Gastric Bypass Scheduled in 4 days - HELP - my story

on 12/1/14 8:01 am - CA

Well in a nutshell – I have Binge Eating Disorder – something that presented in my teens around the same time my BiPolar and OCD symptoms appeared. I am sure that the BED was a direct result of the latter, a coping mechanism that over the years has caused me great trouble – physically, emotionally and even professionally.

I had Lap Band about 6 years ago when I topped the scales around 383 lbs and lost around 90 lbs in the first year. I felt great. But then I discovered I could “graze”. Upon visiting back home (I was living in the States at the time and home was Australia (where I’ve since moved back to with hubby) – I learned if I had a bit of a drink with my meal I could indeed eat the foods I missed. MISTAKE MISTAKE MISTAKE MISTAKE

Unfortunately, I had opened Pandora’s Box. I had a problem with my tube breaking and had to have immediate surgery to correct it (I was in agony) and ever since then things were not quite the same and I was getting stuck on things I had never previously had issue with (tiny bits of chicken, eggs). I understand other banders get stuck on these but previously, as long as I chewed properly I found these okay but not anymore, even with adjustments of the band (and also checking for slippage, etc (everything was fine). I have a chronic pain in my upper left side that acts as if it is a hernia but I honestly can’t deal with it atm. In all honesty, I think as a result of all the above the depression started to set in and that vicious cycle of eating to cope, being depressed for “being bad on my “diet” and then bingeing to cope, etc, etc. I did see a fabulous therapist and commenced working with her using DBT (Dialetical Behavioral Therapy – similar to Cognitive BT) but moved out of state so my therapy ceased (long story).

Fast forward 5 years and I’ve gained back much of the weight (336 lbs last weigh in), I have had 2 knee surgeries this year (that I regret – I’ve gone from having some pain to being lame and now have bone-on-bone osteoarthritis where knee replacement is my only option now after months of PT etc). Other than at work and home I must use a wheelchair as the pain is so debilitating. I have chronic foot issues because of my weight as well, so walking and pushing myself through it (as it has been suggested by well-meaning friends) is not an option as my feet/knees swell and I’m in agony.

I’ve seen a bariatric surgeon here who is lovely and the sleeve is not an option due to increased risk of leaks as I have already had a band. I have read and also learned by talking with him that many doctors are shying away from the band now for people as myself with significant weight to lose. A family member who also had the band and was initially very successful is likewise having her band removed and possibly looking at other options down the track.

It’s not the band’s fault in my case – I’m not foolish enough to believe that the band was a miracle cure; it comes down to dietary and exercise changes etc., but the band was not a good “fit” for me long term. I found constantly getting stuck on the foods that I should be eating was a huge detriment.

Anyway – as I said, fast forward to now. My bariatric surgeon recommended Gastric Bypass and I’m scheduled to have it in four 4! Days. At this time he will first remove the band, divide adhesions (as after two laparoscopic surgeries with the band I’m sure I’m riddled with scar tissue) and then do the Gastric Bypass.

I’m terrified. For a number of reasons. Last knee surgery resulted in a horrific experience with the anaesthesia (I’d never had this happen before). They think it might have been a drug interaction with my meds but I crashed majorly into a depression within hours of being mobile after surgery – to the point of being suicidal. This passed thankfully, but I felt soooo unbelievably ill. They also had issues with my oxygen and had to monitor me closely and I had double-vision, etc. Maybe these aren’t significant to others but I’ve never had them before and I felt so dreadful for a good 24 hours so it was a hard haul.

That and the pain – I am so fearful of the kind of pain I am going to feel after this surgery. I can barely sleep and a few times have just wanted to run away, cancel the surgery etc. But of course I can barely walk to my desk – how can I run away? LOL


I KNOW the surgery is better for me than my future without it. I know that after a week or so I’ll be so glad I did it but it doesn’t change my fear right now. I told my dietician I struggled with OptiSlim diet (soups, shakes, bars etc and as many greens as I wanted) – after day 3 my bipolar issues started getting impacted and it was not good. Undoubtedly it was a carb impact but in a nutshell I suck and have been eating the occasional wrap, sandwich etc. She knows this and says as long as I lose a bit of weight before surgery that’s the main thing but I’m terrified I’ve jeapordized everything now.

I understand the importance of reducing the liver size for accessibility to the stomach by the surgeron(s) and to also hopefully avoid open surgery if possible, plus reduce the risk of the liver bleeding. So now I also am terrified I have totally stuffed myself up. The bariatric dietician doesn’t seem too concerned about it but I am.

Sorry this all sounds so negative and foolish – I have been in a self-sabotaging spin coupled with depression as I’ve watched my ability to have life shrink further and further – the knee issues have really impacted me on so many levels.

I’d love some advice, words – anything folks can share – especially if you’ve been in the same position.


By the way, I’m 44 years old. In age. IN body – 90. lol


on 12/1/14 8:18 am

Wishing you good luck. I also have medical issues and had an issue with anesthesia during my last surgery. Make sure you speak with the Anesthesiologist who is doing YOUR surgery before they wheel you in, otherwise don't let them put you out. You need to feel are urged. Good luck.


on 12/1/14 8:30 am - CA

Thank you. I had my appointment with the Anesthesiologist yesterday and he was lovely and said he'd look at what they gave me previously to try and avoid possible interactions again but unfortunately, after that experience it makes one a little paranoid.


on 12/1/14 9:23 am - Fresno, CA
RNY on 03/21/14

Do yourself a favor and BREATHE! I have many of the same issues you have. I am Bipolar 1, borderline personality and OCD. Also being evaluated for ADD. I also deal with binge eating disorder. I started overeater's anonymous 3 yrs before my surgery and have continued working with a good sponsor. I also do weekly therapy with a therapist that deals with body image issues. I see my psychiatrist often to adjust my meds because that can be an issue after surgery because of malabsorption issues. I was miserable before my surgery. I worried so much that I would fail. I have lost 120 lbs and still have a ways to go but I am pretty damn happy with myself. My advice to you would be to begin working with a good therapist regarding your issues around food. I was told by a good friend that addiction, in my case binge eating, is an outward manifestation of repressed emotion. I didn't want to feel all  the emotional pain that had followed me my whole life but I had to to get better. It has been no picnic let me tell you. It sucked majorly. But I am a better person for it. OA has been a godsend and I am also working on the reasons behind why I choose to eat. Now I eat to fuel my body and that is it. When I eat crap food I am not doing myself any favors. I had to find out what I needed emotionally instead of food to make me feel better. RNY saved my life and has been the greatest gift I have ever given myself. If you are compliant with your surgeon and dietician's orders then you will be fine. If you break the rules then you face the consequences of those actions. Good luck! Hope to see you on the loser's bench soon,

on 12/1/14 11:55 am
RNY on 07/23/14

You are right, in a week when you are past it you will be glad you did it. I am glad you already spoke to the anesthesiologist. I have good and bad experiences with anesthesia... great that he is going to look back. and yes breathe! Listen to music, whatever it takes to relax. it sounds like this surgery is very important for your health. maybe you can find another therapist once you get past the surgery. Good Luck and keep on reading these boards.

Cynthia 5'11" RNY 7/23/2014

Goal reached 17 months. 220lb Weight Loss
Plastic Surgery Dr. Joseph Michaels - LBL and Hernia Repair 2/29/16, Arm Lift, BL, 5/2/16, Leg Lift 7/25/16

#lifeisanadventure #fightthegoodfight #noregrets



Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 12/1/14 12:13 pm - OH

Please, please, please get back into therapy ASAP.  I am concerned that you still have significant food issues that may cause problems once you have the bypass and many people find that depression levels increase during the first couple of months post-op.  It is really important that you be able to follow the required post-op eating plan, and that you have the resources you need to control the depression.

I hope you will be able to lose the excess weight and then have the knee replacements you need.  I had both knees replaced over the past 2 years and, even though my pain didn't require a wheelchair, it severely limited my activities many days, and I now LOVE being able to walk without pain (most days, anyway... The last one replaced still gets cranky occasionally).


10 years out; 190 pounds lost, 165 pound loss maintained

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

on 12/1/14 1:09 pm - CA

I have researched and found a therapist and will be starting with her in the new year once I'm back to working (and thus can afford the therapy) as I refued to do the Gastric Bypass without seeing someone for the mental health issues and particularly overcoming the food issues you mentioned as even the RNY is not a miracle fix by any means.

Can I ask how old you were when you had the knee replacements? Did you have them after or prior to your surgery? I am hoping I will gradually be able to exercise after the WLS but not sure how good the knees will be until I have to have the TKRs, which I don't really want to think about at present. lol


Thanks so much.

Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 12/1/14 11:26 pm - OH

I was 45 when I had my RNY, was 50 when I had the first knee done and 51 when I had the second knee done.  Both of the orthopedic surgeons I consulted about my knee issues (I also had a previous knee surgery for a torn meniscus) indicated that there was no way they would do a knee replacement on someone who was SMO (my BMI was almost 57 when I had my RNY) not only because of the inability to do all of the necessary post-op physical therapy, but also because the stress on the knees could cause significant problems with proper healing.

I didn't know how bad my knees were until after I had my RNY, so based on what I had read here on OH, I expected the pain in my knees to get much better after I lost the weight. Wrong. It did get a little bit better, but not much, and when I stupidly followed some advice about "pushing through the pain" and how exercise would improve the arthritis (something my ortho surgeon says only applies to mild arthritis), I actually made things worse. So, after that fiasco, other than using a recumbent bike on my "good" days, a brief attempt a****er aerobics, and walking a bit more, I didn't do any exercise.  I am sure it slowed down my weight loss, but when your knees are so bad that it hurt just to flex them with no weight on them, it severely limits what you can do.  You just need to be even more diligent about what you eat if you don't exercise.

I put off the TKRs way too long... Because I was afraid of the pain of a TKR because of how much pain and trouble I had after just the arthroscopic surgery I had for the meniscus when I was 300+ pounds.  It is most definitely painful for a number of weeks, but it is now so wonderful to walk without pain. (Still stiffness some days, but no pain!)


10 years out; 190 pounds lost, 165 pound loss maintained

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

Zee Starrlite
on 12/1/14 12:36 pm
VSG on 06/06/11 with

 Wow, you have so much going on.  I wish you much success.  Make sure you bipolar meds stay right and get help for your eating disorder.  Otherwise this surgery will not have lasting success.  I am surprised that you haven't been encouraged to work on your issues before this next surgery.


All best

3/30/2005 Lap Band installed  12/20/2010  Lap Band REMOVED  
6/6/2011 Vertical SLEEVE Gastrectomy

on 12/1/14 1:11 pm - CA

Thanks. I have and have researched and located a local therapist who I will be commencing work with in the new year. I just have been unable to see her yet due to financial and medical issue preventing same, alas.

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