Weight Loss Surgery - A lurker breaks out

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12-15-2002, 11:05 AM
Hi everybody! I must admit that I have been a 'lurker' for a few weeks and have finally decided that it is time to introduce myself.

I am 32, happily married most of the time (LOL), and mother to two beautiful girls (8 and 2 1/2 yrs old). I work FT in health care administration.

For the most part I have been successful in all that I have attempted in my life - EXCEPT battling this weight issue. I've been up and down over the years - shedding 50 lbs or so then losing interest because I 'stalled' and somehow gaining it all back - plus a few more pounds just for good measure. I have gone from starvation dieting and exercise 'til you drop - to eat whatever you want - you only live once. I might as well die happy. (I'm sure none of you have ever said that one.) Anyway - the medical center that I work at began doing Gastric Bypass Surgery approx. 2 years ago. I was actually on the planning committee to make sure we had plans in place and proper education for nurses etc. Anyway - I've been contemplating the surgery since that time. I finally got up enough nerve last February to ask my family doctor to send me to the clinic and have been working toward that goal since then.

I had my last appt. with GI/Nutrition last week. I am waiting for insurance company approval and then my visit with the surgeon. I am hopeful to have the surgery in late January or early February. I am so excited I can't stand it. I actually have a very good chance of being successful! Finally! It has been a long time coming and I am letting myself envision 'thinner' for the first time in a few years. It is exhilerating.

Has anyone had C-sections prior to this surgery? I am relating the pain of this surgery to my C-sections - which I recovered from very quickly with very little pain. I have a high pain tolerance - for that matter doesn't every mom with two little ones?

Thanks so much for all of your posts - they are extremely motivating to even us lurkers. Er, um - I mean former lurker.

Now you know why I picked 'windy'. I am that sometimes.

12-15-2002, 10:28 PM
I'm excited for you. I'm being banded on Wednesday. (too chicken for the gastric bypass surgery). I have had 3 c-sections prior to this surgery, and I've been told that it should be okay, as long as there isn't a whole load of scar tissue.
My band is being done laproscopically, so hopefully it will be a quick surgery.
Is your procedure going to be open or Laproscopic?

12-16-2002, 12:29 AM
now hold on just a minute amy.. you're NOT a chicken for not choosing the bypass... you are an excellent candidate for the band, and you researched all the options and decided that the band was the right choice for you. that doesn't make you a chicken.. it makes you INFORMED!!!

and now praz... welcome out of lurkdom!!! and it also sounds as if you're making an INFORMED decision.. i'm assuming you'll be a lap? not open?

and lots of protein? and support group???

please post with us... and ask lots of questions. or at least tell us what's going on...

we LOVE to comment.

12-16-2002, 02:01 PM
Welcome!!!! :wave:

Good to have someone else here! I am having surgery on January 7th and eager to talk about any/all aspects of WLS!!!

WELCOME!!!! :wave:

And Amy, I don't think you're chicken for choosing the band either! I agree you are WELL INFORMED! I know it was a tough decision for me to go with lap rny but after much research and thought, it is the right one for me. I'm sure you are similarly informed and thought it out a lot!

12-16-2002, 06:16 PM
Hey thanks y'all! I'm glad to have your support --- this is going to be a long haul!

:strong: But I'm up for the challenge.

I didn't get to talk to the surgeon yet so I don't know if I will have laprascopic or open RNY ... they are doing mostly laps here - but the surgeon I want does mostly open. I think there are positives and negatives to both ways. Obviously I would prefer the recovery from laproscopic ... but I'll have to wait and see.

12-16-2002, 11:03 PM
praz.. what are the positives to open? i've never heard any, to tell you the truth!!!! and the consensus of most people i've talked with is that surgeons who only do open just aren't current with medicine and don't want to be bothered learning new techniques.

now, i think that's a pretty harsh indictment, and i'm not at all sure it's true... so.. what's the scoop???

12-17-2002, 09:16 AM
Usually with an open procedure the anesthesia time is less - this lowers the risk of complications relating to the anesthesia. Also the surgeon is better able to visualize the 'field' - therefore reducing complications. My mother - everyone stand up when I quote her (LOL, I can hear the milatary music playing) -- says that I HAVE to have the open surgery so they can see what they are doing

We are doing both open and laparascopic procedures here - and I believe the physician I want has just gotten trained to do them laparascopically. However doesn't my size come into play? I am 5'4" and 300 lbs. I carry most of my weight upstairs - the 'girls' and the mid-section. That has me a bit nervous that they won't be able to do it laparascopically for me.

12-17-2002, 01:59 PM
praz... as far as i know, the weight limit for lap is 500 pounds because of the limitations of the equipment. anyone weighing more than that generally has open because the lap equipment can't reach that far inside.

i'm 5'9, and i was 409 at surgery. down from 506 [i lost 97 pounds after they corrected my sleep apnea]. so, there's no reason they shouldn't be able to do the surgery laparascopically. there's one woman in my support group who was done lap, weighing 491 and she's only about 5'5"

if a surgeon needs to visualize the field in order to reduce complications, it sounds more like an issue of experience, not the kind of surgery. just having that larger incision invites complications, especially infection. lap wounds take less time than the open wounds to heal, which is also important in heavy folks like us.

and i thought the lap took less time than open [shows ya what i know!!!]. i was wheeled down the hall at 7:30 am, and at 9:30 am, the surgeon was talking with my sister, so the actual surgery time was less than 2 hours.

but, i'm sure you'll discuss all this with your surgeon and the two of you will arrive at the right choice FOR YOU. after all, that's what matters here.

you're doing great, and it sounds as if you're in caring, capable hands. keep us posted!!!!!

12-18-2002, 08:17 AM
Welcome justprazn!!!

I agree with Jiff, usually when a doc says that he "prefers" open, it means he is not trained in lap.

Open or lap? I tell you I was willing to do either. I sought out a lap doc, but had that not worked out I would have done open. I'm almost 5ft 5inches......almost :D and at the time of surgery I weighed 321 and I had lap.

I know that the doc that did my surgery has done lap on very large patients, I think his largest was 600. I need to check that, but I believe that is what I have been told.

Good Luck to you

Katie's Mimi
12-18-2002, 01:53 PM
I met my surgeon, Dr. Paul Enochs, Friday, 12-13-02. I am going to have an open R-ny. We scheduled pre-op tests, pysch evaluation, dietician and pulmonolgist visits. I spent 9.5 hours yesterday at Rex Hospital, Raleigh, NC doing all the pre-op testing and seeing the dietician. Boy, was I tired! I had my pysch consult this morning and he thinks I am fine to have WLS. I see the pulmonolgist Friday, 12/20/02. I have my next visit with Dr. Enochs 1-17-03. I am hopeful his office gets my insurance approval by then. So, maybe my surgery will be in February. Dr. Enochs told me that usually his patients have had their surgery within 3 months from their first visit with him. So, by mid March, I should be a "post-op"! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I pray the approval process is smooth and fast!