I am in the process of trying to get approved for Laparoscopic RNY. I am 5' 2" and 220 lbs with a BMI of 41. There is a big part of me that is excited to be able to get down on the floor to play with my children again and walk without having to be short of breath, etc. But there is a part of me that is absolutely terrified. That something might go wrong. I hear all these statistics about the mortality rate and incidences of complications...leakages, hernias, etc.
Has anyone had many problems with their WLS or am I reading too much into these stories I have been reading about on the internet?
If my surgery is done, it will be done by Dr. Wizman in Margate, FL.
What I am looking for is some input from anyone that has had it and the complications you had or anyone you know had, if any.
05-21-2005, 09:46 PM
hmmmm. the queen of complications is Debkay, followed by original_serendipity, Deb nearly died - was in a coma. but she's buzzing around atlanta, hale and hearty now. OS had one problem after another, but she's come through ok. it's impossible to point a finger at someone and say YOU will get through it fine, and THAT OTHER PERSON will have problems.
but, we'd be more worried if you DIDN'T have any fears! this is a big deal. it's major surgery, and your life will change forever. don't get me wrong, it's all quite manageable, just different - not quite as different as being a vegan in a family of carnivores, though.
there IS a mortality rate associated with this, and the higher the weight - at 220, you're a relative lightweight - the higher the risk. there ARE complications - and that's why it's important to get an excellent surgeon whom you trust and can talk to. the surgeon has to listen to you if you report that something's wrong, and you have to feel comfortable enough to speak up.
but the important thing is to go see your surgeon armed with the national statistics, and ask him/her how his personal stats compare. if the mortality rate is quite a bit higher than average, ask why. and if it's lower, ask about that as well. sometimes the mortality [and complications] rate is higher than average because the doc/hospital handles tougher cases. sometimes it's lower because they tend to handle the easier ones.
sooooo. ask questions., do all the research. make your own decision. understand the risk involved FOR YOU, not for someone 30 years older and 300 pounds heavier!
05-22-2005, 06:40 PM
I have not had WLS and so I am certainly no expert. However, I am your height and was very close to your weight when I started losing. I had battled my weight for quite some time and did a decent amount of research on the different surgeries. In my opinion, the risks of the surgery were greater than the amount of extra weight I was carrying around. At that point I had to admit to myself that I didn't really consider surgery my last hope as much as an easy out. The truth of the matter was that when I claimed to have tried everything what I really meant was that I had tried lots of things and quit them all. So, I started eating the way I knew I should, exercising like I knew I should, stuck with both of them even if I woke up lacking in motivation. I'm almost to my goal weight and I feel great and I am glad I decided not to spend the money or take the risks because losing this weight was doable without it.
Of course, we are all different and none of what I've said necessarily applies to you or your situation. Most definately the decision of whether or not to go through with WLS should be made by you and your doctor. Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do.
05-22-2005, 07:10 PM
Though I can't tell you from personal experience, my mother and a friend of the family's both had the surgery. My Mom was in her 50s and weighing in at about 260 I think beforehand (though they asked her to work out before too so not sure if she lost any significant amount then). Anyways, she had a more invasive type as they removed her gall bladder at the same time. She has not had a shred of complications from the surgery. Only the obvious, figuring out what she can still consume, and how much. In the case of the friend of the family, they were able to within a few years of the surgery gain back a significant amount of the weight they had lost by slowly eating more and stretching out their stomach again. That would be only my warning, but I have to say for my mother, even though she has gained some weight back, it has continued to be a blessing for her health and energy.
05-23-2005, 02:46 PM
I gotta pop in here and add my two cents!
Since you're a lightweight (not that heavier people shouldn't also consider it) have you thought about Lapband surgery instead of RNY? I'm not trying to push a surgery type on you, but if you're looking for minimal risks, you should research it. I'm very happy with mine and haven't regretted it at all.
I wish I had been able to do as Jawsmom did and lose my extra weight on my own, but I finally had to admit that wasn't going to happen. Oh yeah, I'd lose it, but it always came back, bringing it's little heavy friends with it! So, in essence, I'm doing exactly the same thing as she is - eating the way I know I should and exercising the way I know I should, but this time I have the help of my band. I'm working the tool! I finally have a level playing field to work with, so I'm able to lose the weight and maintain the loss.
If you have any band questions, please ask because there are lots of myths floating around that simply aren't true.
05-23-2005, 03:53 PM
<teehee> isn't it cute that we can refer to someone who's ONLY 220 as a 'lightweight'??? where else in the world would a person find that???!!!!!!
05-25-2005, 01:01 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses and info. Yeah...it is funny hearing 220 as a "lightweight"...especially since there is nothing on me light...LOL! I have considered getting Lapband, but unfortunately, my insurance company won't pay for it. That is actually what I originally hoped for.
Well, I went to my physical today with my doctor and got the results back from my bloodwork. My cholesterol was a bit high and she said I am now a borderline diabetic. :(
I have an appointment to see the surgeon on 6/9. In the meantime, I am going to keep trying my hardest to do this. This surgery is absolutely my last resort as I really am terrified of this whole surgery thing. In the meantime, I will keep coming here and reading all the wonderful posts and try to get as much support as I can from them. Thank you all!!
If you don't mind, I'd like to add my 2 cents :) One of the most important things to consider is how comfortable you feel with the surgeon. You will be interacting with him often after your procedure and you want to make sure you chose the right one for you. My husband and I went to one of Dr Wizman's seminars and there were somethings we didn't like, but you might love him. If you're interested in the Dr we chose, let me know. My husband is 26 and had severe sleep apnea, and dangerously high blood pressure. He is about 5'9 and he was a little over 300lbs. The day before the surgery, I got him his favorite meal - pizza - his last request. The next day we went in for the procedure. After all was said and done, I was told that all his food had not digested, so when they made the initial cut, some food spilled into his abdomen. Needless to say he was on some serious antibiotics to prevent infections to an already delicate procedure. Moral of the story...eat light, or fast if you can. This is not an "easy way out" and it is not without it's consequences. It has been a tough journey for the both of us. Although I did not have the surgery, I have experienced the emotional toll right along with my husband. There are feelings of resentment, when he can only drink liquids, eat jello, eat tiny portions, etc. and I can eat a regular sized portion. There are also feelings of resentment when he jumps on the scale and announces I lost _ lbs this week!" while I struggle to lose 1 measly pound with wise choices and lots of exercise. It is definitely a struggle, both mentally and physically, and I hope you have a supportive spouse, family member or friend who will help you with your journey. I also strongly suggest going to the support groups. My husband often felt like he was the only one who ____. (I left it blank because it varies) There were things he needed to talk about that I just didn't understand. It's always good to talk to someone who is in the same boat or who has been there. To date, my husband has met his goal weight of 157 lbs which is the smallest he has ever been. (He was always a big kid) He is confident and outgoing in a way that he has never been. He was always the "funny fat guy" or the "big intimidating guy." He never was the "real him." Another thing he has experienced - he doesn't think he looks any different. He still sees the big guy in the mirror. He's working on that, but it's a long process. (This is where the support groups come in.) My husband is in the gym several times a week and eats the things he's supposed to. We have not eaten fast food since his surgery and we don't miss it at all. Amazingly enough, my husband only has excess skin on his stomach. He is completely jiggle free everywhere else. He thinks it's so much worse than it looks, but you can't even tell when his shirt is tucked in. (tucked in - something he's never felt comfortable doing.) I hope this long message hasn't put you to sleep. :) I hope there's at least one thing that has helped. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Good luck with your decisions. You have tons of support here.
05-26-2005, 11:10 PM
Hello! These ladies are right. This is a MAJOR surgery. I had mine 3 years ago in July. I had the DS, a lesser known surgery, and couldn't be more thrilled. I have also had my PS completed, and am now down to the business of living.
I will not say it has been a difficut journey for me thus far. In fact, it's been a piece of cake. Literally. LOL. It's only now, at 3 years out, that I have come to the place where I have to watch what I eat. Till now I ate whatever I wanted in whatever quantity I could.
Just remember that this is NOT a free ride. It can be an easy ride, but it isn't free. You'll have to work to maintain your weight loss no matter which surgery you have. I falsly believed that I would never have to deal with the weight gain like the RNYers would.
I went to my 3rd WW meeting today. I've lost ALMOST 5 lbs in three weeks! In the past that would have pissed me off something terrible, but now, I get it. I'm learning how to eat for REAL.
You are a lightweight for sure, and I'd see if you can fight your insurance to cover the band.
Oh. I'm new here btw... lol. Just found this forum tonight looking for a good WW muffin recipe!
All the best to you. Do your reasearch and learn as much as you can!
05-27-2005, 12:28 PM
Just wanted to say it's nice to see another Colorado face around here! Welcome to the group.
Who did you surgery? I didn't know anyone around here did DS.
05-27-2005, 06:33 PM
Hi! YAY that you are in CO!! Just to let you know I facilitate a support group for Dr. Snyder down here in Castle Rock and I'm also part of a great, VERY informal support group called the Rockers. We meet once a month for lunch. Not sure where we're going for June, but I'll keep you posted.
No one in CO does perform the DS. I had my surgery with Dr. Gary Anthone at USC in California. My folks live about 3 hours from there so I was able to recover there with help for my kids.
Who is your doc??