When I started this blog, I promised to tell the good, the bad and the ugly: everything from gastric bypass surgery complications and misery to “wow” moments. What has happened to me over the last two weeks has been both bad and ugly.
It began on Tuesday, October 14th. I had some abdominal cramping, like perhaps I had a bad case of diarrhea. It came and went through the day. But around 11:00 PM, it intensified and stopped going away.
It felt similar to labor – and hurt about as bad. The pain came in waves, crested and receded just like contractions. At around 11:30 I called in to the surgeon’s office and paged the doctor on call. I was told to go to clear liquids and get an appointment to come in first thing in the morning.
But the pain got worse, and around 4:00 AM I started throwing up, too. I called the doctor again and was told to go immediately to the ER.
So Which Gastric Bypass Surgery Complication Is It? None Of The Options Are Good…
I arrived at the ER at about 4:30 on the morning of the 15th. Doubled over in pain, begging God for mercy and throwing up with such force that I literally peed all over myself. But my local ER was designed in the pits of Hell and is run by Satan himself. I knew at this point what the possible gastric bypass surgery complications were, and each of them could kill me of not dealt with swiftly. Still, I sat for 4 hours in the waiting room, throwing up and crying in pain, before being seen.
There were people who’d been waiting there 16, even 20 hours. I truly felt like I’d been sent to purgatory. They were all running their mouths, too, threatening to call the media, complaining loudly and constantly. My husband said it was all he could do to keep from standing up and yelling “Shut up!!!”
They really had a fit when I started vomiting badly. A nurse even came out from the back and handed out masks so that people wouldn’t catch stuff from each other. But they could not be bothered to take away my bucket of puke and give me a fresh one.
Side note: Every hospital should have 2 ER’s. One for people with no insurance who use the ER for every little thing (clogging it up for the rest of us) and one for real emergencies.
After several more pages and some seriously frayed nerves, the doctor on call arrived and took me back. We’re thinking blockage of some kind, they want to do a CT scan. My doc orders pain and nausea meds for me at around 8:15. I’m still just crying and begging God for help. Fortunately, I’m not throwing up as much.
Two hours later I’m in a room on the juvenile floor (aparently the only place they could put me) and I finally, mercifully, recieve some medication – but not before having to pitch a fit to get it. The head nurse from my doc’s office comes in and says that in the future, I should be in contact with them before coming to the ER as rerouted intestines can have all kinds of problems, and that I should have been taken immediately to the surgical recovery floor my doc uses. My husband and I told her that we had, in fact, done just that, but someone somewhere dropped the ball.
Have I mentioned that my local hospital sucks?
Twisted Bowels – Not A Rock Group, But One Of The More Serious Possible Gastric Bypass Surgery Complications
Finally, my surgeon came and checked me out. He said the problem was almost certainly that my bowels were twisted. In fact, the CT scan was pointless because no matter what it showed he’d want to operate anyway, so he cancelled it and scheduled me for surgery as soon as he was done seeing patients at the office. He would try to do it laproscopically, but couldn’t promise.
I was (mercifully) too drugged to care at that point.
Went into surgery at around 4:30 – 12 hours after arriving at the ER. Apparently, my intestines were in quite a mess and were very difficult to straighten. My doc did attempt laproscopy, but had to convert me to an open surgery. I have a wound from my belly button to my sternum.
But surgery was successful. I came out with 46 staples holding my stomach together. Apparently, I will live.
How Internal Hernias And Twisted Intestines Occur As A Gastric Bypass Surgery Complication
My doc explained how this happened. When gastric bypass surgery is performed, the re-routed intestines are tacked in place to fatty tissue. But then, you lose 125 pounds.
He said it’s like having holes in your stomach – open areas that intestines are free to move about in. And sometimes they do – getting all twisted up like mine.
Since coming home I’ve done research. Approximately 3-5% of all gastric bypass surgery patients will develop internal hernias and twisted intestines. Considering the explanation from my Doc as to how it happens, I’m really surprised the number is that low.
More sobering was the number that said up to 38 – 40% of everyone who gets intestinal hernias/ twisted intestines (whether they had gastric bypass surgery or not) dies from it.
There is much more of this story to tell. The operation itself wasn’t the end for me, or even the worst part. But that’s all I can write right now. Over the coming days I’ll continue telling the story.
But for now, know this: if you decide to have gastric bypass surgery, your insides are changed forever. You have different risks and potential problems than the rest of the world. Never ever ever take anything to do with your digestive system lightly. Any problem you have in that area must be evaluated by your surgeon’s office.
In other words, having this surgery affects the rest of your life in more ways than one. The whole point of this website is to know what you’re getting into so you can make a sober, intelligent decision. Don’t just jump into it wanting to be skinny.