sorry for any confusion on this surgery. I, personally, had this surgery after my cardiologist, respiratory and orthopedic doctors suggested it for health reasons. My orthopedic problems caused me problems from being able to exercise enough to actually benefit weightloss. As the weight increased, the weight put more stress on my joints creating more problems with exercising. Also, the added weight caused severe sleep apnea (a potential life-threatening disease). I basically stopped breathing every few seconds for a few seconds. All this put more stress on my heart....I think you get the idea. SO, for me, without the surgery, my life was shortened severely.
Originally Posted by QuiltE
On the flip side, I also had a hiatal hernia so couldn't eat very much at a time anyway but the weight still increased. So, simply eating less doesn't work for all people. My hubby eats junk throughout the day and doesn't exercise. His weight maintains -- I can watch him eat the junk food and put weight on....all people aren't created equal.
I was also afraid of being one of those patients who couldn't eat more than a teaspoon or two. To me, this was worse-case scenario. When you first have this surgery, that IS all you can eat for several weeks (that's why the weight drops so fast because you're barely eating anything). That's also why it's so important to get the right nutrients to stay healthy during the first year. But, after about a year, I eat semi-normally. I can eat out but always bring a carryout box home. I can eat pretty much anything now, except milk and ice cream which I don't really need anyway.
Ex. I can eat half a sandwich -- 1/3 of a restaurant meal -- eating a little of whatever is on my plate. I do have to watch bread - if I have more than 1 piece of bread per day, my weight starts to rise.
Although I still have about 40# to lose and might not get that off until I can exercise more, I still feel 200% better than I did prior to the surgery. I get out and walk almost everyday now (my fibromyalgia keeps me down some days), my outlook on life is so much better, and I'm enjoying life so much more now than before. And....I no longer get those stares from people because of my weight.
Hope this helps...
Thanks VickiG for all the added info.
First of all, please don't get me wrong in thinking that I am saying it's wrong or that it's easy to lose weight. Believe me, I know that all too well.
I come at this from the "experienced" weight loss/gain scenario myself and having worked in the industry for almost ten years as well. Add to that, a friend who is having the lap band done next Tuesday. So I am trying to learn and understand more about it all.
So for the first weeks after surgery it's only a teaspoon or two at a time to eat? How often? Were you hungry thru this? I know my friend is virtually not eating the two weeks pre-surgery, and only on a supplement drink, mixed with water and from what I understand will have that post-op for a spell as well.
As with all weight loss, nutrition is key. For most of the population, we get the nutrition we need, just by eating and with no planned menus. It just kind of comes together by the odds. The main problem is eating too much. Cutting back to virtually nothing, definitely I can see why the nutrition concerns may arise.
Interesting that you said that you have to watch bread intake or else the pounds come on ... hhmmm? no different than most of us, right? So, the surgery really isn't the resolution then, UNLESS the patient changes his/her eating habits. Again the parallels.
It's good to know that you are now eating semi-normally! Is it a matter of just eating less for all, post-op? or are certain foods no-no's? or totally restricted? (bread already mentioned)
From what I have read and understand, it still takes a lot of commitment, change and patience. I'm not sure that my friend has those, and whether she truly understands what's ahead. And I will admit, I fear for her. I hope it works for her. I really do. Though from what you have said, it's no magic cure-all ... you have to work at it, work hard and be ready to change.
I'm glad for you that you have seen progress and recognize the importance of patience in the process!
Here's to continued better health and more results for you!
Again, please do not think I am criticizing this ... I am just trying to understand more.
P.S. ... as for your husband ... we'll both just be envious!! :)
George Stella has the best recipes I have ever tried for low carb. He used to be on Food Network (Low Carb and Lovin It). Don't know if he still is, I don't watch much tv. He, his wife and 2 sons lost over 560 pounds on low carb and both are chefs. You should be able to get his cookbooks cheap on half.com or amazon. I have 3 of his books and use them. I love a book you wouldn't think of "Eating for Life" by Bill Phillips it has some of the best easy, healthiest and best tasting recipes. It has pictures of all the recipes and it using every day items you can buy at any grocery store. It also should be cheap at half.com or Amazon. I bought mine at the Goodwill. It has the best turkey meat loaf recipe ever.
did not take your message as critical. it did sound like you just want to be more informed and that's the main key. I was concerned about not being able to eat anything and becoming "sickly" looking. I saw so many at the doctor's office who looked like death warmed over as they say and I definitely didn't want to look like that. Nutrition has a lot to do with this issue.
Originally Posted by QuiltE
If you are not eating properly, you will get sick. Part of the reason for having the psych eval is to make sure you are mentally ready for this type of change. We are in love with food and the thought of giving of that love affair can be very devastating for some. I'm glad I can't eat all that food anymore but, like I said, I couldn't eat much at a time anyway because of the hiatal hernia. The surgeon fixed that during the surgery. That was worth the surgery alone!! The constant acid reflux was horrible and it's now gone.
Since I've had to watch my weight my whole life, getting used to the new way of eating wasn't much different other than eating mostly protein and veggies, then if there's room, a carb (potato, pasta, rice, etc.). I still eat a little carb regardless during my meal. The biggest change is not drinking anything after a meal. This is so you don't "wash" your food out of your little pouch too fast.....hence, staying full longer. If you drink with a meal, the food gets washed through faster and you get hungry sooner.
My prep for my surgery was 2 weeks of nothing but protein drink. The main reason for this is to shrink your liver so the surgeon can easily move it out of the way. I did have an enlarged liver but the surgeon said it was nice and plyable (spelling?) for the surgery. I also lost 18# during those 2 weeks. That part was pretty hard...not being able to eat real food but the protein shake was very healthy and I really wasn't hungry. After the surgery, you will have to drink the protein drink for several weeks as well....a few ounces every 30 minutes or so. This gives your stomach a chance to heal and not have to work very hard. The first month or so, I was never hungry. But it seemed that when I started getting back to regular food, my appetite came back. This surgery was not a fix for the hunger unfortunately.
We got an eating plan to cover the first 6 weeks after surgery. Every week, we added a little more food until we get to the point of eating meat (chicken, fish for several months). This is because these are easier to digest. Then move on to hamburger (about 6 months). I was able to eat pork chops and steak, stew, etc. red meat at about 10 months. Some people NEVER are able to eat red meat.
As for nutrients, I now have to take a B vitamin, calcium, multi-vitamin daily and get a B12 shot every month. My body no longer absorbs these vitamins from my food intake so this will be life long now.
My stomach signals me when it's getting close to meal time so other than that, I'm not hungry. If I wait too long to eat (typically every 4 hours or so), I start to get dizzy (I guess like low blood sugar) so I try to have a little snack of some carb and protein about 2 hours.
I did have some problems in the beginning and ended up back in the hospital with a couple of hernias but I'm ok now.
The lapband is a totally different procedure so your friend won't go through the same issues. My insurance wouldn't pay for lapband which I didn't think would be in my best interest anyway.
Knowledge is power so feel free to ask whatever questions you have. I wish I had someone to help me understand this surgery better before I had it done. Although I thought I did plenty of research (several years actually), there's so much they don't tell you because each person is different.
Tell your friend good luck!!
Thanks again, VickiG ... I really appreciate all the "knowledge" (is power!)
It's good that you are so attentive to the nutrient needs ... wow, though at the B12 monthly along with the rest. Why won't your body absorb those nutrients from the food intake?
The big question now ... what is lap band vs. gastric bypass?
I was given the understanding they are one and the same ... and now wonder which she is having?
I know it wasn't covered by OHIP nor her private insurance (Canada) as she has paid $18,000!! :)
QuiltE - She probably had the lapband because it's less invasive hence cheaper. Mine was around $56K billed to Medicare but was actually paid around $30K.
If you google lapband surgery, it shows you that no cutting the stomach and making it tiny. The lapband simply puts a "band" around the upper portion of the stomach, creating that tiny pouch. The band itself is adjustable and can be adjusted by the surgeon as needed. From what I understand, the band can be tightened or loosened depending on how the patient is doing. The food goes into this tiny pouch created by the band then it slowly releases into the rest of the stomach for digesting. Since the stomach isn't surgerically touched, nothing changes for the patient other than the amount of food they can eat.
If the person is losing too fast (and getting sick), the band can be loosened a little to allow the person to eat a little more. My understanding is that the band CAN be removed......gastric bypass is a permanent surgery.
With the bypass surgery, since the stomach is surgerically altered, the "plumbing" of the digestive system is also affected which is why nutrients aren't absorbed like before. Again, google gastric bypass surgery and you'll find tons of videos and info on how this works.
One thing that isn't thought of -- I have bad sinuses so have a lot of sinus drainage which goes "into the stomach". So when I first had my surgery and this tiny little pouch (only holds 2 oz right after surgery), my sinus drainage filled my little pouch up and I couldn't eat (since I felt too full to eat). They had to go in via the throat and drain the mucous. Now, I have to take an allergy pill everyday too to keep the mucous down....again, something else doctors don't tell you. Now that my pouch has healed and can hold approx. 1-1/2 cups of food, the problem isn't as bad.
I do feel doing your homework for such a serious operation is necessary since gastric bypass is not reversible.
Thanks VickiG ... I appreciate your open comments. Yes, it will be the lapband, as she goes in and out the same day and non-invasive. She really hasn't been open to me, and I have learned what I know thru her husband ... and she has told him very little! From there, some googling, and knowing where the work is being done, and I have been learning. Then this thread came along and I was all ears and eyes!! :)
She actually had it booked, deposits paid, and was ready to make the final payment before she told him ... I think that was probably only because the $ and need to move $ between bank accounts, so had to own up to it. He is disgusted with her doing it ... and basically is keeping out of it with her to keep the proverbial peace.
In the meantime, with the prep for the operation and drinking of the stuff she's been given ... the poor man has literally been starving as she doesn't see the need to cook ... and he is so obliging to just let it be. I wonder how much he will lose as a result ... and doesn't have a lot of room for weight loss!
The procedure isn't til next Tuesday, and then after?
Only time will tell! :D
I wish her well ....
Probably a good time for him to learn to fix his own meals.
Oh don't worry, he does, but of course, they don't tend to be "meals" ... just something to eat to get by. And he;s one of the types who can not eat and be quite content!!
Originally Posted by TanyaL
Amen to that. If he can't even fix himself a sandwich or whatever, he deserves to starve. :p
Originally Posted by TanyaL