About Gastric Girl

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Tomball, TX, United States
My name is Laurie. I'm 34 and I live in a suburb of Houston, TX. My life isn't super exciting or ultra dramatic, but I love it! My blogs are just a peek into my life as I know it. I'm quite random and have an opinion on everything, but I love everyone's aspect on things, even if I disagree. The world would be quite boring if not! :-)

4/22/2009

Q&A Session

Good day all! I did get a question from my blog post yesterday, so here is my response. For all of you lovely ladies (and gents if there are any) that are post op, please feel free to pipe in with your 2 cents!

Question:
I'm almost done with my options class, then its WLS time, my biggest dilema is choosing a surgery. Lap band VS RNY. I feel afraid and have done research, but the more I read the more I freak out, I weigh 271 and I am 36 years old. I know the surgery will give my the quality of life to live my life with my family, i just feel afraid. any words of wisdom???

Choosing which surgery to have is a very personal decision, and there are lots of options to weigh.
I chose RNY Gastric Bypass for several reasons:
  • It has been around longer - there are people many years out from RNY who are doing wonderfully. It just makes me feel better knowing that it's been around for longer.
  • I have a bad gag reflex! I've read a lot about food getting stuck with Lap-Band much more frequently than gastric bypass. A complication of lap-band is band slippage, which is more common if you throw up frequently - the heaving can move the band.
  • The success rate speaks for itself. You lose weight more rapidly than with Lap-Band, because of the malabsorption and restriction. With lap-band you only have restriction, and you can eat slider foods (ie. milkshakes, etc) and have no success.
  • I felt it would be too easy to "cheat the system" if I were to have lap-band. I was actually considering lap band first, but decided against it.
  • More insurance companies cover gastric bypass vs. lap band
  • The idea of going in for fills annoyed me. And, the idea of having a foreign object in my body creeped me out a bit. lol
  • On the OH boards, I have seen a lot of people who have had Lap Band get revisions to RNY Gastric bypass b/c of lack of success.

There are many more reasons I'm sure, but that's just a few. I would advise NOT going with RNY gastric bypass if you are terrible about taking vitamins. You MUST take your vitamins daily.

My only regret with surgery is not doing it sooner. I was 31 when I had surgery. I wish I had done it in my 20's so I could really start living sooner. My quality of life has dramatically improved since I have had my gastric bypass. I did have a complication with an intestinal hernia, and even with that, I would do it again 100 times over.

I know it is a scary decision, and definitely not one to take lightly. At the end of the day, you have to choose what you are comfortable with. Make sure you are comfortable with your surgeon, as you'll have follow-up care with him for at least the first year post op before you go to your PCP.

I hope this helps, and please, anyone else, chime in! :)


Hugs to all!
Laurie

10 comments:

Kim H. said...

The only thing I would add is that you should look at your contributing factors as well... meaning - do you have diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

If so - the RNY is more effective at managing those conditions and even curing them in the majority of cases.

Chris H said...

Hmmm, very interesting. I have given surgery a passing thought, but I don't like the idea of having to take supplements for the rest of my life to maintain good health. AND I worry about all the 'bits' bypassed in the surgery. What happens to them, like all your intestines? Do they shrivel and die inside you or what? It creeps me out thinking about that! lol
Weird question eh? But I do wonder.

LSM said...

Thank you for your insight, it is a decision I am not taking lightly, I do get low blood sugar, (insulin resistance) once in a while, so that is actually my main concern, if you have a low BS what do you do, or eat to fix it? I did ask my Dr. that and his response was usually the resistance fixes its self because your need is less? Have you had this experience? I do have a blog but not one on my journey about weight, I think I may start one just to have a journal and share and get some Inspirationand Ideas from others.
thanks again
laurie

GastricGirl said...

Chris H - Nothing is actually removed from your body. From what my surgeon told me, everything is still fully functional, and a reversal is possible if necessary.
LSM - I have no personal experience with low blood sugar (or high for that matter), but my mom was diabetic pre-surgery, and she has not had any issues with blood sugar dips like she did post op. She's no longer on any medication for diabetes, and has had excellent blood sugar readings.

Chris H said...

That is weird, I have always been told it is not reversable!

Laurie said...

Chris H - They prefer not to reverse it, as it is more complicated than the original surgery, but if complications arise where it needs to be done, it's very possible! :)

Kim said...

I really had issues with having a foreign body inside of me which would have been the case with a lapband. I watched an episode of "Big Medicine" once where someone was getting a revision to RNY and the docs couldn't find the lapband! Freaked me out! Also, someone I know had the lapband and said she had no trouble eating "junk". With RNY, I know that feeling sick (dumping) could happen if I eat much sugar and this helps keep me honest as they could not do surgery on my mind!

As Laurie said, the decision is very individual and these were just a few of my reasons why I went with gastric bypass. I have no regrets and love the way I feel now!

LSM said...

Hello again, I just wanted to let you know that even though I already have a blog... Im going to start a new one, About this process and journey to WLS. I will share good and bad feelings and a brutally honest approach to a serious surgery. I hope you will check it out, I will get started on it today. I think I will call it "The many layers of me"!!
I think I will actually put a CURRENT photo of me!

Thanks for your inspiration!
Laurie

Laurie said...

http://laurie-metamorphosis.blogspot.com
Here is my new blog about the WL journey to wls

Liza said...

Funny, because if I had to make a list of why I chose one procedure over the other it would look almost exactly the same as yours!