At the age of 36, after giving birth to my second son, I found myself topping the scale at 355lbs, and feeling helpless and disgusted with myself. To this day I remember lying in bed at night, crying my eyes out, despising myself, and fantasizing about losing this horrendous weight. I was miserable. So began my militant pursuit of gastric bypass surgery, which in itself was a trial!
I initially went to see my family physician, ( was living in a small city in a far northern community in Ontario, Canada) and asked him to refer me for weight loss surgery. He agreed and 6 months later I still hadn't heard anything, contacted my doctor's secretary to inquire who I had been referred to, called that surgeons office personally only to find out he did not do gastric bypass anymore... and no one thought to inform me of that. Needless to say I was somewhat disillusioned by the current system in place for weightloss surgery, which as far as I could see was no system at all. It was then I realized that I was on my own, and if this was going to happen, I would have to advocate and make it happen myself.
That night I hit the internet, and researched my heart out. Fortunately, I came across Dr. Rutledge's website for the Centre for Laparoscopic Obesity Surgery in Las Vegas and low and behold, OHIP was paying for this procedure. At the time, the regular gastric bypass procedure had a mortality rate of 1 in 50 which was frightening for me as I had two small children at home, and did not relish making my spouse a widower. However Dr. Rutledges MGB procedure had a mortality rate that was less than the average gallbladder Lap surgery, so for me it was a no brainer.
He was without a doubt the man for me. So I was right on it, applied to OHIP, applied to Dr. Rutledge, and withing 4 months was scheduled for my procedure. I was ecstatic. On Oct 4th, 2006 I had my first mini-gastric bypass procedure, stayed overnight, went back to the hotel the next day, stayed one week in Las Vegas and flew home a week later. All while caring for along with my then spouse an 18 month old and a 3 1/2 year old. It was insane, but I was happy.
I lost 140 lbs in 18 months, and went down to 210 lbs. My weight loss then stopped. I then got pregnant again, and after 2 boys, had my daughter, and was joyous to finally have completed my family with a beautiful girl to add to my lovely 2 boys. However, I had then put on 30 lbs post pregnancy and was back up to 250 lbs. However, in my first two pregnancies I was gestational diabetic and the last one I was not... it was the easiest of the lot!
When my daughter was 2, I enquired again with Dr. Rutledge for a revision to lose the additional weight, and was scheduled within the month for surgery again in Las Vegas to revise the previous procedure. This time the surgery was NOT covered by OHIP, and I paid out of pocket. He bypassed addition bowel for a total of 14 feet bypassed and he trimmed my stomach pouch further. I was part of an elite club of MGBers who required more than one procedure, lucky me however sometimes that is just how things go. Most patients only require one to get to their ideal weight... I required two and a large amount of bowel bypass.
So, one year on post revision and I had lost an additional 100 lbs, and was down to 155lbs. I was looking and feeling great! Unfortunately, I had a large amount of excess abdominal fat, which I then had a body lift/tummy tuck procedure for... (which you can read my review about in another post) I feel that this MGB procedure saved my life, improved my qualtiy of life, and made me feel happy and healthy once again.
Of course the side-effects of this procedure that I have experienced are chronic anemia, which requires ongoing iron infusions for maintenance, and regular B12 injections. But a small price to pay for health and happiness, and stamina. So I highly recommend gastric bypass of any type, and particularly the procedure offered by Dr. Rutledge in Las Vegas which has very good outcomes and excellent results.