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Gastric Bypass/Revision nearly killed me

ezbngrn
on 1/16/11 6:10 pm, edited 1/16/11 6:13 pm - NV
Gastric Bypass, and the surgeons who perform it, have left me near death, with a feeding tube, living off disability and uninsurable. That's why I need to share my story to explain some of the common, yet avoidable, complications of Bariatric Surgery. This surgery is becoming too commercialized and routine, and many times it's being performed without the patient being educated of the life-long changes they need to make in order to be successful and healthy long-term.

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.

Leslee
Reno, Nevada
Kathleen W.
on 1/16/11 6:49 pm - Lancaster, PA
I feel  the fustration and the anger that you are going through.   It isn't easy.  I, too, had many complicatons from my bypass Sept, '09.  It included pancreatitus, on a treak for breathing, and  intestines separating from the stomach. Right now, I'm facing a second round of hernia.
I hope you find the right doctor to take care of you,
SW 327
GW 150
CW 126

                                      
Lori P.
on 1/16/11 6:55 pm - Kenosha, WI
RNY on 05/24/10 with
I am so sorry you have had such a terrible time of things.  I hope the your situation improves.


 



     SW 212 / Goal 130 / Current 130


 

 

DebsGiz
on 1/16/11 7:23 pm - FL

Hi Leslie,

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!! 
dodgerfan
on 1/16/11 10:11 pm - Norwalk, CA
DebsGiz, My cousin had RNY in July of 2000 and she didn;t know about the NSaids thing either and she was told to take it. Maybe it wasn't that talked about back then?  IDK?
DebsGiz
on 1/17/11 3:20 am - FL
I have no idea whether it was or was not talked about back then or not, I'm just grateful that it was brought to light in this post as if it saves one person, then the writer did what she set out to do, and that is to help others. 

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.   

dodgerfan
on 1/17/11 10:21 am - Norwalk, CA
I 100% agree that this post is beneficial to everyone and I hope all read and reread it.  OP keep posting this.  I am very grateful that my surgeon's handbook even says no NSaids in big bold letters several times.  My medical group even knows that RNY patients DO NOT receive NSaids.  Now the ER is another story.  I actually put on my medical record that I was alergic to NSaids.  So, each time that I go to pharmacy, ER, and PCP it is in my electronic medical record and written down.  When I had to go to the ER last year they actually put a big red braelet on me that said NO NSAIDS.
N. Elizondo
on 1/16/11 7:44 pm
RNY on 03/17/10 with

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.

Nuby
Ladytazz
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 110.

DrHollywood
on 1/16/11 11:20 pm - Harbor City, CA
 Oh gosh, I am sooo sorry to hear about your story. Thank you so much for sharing something so serious, frustrating, scary etc...  I hope this is a new beginning for you and I pray and hope you find a surgeon to help you.  Your in my prayers.

                      ✿ 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: 154.7GW: 140  

     
 1 month: 22 pounds (2162 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!!!"


                                                                     

Lisey
on 1/17/11 2:44 am - Milwaukee suburb, WI
DS on 03/24/09 with
I'm so sorry that you've experienced so many bad complications, it sounds truly horrible and I applaud your courage in writing this post & your proactive nature in seeking further care.  Did your original surgeon not leave your stomach sewn off, yet intact as a remnant?  I believe that's standard procedure.  Why couldn't someone simply reconnect your intestines & esophagus back to your stomach?  I ask because all of the revision patients I've seen on the DS forum who go from an RNY to the DS.  I didn't read your other replies first, I'm not sure if anyone else has suggested this.  From what I understand of the posts by those revision patients, their revision doctors told them that normal stomach functioning almost always eventually resumes following it being used again with esophagus to top part of stomach & small intestine to pylorus valve at bottom of stomach.  This seems to be a MUCH better option than trying to make a new stomach out of your small intestine.  Did someone remove your original stomach?

I know that Dr. Rabkin in CA is one of *THE* best revision doctors in the world in bariatric surgeries.  He has often taken patients as revisions that other doctors would not "touch" with very good results.  I urge you to seek a consult with him prior to any other surgeries.

I wish you the very best of luck in health, Leslee.  I am going to make one more comment on this post for other pre-ops & lurkers in the event they don't know what I'm going to type.  Again, best of luck to you.  Prayers have been sent.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For those who are researching WLS options, please know that it is perfectly safe to take all anti-inflammatories or any other medication with the duodenal switch specifically because your stomach is made into a sleeve (like the VSG), except that you also have malabsorption to aid in long-term maintenance.  The DS (duodenal switch) is the only WLS option that leaves one with a fully functioning normal stomach with malabsorption.

HW / SW / CW / GW      299 / 287160 / 140     Feb '09 / Mar '09 / Dec '13 /Aug '10          

Appendicitis/Bowel Obstruction Surgery 8/21/10
Beat Hodgkin's Lymphoma!  7/15/2011 - 1/26/2012 


Ran Half-Marathon 10/14/2012

First Pregnancy, Due 8/12/14                             I LOVE MY DS!!!
 

So Blessed!
on 1/17/11 5:42 am

Leslee, thank you for sharing your story.  It amazes me the things that some surgeons NEGLECT to tell their patients.  I truly hope you find a doctor that can help you.

(deactivated member)
on 1/17/11 6:36 am
Leslee, I am so sorry to hear about your issues.  Thank you for sharing your story - it is so important that people know the good AND the bad.  I shudder at the thought that basic instructions from your surgeon could have kept these issues from happening.  It's shameful.

You've received a lot of good advice, so I won't repeat - but I hope to God you can find someone to help you.

Wishing you health...

Sharon
dragonfly123
on 1/17/11 2:42 pm - OK
Thank you so much for your post.  I am 9 years post op and while I do remember being told to limit the NSAID's, I never knew the risk was so high.  I take them occasionally, but almost always during my periods each month.  Thank you so much for sharing your story and shedding light on this risk for so many of us.  I will be much more cautious about what I put in my pouch.  I hope your story has a positive outcome and that you find a surgeon who can resolve this issue.  Good luck.
JessSebastian
on 8/15/12 3:29 am
 Thank you for posting this.  What a nightmare.  I think I just need to vent and that is how I found this posting.  
    My husband is currently lying in a hospital bed in severe pain after a gastric bypass revision.   He had surgery 6 years ago and lost 300lbs.  It has been hell ever since.  The last 6 years have included gastric ulcers, anorexia, malnutrition, etc.  He has vomited every day, many times a day.  He had a dialation done by a GI dr.  Finally we were so tired of it we found a new bariatric surgeon.  He rushed his surgery, planning to dialate and remove his gallbladder.  Turns out it was far worse than he had imagined.  He had to removed his gallbladder, re-do the entire site, and repair a hiatal hernia.  Thank God my husband is able to swallow liquids now.  He has lived off popsicles for over a month. He is so thin and frail right now and every bone in his body protrudes.   It makes me sick that this surgery is even available.  It's just wrong and it ruins so many lives.  Sometimes it seems that all the possible diseases you can get from obesity are far better than the nightmare of gastric bypass.  Thank you for spreading the word.  I hope it can save some lives.   
Jessica
MyLady Heidi
on 8/15/12 7:57 am
 I am sorry to hear about your husband.  Was his need for a revision a direct result of taking Nsaids?  I had surgery over 7+ years ago and my surgeon threw the fear of god into us about ever taking Nsaids and all the gastrointestinal problems they cause, my bf's has Crohns and two rounds of intestinal surgery for blockages and she has been given the same warning about Nsaids.  I have never had any surgery related issues with rny, I am sorry that your husband is the one who did and I understand your feelings toward the surgery.
MsBatt
on 8/15/12 4:06 pm
On August 14, 2012 at 8:29 PM Pacific Time, JessSebastian wrote:
 Thank you for posting this.  What a nightmare.  I think I just need to vent and that is how I found this posting.  
    My husband is currently lying in a hospital bed in severe pain after a gastric bypass revision.   He had surgery 6 years ago and lost 300lbs.  It has been hell ever since.  The last 6 years have included gastric ulcers, anorexia, malnutrition, etc.  He has vomited every day, many times a day.  He had a dialation done by a GI dr.  Finally we were so tired of it we found a new bariatric surgeon.  He rushed his surgery, planning to dialate and remove his gallbladder.  Turns out it was far worse than he had imagined.  He had to removed his gallbladder, re-do the entire site, and repair a hiatal hernia.  Thank God my husband is able to swallow liquids now.  He has lived off popsicles for over a month. He is so thin and frail right now and every bone in his body protrudes.   It makes me sick that this surgery is even available.  It's just wrong and it ruins so many lives.  Sometimes it seems that all the possible diseases you can get from obesity are far better than the nightmare of gastric bypass.  Thank you for spreading the word.  I hope it can save some lives.   
Jessica
It makes me sick that this surgery is even available.  It's just wrong and it ruins so many lives.

I realize that your husband, and you, have been through a terrible experience. But please understand that less than ONE PER CENT of people who have the gastric bypass have such bad results. DO you really think that, if such results were typical, insurance companies would still be covering it?

I do think there are better forms of WLS than the gastric bypass, but I simply cannot agree that "all the possible diseases you can get from obesity are far better than the nightmare of gastric bypass."
ladyasha
on 8/26/14 12:09 pm - Alexandria, VA
RNY on 10/29/03 with

I had my initial surgery done in 2003.  I am now due to a revision for multiple reasons but in the course of the past 11 years, haven taken NSAIDS many times.  I had NO IDEA I wasn't supposed to take them.  I wonder how much of my current situation I have caused myself simply because I did not know.  I am looking into a revision, for medical reasons, and will remember this new rule in my life.  THANK YOU!

MsBatt
on 8/26/14 5:09 pm

What sort of revision are you planning? What medical problems do you have?

The problem with NSAIDs and the RNY/gastric bypass is this: NSAIDs work systematically, meaning it doesn't matter how they get into your system, they still have the same effects. In other words, it doesn't matter if you swallow them, rub them on your skin, or get them via IV. One of the side effects of NSAIDs is the thinning of the mucosal lining of the stomach. This can allow your own stomach acid to cause ulceration. This is true for anyone who takes NSAIDs. For most people, the risk is small, but if you have an RNY, you have a huge, 'blind' remnant stomach that can't be 'scoped to check for ulcers. This is why most surgeons tell their RNY patients to never take NSAIDs.

One reason I chose the DS was because it wouldn't leave me with a blind stomach, so I could still take NSAIDs. I simply can't function without them.

Elizabeth N.
on 1/17/11 3:23 pm - Burlington County, NJ
****hugs**** Thank you for coming back and continuing to share.