Weight Loss Surgery - RnY Gone Wrong

View Full Version : RnY Gone Wrong

03-15-2009, 08:55 PM
There are a lot of us out there who have had major complications. I had my original surgery 5 years ago, lost 200 pounds and had severe problems ( they have removed all but 5% of my stomach now, parts of my intestine twice, rotting tissue, a part of my liver and a chunk of my esophagus) nevermind the other complicatons it has caused. There isnt a "better" surgery honestly. Its whats best for the patient and I am still glad I picked this surgery but I have had to have going on 12 surgeries now to repair all the damage.

There is a LOT you are not told. Including staples rejecting not due to over eatting but the item itself being defective which is what started my problems. ( They have remedied this issue, but there is risks as always) To obstructions, infections, etc. Not all problems are talked about either.

I have major nerve damage (the medication they put me on for this, and for my stomach to stop the rotting and to help me while they repaired me caused me to gain 85 pounds back that I am fighting to lose now.) that is apparently something they are aware can happen, but never informed me of. ( Out of three surgeons I saw).

I'm glad I had it done after all that, I wish I had gone with a different original surgeon, but it is what I needed to help me. Even though my stomach is even smaller now than my original surgery I don't feel full. Ever. Its like I never had the surgery. I am a "medical mystery" according to the doctors because I am having a ton of problems that I wont flood through here but even though they stabalized me its an on going battle.

People think I am crazy for saying I would do it again, but I needed the help to get going. I realized after ( I developed eatting disorders when sick bulemia/anorexia and binge eatting) that my over eatting previously to surgery was a product of OCD. Maybe if I had known that originally I would have been able to accomplish it on my own. I don't know. Whats cool is people from my current surgeons office asking me questions, some of the answers arent "pretty" but my doctor wants them to talk to me to see the down side too. If you haven't had it done and are concerned, or just want to know what its all about you can ask me. I've experienced the good and the so bad. I still have spans of hospital stays, so I may be slow to respond but I definitely will!

03-15-2009, 10:14 PM
Wow! Honey thank you for sharing your story! There have been quite a few people talking about the down sides of surgery lately and though I knew that before my RNY, I say the same thing...I would do it again! I needed the kick in the pants.

Though, I didn't have any complications and I am sure it's because of what the surgeons learned for prior cases like yours!! I am sooo sorry that your have gone through so much!

I don't understand people, here on this board included, that would recommend having this surgery, or having this surgery over that surgery, etc. even when they haven't actually had surgery yet. I don't think I will EVER recommend someone have surgery...at most I say "it's a personal choice" and I will be there for anyone that has already made the decision.

I have said it before, this is a hard row to hoe!! Changed my life for the better and I would do it a hundred times but kowledge is the key, it helps to shine a light on both the good and the bad.


03-16-2009, 12:31 AM
Thank you so much for talking about this. My biggest concern with discussions of wls complications, is how often the patient or doctor is blamed for virtually all complications (the implication being that complications are only ever experienced when the surgeon or the patient makes mistakes).

What isn't often talked about is that the doctor and the patient can both do everything right, and complications can still happen. That doesn't mean the surgery isn't the right decision, but informed consent can't take place if the information is not given regarding that. Even a surgeon saying "I've never had a patient experience a complication if they followed instructions," while it may be true - it does imply that blameless complications can't or don't happen.

I once read someone say, "if they told us what it was like, no one would have the surgery," (implying she was happy that her doctor didn't tell her the truth of the situation).

Having a medical/psych background, I hold informed consent sacred. If it were true that no one would have the surgery, if all were properly informed - then no one should have the surgery. Instead, I would hope that every surgery patient goes in with their eyes completely open, that they know what the specific risks are, and has decided to accept those risks. That means not only do you know what the risks are, but that you do know they can happen to you, and perhaps even have a strategy planned (or at least considered) for if they do occur.

03-16-2009, 12:37 AM
This subject is a little dear to me, because I am not a great candidate for wls, because of specific health issues. I am quite prone to infection and immunity issues, as well as vitamin absorption problems which make bypass surgeries too risky. Also, I have an autoimmune connective tissue disease, which the manufacturer of the lapband specifically warns makes me inappropriate for the lap band.

My primary doctor agrees that I'm not a good candidate, but a rheumatologist I was referred to nearly had me convinced to ignore all of the good reasons I knew wls wasn't for me, because HE wasn't worried about the risks to me. My husband asked me what had changed my mind, and I realized nothing. The doctor just had a good salespitch.

I'm not saying that wls isn't the right option for many people, just that it isn't right for me AND that in making that decision, every patient is entitiled to correct, accurate, and comprehensive information on the surgery, it's risks, and treatment options for complications, should they occur. Informed consent without accurate and comprehensive information is not informed consent.

03-16-2009, 09:29 AM
I ended up with a neurological disorder as a result of my gastric bypass surgery and I was following my instructions. After my disorder was diagnosed I tried to research it fully. It's most common cause is alcoholism. I wasn't drinking at all especially only 4 weeks after surgery. After speaking with my doctor I found out that there was only ever one case of my disease in reference to the Gastric Bypass every reported in my state and less than 100 in all of the United States. Usually people end up in a coma or dead before the diagnosis could happen. I was lucky that I just happened to go to the hospital where that one other case was recently studied. Every person is different and surgeries effect every person in a different way.

03-16-2009, 01:59 PM
RavenG: I'm so sorry for all the problems that you are having. I really appreciate when those who have had problems come and tell us about them because they are informative. They will help people make an informed decisions about the WLSs and help people to be proactive after WLS. I know I've mentioned before that I am an old dog, and will not live long enough to see some of the side affects that will hound someone that had the WLSs at a younger age. For me, going into the surgery, well, there hasn't been one surprise for me physically yet that I wasn't aware of or hadn't read about. Mentally, it has been a different kind of struggle. I'm in the maintenance phase and am having to deal with my mental hunger everyday. Well, I guess there was one thing that I really wasn't expecting physically and that was a low blood sugar thingy. I have dealt with it off and on my whole life, and needed to be treated for diabetes before my surgery, but decided to wait until after the surgery for diabetic treatment to see how the surgery would manage it. How do I handle my low blood sugars? I just eat frequent small meals and much to my dismay, still have a life centered on food!! Dang It!! But, would I go back and do it all again. HECK YES! If I had not had the surgery, I would be dead or dying the next few years that I have left. That was no way to live and am grateful to God everyday for my surgery. Don't know if I'll ever have complications, down the road, but I'll be on top of everything because of all the information that past WLS patients post and I read everything that I can about WLS and what I need to be doing now to make it a success in my life. I'm not partial to any type of surgery and there are sure enough WLS to suit everyone. I didn't have much of a choice with my insurance and took the best route for me. Even if I did have more choices don't know that I would have chosen different. Keep your self healthy, do your Vits and Sups and water.....those things alone can keep things rolling alot better. Protein consumption and a more balanced approach to my diet are the things that I am working on now to have a healthier next twenty or thirty years.

Ophelia: I know you have had problems and I'm so sorry. What you have...can you live and manage with it? What were you alternatives before you had your WLS? I know you said you were relatively healthy before you had your surgery.

I take some Vits and Supplements that were NOT on my recommended list from my doctor and nutritionist. Why? Because of all that has been written about iron deficencies, neurological problems, etc. I might be peeing a lot of them down the toilet, and am not psycho about the vits and supps, but I'm warding off what ever I can. I'm hoping every year that WLS gets less complicated, more accessible, better informational system and available to all who take this route. And thank those who come here, who have actually had the surgery, and give their opinions.

03-16-2009, 09:42 PM
I don't understand people, here on this board included, that would recommend having this surgery, or having this surgery over that surgery, etc. even when they haven't actually had surgery yet.
I haven't had surgery yet. I would never recommend surgery to someone; I don't talk about it unless someone else brings it up first or is already considering it. However, I do recommend people look into the DS if they have type 2 diabetes. The DS by and far has the best statistics of any current WLS for resoultion of type 2 diabetes, and so many people get WLS without even knowing the DS exists!

Anyway, that's my bit - I am pre-op but I still make recommendations based on the research I've done. I will NEVER say the DS is the best for everyone - there is no "one size fits all" surgery - but I feel sad for people seeking revisions to a DS who say they had never even heard of it when they got their other surgery.

03-16-2009, 09:46 PM
My disease is manageable but I must take even more vitamins daily than what was originally recommended, as well as some other prescription medications used to deal with the side effects of the disease. I have been overweight all my life and as I got older ( I realize I am not even 30 but know what I mean) it got harder to control my weight. I have had many thyroid tests and after my GB they discovered that I had a problem not with my thryroid but with my parathyroid sending wacky signals to my thyroid. I had my thyrid removed 6 mos after my surgery. Not having my thyroid also doesn't help my situation.

03-16-2009, 10:11 PM
I haven't had surgery yet. I would never recommend surgery to someone; I don't talk about it unless someone else brings it up first or is already considering it. However, I do recommend people look into the DS if they have type 2 diabetes. The DS by and far has the best statistics of any current WLS for resoultion of type 2 diabetes, and so many people get WLS without even knowing the DS exists!

That's what I mean Jill, I would say that for the benefits vs complications, the RNY was the best way I could deal with my diabetes...I don't have any symptoms at all now. One should know what's out there but there's give and take when looking at all WLSs. I would NOT recommend the DS in any way...of the people I have personally have known that had DS, one recently passed away due to complications and another is struggling with being sickly all the time due to malabsorbsion. Perhaps, these and other past "mistakes" will help better the procedure in the future but I just don't think it wise that it's being touted as better...an option, yes...something to look into, yes..if you have serious complications from diabetes, maybe...but not better for everyone.

03-17-2009, 01:57 PM
WHEW!!! ok girls. we're all saying the same things: LOOK at all your choices. LOOK at your medical condition. LOOK at how you deal with stress. LOOK at how you're willing to live.

TALK to as many docs as you need to. TALK to everyone who's been through it. LEARN the good, the bad, and the ugly. and MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION.

the only RIGHT way for a person to lose weight - and keep it off - is the way that works FOR THAT PERSON.

Complications like Raven's and Ophelia's and others HAPPEN. DEATHS happen. we can only hope and pray that each and every person who looks into ANY form of WLS gets a COMPLETE and honest view of that particular surgery, and the surgeon's experience with it.

and then makes an informed decision.