When did DS become the ugly step child of bariatric surgery?

stacy T.
on 11/5/15 7:19 pm - San Francisco, CA

I have had the weirdest experience. I am in Tijuana with my daughter. She had a sleeve on Monday and is in recovery. While we have been down here I have been talking with many other WLS patients, many of them over a year out, who are accompanying other patients at the hospital, as I am.

When I get asked if I have had surgery 'here' I say, "no, my surgery was 16 years ago and I had a DS."

I am flabbergasted at the responses; "Oh? Well I guess things were pretty backward back then, weren't they?" and "Oh my god, how ARE you??" or "I'm so sorry!" in one instance.

I assure them all I had a very successful surgery, and a great outcome and if I had it to do all over again I wouldn't change a thing.


I don't get it. The RNY doesn't seems to elicit the same negative response and its a much less successful surgery. What gives? Am I imagining things and it's just that this clinic specializes in the sleeve so that is where everyone's mind set is?

on 11/5/15 11:15 pm

A lot of it came from docs trying to sell people on the surgery they do.  The DS has the best results of any of them, hands down!  Did then and still does today!  People dis what they don't understand or they are confusing the DS with the old BPD surgery.

Valerie G.
on 11/6/15 4:20 am - Northwest Mountains, GA

I think Patty nailed it, too.

First of all - the DS is officially BPD/DS, which still holds the stigma of the old Scarpinaro BPD (Biliopancreatic Diversion), which had many flaws.  The DS improved upon that method, but people still confuse the two.

Next - as Patty said, they will always try to sell you on a procedure that they do.

Finally - if a patient doesn't pay attention to their nutritional health and go into jeopardy, instead of blaming the patient for not being compliant to keep healthy, they blame the surgery for doing what it was designed to do.

DS 2005

There is room on this earth for all of God's creatures..
next to the mashed potatoes

stacy T.
on 11/6/15 8:28 pm - San Francisco, CA

Good points.

I am a Robert Rabkin patient, and while the majority of my fellow patients are DS, there are also other surgeries among his patients, and his brother, John Rabkin's, patients, so it never was a community of all one surgery.

Maybe that is the difference. LIMARP, Dr. Liza Pumbo's clinic, which is where my daughter has her surgery, is focused primarily on doing the sleeve. So all the patients are sleeve patients and the culture perhaps is narrower.

Huh. Interesting, thanks for the thoughts.

on 11/8/15 3:23 am

I'm a heavyweight. I started this journey at 474. When I say that I had a DS, the reaction is usually something about how drastic that must have been and the assumption that the DS is for extreme cases only. I'm about 3 months post-op and people still see a very big woman and assume that the surgery didn't work. I actually had someone say that it's too bad that I couldn't have a gastric bypass because she knew someone who had one and actually lost a lot of weight. I went from 453 at pre-op to 390 in 3 months. I call that actually losing weight. One of my doctors said that he wanted me to lose slow and steady like I am and I still don't know if I have lost enough or if I really am going slow! The worst part is when a doctor says "Oh, like a gastric bypass." I get frustrated that I have to explain my decision to have this strange surgery that no one understands. I know several people who have had the RNY and gained back a significant amount of weight. It's like no one wants to recognize that part of the "gold standard" of WLS. I'll be a guinea pig (have heard that too!) if I never have to lose this weight again!