she ever had hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney; does she drink alcohol?
3. Why was she on pain medication?
4. Why was she taking vitamin injections?
5. Has she been getting her blood work done on a regular basis?
6. Has she been getting a regular WLS physician checkup, like yearly?
7. Why has she been so nauseated and what was she taking for the reflux?
8. How old was your sister when she had the surgery?
9. If she was following the doctor's order to the T, then why didn't the doctor pick up on these things?
10. Did they say why she is in liver failure in 2007?

1.Well, my sister had a thyroid problem, and was on the verge of diabetes. Other than that, she had no issues other than being over weight. 2. Never had any of the conditions listed, now she has cirrhosis of the liver and may need a transplant at some point in her life. 3. She was on pain meds since surgery because of the horrible pain she was in at all times. 4. When she first got out of the hospital after WLS they told her to take vitamin injections, now she has to do it again because she can not absorb anything. 5. I believe so, but apparently they were not looking at particular things and she was able to go into complete liver failure before they found any thing wrong. 6. My sister's WLS surgeon only saw her right after surgery, and a year later. My mother and Sister have contacted that surgeon about all of these issues...He flattly says "not my problem, her surgery was done correctly." 7. I am not sure what causes the naseau but she vomits almost everytime she eats. She barely eats anything anyway, in comparision to someone who has not had WLS. 8. She was 20. 9. She followed the WLS Surgeons orders to a T, then once he stopped helping she was looking for a doctor. She saw many different doctors and none of them would touch her, due to the surgery. At one point, on doctor said, "go back to the doctor that screwed you up. I am not touching you." 9. Yes, she went into liver failure in 2007. My mother took her to a her first visit at a new doctor. He took one look at her and said, "I have no idea what is wrong with you, but I know I can not send you home like this." She could not make coherant sentances, she could not sign her name. She was beyond confused. They did some tests and found that her amonia levels were enough to put most people in a coma. Which told them her amonia had been on a steady rise and she had built up a resistance. She also has almost no protien in her body. Apparently, there is a protien that you have in your brain, that keeps all you fluids in your cells. She was missing all those, her legs had been swollen for about 4 years before they figured out what it was. When she bumped her legs they were so swollen they would burst open. We have that under control better, as long as she stays in bed with her legs up. Currently we are juicing vegis, and fruits and making protein shakes multiple times a day, as well as eating meals to get the nutri.

01-22-2009, 05:03 PM
Candi23, All I can say is WOW! One thing people that are considering WLS is to investigate you WL surgeon; and that he will be available for follow-up care and a facility that can cope with emergencies. Make sure that you have primary care physician that will follow you after surgery, if not find someone who will. Preferably find out about your primary care physician before you have the surgery. I'm sorry for your sister's ill health. I had a friend who was wholesome, hardworking farm wife, who lived simply and healthy, and developed cirrhosis of the liver for no apparent. Why your sister has developed all of these things unimaginable...and so heart-wenching. My prayers and thought are with her. The vitamin injections have me scratching my head. If she had to resort to injections, what were her labs before she went in? Is her WLS surgeon still in practice?

Now before we scare everyone to death that has just had or are considering surgery. WLS is not a minor operation, there can be complications and death. Of course, there are many more people who DON'T have complications after WLS than those who do, but we are more likely to hear about the one's who do have the complications. Keep up on your labs, take your vitamins and supplements, know about what you should be taking before you even get on the operating table. Have an eating plan in mind for after you have finished your first few months post op. Get a good nutritionist who will help you with that plan and will do good follow up care with you also. If you have weird or persistent symptoms, then for heaven sakes follow up with your doctor. If that doesn't work, the loudest, screechiest, wheel, gets the most attention. If you are having persistent vomiting and have to live on anti-emetics see your danged doctor. If you are having to live on pain pills, see your doctor! Be proactive. Doctor's see hundreds of patients a week and so you have to be an advocate for yourself. Know what your first set of labs, after surgery was, and what they are every time you go in. Sometimes even the smallest change can mean there is a trend going on. Something you might be able to correct with a different supplement or something that you body ins't metabolising correctly. Go to your doctor, if he doesn't listen, fire him and go to another, and another until someone takes you seriously.

Bariatric Girl
01-28-2009, 10:45 PM
I think I may hold the world record for shortest research period before deciding to have weight loss surgery. It was approximately 15 minutes in 2001. I was so miserable that I really didn't care about complications. I had several co-morbidities that are all gone now. I lost exactly half my weight (260 to 130) and in March it will be 8 years. I lost hundreds of pounds, hundreds of times the old fashioned way but I couldn't keep it off until now.

When people start talking about "the easy way out" there are many things I say but one of them is this..... Does it really matter what I did to go from 30 years of obesity to 7 years not obese?(It took a year to lose it) Does it really matter? Especially when I am in the best health I have ever been in ever! It is certainly a personal decision but it was the best one I've ever made. I am so grateful for this second chance at life and wish the best for each person on the path they wish to take.

01-30-2009, 12:30 AM
Something else to consider...it's not a forever thing. People like myself who have gained A LOT of the weight back or friend of mine who gained all the weight back. To say "that won't happen to me" you are fooling yourself!

01-30-2009, 09:31 AM
Something else to consider...it's not a forever thing. People like myself who have gained A LOT of the weight back or friend of mine who gained all the weight back. To say "that won't happen to me" you are fooling yourself!
It doesn't happen to everyone, though. I've seen plenty of people maintain their weight loss long term. Yes, regain is a very real possibility, and you have to remain committed to make it work out long term. And some procedures are more "forgiving" than others.

01-30-2009, 09:38 AM
mrsstyckx: You are so right. That is why I'm on this forum, why I listen to others who have gone through it before me and their advice. I've seen some gain back and I've seen some maintain. I want to be in the maintainer's group. I'm only 15 months out and constantly have to go back to the basics because I will eat things that really aren't good for me. You are on this site for a reason I think. You are like the rest of us and realize that it still takes hard work even after the WLS. It is no picnic!!! Offering our support to you and your friend because we have been there or could be there. Please don't give up!

02-18-2009, 05:48 PM
Nan, It has been a bit since I got online. Thank you for your message back. My sister is now going through even more tests, because a couple weeks ago she blacked out, fell, lost control of her bladder and has no memory of what occured. She was in fine health prior to this surgery. I know that it is not "the easy way out." There are people that never have a complication, and that is wonderful. I myself thought about having the surgery, I just don't think my family could take it if I chose to after all we have been through. This has been a non stop struggle for the last 5 years. She finally got disability because she can not work and has not worked in nearly a year. I was looking at pictures that have been taken over the years, and I came across the most interesting thing ever. When my sister was in Portland at OHSU she had to have sugery. I forgot that her intestines were dialated. The surgeon took a pic of my sisters intestines. Your small intestines should be about as big around as a nickle, some of hers were. There was a very large section that was as big around as a softball. That will cause some pain for sure. The pic appears they pulled all of the intestines out and took the pic. The surgeon said no, when they cut her open they all spilled out due to the inflammation and swelling. There was not enough room inside of her for all of that mess. That is why I think the most important thing for anyone thinking about doing this, is find a primary care physician that is willing to see you post surgery, and has knowledge of the surgery itself, BUT do it prior to surgery.