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Gastric Bypass disaster
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Gastric Bypass disaster

My sis-in-law had gastric bypass surgery March 2005. She has not been able to hold down anything since then. She has had infections and problems continually since the surgery. Her doctors have given up claiming to have no idea why she is having these infections. They made her stomach too small, she had scar tissue blocking the stomach opening that needed to be removed, they found ulcers that needed repaired. She contracted a rare yeast infection that the CDC from Georgia came to investigate. She also had an infection that eventually went into "the sac's around her spinal discs." She is now back in the hospital after 12 days of not being able to hold anything down. She is having a "pick line" replaced for at least the 2nd time since surgery due to infection and blockage.    She was very over weight but lost almost 100 lbs before the surgery. She also suffered from diabetes. I believe she also has had a poor heart for some time.  I realize this is not very descriptive but we are pretty desperate right now. We are afraid that she will die from this. Where can we go for help. She lives in Derby Kansas. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow your sister in law has been through hell. I can not give you much advice, but I do feel for you all.
I was sad to read this, as I have a close friend who is considering this surgery.  If you do not mind me asking how much did your sis-in-law weigh prior to surgery, including that 100lbs you say she lost already on her own? Was she physically active? or completely sedentary?  What was her general health like before?  It would seem to me that the surgeons did a poor job on her for sure, but you definitely investigate what was done wrong and consider a law suit, although I am sure her well being is the main thing on your mind.  I am just so sick over these doctor's not taking responsibility for things going wrong.
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Avatar_n_tn
My sis-in-law was approxmiately 400 lbs. She was not in the greatest of health as she was having problems with diabetes.  Part of her problem was, ash she admits, an addiction to food. My brother, bless his heart, went to all the classes with her including diabetes. He fixed her food and has been an incredible support for her.  She was more sedintary due to her weight, which brought with it the shortness of breath and pain.  I would tell anyone to seriously SERIOULSY research who would be doing this surgery.  I work for Kaiser in Cal. They have developed a program that is less drastic. My boss just had the bypass and she is doing really well. Kaiser has continually observered and modified how they do these surgeries. If at all possible I would suggest going through them. Thanks for the support
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Avatar_n_tn
I predict that in a few years, gastric bypass will be all but gone from the horizon as lap-band is recognized for its superiority: complications such as that described above are all but absent, it's cheaper, the recovery is faster (most people can be done as outpatients) and over the long term, the weight loss is the same, and it's adjustable with a simple office procedure that takes less than a minute.
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Avatar_n_tn
A close friend of mine went through the same thing as your sister-in-law, and she nearly died. What saved her life was admission to an intensive care unit under the care of a skilled doctor. Run, don't walk, to find such care for her.
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Avatar_n_tn
people who are so overweight that losing the weight leaves them with enough excess skin that surgical treatment is necessary, are dangerously overweight. Without losing the weight, their life-expectancy is greatly reduced. So for their health they need to lose it, whether by surgery or by dietary means alone. So I'd say that that consideration is not particular to obesity surgery.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes I would agree that any proceedure that can avoid surgically altering and organ, ie: "lapband" verses GBS is much "safer" overall.  If I had no other choice as a last resort, surgery would be viable. But, then there is the question of whether one will eventually need MORE surgery to remove access flesh, loose skin etc.  It is a quandry.
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Avatar_n_tn
Rinnie, First I'm sorry for all the distress this is causing you and your family. I had gastric by-pass surgery April 14, 2004. As of last night I've lost 115.5 lbs. I am 5'8" and weighed 270 lbs. I had laproscopic surgery at Community Hosp. in New Port Richey under the care of Dr. Rudolph Dy. I've done everything they suggested, like support groups, which the hospital provides every other tuesday to anyone who has had this surgery. The third monday is open to all interested in learning about this surgery. They are going to be doing the lap band surgery soon. Everyone is different. Some can eat certain foods a couple weeks after surgery and others like me had to go slow and have liquid shakes. I started doing water aerobics in July and the weight started dropping 5 lbs a week. Plus I developed a great passion for swimming and I swim an extra hour or two three or four times a week. I bring my meals every where I go in case what's served isn't for me. I get regular blood tests and our hospital provides a top notch dietician once a month at their expense and she'll help anyone who has had the surgery no matter where they're from. The lap band yes is easier, But you have to follow this up with ajustments to the band. Just because it's easier doesn't mean it's better. And the surgeon who said the other way was history is so far out in right field it's a wonder he's a doctor still. He must have a great financial interest in the band. That is just my opinion. If you need to speak to someone from the hospital you can talk to Ms. Ivy Landell @ 727+845-9133 or email her at ivy.***@****. She can answer all your questions. I can't stress it enough to do what your doctor and their team tell you to do, have a support group, get regular blood tests and have a therapyst qualified in gastric by-pass surgery. Good luck and God Bless.
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Avatar_n_tn
first, I have no economic interest in either: I'm retired. Second, I did not say gastric bypass doesn't work. It's very effective. It's just that when complications occur, they are disastrous; and with lap band, they are much rarer, and when they occur, it's typically a minor deal to take care of it. And the overall costs (not adding in those related to complications) favor lap band by several thousand dollars. Like nearly all innovations, the thing that comes first has a certain momentum that takes a while to overcome. Gastric bypass has been around longer than lap band. I didn't say bypass is history. I predicted that in a few years it will be, as the obvious benefits of lap band become evident, in terms of cost, safety, rapidity of recovery, etc. Nor, when I said those things, did I expect a personal attack and string of insults.
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Avatar_n_tn
Rinnie, I forgot to say I'm at my ideal weight of 154.5 lbs and I'm from Florida. Just north of Tampa. Please to all others thinking of having the surgery research it very well. You have to have your head and stomach in the right place and that's together. There will be foods you can go back to eating in small portions and others you can never have because they are what dragged you into the addiction of eating to much for whatever reason, like eating over emotions that couldn't be dealt with. Whether it's compulsive eating, gambling, drinking or sex or anything else what we needed, but couldn't do was deal with it for again whatever reason. I feel I don't want sugar or caffein in my diet because I can't handle it. I was given a gift of removing a monkey off my back that use to say give me more and more and more food and drink. I don't want that monkey on by back again so I stay away from it's little voice saying have just one little bite. That little bite like you'd give a child will possibly grow like a child grows and learns to eat larger portions. Guess I'm real talkative today. Hope some of this helps you or someone else out there.
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93210_tn?1287457826
Hi Doc,
Hi know what you mean by not expecting to be verbally thrashed. I thought being a radiology tech for a number of years, I could be of some help with folks who have questions. But after being attacked myself and continuously having to defend myself, I've pretty well backed off of responding to them. Most of the people here are great, but you get a few who pretty well spoil it.
Not to sound like a brown nose, you're doing a great job. Keep up the good work.
Kelly
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Avatar_n_tn
Just because someone believes more strongly in one thing over another doesn't mean he is gaining financially from it. I thought your comments were rather harsh. I frankly don't believe gastric bypass or the lap band sound safe, however I am happy that you found your solution.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like to thank you all for your response to my (our) families problem.  I have never heard of the banding method, but I do agree that less invasive means is the best. My sis-in-law was again in the hospital a week or so ago. She is constantly fighting staff infection. She certainly would reconsider had she known this would happen. As always, hind site is the most accurate. I hope that all of you that have responded will talk with any friend of family member considering this procedure.  My boss just went through this same surgery but she has had none of the difficulties my sis-in-law has had. She got it done is San Francisco @ the Kaiser facility. We talked about her doing this and she explained that Kaiser isn't as radical as most other familities and they do extra tests after surgery to make sure things are going well.  Thank you again.  Sincerely  Erin
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Avatar_n_tn
Also, Hello Rinnie, sorry again for what your sis-in-law is enduring...
Surgeon and Navy Mom have a point.  I myself have taken on a couple of posted questions that weren't being answered, and took a stab at them, but got flamed, maligned and mis-quoted.  Some problems have such sensitivity attached to them that it is impossible to have a good in depth discussion.
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93210_tn?1287457826
Hi hm05,
I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like I'm being picked on. I think there's a lot of hostle people out there. Maybe they have no control in their lives, so they go on sites like this one and verbally beat up people like us who are only looking for information. Well, if the verbal pounding gives them some sort of controlled feeling within their lives, then I can take it. What about you!!  :)
Have a good evening.
Kelly
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Avatar_n_tn
Need help. I am going to have the surgery - I need to lose about 100lbs. But...I am so torn as to which to have. I have spoken to both a bypass patient and a lapband patient. They each bashed the other procedure - syaing their procedure was the best. I know I would probably lose faster with the bypass but the Lapband seems less complicated and potentially safer down the road...but I fear that I won't lose any weight on it. Can anyone help? What made you chose one over the other? if you did the band - are you losing - how many adjustments did you have to get to the point of losing etc...thanks for your time. signed - Very Confusded!
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Avatar_n_tn
Are you guys serious!  Thrashing you, verbally abusing you??Who?
Are you paranoid.  Just because someone gives an opinion different than yours does not mean they are abusing you. And by the way, what type of surgeon are you???  Your advice is quite flawed.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't recall complaining about being "thrashed." (Not a word I've ever used). As to who I am, I posted at length (again) in the lap-band thread a few posts north. You can disagree with me. "Flawed" implies something different from something with which you disagree. Show me the flaws. In fact, don't bother. I've pretty much said all there is to say. Please read the post in the above thread. Nothing is perfect. Neither procedure, nor you, nor I.
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Avatar_n_tn

Good grief, retired you say? Not soon enough! I did Not say that your opinion was flawed, I said your advice was flawed.Get a grip.

ALSO:  try to remember what you did say
As quoted below by your #1fan- Navymom

Hi Doc,
Hi know what you mean by not expecting to be verbally thrashed. I thought being a radiology tech for a number of years, I could be of some help with folks who have questions. But after being attacked myself and continuously having to defend myself, I've pretty well backed off of responding to them
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Avatar_n_tn
wow. advice vs opinion. You got me there. Which advice? What flaw? And surely you haven't forgotten your post immediately above: "Are you guys serious! Thrashing you, verbally abusing you??Who?"  So let's just play word games, I guess. It seems to be easier than giving meaningful advice. I know if it were me, I'd take the advice of a radiology tech over a surgeon who has actually participated in the operations in question (both kinds), any day of the week. Post away. I'm finished with this here thread. You get the last word. I can hardly wait.
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Avatar_n_tn
I think that everyone has seem to forget what the question was to begin with.  Someone came in here to get suggestions for hid sister-in-law.  Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I do believe however,after working in the medical field myself, that if a doctor or surgeon gives advice or makes a comment, I would listen to what they have to say.  As always in medicine, they are going to be new and possibly better ways to perform certain surgeries to have less of a risk factor. Trust me, there are some surgeries that you would not want performed on you the same way they were 20 years ago!  My mom has also had the gastric bypass and although she did not have immediate complications, she also does not have a "normal" life as she thought she may have either.  This is not a quick fix in any way, shape, or form. Some of the damage had already been done to her body long before the GBS.  It still has to be a lifestyle change either way, with the lapband or the GBS.  I feel for the guy and his sister-in-law.  Let's all try to remember that every one is entitled to an opinion and to not be so selfish that we forget what we started out doing to begin with.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for all the advise that you have given people. I know that some people can be rather harsh. Not too many Doctors would be will to give advise free of charge on Web Site. Again thank you for your help.
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93210_tn?1287457826
Hi there rnr!!
I haven't been here in a while. After reading your rants, I remember why I don't come here much anymore. This great website is being infected...by unhappy people who can't be nice to the others on this website who are trying to get or give advice. Are you so sour to everyone you come in contact with rnr??
Anyway, have a great evening rnr. And a bit of advice. Lighten up!! You might find that life doesn't have to be so dreary.
Sincerely,
Kelly
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on 22 August 2005. It was a laparoscopic procedure and I was back at work in 3 weeks. The operation was 10 weeks ago today and I have already lost 72 lbs. I am a Caucasian male, 46 years old, 5" 10" and was 280 Lbs. I was taking 5 prescriptions for acid reflux, hypertension, high cholesterol, back pain, I had sleep apnea and was very close to having diabetes. I now lift weights 3 times a week, walk 30-40 minutes a day. I am no longer taking any prescriptions or using the CPAP. The only problem I had was back pain when my back straightened out. The chiropractor and exercise are taking care of that. After one months my lab work was textbook perfect. My surgeon is Dr. Alan C. Whittgrove in San Diego. He is one of the pioneers of the laparoscopic procedure and has done thousands of them. He has a web site at www.lapbypass.com. If I had to do it all over again I would do it in a minute. I do feel bad for the people that do encounter problems. Only being able to eat small meals consisting mainly of protein is a small sacrifice for the freedom this procedure has given me.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am planning to have lap gastric bypass in January 2006.  I have enjoyed reading all your comments as I am trying to be as educated as I can before I proceed with the procedure.  I weigh 332lbs and have copd, sleep apnea, arthritis, and just have been diagnosised with borderline diabetes.  I know I cannot do it on my own, but I am so afraid i will be one of the onces that are having a terrible time.  I originally wanted to do the banding, but the only facility that does it is 150 miles away from me.  I think that is too far since I would not be able to attend group counseling.  Also the physician closed to me feels  that I would not loose as well and would eventually end up having the lap.  (I live in central Texas)  Any other good comments ....and bad would sure help me...


thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I think weight loss surgery has gotten out of control.  I have a friend who had gastric bypass in April and is now facing surgery for a hernia, a direct result of the surgery.  She was not 100 pounds overweight but found doctors who would support her and a surgeon eager to do more surgeries.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I have diabetes and the gastric bypass eliminates the diabetes in most patients.  The Lap band doesn't eliminate diabetes, over time and weight loss it could ease the severity of diabetes.  There is a french surgeon that did further research on why gastic bypass patients were free of diabetes 2 to 3 days post op.  Google it- it is interesting to watch what they found in diabetic rats.  They did gastic bypass diabetes went away, they reversed the surgery and the diabetes came back......
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Avatar_n_tn
Alright I am seventeen and my mom had the gastric bypass done im not sure exactly but less than seven years ago...and since the surgery it has messed her up exrtremly..well since those years she has met three other women with similiar problems that had had that surgery...they all had the same doctor. My mom had wanted to sue him but the statue of limitation has ran out long ago. The doctor has got fired from that hospital but is still working at some other hospital...all the women including my mom has all these problems wrong due to surgery but all are so financially messed up they dont know what to do...i was just wondering if maybe anyone could think of anything that could be done do get this doctor to pay for what he has done...Im going to school for Legal Assistant and i figured they could all sue for pain and suffering..(not sure if statue of limitation is up for all of them yet or what it is for that) but what could be done about the doctor messing up the surgery with at least three people if not more people.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the gastric bypass in May of 2005 and right from the start I had major complications. I was unable to eat anything as soon as I got home from the hospital. I lost 100 pounds in 3 months. The doctor who performed my surgery did not leave enough blood flow to the new pouch stomach so I developed major bleeding ulcers. Finally the ulcers perforated and I ended up in emergency surgery with gangreen. I went into a coma and the doctors called my family in and told them I was closer to god than to living. Thank god I was able to pull myself back but I can tell you that it has been a struggle every single second for 3 years. I finally had to have my bypass reversed in May of 2008. I now am dealing with the complications that malnutrition causes like my teeth falling out of my mouth. I ended up having 11 surgeries from the complications of having the bypass. I ate through a tube either in my nose or in my bypassed stomach or I ate through a central line hooked to my heart for 3 years. I lost everything. I had a good job for 8 years that I lost. I ended up moving in to a very old and small motorhome in my daughters back yard. I am angry. All of this could have been avoided by choosing a different surgeon. I have a doctor that was sent from heaven. He took over my case when my ulcer perforated and I was at my sickest. I don't think I would be here if he had not intervened. I would be happy to put you in touch with my surgeon. Please email me at
kuster_susan***@**** or call 1-830-557-7951. My name is Susan Kuster and I hope I can help.
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband had Lapband, and I had bypass, so I've seen the results of both.  Hubby had his lapband about 4 years ago, and lost 100 lbs fairly fast.  He then started his old eating habits, and has gained back about 60 of those pounds.  He has now started going for band adjustments again, and is losing again, but now has developed acid reflux, which I've recently learned is fairly common with lapband patients.  Lapband requires discipline, but then so does bypass.  I'm fairly new with my bypass. Surgery was 9 months ago, and I've lost a total of 131 pounds. I just reached my goal 3 weeks ago, so can't say at this point how easy or hard it will be to keep the weight off. I've been fortunate, in that I've not had any complications to this point.  I hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
Being overweight or obese can cause a lot of health issues including mental health.  Undergoing weight loss surgery is taking the risk in order to be healthy and avoid health complications due to weight or obesity.  The surgery may cause complications as well but the point is, you're taking a step towards getting healthy.

Whether you take GBS or Lap Band, the success of the surgery still lies on you.  These two methods are just tools to help you lose weight.  There are restrictions that need to be followed for you to succeed in losing weight.  If you do not follow it, obviously you'll fail.

There are a lot success stories on weight loss surgery.  They are the ones who have followed the restrictions and perhaps got an excellent surgeon.  Some have even gone abroad for their weight loss surgery - merely because of price, especially that in most cases, insurance companies won't cover it.
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Avatar_n_tn
my brother in law weighed 467 pounds when he went in for gastric bypass on 12/28/09. He went back into surgery on 1/5 because there was a "leak" and his whole body became septic. They cleaned him out and left the wound 'open' to continue to let infection out. At this point his kidneys had failed, he had to be placed on a respirator and was on 4 medications for blood pressure. as the next week went by he improved slightly as he was taken off blood pressure meds and could breathe on his own for short periods of time. Meanwhile they had to begin dialysis daily because his kidneys had not yet begun to function. Then on Friday 1/15/10 his heart stopped 2x but began again on it's own. Then very early sunday the 17th his heart stopped again and after 30 minutes of necessitative efforts he was gone.
Not only this, but I know of 2 others who had very similar complications and nearly lost their lives as well.
i don't have any advice to offer, just facts to present.
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Avatar_m_tn
My sister underwent gastric bypass in December 2009 and died a month later. Immediately after surgery, she began having stomach pains and regurgitating. She would even throw up after consuming 1/2 ounces of liquid. Once readmitted she never got a chance to leave the hospital. They ran several tests but to no avail. Her condition deteriorated day by day. They punctured several holes around her abdomen to drain pus from the abscesses that formed. She developed jaundice and after a month could no longer breathe on her own. Her major organs began to fail. Her doctor decided to do an exploratory a month later once she was placed on a respiratory. Two days after that surgery, she died. Throughout that time, only one doctor mentioned that it could have been a leak that sealed itself but no one ever wanted to confirm that. Her autopsy stated that she also had Sepsis and contracted MRSAR in the hospital. Although she was overweight, she had no major health issues; no diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. It seems like Doctors want to cover up the deaths following gastric bypass. It’s sad to see a loved one go through so much pain when it could have been prevented. It is a difficult case to fight but I am placing all of my grief and anger to go forward with it and seek justice for her death.
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