Paul Cirangle (COE) My first impression of Dr. C was that of confidence. He is very \"matter of fact\" & professional, and that's a good thing. He doesn't seem to have much of a sense of humor, but I didn't go to him for his wit (which I suspects he hides). I wanted his surgical skills and expertise, which he has in abundance.rnrnI was impressed that Dr. C runs his own New Patient meetings. He is a VERY busy man! I've seen other Drs who have staff that run the meetings and answer questions, but it was even better to ask the Dr direct! That really helped my confidence level as a person seeking info about WLS.rnrnAnother thing that I REALLY like is that you can contact one of the surgeons 24/7 if you have an emergency. I am too far away to visit them if there is an urgent problem, but I know that I can contact them and they can speak with the local Dr. if necessary. Quite a comfort to me!rnrnLapSF (Dr. C's practice) has wonderful emphesis on aftercare for all surgical procedures. He has support meetings available, plus a web site devoted to support and tracking of progress, and of course there is the office staff during business hours. LapSF has a higher-than-average sucess rate with WLS, and I think it's due to experience and aftercare.rnrnHis office staff is great once you are a patient. They are extremly busy and put priority on current patients rather than on new patients. I feel this is appropriate, although frustrating at first.rnrnOverall, I would highly recommend Dr. Cirangle for his expertise. I was self-pay, and feel he was worth the price. His bedside manner is straight-forward and polite. And again, I'd rather have the surgical expertise than a fun sense of humor.
Hi! I'm Rana, and I'm a child of God. I'm also a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) of 3 beautiful kids and wife to an amazing man. We've been married since 1991, but I started dating him when I was just 17. He was even my prom date! We now live in Northern California in the Sierra Foothills-- it's so beautiful here!!! I'm thankful everyday that we are able to live in this area, especially after growning up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Okay, it was nice there too, but I like it so much better here.
I'm currently on our church's Worship Team. There are a total of 6 of us who sing, but we aren't all scheduled at the same time. I'm the only one who sings Alto. I also used to volunteer for the American Red Cross. I did local and national disaster relief. What an amazing experience that was!!! I loved it!
Hard to believe that 5 yrs ago today I was in the hospital, worried about what I had just done to my body. I remember it being VERY difficult at first-- I had MAJOR buyer's remorse. But guess what? It's not like you can undo having the majority of your stomach removed, so I learned to accept it. And it didn't take long until I was very glad that I had made the decision to have VSG.
So here's the stats:
STARTING WEIGHT: 231
STARTING BMI: 39.6
LOWEST WEIGHT: 117;
CURRENT WEIGHT: 148
HEIGHT: 5'3" (yes, I've lost about 1/2 inch again)
CURRENT BMI: 26.2
I was one of the folks who had a rather easy time losing weight. I was VERY compliant with Dr. Cirangle's diet. I didn't adhere to it perfectly, but I tried very hard to come as close as possible and IT WORKED. I made my goal of 140 lbs in 9 months and hit my low weight after a little over a year. In fact, I had a hard time stopping the loss. It took a bit of trial and error to figure out what worked best to stabilize my weight.
My weight was stable for quite a while. But then after about 2 yrs, I started gaining more than I would have liked to and it keeps creeping upward. This is due to too much sugar in my diet and not enough exercise. In fact, I had stopped exercising for a couple of years until recently when my back started acting up again. I've found that Pilates classes are cheaper than the co-pay for Physical Therapy.
I still eat MUCH healthier than I did pre-op. This whole experience has taught me that I NEVER could have lost this much weight without surgery, and I certainly never would have kept this much of the weight off for this long.
I can eat much more than I could that first year, of course, but my tiny tummy still keeps me from overeating as much as I normally would have. BTW, overeating was/is my problem and the reason I was obese in the first place.
So here's my advise after years of dealing with VSG (keep in mind that I spent many months researching WLS prior to VSG and that I was VERY active on these boards for the first few years)....
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR FIRST 6 - 12 MONTHS!!!! It is easiest to loose weight right after surgery while the stomach is still swollen and so tiny. Use that to your advantage!
Don't think of this as a diet, think of it as food choices and lifestyle changes. I am not on a diet, but I do need to make wise food choices. I still try to limit my carbs to some extent and try to make sure that I get enough protein each day, along with trying to focus on fruits and veggies.
DRINK AT LEAST 48 - 64 OZ OF WATER EACH AND EVERY DAY!!!! There is data to prove that water/hydration aids in weight loss. I still track my water intake. I still have days that I don't' feel like drinking that much, but I have discovered that if I don't get at least 48 oz, I get this horrible, horrible stomach ache. And I don't drink any soda or alcohol-- it just isn't worth it. Don't get me started on the whole soda thing-- I don't care about the carbonation, it still has NO redeeming qualities regardless of whether it is diet soda or not. And High Fructose Corn Syrup is a hot button of mine. I am of the mindset that it should be banned altogether.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP! There are studies out there that support that lack of sleep can cause weight gain, and that getting plenty of sleep can aid weight loss. I have noticed this in my own life as well. When I don't get enough sleep I crave carbs/sugar the next day. This happens because the body needs the energy. But there is more to it than that-- you can research this for yourself if you'd like.
EXERCISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Many of us got to the weight we are due to lack of exercise, along with poor food choices. Remember that exercise is not just about losing weight or keeping the weight off. That is just a side benefit. Exercise is about staying healthy and that is really what WLS is all about-- getting healthy. Make a point of doing whatever you can to be active, but also make a point of actually exercising your body. Trust me, I've seen the effects of exercise vs. non-exercise on my in-laws and parents. My in-laws are about 10 yrs older than my parents but have stayed very active (even when my MIL went through 2 bouts with serious cancer). My parents have never been the type to do much physical activity. My in-laws are still much healthier at 80 than my parents are at 70-- they are much, much more mobile and have far fewer health concerns.
Life is good and VERY busy. Thankfully, due to having lost so much weight (thanks to my VSG!) I am able to keep up with all of the activities. My health is very good, so far all of my labs have been good, and my bone density test was good. I do take 2 multivitamins each day (yes, twice the normal dosage as per my surgeon); 2000 IU of Vit. D; Magnesium; and calcium citrate with Vit. D and Magnesium. I also take a probiotic and also digestive enzymes in an effort to keep my carb cravings under control.
My weight was very stable for quite a long time. Then last year I broke my hand and had to have surgery. I know it sounds odd, but because of this I stopped exercising much. I gained about 4 lbs. Then came the holidays. I did fine right up to New Year's Eve. My indulgences cost me another 2 lbs. I now weigh 10 lbs more than what I consider my ideal weight. I'm trying to lose at least a couple of lbs, but more importantly I'm trying to get my hunger under control. The more research I do, the more convinced I am that sugars are causing my increased hunger. But knowing that is only part of the battle. The enzymes do seem to be helping though.
It is still a journey. It doesn't end. Just remember-- this is a marathon, not a sprint. I'm in it for the long haul! Oh, and never, EVER think that your weight is "gone forever". Dietary changes have to be FOREVER. Old habits die very, very hard and they can come back. If so, that weight is going to come back easier than you thought. But this is true for ANY form of weight loss or WLS. But the bottom line for me-- the VSG was the right choice for my lifestyle and my overeating.
So, it's been 3 years since my VSG. What a difference time makes! (I'm going to keep this a little short since I'm still recovering from my broken hand and it's hard to type for very long)
I've been around OH for about Oct. of 2006, but joined after reading posts for a couple of months. I did a LOT of research on various WLS types before choosing VSG as the best option for ME. For those who don't know me, I'm a total research junkie.
So here's the stats:
I am 5'4" (actually, I'm 5'3.5"-- I think I've shrunk over the years) and weighed 231 when I started this journey, so that's a BMI of 39 point somethin'. I hit my goal of 140 lbs/24.9 BMI at 7 months post op. I continued to lose weight for another few months after that. I took it 5 lbs at a time until I hit a weight that I was comfortable with, although I continued to lose weight after that point. My lowest weight was 117 and that happened 14 months post op. That was too low so I made a point to regain a few lbs. At that time I was losing weight even though I wasn't trying to. Let me tell ya', losing weight was easy compared to figuring out how to maintain!
I liked being 120 lbs, but was not able to maintain that weight. My average weight for the last 2 years was about 124 lbs until I broke my hand 2 months ago. I now weigh about 128 but I've been trying to lose that extra 4 lbs. (yeah, it doesn't sound like much but I don't want that extra poundage to add up to bigger numbers!)
So here's my tips to the newbies: THIS IS NOT A MAGIC CURE!!! Never say that your excess weight is "gone forever". You must be willing and ready to make permanent changes in your food choices and activity level. Those who I've seen be successful here at OH have never gone back to those poor food choices and they also choose to spend time throughout the week being active and exercising. What WLS does do for you is give you a chance to break free from those old habits and makes it easier to make new ones. Use your first 6 months to commit to those new, healthy habits! Then choose to continue in those choices one day at a time.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still very, very thankful for what this WLS has done for me. I still feel that it's the best decision I've made for myself regarding my health. But folks often ask about what to expect long-term and that data is still being formed. The problem is that if I'm not in the midst of a problem, then I feel like every thing's perfect. I'm now almost 3 yrs out and still have certain "issues". Maybe it's common, maybe it's not, but here is a sample of what I experience:
I still have evenings where my food just doesn't sit well. It's kind of hard to explain. I don't get an upset tummy, it's more in my chest/esophagus. Too often I still try to get that "one last bite" in, and still pay for it. It rarely comes back up (it often wouldn't stay down in the beginning), but it certainly isn't comfortable. It's usually the dense meat-protein that seems to cause this, yet that's what I need to eat for my health. For some reason, it's typically at dinnertime that I have this problem. It doesn't seem to occur at breakfast or lunch, but that's probably because I eat different foods at those meals.
I also still have to watch my fluid intake very closely. There is NEVER a day that I don't have to count how much water I've had to drink. It is certainly easier to drink now than it was in those first couple of months, but I still cannot chug a bottle of water. I've been told that folks can't ever chug after VSG (yes, I know, there are a few who can, but that's not the norm). I still cannot take more than 2 or 3 mouth fulls at a time. I have to admit, drinking still feels like a chore. But it's a chore that I must do for my health!
I still have days when I wish that I could eat more at one sitting. This feeling is often short-lived though, as I know that being able to eat so much is one factor in my previous obesity. This goes along with wishing that I could eat endless donuts with no weight gain-- it's a fairytale. I wish I could eat nothing but chocolate and milkshakes all day long and not end up with serious health problems, etc. It ain't going to happen, so I focus on making HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES (this is NOT a diet folks!). I still indulge in certain "bad" foods, but I try to minimize their unhealthy impact by staying away from all high fructose corn syrup and white flour products.
And one last item, but this one doesn't bother me so much these days. When I get very stressed, I cannot eat much. During the first year, it I got very stressed then food just wouldn't go down at all. That or it would just come back up a short time later. It used to be bad enough that if I knew I was going to be stressed (like if I had to fly on a trip), I would start taking my Prilosec again a day or two before. That helped a LOT. It's not that bad now and it hasn't bothered me lately.
So there you have it folks. For me, it's all been worth it though. I'd rather deal with these inconveniences rather than the day-to-day struggles I had with obesity and the health implications from my excess weight. Even if I had known that I'd have these issues (and probably will for the rest of my life), I'd still have chosen to have my VSG. It's still the best choice I could have made for ME.
Okay, I know this is long but this is a compilation of info I've gleaned over the last few years....
By 2007, most surgeons had realized that 32 - 40 was most effective. Personally, mine is a 32 from back in '07. I lost 110 lbs when my goal was to lose 90 lbs. It took me 7 months to lose the first 90 lbs. If you look at my stats, you'll see that my low weight was 117, but that I've weighed 120 - 125 for well over a year now. Yes, it took some work but it hasn't been all that difficult.
I've been around these boards for over 3 yrs now (yikes!). I've seen all sorts of things come up. Yes, some folks do gain their weight back. Many never get to their goal. And a few don't lose much weight. But there are reasons for all of these scenarios. Here's what I've noticed over the past few years:
The ones who don't lose typically have other medical issues. For example, PCOS makes it very difficult to lose weight even after WLS. Often the ones who don't lose also don't do anything wrong, just that there were other issues beyond their control (physical or even mental).
The ones who don't make goal have a variety of reasons for that happening. Some have had a very large amount of weight to lose, but were very dedicated and did well even though they didn't lose 100% of the excess weight. Some of those who have a very high BMI have other "food issues" that caused them to gain so much weight, so WLS alone isn't enough. Others just start eating the way they used to. They go back to old habits.
Some didn't have all that much to lose, but they also didn't follow the "rules" well because they felt that just eating less was enough (yet found out the hard way that eating less isn't enough-- you need to make wise food choices also). That is why the best advise I got was to make the most of my first 6 months-- make new, healthy habits both in eating and exercise.
Those who make it to goal typically are the ones who totally change their eating habits, and often also got into exercising. They often think about WLS being a second chance to do all the right things. Remember, this is about making better food choices rather than having a "diet" mentality. Those who didn't yo-yo diet and haven't had prior WLS often lose weight much easier than those who did.
The one thing that I've see cause weight re-gain is sugar. Specifically, High Fructose Corn Syrup. If you are interested in more info about this, you can watch: http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=16717. It's a video seminar done by the University of California. It explains exactly why HFCS is addictive and much, much worse for our bodies than normal sugar (and normal sugar is bad enough!). And you'd be amazed at how many foods contain HFCS!
Okay, I'm sure there's more I could share but I've rattle on (and on and on) long enough.
I have 3 or 4 more pounds to gain in order to hit that BMI of 40. My Dr. is not in favor of WLS, and she isn't helping either. She thinks that if I make a couple of minor changes to my eating behavior and exercise just a little more that I'll be able to drop 80 - 100 lbs. Yeah, that sounds realistic.
I haven't always been overweight, at least not as a child. I thought I was overweight when I was in high school, but looking back, I really wasn't. I didn't start gaining until I started my first job-- at Togos Eatery. What really did it to me was soda. And the problem is that sugar craves sugar, so I kept drinking more and more.
After a significant weight gain, I decided to try Weight Watchers. I managed to lose 60 lbs! But this was relatively short lived. I eventually gained the weight back. Then I had kids. Each time, I ended up keeping the excess weight I had gained. Then with the stress of having 3 kids close in age, I turned to food to cope with motherhood.
I am finally at a place in my life where I want to make healthy changes. I'm still struggling with making better food choices, especially with the holidays. I need help. I've been doing research on the Band and think it just might be the perfect tool to help me get back to a "normal" weight!
And how did I think to have this procedure done? Back in Oct. of 2005 a good friend of mine had RNY/bypass done. I thought: "gee, maybe I should do that too!" I looked into it and decided that if I could eat the way you have to after surgery then I wouldn't be needing the surgery in the first place! Fast forward a year, and now my friend had lost much of her excess weight and looks great. I decided to look into my options again and found the lap-band. But after doing much research about the Band and about Vertical Gastrectomy, I decided on the VG.