Reading and listening to weight loss surgery success stories made me apprehensive. I knew it was possible, but I knew many people failed. I did not want to be a statistic the one who just could not make it.
Fourteen months after having biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch I am down 193 pounds and still working at it. This procedure was ideal for me as it preserved my pyloric valve and that helped my digestion operate more normally so I figured I could live with this for my new life for a lifetime!
Losing 193 pounds seemed nearly impossible to me. I started my weight loss surgery journey at 344. Well that is as close I can get because I rarely weighed myself it was too depressing. So 344 was my highest recorded weight. My surgeon wanted me to be around 180 or so. She thought it was reasonable that I could get to around 164 pounds.
I did extremely well following my surgery and at one month had lost 51 pounds! This was amazing to me I could not believe it and was astounded. My doctor was pleased as well and when I saw her at my eight month check-up and had lost 150 already she revised her wishes for me. She said there was no reason I could not lose over 190 pounds and weigh about 150 which is exactly where I am today.
I was not suffering from some of the regular co-morbidities that obese patients suffered from like diabetes or high blood pressure but I did have sleep apnea and low thyroid.
I was diagnosed with sleep apnea just 7 weeks before my surgery. Immediately after surgery I did not need my CPAP machine, I was breathing better and sleeping like a baby. I was well rested when I woke up in the morning and within a month or so post op, I was never sleepy, didn’t take naps or fall asleep during movie night! This alone was a huge benefit to me. After work, prior to surgery, I was just too tired to get anything else done because of the sleep apnea. The horrible disease makes your body work harder at night while supposedly resting than you did during the day. Glad that one was gone for sure.
I still have low-thyroid, but now require much less medication but my doc told me, thin people have thyroid issues too. So we shall see.
I was not really attending the weight loss surgery support groups in my area but I was using the online weight loss support forums. It was so great to connect with people who had been where I was now. They could relate and knew what was around the bend for me, what was realistic and what I could expect for my specific surgery. They were also there when I needed food help.
I would suggest you find a forum that is geared toward your particular surgery. Each type of bariatric surgery has different eating prescriptions. Some things I can have, someone with RNY gastric bypass can’t have.
I also strongly recommend you keep in contact with your surgery team. I did a lot of research up front and really wanted to have a very active, supportive weight loss surgeon and staff. I sure found that in my surgery team. They are just an email away and are so helpful it makes a difference you don’t feel like you are flying solo. You or your insurance company paid them a lot of money so don’t be afraid to call or email them some questions.
All in all I am a different person now. I hear so many bariatric surgery patients say this and while it is true in some ways, I must caution that it really isn’t at the core. I am the same person with the same desires, faults and weaknesses that got me to where I was.
While genetics play a big part in my personal story, I still contributed, in a big way, to my weight gain. It became a vicious downward spiral. You are tired, you hurt, you don’t want to exercise, you eat and on and on.
My best advice to you: read, study and learn all you can about weight loss surgery, talk with your doctor and follow their instructions to the letter. If you don’t understand, ask. You will be successful if you follow their orders.
– Types of Bariatric Surgery – Comparison of the 16 Established & Experimental Weight Loss Surgery Procedures
– Duodenal Switch Surgery (DS)
– Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery (Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass)
– Analysis & Cost of Lap Band Surgery (Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band) & Whether It’s Right for You
– Bariatric Doctors / Bariatric Weight Loss Center: 4 Essential Steps to
Finding the Surgeon That’s Right for You
– Conversion from Lap Band to Gastric Bypass