Upcoming Gastric Sleeve Surgery And I Am Dreading It

Freewheeler
on 1/30/23 12:45 pm, edited 1/30/23 12:50 pm

Greetings All,

I am am having gastric sleeve surgery soon and I wish I could be excited about it like many people are about their surgeries, but I am kind of dreading it for numerous reasons.

I completely acknowledge that I need the surgery, so that isn't the issue - but I do have anxiety about some things that may or may not be an actual problem. I am diagnosed with anxiety in general and I have ADD, so I hyper focus on things that worry me.

I don't like my surgeon. He is perfectly qualified and and all that, but he has horrible bedside manner and is very transactional. I am just another obese person in his revolving door of obese patients. I am just a number to him and he didn't really care about my concerns. It's a business to him.

I have to admit the death rate is still pretty high in my mind and scary. Recent info that I saw is that 1 person dies per 1000 surgeries. If someone wants to correct me in case that info is wrong, please do - but a 1000 people is not a lot. I would feel somewhat better if it was 100,000+ people.

I am worried about all the new problems I am going to have when I do lose the weight with the hanging skin - that is already hanging pretty low. I will have to move the skin aside to use the bathroom. I know OHIP covers panniculectomy surgery and there are specific requirements to qualify, but I am sure I will have other loose skin issues that are not covered and quite frankly I cannot afford, so will have to live with the hanging skin.

Those 3 reasons are pretty much the main thing outside of some smaller worries like hair loss. Has anyone here had the sleeve surgery and had hair loss and did it come back after a certain period?

I would greatly appreciate any feedback from people - especially from people who have had the sleeve surgery and even skin surgery removal to maybe put my mind at ease. I am happy to answer any further questions as well. I start the Optifast next month.

Thank you.

FW

Kathleen W.
on 1/30/23 3:26 pm - Lancaster, PA

I understand your concerns. You're about to undergo a life changing process. It's normal to worry about the unknown.

May I make a suggestion? Is there a therapist that you could talk specializing in the area of wls and obesity? You want piece of mind.

I'm one of the rare people that did have complications from my rny, (some stitching broke, led to pancreatitis, and somehow got a fungal infection in the lungs). Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! It made me realize how fragile life is. And how strong my will to live was.

SW 327
GW 150
CW 126

                                      

Freewheeler
on 1/31/23 9:48 am, edited 1/31/23 2:01 am
On January 30, 2023 at 11:26 PM Pacific Time, Kathleen W. wrote:

I understand your concerns. You're about to undergo a life changing process. It's normal to worry about the unknown.

May I make a suggestion? Is there a therapist that you could talk specializing in the area of wls and obesity? You want piece of mind.

I'm one of the rare people that did have complications from my rny, (some stitching broke, led to pancreatitis, and somehow got a fungal infection in the lungs). Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! It made me realize how fragile life is. And how strong my will to live was.

Hey Kathleen,

Thanks for responding.

I don't really lack a support system per se, but my brain is just wired a certain way where I will just focus on my worries anyway and then after the fact if everything goes well - then I will say that I worried for nothing and that I am glad I did it.

I just wanted to get some more feedback from people here who have actually gone through it vs. people trying to make me feel better who haven't.

I am sorry to hear about your complications. Was it due to mistakes made by the surgeon or just a rare occurrence that can't really be blamed on anyone?'

What was your experience with weight loss, hanging skin and hair loss beyond the complications?

Thanks again.

Kathleen W.
on 2/1/23 7:17 am - Lancaster, PA

My complications started with a couple of stiches breaking. I had a greyish/black fluid coming out of my drainage tube. When I told the surgeon, he didn't listen and sent me home. That lead to other problems. Stiches breaking can happen in any surgery. I was just angry that the surgeon didn't listen to me. Nor did he listen to the visiting nurse that came to my place after my release. It wasn't until the nurse basically threaten him that she was going to admit me to the hospital under her own authority and that he would have to answer to the medical board why he didn't admit me. Would I do it again? Yes!

As far as skin removal, the only area that I had is a pinealectomy. There was 8 lbs of excess skin in my groin area. The other areas(thighs and upper arms) are my badge of honor for maintaining my weight loss (and it's not all that bad.)

As far as weight loss, I do WW. It helps keep me accountable for staying on track, how to deal with head hunger, bad habits, etc. For me, my wls just worked on my stomach but not my habits, etc.

My hair is better now than when I had surgery. The only problem I had was with my teeth. From what I understand, it's common with the rny, I'm not sure how it is with the type you're having.

Please let us know how you are doing. You're making the right decision.

SW 327
GW 150
CW 126

                                      

Freewheeler
on 2/1/23 11:28 am, edited 2/1/23 3:29 am

I am so sorry that you had to go through that. Similar to my situation, were you not entirely happy with your surgeon from the get go or he became a problem after the fact?

I have never heard anyone ever mention issues with teeth after gastric surgery. Do you mean loose teeth? I will look into that.

Yes, I am especially concerned about the skin in my groin area - it is already hanging low and clearly an issue when it comes to using the bathroom, so I am hoping it shrinks during weight loss and not just start hanging down to my knees. I will absolutely need a panniculectomy.

I think that is why some have gained the weight back after surgery, because while they now have a tool to lose the weight, they haven't fixed the issues in their head as to WHY they overeat, etc. This has been my concern as well for myself as well when it comes to anxiety and using food as comfort with emotional eating. I know my brain will still send those signals/cravings to go eat something when I have anxiety to get that dose of dopamine. I am hoping seeing the weight loss will motivate me and stay on track like you said.

Thanks!

Kathleen W.
on 2/1/23 4:39 pm - Lancaster, PA

I didn"t have a problem with the surgeon before hand. It wasn't until I told him there was problem that he blew me off.

I'm 13 years out and still struggle with food.

SW 327
GW 150
CW 126

                                      

Partlypollyanna
on 1/30/23 3:28 pm
RNY on 02/14/18

As long as you trust your surgeon's skills, his personality shouldn't matter unless he is abusive or harassing. It's sucks to not feel her personably cares about you but I'd rather have a surgeon that's a tool but good at what he does than one I'd like to chat with that is bad at surgery. Is there anyone else in his practice or your program that you can connect with, that you would feel comfortable taking your questions to?

I think it's not unusual to be anxious about surgery, but to put that 1 in 1,000 perspective that's .10%; hip replacement surgery has a mortality rate about 3 times higher and you rarely hear of anyone dying from that. Complications can absolutely happen in anything but they are rare. Understand your risks, take care of what you can before hand and then just focus on your program and the next steps! Hopefully you will be amazed at how quickly you are on the other side of things!

HW: 306 SW: 282 GW: 145 (reached 2/6/19) CW:150

Jen

Freewheeler
on 1/31/23 10:01 am
On January 30, 2023 at 11:28 PM Pacific Time, Partlypollyanna wrote:

As long as you trust your surgeon's skills, his personality shouldn't matter unless he is abusive or harassing. It's sucks to not feel her personably cares about you but I'd rather have a surgeon that's a tool but good at what he does than one I'd like to chat with that is bad at surgery. Is there anyone else in his practice or your program that you can connect with, that you would feel comfortable taking your questions to?

I think it's not unusual to be anxious about surgery, but to put that 1 in 1,000 perspective that's .10%; hip replacement surgery has a mortality rate about 3 times higher and you rarely hear of anyone dying from that. Complications can absolutely happen in anything but they are rare. Understand your risks, take care of what you can before hand and then just focus on your program and the next steps! Hopefully you will be amazed at how quickly you are on the other side of things!

Hey Partlypollyanna,

Thank you for responding.

I trust the surgeon in that he has the credentials and a respectable hospital position - it just would have been nice if he didn't exacerbate my worries by just not caring about them. I felt like I was dealing with a used car salesman who just wanted to close the deal.

When you put it that way per the mortality rate, that does make me feel better. I guess I never really considered other types of surgeries in the same manner, because those have been going on for decades, so you wouldn't think I might die from a hip replacement.

What was your experience with surgery, weight loss, hanging skin and hair loss?

Thanks.

Partlypollyanna
on 1/31/23 11:34 am
RNY on 02/14/18

Laparoscopy is an amazing component in surgery recovery. For me the pain was negligible and i stopped taking the pain pills after my first night home. You are healing and on reduced calories so definitely more tired than usual. Once I stopped the pain meds my only restrictions were restrictions around what weight I could carry and the food plan. Every plan seems to be different on the pre-post op plans so it's important to follow YOUR program until you are through the healing stages.

Hair loss is common after major surgery. Both my doctor and my hairdresser said it's just something you have to get through and both said there's really no supplement or diet that changes it but there are people here that swear by supplements so that's an area to see what people experienced and try what might work for you. My hair loss started about month 4 post op last about 6-8 months before it slowed down. I have a lot of hair (like it's hard to get a band sound my ponytail twice lot of hair) and at the worst point, I could get it around 3 times easily and 4 with effort). It did stop right when I was starting so wonder if it ever would.

yep, loose skin is a real thing. I'd rather have my dragon wings, (because they are bigger than any darn bat I've ever seen), deflated boobs and other loose skin than the joint pain, health complications and likely shortened lifespan i as headed for. There are quite a few people that have had plastic surgery, quite a few that haven't had it but want it and quite a few that re not considering it for many different reasons. I am not considering it because I don't want to have to deal with surgery and recovery for that but if it's something that you would want to look into, there are definitely options post surgery!

good luck to you. This general page isn't super active but the RNY sub forum is and it's open to everyone - RNY, VSG, DS, come visit there! I think some of the other forums are intermittently active as well.

HW: 306 SW: 282 GW: 145 (reached 2/6/19) CW:150

Jen

Betbull8
on 1/31/23 3:04 am
VSG on 10/19/22

I had my sleeve in October last year. I wasn't sure I was going to do it until after they drugged me up and we rolled out of pre-op to go to the operating room. I didn't love the way I looked with the weight, but I have a higher self esteem about it than most people, but my motivator was decrease risk of diabetes and getting rid of insulin resistance. My mother has really bad diabetes and she takes good care of it, but if I can avoid it, that's what I want to do. I also have a chronic pain problem due to failed neck surgeries, so I couldn't just exercise to lose weight. Because I can't exercise I'm probably losing a lot less than most at the same stage of post-op, so I try to keep that in perspective.

I have a real hard time after surgery with nausea. Nausea after stomach surgery is not fun and despite their best efforts I still felt so sick! The doc offered for me to stay an extra day if I wanted so I could get extra support with the nausea. I ended up wanting to leave at the normal discharge time because the IV fluid was making me have to pee every hour or more and I was exhausted. I won't lie, at that time I regretted the surgery, but once I got home and could take 2 Zofran instead of 1 and then sleep without having to pee, I woke up the next morning feeling a lot better!

Now, has everything been easy? No. There are still challenges, like heartburn or constipation, which I struggled with before surgery some, too. Add in the slow weight loss, I have had bouts of was this worth it? But 95% of the time I am certain I did the right thing. I've already found I'm more active with my kids and some clothes fit better and I'm socializing more like I was before the big weight gain. So overall? I'm happy. My anxiety is better, too and my hair loss hasn't been bad. Oh and I've been able to decrease doses of medication, too! To me that's huge!

Good luck!! You have people (us) rooting for you!

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