These are the 3 different types of bariatric procedures we do at our office.
The adjustable gastric band, or “lap band”, is an adjustable silicon band that is placed around the upper part of the stomach. The band connects to a port on the stomach via a small line, where saline can be injected or removed by physician to make the band tighter or looser.
The roux-en-y gastric bypass utilizes a small part of the existing stomach, and turns it into a small pouch. This procedure essentially takes a football-sized stomach, and turns it into the size of an egg. This egg-sized pouch is then connected to the small intestine, “bypassing” the old stomach and part of the upper small intestine.
The sleeve gastrectomy completely removes about 80% of the stomach, leaving only a tube-like stomach.
All three procedures are effective and valid. Every person is different. Only a surgeon can advise on which procedure is right for each individual patient.
People have asked me many questions. Well here are your answers:
Q: What bariatric procedure did you have done?
A: Laparoscopic roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Q: Which surgeon did you choose?
A: Since I work for the office where I had this procedure done, out of respect to the surgeons, I am declining to answer this question.
Q: Did you try Weight Watchers, Adipex, gluten-free, etc?
A: Yes, yes, yes and yes.
Q: Why didn’t it work?
A: It all worked, to a point. I’ve never been able to get my weight under 232 pounds.
Q: What was your weight the day of surgery?
A: 358 pounds.
Q: What does Destination: 175 mean?
A: 175 pounds is my goal weight.
Q: Isn’t bariatric surgery the easy way out?
A: The easy way out of what? Ask anyone who has had weight loss surgery. It is hard, painful, and takes commitment. It is a good choice for people who have literally tried every other measure, and have not been able to achieve their goal.
Q: Can you eat whatever you want now, just in smaller portions?
A: Um….no. WLS (weight loss surgery) is merely a tool. I have a window of about 18 months to use that tool to get this weight off. Beyond that time frame, I will have to eat nutritiously and exercise or the weight can be regained.
Q: Won’t you have a lot of loose skin?
A: Likely there will be some loose skin, but exercise and toning can prevent a lot of that.
Q: The bariatric patients I have seen look sickly. Their hair is falling out, their skin looks saggy, pale and under nourished, and their fingernails are brittle. Aren’t you scared of looking like this?
A: Not at all. Those patients you speak of are not getting adequate protein and hydration, and they are not taking their bariatric vitamins. There is a vitamin schedule that must be followed to achieve and maintain optimum health.
Q: What made you decide to have surgery?
A: Many things. Fractured feet, bad knees, failed weight loss attempts, pain, pain, and more pain. I love my life and I want to be able to live it to the fullest. That had become nearly impossible.
Q: How long will you be off work?
A: 10 days to 3 weeks, mostly to learn vitamin schedules, and make sure I am hydrated and nourished. Protein and supplements are literally a full time job.
Q: What do your kids think about all this?
A: They were scared at first, too. But after learning about the procedures, they are fully supportive. I have explained to them the gory details about my lifelong eating disorder, and I feel they are prepared to not make the same mistakes.