Gastric Bypass Surgery
About 10 years ago I was a whopping 300 lbs in an abusive marriage and very unhappy with my life I even contemplated suicide. I tried losing weight on and off my whole life, going to the gym worked amazing but every-time I joined with a friend a couple months in they would quit going. Without a workout partner I had no desire to go and would also quit.
I have spent thousands of dollars on gym memberships that never got used. Sound familiar? I had finally had enough and went to see a specialist about Gastric Bypass Surgery. I was approved for it immediately.
We were going on vacation right at that time as well so I decided to hold off starting any of the procedures until we got back. After speaking to that Dr. and speaking with friends that worked in the hospital in my hometown I got very scared to have it done. I took the vacation as my way of trying to eat healthier with seafood, and fruits and staying away from take out and sweets.
Had to go see the Dr. again one week after we had gotten home. I had lost 27 lbs all on my own. The nurse weighed me 2x to see if the scale was broken lol. It was then I decided to cancel the surgery and try and lose the weight myself.
Not to long after that my husband walked out on my son and I and never came back. I had a nervous breakdown and over the course of the next 6 weeks lost 65 lbs and a total of 100 lbs at around the one year mark. Now that was a terrible way to lose it but I felt great!
I was smaller than I was even when I was a teenager. Over the next few years I walked, and ate healthy and kept the weight off. But alas: my health has gotten worse over the last 3 years and I have gained about 50 lbs of it back. I have no energy, I feel crappy all over. It was time to call the Dr. again and see if I could re-qualify for surgery.
But before I make that call, I decided since I do so much research for my blog, maybe I should do some research for myself on the surgery first.
Here is what I have found:
What Is It?
Gastric Bypass Surgery is a surgical procedure where the stomach is divided into a small upper pouch (video below) and a large lower pouch. The small intestine is rearranged to connect to both pouches. There are several different (GBP) procedures.
All procedures lead to a marked reduction in the functional volume of the stomach plus an altered physical and physiological response to food.
As a result the patient will:
- Feel fuller sooner
- Will eat a lot less
- Absorb fewer minerals
- Have significant health improvement
- Lose up to 2/3 of excess weight in 2 years.
The different types of Weight Loss Surgery are as follows:
- Gastric Bypass
- Sleeve Gastrectomy
- Gastric Banding
- Gastric Plication
The doctor will let you know if you qualify and what type of surgery is best for you.
Cost without insurance is roughly $24,000.
In Canada, Bariatric Surgery is covered under our healthcare if you:
- Have 65 lbs or more to lose
- You have failed previous attempts through medically supervised programs
- Have a BMI (Body Mass Index) higher than 35-40
- For morbidly obese people who have been unable to lose sufficient weight with diet, drugs and / or exercise
Benefits From Surgery
It is very important to choose a Dr. with EXTENSIVE experience in performing Bariatric Surgery.
WHAT THE DOCTORS DON’T TELL YOU
There is a 99.8% survival rate. Up to 10% have at “least” one complication.
Some of those complications can include the following:
- Alcohol Use Disorder
- A physical and emotional dependence on alcohol that leads to the inability to cease drinking even after serious lifestyle, health or legal issues.
- Bleeding or Hemorrhaging
- A discharge of blood from the blood vessels
- Blood Clots
- Blood clot symptoms are extremely important to look out for. They can warn you of serious complications that can lead to death.
- Bowel Function Changes
- Bowel Obstruction (Internal Hernia)
- Candy Cane Syndrome
- CCS happens when a no longer functioning part of the small intestine near the new junction of the stomach and small intestine begins to cause abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The Candy Cane (non functioning part of the intestine) will need to be removed.
- Dumping Syndrome (Rapid Gastric Emptying)
- DS happens when food moves too quickly from the stomach into the small intestines (especially sugar). It is very common after Bariatric procedures that bypass a large portion of the small intestine.
- Early Dumping – 30 minutes after eating
- Late Dumping – Overtime. Symptoms include; Nausea, Diarrhea, Bloating, Fainting, Anxiety and Weakness.
- Gall Stones
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
- Chronic periodic episodes of reflux and heartburn.
- Low blood sugar
- Incision Hernia
- Intolerance to certain foods
- Kidney Stones
- Gastrointestinal leaks
- Staple line leaks
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nutrition Deficiency ( Iron and Calcium )
- Organ injury during surgery caused by Surgeon error during surgery
- Injuries to your internal organs during surgery, especially the Bowel, Stomach, Spleen or Esophagus
- A narrowing of construction of the diameter of a bodily passage or orifice with the primary symptom being vomiting.
- Marginal Ulcer
- Wound Infection
Your hospital stay is between 2 to 3 days and your time off work roughly 1 to 3 weeks. A full recovery time is about 4 to 6 weeks and the pain is manageable.
Downsides To Surgery
There is a moderate risk of complications and possible side effects such as:
- Digestion issues
- Dental issues
- Sagging skin
- Some weight gain
Life After Surgery
Keep in mind that Bariatric Surgery isn’t a miraculous life changing and altering issue, and is NOT reversible. Don’t go into surgery thinking once this is all over with I will be a NEW person and all I had to go was go in and out of surgery. If you don’t change your lifestyle with a lifelong restricted diet & regular exercise the weight will come back. However with that said it can be a totally Brand New You, but is going to take a lot of hard work.
Your personal relationships may change after the procedure. Make sure your loved ones know all the risks involved for you, if they are not on-board with your decision seek some mental health advice before taking on this big of a life change and make sure NO MATTER WHAT you are happy with the choices you have made for yourself. Life is always full of challenges for us, so just………..
My Resources for this article
Have you or someone you know had Gastric Bypass Surgery or are thinking about it? Please leave comments below
Gastric Bypass Cookbook with Photos and Complete Nutrition Information: Weight Loss Surgery Recipes and Meal Plan For Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, Lap Band, and Other Bariatric Surgery