Just wanted to check in to add an update. I thought it might be helpful for those preops or newer postops to hear from someone who is a little farther out in the process.
I had my open duodenal switch with gastric reduction by
Dr. Anthone at USC on 04/20/01. I recently had my two year follow up appointment with Dr. A.
My labs came back with only two ranges being off. My potassium is slightly low (remedy: eat a banana every day, per the nutritionist; Dr. A also added that gatorade has a lot of potassium, but I try not to ingest liquid calories, so will try to stick to bananas). My vitamin D is also slightly low, so am adding a second allergy A&D daily. Otherwise, everything looks perfect.
My weight has been stable since October, within about a 3 lb range. I asked both Dr. A and the nutritionist about weight regain (when to expect it, if it were to happen, and how to keep it from occurring). Never did get the answer as to when it usually happened. He said a 10-15 lb regain from the lowest weight was possible. Said limiting simple carbs would be the key to stalling off any possible regain.
I have lost 160 lb since my surgery. I went from tight 32s to 12-14s. Diabetes has been nonexistent since about two months after surgery. The renal function has improved, as well. BP is normal. Nothing hurts! Back doesn't hurt, feet don't hurt. I can sit anywhere, fit anywhere, never have to think about it. I can work a full 8-10 hour day and feel FINE afterward.
I exercise regularly, bike, walking, weights, and recently went back to water aerobics. It is just so relaxing! Gets all the muscle kinks out.
I can eat about 50-75% of the amount I did preoperatively. I can eat anything, I have no food intolerances. I can eat and drink at the same time again. I am able to get down liquids better than I was at first. The infamous "bowel issues" that this surgery is known for just haven't materialized in my case. (Dr. A says I should be the poster child for this and if he could figure out why, he'd be thrilled).
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Without hesitation.
Only someone who has been super morbidly obese can understand what that is like, and only someone who has gone from that to have what "normal" weight people take for granted, can understand what an amazing thing it is.