Weight Loss Surgery - Need info on what to expect

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12-14-2005, 05:30 PM
Hello new to this section on 3 fat chicks. Did have a post on the Support forum. (OY!) :dizzy: Not to encouraging I must say...But to the reason I'm posting. I have decided that wls is something I am deciding to do. This is what I have been considering
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RGB). This operation is the most common and successful combined procedure in the United States. First, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch to restrict food intake.
Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach, the duodenum (the first segment of the small intestine), and the first portion of the jejunum (the second segment of the small intestine).
This reduces the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs. Rarely, a cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) is performed to avoid the gallstones that may result from rapid weight loss.
More commonly, patients take medication after the operation to dissolve gallstones.
(See WINís fact sheet Dieting and Gallstones for more information.)

I gathered this from win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/gastric.htm
It is informative and I know there are other websites I'm sure I can go to to give me lots more info but I would like to here from someone with a first hand perspective who has had the surgery. I would like to know just about anything you can tell me. From what I need to do before and after surgery. What it was like, how you feel, what was the hardest part, how long it took you to recover, what I need to eat before and after the surgery, and anything else you can tell me would be extremely helpfull!

12-14-2005, 06:39 PM
Hi Melissa,

Wow, I just checked out the thread in the support forum. You got some really good answers and also some not so good ones. Whatever anyone says, any type of weight loss surgery is not a "cop out" or the "easy way out". It is lots and lots of work, but the reason it's successful for so many of us is that the work pays off. The suggestion you were given to do the WLS diet is not as easy as it sounds, because it's not taking into account the small pouch size and the malabsorption component of RNY.

I am way older than you and had tried every single diet known to womankind. All of them worked for me, but I could not keep the weight off. Now, I'm working as hard as I ever have to lose the weight, but this time it's staying off. I'm very glad I had LapBand surgery because it's the tool I needed to give me a chance to be healthy for the rest of my life. I exercise like a fiend (after having overcome some foot and arthritis problems) and try to eat wisely.

Having read your stats on the other thread, I strongly suggest you check out LapBand surgery also and compare it to the RNY. (Sorry, sometimes I feel like the lone voice on 3FC advocating LapBand surgery, but it's such a good choice for some people!) Your BMI is a smidge over 40, so you barely qualify for surgery. Because you're relatively light and so young, it might be a great fit for you. It's also a great choice if you plan on having kids in the future. The band can be adjusted so the growing baby can get all the nourishment it needs while you're pregnant and then tightened again after the kid is born. Only you can decide what's right and if it really is the way for you to go. I just think anyone who goes in for major surgery of any type should know they've covered all the bases so there are no regrets later.

Do tons and tons of research on all the surgery types and what the requirements are for insurance to cover them. I learned so much when I was researching. I read the good, the bad and the ugly. You can learn from it all. It's important to know the ups and downs of any surgery you're considering because you will find advocates and detractors for all WLS types.

My other piece of advice for you is to be patient. This is a process that takes a little while. The more time you have to research and to be absolutely sure you're making the right choice, the better off you are.

All of your other specific questions, like what to eat, recovery time, etc. should be fully answered by your surgeon and his/her team and everyone here is also happy to add their two cents.

Sorry for the novel!

12-15-2005, 12:02 AM
melissa - listen to chickadeedeedear. she knows what she's talking about. most of us have had the bypass, for a variety of reasons, but the lapband is a wonderful choice for many people. and, as chickadeedeedear said, your young age and relatively low weight make it worth considering.

only you can decide what's right for you. so research research research. and ask lots of questions...

12-15-2005, 12:17 AM
just finished reading that other thread. good heavens!!!!

there's lots of info and experience around here, but let me give you the bottom line. for MOST of us, after the bypass, weight comes off quickly, but if we don't make certain permanent changes, it'll come back. the changes are that we have to eat sensibly [a little different than other people, but it's still a way of life], and exercise. we also MUST take various vitamins for the rest of our lives. no excuses for skipping them!!!!

most of the throwing up with the bypass is temporary - by about a year, it should pretty much stop unless you eat too fast or don't chew well enough or drink with your meals. and some of us have 'cranky tummies' and can't eat certain things.

but all in all, it's fine, after the first few months.

with the lapband, you can still have 'productive burps,' and you have to watch what you eat. you get full faster, however.

all i can suggest to you is to hang out with us. explore the info here. ask lots of questions.

the question you need to ask yourself, though, is 'can i live with this for the rest of my life?'

as for the rest of those people, ignore them. this is between you and your doctor, and about making the right decision for YOU.

12-15-2005, 03:57 PM
Thanks for the advice.
My insurance I have will not approve the sugery unless I go through several different steps. I had to have extensive blood work done thyroid, metabolism, diabetes and cholestorol, which I did yesterday and everything came back normal today. I also had to go to a nutrtion class wich I did today and I have to schedule to see a nutritionalist by myself next. And I also have to go to the wellness center, and get a personal trainer. And after several months if I don't not loose any weight then they will put in a refferal for me to have weight loss surgery, they might also have me go to a psychologist for an evaluation. I'm actually gratefull for all of these hoops because that way I will Know for sure that I will be doing the right thing. I still haven't decided on what surgery to get, but I am going to do some research in the meantime.

12-15-2005, 05:12 PM
Wow Melissa - some of those replies were just brutal. Sorry that your "support" thread was so unsupportive.

Since you are still in the research phase I definitely second the suggestion of checking into the Lap-Band procedure. There's a lot of excellent information out there about the band.

But ultimately, like Jiffy said - you have to decide on the procedure that you can live with.

12-16-2005, 03:16 PM
Well a little update..... I have sceduled an appiontment with a psychologist for a meeting and then from there he is going to schedule tests for a psychological evaluation. I also have put in a request for an appointment with a one on one nutritionalist for a nutrition evaluation. I have to bring with me a 3 week journal of what I eat how I eat it, where I eat it, how much I eat, and what mood I'm in when I eat it and also how fast I eat it.:eating2: I'm waiting to schedule a work out session with a personal trainer at the wellness center unitl I see my podiatrist for a second time to get my plantar facisiitis undercontrol a little more. A little shout out to my very supportive friends on 3fc lovesbassets, veggiemom, and mrsjim, thank you guys for being so supportive.:hug: Further updates later.:ebike:

12-17-2005, 08:16 AM
look at you go, girl!!!!!!! you are absolutely moving in the right direction here...

a word of advice, if you can stand it. pay PARTICULAR attention to that 'mood i'm in while i eat it' part. that's the biggest part of this entire process. for me, personally, i have a lot of 'delayed reactions' so that i'll eat hours or even DAYS after i'm upset about something.

and then i'll be sitting there wondering why i ate that, or why i even wanted it, and it'll hit me that it had been underneath the surface for quite awhile. figuring out your own emotional reactions and 'food buttons' is EXTREMELY important.

and that goes for ANYONE who's interested in losing weight in any way. but since the surgery offers us the best chance of losing weight and keeping it off, we have to be EXTRA careful about this.....

i'm so proud of you!!!!!!!!

12-17-2005, 07:14 PM
I recieved a packet of info about the hospital that I will go to for the surgery, wich included a booklet on different surgeries and stories, side effects, potential complications, life afterwards, read it cover to cover. Nothing I read suprised me except how long the inscision looked for non- laproscopic. But the journey goes on..........:write:

12-17-2005, 08:32 PM
Well that's one thing I can tell you for SURE! The non lap incision is a nightmare. Three times I was cut like that and three times I had infection and complications. Even my hernia repair was a nightmare. If I could identify one thing to dodge, its that incision first and foremost.

Good luck with your process missmeliss.

12-18-2005, 07:56 PM
I can't say I'm too worried about the scar. I have a 12 inch length scar a half an inch wide running down my right hip from 2 hip surgeries. Also stretch marks on my stomach from weight gain,and my arms, and hips, and thighs, but if I'm healthier and feel healthier I can hadle it, I'm not doing it to win a beauty pagent. I usually heal pretty good. I'm not to worried about infection. I've also had breast reduction and nipple replacement surgery on my right breast. I plan to document every step of the way with my wls and maybe even put some pics of my surgical scars on here so more people considering wls will know what to expect. Futher info later psych appointment on tuesday............:comp:

12-18-2005, 09:28 PM
I can't say I'm too worried about the scar. I have a 12 inch length scar a half an inch wide running down my right hip from 2 hip surgeries. Also stretch marks on my stomach from weight gain,and my arms, and hips, and thighs, but if I'm healthier and feel healthier I can hadle it, I'm not doing it to win a beauty pagent. I usually heal pretty good. I'm not to worried about infection. I've also had breast reduction and nipple replacement surgery on my right breast. I plan to document every step of the way with my wls and maybe even put some pics of my surgical scars on here so more people considering wls will know what to expect. Futher info later psych appointment on tuesday............:comp:

I don't think hubs is talking about the scar but the incision itself. The larger the incision the higher the risk of infection or a surgical wound that refuses to close. The larger incision also means more surgical damage to the abdominal muscles which increases post-operative pain and risk of hernia.

12-18-2005, 09:35 PM
Correct. The cosmetic issues don't enter into it at all.

12-19-2005, 05:37 PM
I'm also talking about the incision, I've one twice the size of the incision for the gastric bypass that was stapled shut and had to walk on it. It didn't get infected I kept it covered as much as possible and used peroxide and iodine and changed the gause religously with my breast surgery and both of my hip surgeries and neither on ever got infected. I even had a drainage tube in my breast for weeks and it never got infected. So hopefully that won't happen to me. But I'm prepared mentally for it if it happens.

12-19-2005, 06:10 PM
I'm glad you feel so well informed and on top of your decision missmeliss. I wish you every success.

12-22-2005, 12:58 AM
My wound opened back up. Said my fluild didnt drain. When they pulled the staples the wound just opened right up. I had to have a wound vac for 5 weeks with home health care. I was extremely lucky that there was no infection and very greatful. My wound just healed up this past Sunday. Im going in to see the doc Tomorrow. I learned at that point to expect the unepected. So far Im doing well. Keeping my fingers crossed. and I know and learned that this is tool to help with weight loss Its up to me to eat right and exercise. Best of luck with what ever decision you make.

12-22-2005, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the support that SOME have given.....this will be my last post on this website. I do not feel I am benifiting from 3fc. I'm getting to much negative support and not enough positive and its not good for my progress towards wls.

12-22-2005, 06:21 PM
It is sad to hear you have not recieved postive support, it is such a shame!

I have not had WLS, although at one point did consider it, you seem to understand what you are doing, and have studied up well on it.

I wish you all the best! in surgery, recovery and for the future!

12-22-2005, 07:11 PM
hmmmm. i'm sorry to read that you're leaving us. and i'd prefer to send you a private message, but apparently, that's not possible.

what would it take to change your mind? forums in general can be tricky places. the best analogy is probably a cocktail party with a lot of strangers. some people will connect with you, and others won't. and there will always be a percentage that will completely turn you off.

so, it's often a matter of finding your 'home,' a place where you generally feel comfortable.

sooo, if there's anything i can do, please send me a message...

if there's not, please take my best wishes with you for a bright, healthy future.