Bariatric Surgery And Pregnancy: A Good Combination?

There’s been a flurry of articles this week regarding pregnancy after bariatric surgery. Researchers looked at both gastric bypass and Lap Band® patients to see if their pregnancies were negatively affected.

It’s only been a few days since research hit that showed getting pregnant after gastric bypass to be easier. This research goes one step further to see how the prior bariatric surgery impacts the pregnancy.

And the findings are good! Continue reading

The Wound Vac Is Gone!!

Oh, I am sooooooo happy!

I just came back from my visit to Susie, my wound specialist. Have I mentioned before how awesome Sue is? She’s like the Michael Jordan of wound care. No, he’s retired. She’s the Tiger Woods, the Jimmie Johnson, the Tyler Hansbrough… Whatever your sport, whoever is the elite “top of their game” person, that’s who Susie is. She’s just gooood.

I wish I could describe in detail what all Sue did to make the huge, gaping hole in my stomach become just a tiny indentation. It’s as if the Grand Canyon was all filled in, and is now just a creek on the surface. That’s what I have – a very shallow area that could have been just a deep scrape if you didn’t know any better. Continue reading

Saggy, Baggy Skin

I took a shower yesterday.

You know you’re in bad shape when that’s news. But I am, and it is. It’s now been a solid month since my emergency surgery, and just over three weeks since the incision became infected. Since then, I’ve basically been sleeping most of the time, or just laying around. After a month of that, I have no energy.

Since I hadn’t seen myself without clothes for a while, it was more than the normal shock. You see, with clothes on, I look pretty darn good. I’m somewhere between a size 8 and a 10, depending on where I’ve tried stuff on. And I’ve even begun to see myself as being this size.

But once the clothes came off… Well, it’s a bit jarring to see my sagging skin. I’ve lost 10 pounds pretty quickly during this ordeal, and those pounds have been the hardest on my skin.

My stomach looks like melted candle wax. Continue reading

Gastric Bypass Surgery Can Help Women Conceive

I liked this story, and with all the less-than-pleasant posts of late, thought it was a great time to bring some balance with some positive news.

But it turns out that one of the many benefits of gastric bypass surgery, in addition to weight loss, is that women who’ve been infertile often find themselves joyfully and surprisingly pregnant.

And I’ve seen the truth of this one in my own life. A good friend of mine — in fact, the very person who’s succes with gastric bypass surgery inspired me to go for it myself — had been unable to conceive for over a decade. We married within a couple of months of each other in 1994, yet in early 2007 when I was beginning my approval process she had just discovered she was finally pregnant for the very first time. Today, she’s the proud Mama of an incredibly beautiful baby girl. Continue reading

I’m So Depressed

I just can’t take much more of this.

Yesterday, when I went to get my wound vac dressing changed, at first Sue (my wonderful wound expert) said I should be able to get rid of it on that visit. I told her I had some concerns, that I had mentioned to the nurse on Saturday, but she had said they were normal. I wanted Sue to tell me that because I trust her more.

Some background: My incision went from my belly button to my sternum. The original infection was toward the bottom, about an inch up from my belly button. When it happened, they didn’t re-open my entire wound, just the bottom half.

Well, now the skin over the top half was red, and there was a distinctive knot underneath it. It has been there for quite a long time – originally, there was a bulge there even before the infection happened. There was also a distinctive odor.

At first, Sue agreed that it was probably normal, but the knot concerned her. She said it might be a hernia. Fortunately, I’d taken my Xanax. After all, a hernia started this whole drama. As time went on, though, I began to wish I’d taken 2. Continue reading

Baby Steps Back To Normalcy

I went to church last night. It was the first time I’d been there in almost a month. In fact, I’ve not been anywhere except home and various hospitals and doctor’s offices. So for some reason, the thought of being in a crowd nearly gave me panic attacks.

I could have taken some of the meds they gave me for that, but I refused. I’m trying to wean off the meds all together.

Several people at my church have had gastric bypass surgery, and as I explained exactly what had happened I could see the fear in a few eyes. So I pointed out the fact that my research shows this particular gastric bypass surgery complication happens to only 3-5% of all patients. So statistically, I’ve got us all covered. It shouidn’t happen to anyone else I know.

Right now, my biggest problem is fighting off depression. Continue reading

Gastric Bypass Surgery Complication Pt. 7: The Road To Recovery

It’s now been just over 3 weeks since the intense abdominal pain sent me to the ER in the middle of the night and my gastric bypass surgery complication saga began.

Since then, a case of badly twisted bowels turned into a nasty infection in my incision site. At first I had daily visits from a home health care agency to change what was a “wet to dry” dressing. That basically consisted of gauze stuffed into my open wound with bandages taped over my stomach to hold it all in.

The trauma of seeing my stomach laid open gave me panic attacks every time my dressing was changed. One week ago I was put on a wound vac, which keeps my wound taped up much more securely, drains the fluids that collect in it, and only needs to be changed three times a week. It hurts worse to change this, but it is making my wound heal much faster. Plus I feel much more secure between changes.

All in all, things are getting better. Continue reading

How Gastric Bypass Surgery Patients Can Lose 35% More Weight

You have gastric bypass surgery, for the most part, because you want to lose a whole lot of weight. Sure, there are benefits beyond weight loss. But let’s face it: the number one reason for rearranging your insides is to dump as much fat as possible.

So pretty much everyone who’s gone under the knife should be interested in this recent survey by Harris Interactive. It was conducted on behalf of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. And it found one simple thing you can do that will not only result in losing an average of 35% more weight, it’ll secure you “a better quality of life.”

Again, it’s a simple thing to do. Almost common sense. Yet I constantly see people – both in my everyday life and online in various weight loss surgery chatrooms – who just simply refuse to do it. Then they whine and complain because they’re not losing weight as fast as others they see.

What is this simple, common-sense thing you can do that will bring such great rewards? Continue reading

Gastric Bypass Surgery Complication Pt. 6: Wound Management

Wanna see my wound?

I went a few days ago and got hooked up to something called a wound vac. Basically, they stuck a sponge that looks a lot like the carbon filter from my son’s fish tank into my wound, attached a drainage tube and hooked the whole thing up to this little machine that gurgles all the time, sucking the draining fluid out of my stomach.

The positives of this machine are that, A, they taped up my wound so it’s no longer just open. That has helped a lot with my anxiety (of course, the Xanax hasn’t exactly hurt matters, either). And B, it is supposed to make said wound heal much faster.

When I went to get this thing installed, after having been told by both the manufacturer AND my Doc’s office where and when my appointment was, I arrived to discover that the hospital had absolutely no record I was coming. No appointment. Couldn’t do anything because there were no doctor’s orders.

I can no longer be surprised by any of this.  (WARNING: If you click the “read more” button, you will see an actual photo of my open wound. If you have a very weak stomach, you may want not to do that. You’ve been warned.) Continue reading

Study: Gastric Bypass Surgery May Make You Smarter

Well, here’s a gastric bypass surgery benefit for ya:

According to a report on WCBSTV.com, gastric bypass surgery may actually make you smarter.

The article (Gastric Bypass Surgery May Make You Smarter) claims that gastric bypass surgery improved a patient’s ability to remember, to think through problems, and pay attention to details. Continue reading