Concerns before Gastric Bypass surgery

  • otownmedic7
  • Nc
  • 5 years ago

I am 24 yrs old. I weigh approx 240 lbs and just had a consultation with a very experienced bariatric surgeon at a well known trauma/teaching hospital. At first I wanted the lap band, then he told me about all the maintenance that comes along with it.

But the whole time he kept saying it was my decision and I would do well with either program. I have read alot of positive and negative feedback. I am nervous about the Gastric Bypass surgery, but I have struggled with weight my whole life. Tried countless diets and dieting pill. Portion control and exercise. Nothing has worked.

To those with the success stories, how was the first 3 months after your surgery? Any complications or pain? How was it the first few days after surgery? Have you had any problems with excess skin? Have you had any problems with vitamin deficiencies? Any info or insight you have would be great.

Comments (5)

I'm a newcomer, who will be visiting a GI doctor tomorrow. I had an RNY gastric bypass 11 years ago, and thought I might share a few thoughts to those who are planning to undergo/recently undergone gastric bypass surgery of any kind. First and foremost, any kind of surgery, esp as invasive as gastric bypss, will result in scar tissue. Secondly, don't believe everything you read or hear; everybody is different. I lost over 100 lbs, underwent gall bladder removal, and seven years later, when I was in agony, had to have the first of two incisional hernia surgeries. The second, which unfortunately ended in emergency surgery because the gastric bypass doctor (not the original) couldn't diagnose necrotic tissue formation in the second pouch. I was too distracted, so I forgot about all the vitamins and calcium I was supposed to be taking, so many teeth were also pulled. I experienced horrible pain for five months post-op (the gastric bypass surgery, that is), and prayed that the pain would let up, only to have been advised the gall bladder went dead on me. The associate professor-general surgeon who performed his 63d bypass on me told me, after recovering from the choleocystectomy to me not to ask him to perform surgery on me again. I'm a very patient patient, and was shocked, esp after being disconnected from pre-surgery IV after waiting over six hours for the choleocystectomy because one of his bypass patients likewise went fatally bad after surgery. Forgive me for including this bit of information, but it may be wise to be careful about who you consent to make a life-altering change on your body--you only get one in a lifetime, not be mean. Now that I'm 11 years post-op one RNY, three year post-op two non-laparoscopic hernia operations, one year post-op coronary artery bypass graft, my upper and lower abdominal areas can't decide which is up or down, and I have no say in it. I am not saying don't go for it, but seriously remember why you are planning for gastric bypass surgery everyday afterwards. The pain, yours, will subside, and hopefully you will be living the kind of life you have chosen, not to remain obese. It's too late for me, as I swear I will never undergo any additional abdominal surgery, or cardiac, or any surgery ever, but living so uncomfortably as I am (not to be construed as feeling sorry for myself). It happens to the best of us, so pray this will not happen to you, and be proactive.
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Hi Sunflower,

I'm so sorry you went through all of this. How are you doing now?

Kirsty

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I just had gastric bypass a week ago and went back to work today. My post surgery experience is nothing like the previous replier. But it could be because methods have improved in the 4 years since he/she had the procedure. Mine was laparoscopic. There are four small incisions on my belly and two are almost healed already. There was never any blood or pus, nothing grosser than having four small boo-boos. As long as I took my pain medication, I had very little pain. I didn't need any pain medication at all after the 4th day. I was tired at first, but that subsided as I healed. I walked a mile on the 5th and 6th days, although I moved slowly. Just make sure you take the medication as directed and you won't feel anything. It still hurts a bit to bend all the way down -- like to pick up something fallen on the floor, but no worse than it would if I had just done a lot of crunches at a gym
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I've been one of the gastric bypass "success stories." I had an RNY 4 years ago, lost the weight,and have been able to maintain a BMI in the "normal" range. Luckily, I had no complications. Even so, the first couple of weeks after the surgery were absolutely awful. I was in pain, and for several weeks I couldn't bend over or reach up without it hurting like hell. Whether I was sitting, standing, or lying down, I couldn't get comfortable. Things like taking a shower would make me absolutely physically exhausted. The blood and pus continued to come out of me for a week or two after surgery, and though they give you a bulb drain thing to deal with it, it was gross. And at first you can barely eat anything except unappetizingly soft, bland food -- but that's actually okay, because if you're like most people, you won't have an appetite for a while. Within a week or 10 days I was attending classes again (I was a full-time student). And by the end of a month or so, I felt physically back to normal. Losing weight was quick and relatively easy -- though I did plateau at times. However, keeping the weight off is a continuing battle. These days I can eat pretty much anything, and far more of it than I did in the months following surgery. Though I'm not capable of eating as much as I did before the surgery, I'm able to eat enough that I could certainly pack on the pounds if I didn't watch my diet very carefully. All in all, gastric bypass has definitely been worth it, to me. But it does require life-long follow-up, and who knows? There still could be long-term complications -- they haven't really studied that yet. I certainly wouldn't advise this surgery for everybody. It entails some very serious risks, including death. But if you are interested in pursuing it, I think that the two most important things for you to do are: 1) find a highly reputable, experienced, skillful, board-certified surgeon, and 2) follow the advice of the surgeon and the rest of the medical team, to the letter, both before and after surgery. Good luck! P.S. One more thing -- I noticed that you have directed your question to those of us with "success stories." However, as you research this procedure, I strongly suggest that you also pay close attention to the "failures." Plenty of people have this surgery, and then gain back all the weight -- and more! And plenty of people also have very serious complications, and end up deeply regretting that they'd ever had the surgery to begin with. I think you should consider both sides carefully before you make a decision. These are very serious, and potentially very dangerous, procedures. Again, I wish you the best of luck!
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Hi Charlotte,

Thanks for adding your insights to the various gastric bypass questions on RealSelf. It's much appreciated!

If you have time, would you also please consider sharing your story by posting a review of your gastric bypass experience?

Thank you!

--Sharon

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