Gastric Bypass/Revision nearly killed me
I had Bariatric Surgery, or Open Gastric Bypass, in December 2002. I was 33 years old and had been overweight and/or obese the majority of those years. I did at least 2 years of research before surgery plus continued my research post-op and was extremely excited for what was to come. Within the first two weeks I lost 18 pounds. Wow! Then it stopped. I was eating tiny, well-balanced 2 ounce meals but the weight would not budge. I did not touch sugar, fat or anything with high calories. I only drank water. I followed the doctors orders to the letter. But I was not exercising.
I started exercising and the weight started coming off. I exercised for 90 minutes, 6 days a week. If I stopped exercising for a week, it would take me a month to lose another pound. I fought for every pound I lost. It took two years, but at 5 feet, 3 inches tall, I went from 275 pounds to 160 pounds and was on top of the world, still exercising and eating right.
In March of 2008 I had some dental work done. I was put on 1600mg of ibuprofen a day for 2 months. Roughly 2 months after I discontinued the use of ibuprofen I started vomiting. It quickly became a daily occurrence. One day after eating my small breakfast and lunch, around 2:00 PM I had to vomit again, but this time I realized it included dinner from the previous night.
Scared, I ended up at a gastroenterologist who ran a camera scope down my throat and said that the opening from my stomach to my intestines had closed down to the size of a pinhole due to scar tissue. I was told that scar tissue is considered a common complication for Gastric Bypass patients. After reviewing my medical history he asked if I use ibuprofen, and I was then told that Gastric Bypass patients should not take ibuprofen or any NSAIDS, as it causes scar tissue. For 6 years I had been taking a few NSAIDS for aches and pains here and there. None of my doctors had said anything.
I wish my story ended there. To make this short, my gastroenterologist did a scope with balloon dilation to open up the scar tissue, a procedure that works on all but 2% of bypass patients. I am part of that 2%. After having 2 scopes with balloon dilation, I was told I needed Gastric Revision surgery.
On January 29, 2009 my new bariatric surgeon performed an Open Gastric Revision surgery, which split me from the tip of my chest-bone down to my belly button. He was well-known, recommended and even had a commercial on television about gastric bypass. However, right after surgery I was still vomiting. Not even two weeks after surgery they performed another scope down my throat and my gastroenterologist wrote in my record that the bariatric surgeon had sewn my stomach shut. Now, instead of a stricture from my stomach to my intestines, I had a stricture from my esophagus to my stomach. The surgeon denied it, saying that I had rebuilt scar tissue within those two weeks. After 5 months, 7 additional scopes with balloon dilation and 59 days in the hospital, I was forced to get a feeding tube, fired from my job, left with no insurance, and had to go on disability. I am now down to 121 pounds. I've lost all muscle mass, fat, menstruation, and nearly all of my teeth due to malnutrition. My nutrients are fed to me 12-16 hours a day through a tube in my chest that sits right on my bra line.
There is more to my story, but I tried to condense it as best as I could. I am trying to get my story to other patients, or those considering gastric bypass, through talk shows, magazines, online, etc., in hopes that by hearing my story I can help people realize that gastric bypass is not a quick fix. It's a tool, which if used correctly, takes effort, changes in diet, changes in medication and supplements, amount of food eaten and exercise. Things that can also be done without the surgery and some of the common complications that come with it. I'm hoping that patients and their doctors research and educate all facets of this procedure, short and long-term. I would not be where I am today if I had known NSAIDS caused scar tissue, and I have researched this surgery extensively. I'm also hoping that by getting my story publicized, I might find a doctor who specializes in this field as I'm told I need additional surgery to make a new stomach out of my remaining intestines. Until then, I will survive on my feeding tube and disability.
I appreciate you reading my story. I hope this is not the end of my story, but just a positive beginning. Thank you so much for your time.
I hope you find the right doctor to take care of you,
Thank you for sharing your story as I feel it is so important that people have all the facts, both good and bad, before making the decision to have wls.
I am just surprised that with all the research you did that you were not aware that wls patients should never take NSAIDS as in my own research this was the one constant I did read about over and over.
You have done a tremendous service to others by communicating why NSAIDS should be avoided. Thank you...
Wishing you a full recovery!!
I know my best friend had RNY 7 years ago and I was shocked to learn that not only is she not taking B-12, but that it had never even been mentioned to her by any of her doctors, so it does not surprise me when I hear that patients are not being adequately informed at times.
I HAD THE SOMEWHAT THE SAME PROBLE MY DOCTOR DID NOT TELL ME THAT I HAD TO CRUSH MY PILLS I ASKED CAN I TAKE PILLS AND HE SAID YES. ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT TO PICK UP MY DAD I STARTED VOMITING BLOOD I WORK IN THE LAB AND I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT HAD JUST HAPPENED. I PICK UP MY DAD AND TOLD HIM TO DRIVE ME TO THE CLOSES HOSPITAL.FOR THE NEXT 5 MONTHS I WOULD BE RECIEVING BLOOD AND GETTING PATCH WORK DONE AND IN & OUT OF HOSPITALS, DOCTORS OFFICES. ONE DAY AT WORK I JUST SEEN THE DOCTOR THE DAY BEFORE I JUST STARTED VOMITING BLOOD AND PASS OUT I WAKE UP AT THE HOSPITAL MIND YOU I AM 26 YEARS OLD AND HAVE 3 KIDS 10MONTHS,2YRS,AND 3YRS THE SURGEON WOULD NOT ALLOW ANY ONE ELSE TO SEE ME AND HE WANTED TO DO THE ENDSCOPY HE DID IT AND SAID I WAS FINE THANK GOD MY FAMILY DOCTOR WAS NOT HAPPY AND SENT A OTHER G I DOCTOR TO DO THE ENDOCOPY. WHEN I WOKE UP I FELT SO SICK AND PASS OUT HE RAN TO GET ME ANOTHER SURGEON BY THAT TIME MY GASTIC BY PASS DOC WAS CALLED IN AND HE GOT INTO IT WITH THE OTHER DOCTORS. TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT HE SAID I WAS FINE AND SENT ME HOME AND BACK TO WORK. SAID IF I BLEED AGAIN HE WOULD HAVE TO REMOVE MY STOMACH AND BY PASS MY SMALL INTESTED AND REMOVE MY OLD STOMACH I DID NOT KNOWN WHAT TO THINK I TRUSTED HIM SO MUCH I SAID DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO YOU KNOWN BEST. THE G-I DOCTOR CALLED ME AT HOME AND SAID HE NEEDED ME TO SEE ANOTHER SURGEON AND THE NEXT TIME I MIGHT NOT MAKE IT TO THE HOSPITAL THEIR WAS STILL BLEEDING. I WENT BACK TO THE HOSPITAL AND ASK FOR THE OTHER DOCTOR I UNDERWENT 5 REPAIR SURGUREY. I THANK GOD FOR SENDING ME DR. LUIS REYES HE SAVED MY LIFE AND I THE SAD PART IS THAT THE ORINGAL GASTRIC BY PASS DOCTOR MAKED A CONECTED MY STOMACH AND INTESTINES WRONG AND IT WAS SOME THING THAT CAN NOT BE REPAIRED IF I KEEP HAVE PROBLEMS DR. REYES SAID HE MIGHT HAVE TO RECONNECT MY STOMACH AND BY PASS MY SMALL INTESTINE BECAUSE THEIR IS A TWIST THAT CAN NOT BE REMOVED BECAUSE OF THE OTHER SURGENT. I WENT FROM 272LBS TO NOW 125LBS AND I HATE TO THINK AFTER EVERY THING THERE IS A CHANCE I MIGHT HAVE TO GO BACK TO NORMAL. I FELT SO BAD I RECIEVED A FINAL TERMATION AT WORK. I AM IN TEXAS BUT DR. REYES IS REALLY GOOD. MAYBE YOU CAN LOOK HIM UP HE SAVED MY LIFE AND SO FAR I HAVE BEEN HEALTHER AND I HAVE GOT MY COLOR BACK HE ALSO HAS A GREAT SUPPORT TEAM THAT WAS ABLE TO GET ME 3 MONTH OF VATIMENS FOR FREE I DID NOT HAVE MONEY COMING IN AND 3 KID TO SUPPORT AND THEY WERE THEIR FOR ME JUST TO EVEN TALK TOO. I WISH YOU THE BEST AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR STORY I HOPE AND PRAY THAT YOU CAN GET THE SURGERY YOU NEED TO GET BETTER.
on 1/16/11 8:15 pm
Wow, what a story. What did the pills have to do with it? I am just curious because you mentioned that in the beginning I was wondering if that is what caused the problem.
I understand what you said about trusting your surgeon. I have done that same thing. I guess I thought they were infallible. I am glad you found a surgeon to help you and I hope he can put things together so you don't have to have your surgery reversed.
WLS 10/28/2002 Revision 7/23/2010
High Weight (2002) 240 Revision Weight (2010) 220 Current Weight 115.
✿ L♦O♦V♦E ✿ & ✿ P♦E♦A♦C♦E ✿ღ ✿ & F♦R♦I♦E♦N♦D♦S ✿ ღ
"Keeping The Faith!" "Slim by Summer!"
HW: 250 - SW: 241 - CW: 154.7- GW: 140
1 month: 22 pounds (216) 2 months: 12.2 pounds (203.8) 3 months: 10.6 (193.2)
4 months: 9.7 lbs (183.5) 5 Months: 6 pounds (177.5 ) 6 Months: 12 lbs ( 165.5)
7 Months 7.1 lbs (158.4) 8 Months +1.6 pounds(159.8) 9 Months 2.7 pounds (157.1)
10 Months 8.1 lbs (149) 11 months +2 pounds ( 151) 1 YEAR!!! 2.6 pounds (148.4)
Hit "One-derland April 9th, 2011 (199.7)
"Half-Way Goal" April 25th, 2011 (194.8)
"Happyland 80`s" May 14, 2011 (189.6)
"Groovyland 70`s" June 20th 2011 (179.9)
" HippyDippyland 60's" July 16th (169.8)
" CQQL-land 50`s" August 25th ( 159.8)
"Normal BMI" 24.8 October 21st, 2011 (154.5) I am 5`6
"AWESOME-land 40's" Dec 1st 2011 (149)
"Century Club 100 Pounds" Dec 1st 2011 (149)
' ONE YEAR SURGIVERSARY!!!"
Two Year Surgiversary!!!"