Weight Loss Surgery - Considering...

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Seren Dee
09-17-2002, 09:01 AM
hello! My name is Seren. I'm 21 and a full-time college student.

My mom came home yesterday talking about this girl at her work who took out pics of her and no one even knew it was her. They got onto the discussion of WLS. Mom was telling me that this girls insurance covered it, but you have to be 100 lbs overweight (I am 5'5", 240lbs, with a BMI of around 42 or 43), and have health issues (syndrome in my knees from carrying around all this weight, and Diabetes runs in my family).

Now I'm curious. I'd like to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. Weight Watchers worked for me at one time. It took me a year to lose 35lbs!! And then I gained that back. Now, I've tried WW again and for some reason (stress, I'm sure), it's just not working. I feel myself getting depressed again and that's not where I want to be.

Does anyone have any advice? (I know, dumb question here, right??) :D I'm not even sure what kinds of surgeries there are. I did notice by glimpsing through the other threads here that there must be at least two different kinds.

Seren :dance:

09-17-2002, 09:28 PM
what a neat name!

and there's lots of info available on the internet, and you're right. there are several different types of surgery. some good places to look: obesityhelp.com. and the asbs.org [american society for bariatric surgery].

and spotlighthealth.com and i think there's also duodenalswitch.com or .net. not sure which.

here are some key points: for any form of wls, you have to be at least 100 pounds overweight [bmi more than 40] or 80 pounds overweight with weight-related problems/illnesses.

and you have to have a documented track record of weight loss attempts.

now for the types of surgery. with all but the lap band, there are vitamin deficiencies. these are generally managed with supplements, but you must make a lifelong commitment to take them or you will run into serious, life-threatening problems.

the roux n y gastric bypass is the most common. it's also called the stomach stapling. in this, the stomach is sectioned off by permanent staples, and part of the intestine is rerouted. so, you sure can't each much, and you don't absorb all the fat and calories.

85%-90% of the folks keep their weight off, and it's an average of 75% of their excess weight. others reach their goals and maintain, and others regain EVERYTHING!!! it's not readily reversible. the vitamin deficiencies tend to be the water-soluble ones, but especially the b12

there's vomiting if you eat too much or too quickly, and you have to chew your food to a paste. you also can't drink within 30 minutes of eating. and carbs are a no no.

the duodenal switch was performed in about 10% of the wls patients. i don't know too much about it, but dawnajoy knows EVERYTHING, so she'll fix whatever i say wrong. but, most of the stomach is removed, leaving about a 9-oz stomach. parts of the intestines are reorganized [and this is where i get real fuzzy]. DS patients can eat more, and don't have the vomiting problems, because they still have a pyloric valve. but they have a higher incidence of ulcers and foul smells.

deficiencies tend to be the fat soluble vitamins.

the lap band is the newest, and it's basically an adjustable ring that makes your stomach look like it's been stapled as in the rny. but your intestines remain the same. the weight loss is slower than either the rny or the DS, and although it's designed to stay in for life, the band can be removed.

with all of these surgeries, the aftercare and support are essential, so if your doc doesn't offer this, don't use him!!!

hope this gets you started... and we'll answer any and all questions.. at least as far as we know.

09-18-2002, 01:21 AM
Hi Seren,

Just wanted to clarify a few points about the DS.

The foul odor thing....there are a lot of myths out there. There is NO foul body odor. That is simply untrue. The bowel movements, however, can smell bad, as can gas. But DS patients do not have a foul smell emanating from their bodies.

I have heard it said that RNY patients have their problems up top (vomiting) and DS patients have theirs at the other end (more/looser stools). Obviously that is simplistic, but that tends to be the general pattern.

With the DS the stomach is transected vertically, leaving the natural configuration, just much smaller. My initial stomach volume was 150 cc at the time of surgery. Over about one year, the stomach stretches naturally until we are able to eat a "small normal" amount. The malabsorption part of the procedure keeps us from regaining. The DS lends itself to fewer food intolerances than the RNY. Because a portion of the duodenum is kept intact, we do not suffer from dumping syndrome. Lifelong vitamin supplementation is an absolute must with the DS.

When contemplating any type of WLS, do your research. It is not something to take lightly.

For DS information try www.duodenalswitch.com


09-18-2002, 08:05 AM
Hi Seren, just wanted to welcome you to our WLS forum.

Dawna and Jiff have given you lots of information, nothing more for me to add. :D

Hope you continue to post so we can follow your journey.


09-20-2002, 09:52 PM
you should talk to your doctor and get some blood tests run before you get into the whole surgery thing.

sometimes odd levels of male and female hormones can make weight loss difficult (in the case of my cousin) to impossible.

it is also possible that you could have some other disorder, like hypothyroidism. my mom, sister, and i all have thyroid problems, and for all of us, it caused weight gain (amts varied from person to person), difficulty in weight loss, depression (both my mom and sis, and antidepressants didn't help fully).

i'm not saying not to do surgery, but get other things evaluated first.

good luck.

Seren Dee
09-23-2002, 07:06 PM
thanks for the suggestions:) They have tested my thyroid a couple of times and it is normal. I was sorta hoping that is what it was so they could do something about it or so that I wouldn't think it was all my fault. But that's not the case. I was just contemplating... or not even that. I was just checking into what it actually is and getting my facts straight. :)

I did get some info from a bariatric surgery center here, and I actually got it in the mail today, tho I haven't even opened it yet..