Weight Loss Surgery - In the process for the Gastric Sleeve!

09-21-2011, 05:13 PM
Greetings all.

I just wanted to share my snail slow progress of having weight loss surgery. Due to my insurance, I have to do a 6 month weight/exercise check thing with my primary care doctor. Right now I am coming up to the 2nd month and I can't wait until it's over.

Anyone have any stories with the Gastric Sleeve?

09-21-2011, 05:39 PM
I have not had the Gastric Sleeve but my cousin had it done about a year ago. Her starting weight was a little over 300 lb and now at a year post-op she is 206 lb. She said that it was harder in the beginning because she was on a liquid diet. When she got the okay to start solids and working out she said it didn't take long for the weight to come off but it started slowing down. I really don't know much about it but what my cousin has told me.

Good luck on your procedure. I am sure you will be ecstatic with your results.

09-22-2011, 06:23 AM
The 6-month diet thing is a pretty standard requirement with lots of insurance companies, so the majority of us are familiar with your "snail's pace!" I know it feel like that now, but when you get down to the big day and thereafter, time will fly, and you'll wonder how it happened so quickly!

When is your company's insurance year? I ask because I had insurance that covered my surgery through my employer, and I was in MONTH 6 of my 6-month diet when my employer announced in early December that as of January 1, we would be CHANGING insurance providers - and I found out our new plan did NOT cover any type of weight loss surgery at all for any reason. Talk about frustrating and stressful! I ended up marrying my fiance early so I could get on his insurance for my surgery! (Luckily, we were already engaged and owned a house together, so I was happy to be married just in case heaven forbid anything bad happen during my surgery, so it's not like it was a completely insane thing to do, but we did keep it hushed from our families and still had a more traditional wedding later - after my surgery!) So, please confirm with your HR department that your insurance won't be changing in the next 6 months or so before you have your surgery :)

On another note, I do have a gastric sleeve, but I also have intestinal rerouting (I went for the Duodenal Switch). I know some folks who have done amazingly well with the sleeve and others who never got close to goal and some of them who ended up revising the sleeve to a full DS to lose more. It all depends on YOU, your personal demons (are you a volume eater, a grazer, a lifelong dieter who could never lose much weight, a dieter who could lose weight with calorie restriction but just had trouble sticking to it long term...), your personal goals (just weight loss, or do you have comorbidities you're hoping to alleviate? what % of excess weight would you have to lose to consider yourself successful?), and what you're willing to commit to for the rest of your life (how strict can you be with your diet? exercise? vitamins/minerals multiple times per day?).

I'm more than 2 years out from surgery, and some days, I still feel like I can eat a LOT, while other days, I am STUFFED after only a small amount of food. This is normal. I have completely overhauled my diet, though, so even though I'm now pregnant, I've actually lost another 12 pounds in the past couple months. It's all what you make of it!

09-22-2011, 12:36 PM
Hi Harleyx3. I myself am hopefully about to undergo WLS. I'm trying to decide if I want the Sleeve or the Bypass as my doctor has said I could choose. So right now I'm researching as much as I can, asking friends about their journey, and so on. But I think it all boils down to how much your willing to commit because no matter how much I research or what I find out about how much this friend or that friend lost, it doesn't mean I'm going to have the same results.

What I have found however, is that I want to know what they would change about their experience. What I've heard so far is they wished they would have stayed with the dr. ordered diet even a week longer. I myself at this point don't really know what that means or how significate a week would be but if they say it, then they must know. Also, I've noticed on one particular friend that she has a lot of excess skin after her weightloss. I'm pretty positive she didn't do much of any exercise after she was "allowed to". So I'm keeping that in mind when all is said and done. Use those people "problem areas" to your advantage. If they say they would have done something different.. You do what they would have done different.. If you see the results of someone not exercising, then know you have to exercise EVERYDAY otherwise you will have the same results.

I know I am. :)
Best of luck to us both!!

PS Jill... AWESOME job!! Enjoyed reading your post - Great info! and Congrats on the new addition! :carrot:

09-22-2011, 12:51 PM
Unfortunately-you could exercise HOURS a day and still have excess skin. It depends on how much you have to lose and how quickly you lose it.

09-22-2011, 05:16 PM
When talking over options with my Dr, she said she didn't like to do the sleeve because the amount of stitches needed to close the stomach created a bigger chance of infection, especially if someone didn't follow orders directly after sugery. Also, she said, once it is removed, you can never get it back. I myself am going for the LAP band, but if I had to choose, I would go for the bypass over the sleeve.

09-22-2011, 06:04 PM
there are no easy answers here. the vertical gastrectomy is essentially a restrictive procedure, and either a roux n ny or duodenal switch can be done to add malabsorption. with the vertical gastrectomy, you get to keep your pyloric valve, which helps reduce throwing up.

everything depends on how you want to live, and your surgeon! glad you're all here!

09-23-2011, 11:13 AM
When talking over options with my Dr, she said she didn't like to do the sleeve because the amount of stitches needed to close the stomach created a bigger chance of infection, especially if someone didn't follow orders directly after sugery. Also, she said, once it is removed, you can never get it back. I myself am going for the LAP band, but if I had to choose, I would go for the bypass over the sleeve.
hmm...many surgeons don't use lots of stitches to close the stomach, but a combination of a few stitches or staples and a special glue. Unless your doc is thinking of an open procedure as opposed to laparoscopic, this also does not increase the risk of infection, but rather has the potential for leaks.

And I ask the following not to be snotty, but out of honest curiosity: why would you want your excess stomach back?

Bypass carries its whole own host of potential issues (dumping, reactive hypoglycemia, sliming, foamies, stoma stretching, etc.). There are NO procedures that do not carry risks. With the band, there are risks of slippage, erosion, dislocated port, issues caused by excess buildup of scar tissue around the foreign object in the body, higher potential for future re-operation...all procedures have their own risks, so do lots of research and go in with your eyes wide open!

09-23-2011, 01:38 PM
Anyone have any stories with the Gastric Sleeve?


i started in dec 2010 with my pcp referral and had my intial consult with my surgeon was in jan 2011. when i started in jan my ins only required 3mths but in march they changed it to 6mths so that pushed me back 3 more mths.

i was expecting to have surg in may but ended up having it in aug.

it was alooooong wait but i made through, i'm not gonna tell you it will fly bcuz it won't! i had a countdown on my phone and my bedroom wall to help ease the wait time.

i hope it all works out well! :hug:

09-23-2011, 02:30 PM
jana - you mean your insurance company changed the rules on you just when you were at the end of the waiting period??? good grief. but i shouldn't be surprised!

so, why did you choose the sleeve over the other choices? believe me - as you'll see we discuss this endlessly - there are many reasons to choose one surgery over another, but everyone has to go in with their eyes wide open and knowing what they're getting into.

09-24-2011, 01:53 PM
jana - you mean your insurance company changed the rules on you just when you were at the end of the waiting period??? good grief. but i shouldn't be surprised!

so, why did you choose the sleeve over the other choices?

yes i was so distraught!

jillybean is actually the reason why i chose the sleeve, i'd read in one of her posts last year that she took something like 32 pills a day and had malabsorption issues(i think) and that kinda turned me away from bypass. then my surgeon said i be a better candidate for sleeve so that's wat i chose.

p.s. i apologize jilly if this wasn't your post i remember. sooowee!

10-03-2011, 05:10 PM
Hi I would like to just chime in here if i may, i have had both surgeries at 501pounds I had a gastric bypass (full), then at 380 pounds I had a gastric bypass revision. Then just 5 weeks ago due to a complication from the gastric bypass I had a fistula repair followed by a gastrectomy (gastric sleeve).

1. the gastric bypass was a more invasive procedure the recovery time was longer and harder for me. the throwing up was more, and because the intestines are cut and rerouted using the bathroom comes with some pain after for about 10-12 weeks. So the dr puts you on a colace to keep your stool softer. They did not have laproscopic when i had mine 13yrs ago so i had a open procedure which did get infected and had to be reopened and took 8 mo to heal (dont be scared this is not common for everyone) However, my intestines ruptured during the procedure and a 4 hr surgery took 8 hours due to the dr. having to clean out my body from the rupture. This was the hardest surgery of my life.

2. My revision was easier, the dr didnt have to cut the intestines however it was another open procedure and it was nearly 3 yrs later. I dont remember much about this by this time sadly i had no mental counceling to change my thinking so I had substitued drugs for food, so my memory of this procedure is near to nothing. I remember one thing. Before i was about to go into surgery the dr. came in and said I have to tell you by law that the patient i just operated on died before you and if you want to postpone this we can. I was already under medication to make me calm and loopy and it was out of town so i looked at my husband and said God is in control and away I went. PRAISE GOD Im here today.

3. One of the complications they are finding out about the last 2 years from a gastric bypass is what is called a fistula. This is where the stomach that is seperated from the pouch and closed off yet still connected to the intestines actually grows back together to the actual pouch and creates a 2nd stomach that growls and gets hungry and trys to suck food out of the regular new pouch, so they fight over food and it causes pain and can call bowel obstruction as both stomachs dunp into the same intestines. This is what I developed last year, and i found out this year after the pain was so intense i couldnt move and was rushed to the ER , after a cat scan they told me i had a (hole) in my stomach. I was blown away the trauma surgeon said you need surgery but im not experienced in bariatrics, I said I will find a surgeon. The same week they released me out of the hospital as i was admitted from the ER, i found a bariatric surgeon who specialized in fistula repairs from previous gastric bypass patients. He knew what it was sent me for several tests and scans, and told me the way to correct it was go in seperate the 2 stomachs seal it off with staples, them make the current stomach slimmer to remove it from being close to the other one thus doing gastric sleeve. Not only did it not require any intestine adjustment (although my intestines were already shortened from the gastric bypass) but he could do it laproscopicly. I was thrilled. I went in the hospital had surgery at 8am was out by 11am and was in the hospital 4 days. The pain was not fun of course, being i am no longer a drug addict PRIASE GOD. I weaned myself off the narcotic pain meds in the hospital and took none home with me by choice, so i probably dealt with more pain than most. I was released after 4 days not like the gastric bypass where my stay was almost 2 weeks part of it was intensive care. Once i got home I was on soft food the 1st 2 weeks, shakes baby food consistency, no pills all had to be crushed, the 3rd week, i was able to introduce foods of soft nature, mashed potatoes, even meatloaf, key was CHEW CHEW CHEW, im 5 weeks out of this surgery, and now introduce foods as i want to and can eat salad etc still CHEW CHEW CHEW, i can eat about 1/2 to a cup of food depending on what it is. It doesnt take much to satisfy me and i can still eat enough food where i dont feel deprived. This for me would have been my 1st choice 13 yrs ago, and if I had there would have not needed to be a fistula repair at all.

BOTH surgeries promotes weight loss, its the patient that makes it more or less not the surgery itself. You eat right and excersize it will come off. In fact if you do that regardless of WLS or not you will loose weight.

I know this is a long reply and im sorry. But I was hoping that from having had both surgeries you might see from a different perspective and be able to make a good choice. Thanks for taking the time to read this. God Bless.