Weight Loss Surgery - Thyroidectomy and WLS

View Full Version : Thyroidectomy and WLS

01-08-2014, 04:14 AM
Hello 3FC members,

This is crazy to me. I just logged in and the sure told me my last log in was in 2007. I remember jiffypop from the 100 lbs to lose board too!

And if you can see in my signature (which I need to change!!), I had list down to 185ish pounds back then. My lowest weight was 168 sometime in 2009.

Well, then I got thyroid disease. Hashimoto's thyroiditis, to be exact. I got put on medications but the slow gain started. I had small nodules and they got biopsied. No cancer (yet).

By 2012 I was about 200 lbs most of the time. Constantly fighting that scale to stay under my scary weight. Little did I know how much scarier it was going to get.

In 2013, the growth on my neck started getting bigger. I didn't notice until the nurses in my nursing home started commenting on the huge bulge that was my neck. The director of nurses told me it was probably my causing my weight gain. I didn't think anyone had noticed.

I did a month long strict high protein diet. I lost 3 lbs. something was wrong.

In July 2013, I saw my doctor and he says two things:
1. The thyroid needs to come OUT
2. Have you considered WLS?

I was 240 lbs at that office visit. I hadn't considered it yet. But the wheels started turning.

I figured I needed to get my thyroid situation handled first though. So in August, I had a thyroidectomy. The growth on it was over 8 cm wide and looked like another heart growing on my thyroid. And guess what? It had cancer.

So I recovered from my surgery, but...it hasn't gotten better. It's gotten WORSE. No matter what diet I do, I gain weight.

I got a new job, and my new health insurance kicked in on Jan 1st. Saw the dr for a general plan of what to do. Bloodwork, transfer over my prescriptions and figure out what I need as far as thyroid meds... and he gave me information on WLS.

I was 280 lbs yesterday. Two eighty. As you can see from my old signature -- my highest weight before was 250.

Oh, and want to know the crazy part? When I last left you guys, I was an office assistant.

Today, I'm a REGISTERED DIETITIAN, and have been for 5 years. There's nothing more embarrassing than saying "hi, I'm your dietitian" and knowing they are looking at your morbidly obese body and wondering what the **** went wrong.

Luckily, my new doctor realized that sending me to a dietitian wasn't the next step, that we could skip that part. ::rotfl::

I have Kaiser health insurance, in California, and my plan covers the procedure 100%. I'd have to pay copays and a $250 hospital few. Very small price to pay.

And so here I am. Doing research. Trying to figure out which one is best for me. Looking at what my hurdles will be.

I'm an overeater in quantity. I get scared to feel hungry. I like snack foods and can kill a box of cheeze-it's in one sitting. Or triscuits and cheese. That can be a meal. But I'm also addicted to sugar. Cookies. Or a bag of gummy worms. Or Hershey's kisses. I'm not picky. It looks like I could go either way with gastric bypass or sleeve...and I think I'm leaving sleeve.

But also -- I have no thyroid and I still have hashimoto's disease. Anyone else done this with a severe thyroid disorder? Will it all be for naught?

- Holly, the older and wiser one, who promises she will change her signature eventually.

01-08-2014, 04:15 AM
Oh wow. Look at my icon, too. Look
At that much slimmer face. This is so sad.

01-08-2014, 07:48 PM
First some cyber hugs.

I have hypothyroidism. I had my surgery on Aug. 6, 2013. I had the RNY. My highest was 309 and I am now 226. I can't tell you the long term of having the rny and being hypo since I am only 5 months out. Watching what I eat. Making sure I get my protein in and exercising so far seems to be working for me.

01-08-2014, 09:38 PM
Wow, it HAS been a long time! and i'm so sorry to read about your trials and tribulations, but congrats on becoming an RD. now, if you'd specialize in WLS, we'd ALL be happy! right off the bat, there are very few RDs who really and truly understand what's involved with any of the surgeries.

So, now back to you. I have hypothyroidism, but that's light years away from what you're dealing with. My suggestion [and I'm not sure you'll like it] is to make sure you're cancer free and on track with your thyroid BEFORE the surgery. rapid weight loss WILL affect your thyroid meds, so let's be sure you're stable before going into this.

the next thing is - after the gastric bypass especially - food becomes DIFFERENT. head hunger aside [a completely separate issue], you're really not hungry. foods you liked - maybe even craved - before surgery are just not appetizing afterwards.

HAving said that, dealing wiht your food issues NOW - even if you decide not to have surgery - will only help you. are you looking at what you eat and why? [notice i didn't say anything about changing your eating right now - it's enough to simply look at what you're doing and understand what's going on].

it's interesting that you're looking at one malabsorption procedure [the gastric bypass and one restriction-only procedure [the sleeve]. What does your doctor think? will Kaiser cover more than one surgery? it's possible to start with the sleeve and then have the malabsorption component added later if you're not getting the results that you need.

we're here for you, darlin. no matter what you decide. But please, think about dropping the self-shaming. you have real physical issues completely out of your control. NO ONE should work on changing habits out of shame or self-hate, but rather because of self-love and kindness.

yeah, i'm starting a campaign on this.

03-24-2014, 06:32 PM
Holly and Jiffy ~ today has been kind of a trip down memory lane for me. I was working on cleaning off subscribed threads (which I didn't realize I had subscribed to and that I had accumulated such a lengthy collection of them). Anyway, I came across familiar names and wondered how the people were doing. Came across you all ~ glad to see that some of the familiar names are still around.

Holly ~ you will have to forgive me for this silly memory ~ that you carried a pickle in your back pack. Sometimes when I am grocery shopping and see pickles, it makes me think of that.

Jiffy ~ I remember that you were one of the ones who got together with a few of the 100 lb people ~ that must have been awesome ~ what great memories you all must have from that.

03-25-2014, 06:38 PM
Glynne/Gayle - I totally remember you too. Here we are, 10 years later! (And I updated my profile pic, avatar, and signature. Yeah!)

So, I'm taking the first steps. Last night I attended the introduction class at Kaiser (which is my insurance and healthcare provider in one, here in California). My doctor then made the referal and I will attend a 3 hour orientation, hopefully next week. Then they will schedule me to meet with the surgeon to be individually evaluated.

Last night at 5 pm, I weighed 290... so, my BMI is about 47. I also recently developed high cholesterol (which my doctor said could be related to my thyroid issues because that affects receptors, but still. I got put on Lipitor). So I know I definitely meet the qualifications. It would then be fully covered by insurance (with a hospital stay deductible).

From the research I've been doing and the reading of lots of people's posts (here and on a Facebook group called "Sassy Sleevers"), I've decided I would like to go with the Gastric Sleeve procedure. It's got less issues with the malabsorbtion aspect, significantly less "dumping", and over 3-5 years the limited research they have done (because it is newer) shows the long term weight loss is similar to the RNY. We'll see if the surgeon agrees that I am a candidate for it.

Recently, with the last 30 lbs of weight gain or so, I've become physically miserable. I can barely get my own shoes fastened and once I do, I'm usually sweating. I can't always properly wipe myself (TMI, I know). One small flight of stairs kills me. Walking the dog hurts my back. I wake up with aching hips every morning.

This is no longer about vanity. It's about reclaiming my health. The Holly of 2006-2012 was running HALF MARATHONS. The Holly of 2013-2014 can barely walk one mile.

I used to get myself kick started by exercising first and the healthy eating would follow. Now I can't exercise like I used to. It's just not working for me anymore. Plus with no thyroid, just controlled by medication (which, it IS now controlled, at least the numbers say it is), I've got a resting metabolic rate that is pretty much tanked. The lowest of the low. I think I need a smaller stomach to match up with my very low metabolism.

My best friend asked me this week, "so this is what you want?" and my answer was "Yes. Except it's not that I really WANT it, it's what I NEED to get my life back."