Finally Reporting on my Daughter & have a Question

Marilee M.
on 3/31/11 8:50 am - Holly Springs, GA
As many of you know, my daughter and I had VSG on November 12, 2010, with the same surgeon.  My surgery went perfectly fine and I have lost about 80 pounds (including the 10 I lost prior to surgery).  However, my daughter developed a leak that led to many complications and we almost lost her.  I thank God every day that she made it.

I won't go into everything that happened to her, but she ended up having two emergency operations a week after surgery, was in the ICU for 3 weeks (on a ventilator for 2 of those weeks) and then on the regular bariatric ward for another 3 weeks after that.  When she came home, she was on a feeding tube until about a month ago and has endoscopies and upper GI's regularly - no her leak STILL hasn't healed.  At one time, she had 4 surgeons, a lot of specialists, a physical therapist and an occupational therapists.  I stayed home with her for about 3 months and at that time, she also saw a nurse at home and the therapists.  She has been very incapacitated and has only recently stopped having constant nausea, pain, weakness, etc.

After her last endoscopy, her surgeon told me that he wanted to do another one in 6 weeks (she was getting them every 2 weeks) and, if her stomach still wasn't healed, we would need to "talk."  This scares the hell out of me because at one point during her hospital stay, I asked him why a shunt wasn't used to try to repair her leak.  He told me that he prefers not to use them; that he feels that they cause more harm than good - they become dislodged, etc., but that if her leak didn't heal, we might have to revisit this.  Now I am terrified that she will have to have another surgery if her leak still has not healed.  I also have not told my daughter this because I know she will totally freak out (she is a 21 year old college student).

Has anyone on here had a leak that was repaired with a shunt?  If so, what was your experience?  Was it successful or did they finally have to let your leak heal on its own, even if it took several months?

(deactivated member)
on 3/31/11 9:03 am
My word!  I am so sorry you BOTH are going through this.  It must be so hard for you to watch her like that!  What do they think caused the leak?  Can't they just sew it up?  How did she know she had a leak?  I wish I could help in some way...
Marilee M.
on 4/1/11 5:05 am - Holly Springs, GA
On March 31, 2011 at 4:03 PM Pacific Time, TexasLisa wrote:
My word!  I am so sorry you BOTH are going through this.  It must be so hard for you to watch her like that!  What do they think caused the leak?  Can't they just sew it up?  How did she know she had a leak?  I wish I could help in some way...
Just a quick reply to TexasLisa and I will post my question on another thread later.  Yes, they did try to sew it up and that was unsuccessful.  It was done on an emergency basis and not by her surgeon but by another bariatric surgeon who is regarded highly in the Atlanta area.  Her surgeon said he wasn't surprised, that re-sewing doesn't usually work.  :-(

We didn't know she had a lea****il I heard her screaming in the middle of the night.  At first, we thought it might be back spasms but decided we should take her to the emergency room to be sure and that hopefully they could give her something to stop the spasms.  They did an upper GI and found the leak.  She was taken into surgery immediately.

We will never know what caused the leak.  It is up near the esophagus and the doctor said that this is an area where leaks happen a lot of times.  One thing I do know that I am suspicious of - when she was in the hospital after the initial surgery, she was very nauseous and threw-up a lot.  Then I saw her sticking her finger kind of down her throat to make herself burp.  She said it made her feel better and a nurse recommended it.  Come to find out, she should never have done that (so if you are given that advice, don't do it!!!).  Not only was her doctor upset when he found out, the head nurse on the bariatric floor was very upset and wanted to know who told her to do that.  Word of advice to anyone about to have the surgery:  if you are nauseous, make sure they give you something to stop the vomiting (there are 3 very good things they can use; at one point my daughter was on all three!).

I don't want to scare anyone.  Like I said before, my surgery went as perfectly as can be and I have not had one moment of nausea and I can literally eat anything.  I've only had the "foamies" once and that was because I ate some pretty dry white meat chicken too quickly.  It only lasted about 10-15 minutes, I burped and was fine again.  I absolutely love my sleeve; I only wish my daughter would get well enough to start loving her's, too.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and well wishes.  I will keep you posted.

So much for a quick reply...
on 4/1/11 8:38 am, edited 4/1/11 8:39 am - Four Corners, NM

Your DAUGHTER DID NOTHING TO CAUSE THIS LEAK!! no amount of vomitting, stickin her finger down her throat, eating TIN CANS...would do it!!
The gastroesophageal juncture where the FUNDUS meets the one of thee most difficult leaks to repair...its is also thee most COMMON....why...if ya ever looked at VSG surgery video ya can see how tuff it is for the surgeon to get in that space to make that last cut/staple line. Usually they'll get close to that area ...before takin the LAST cut/staple line. Her surgeon...DIDN'T get a good seal or didn't reinforce the area with a suture/ fibrin/mesh/whatever. The BEST SURGEONS in the WORLD can cause a leak..not get that incision line sealed perfectly 100% of the time...especially in that would think since this is thee most common place for a leak...they would be on it double time. Many times that leak is soooo can even go unnoticed with the post op gastrogaffin/methylene barium swallow...leak test. All that swellin/inflammation from surgery kinda keeps it sealed...then when that swelling starts to go...the leak appears to us...and is bigger than before, and can be seen in the ER wherever...only because the swelling is down.... Im sure they did a leak test on ya guys post op right? MAYBE this is what happened in yer daughters case.

But no sweetheart...she did nothin.....bless her heart! She is young, and she is strong...this is gonna make her stronger YET!!....I hope she can get online every now n again....I think there is a 20 something board...I bet she'll like...She can tell all of them young-uns about what's happenin with her...I bet she'd get alot of GOOD VIBES!! Hang in there MOM!

VSG LEAKS and STRICTURES ks+and+strictures/

on 3/31/11 9:10 am
Sorry for all your troubles. I do not have any thign to offer but my prayers!1 Stay strong!!
on 3/31/11 9:12 am
Marilee! I'm so sorry you guys are suffering through this! I feel the same... I wish I could do something to make it better, somehow! I have no leak experience... Can't help there. Please tell your daughter that she has friends thinking about her!


HW: 250 SW: 224 GW: 135 CW: 124

on 3/31/11 9:27 am - Gwinnett County, GA
So sorry your daughter is having this complication. Praying for her and the family.


(deactivated member)
on 3/31/11 9:41 am
I am so so sorry for the complacations. I know we all have so many questions we want to ask. I pray things turn around for your daughter. I have not had my surgery yet and don't know anyone who has had any leaks. I pray she is trying to keep her spirits high I know this is a tough time for the family. May GOD bless you!
on 3/31/11 9:51 am
The only person I know that had similar complications was KKB on I don't know. I think she might be here, but I'm not sure.

on 3/31/11 9:52 am - NJ
VSG on 02/23/11 with
So sorry to hear about what your Daughter is going through. Please know that I will be praying for her and for you as well.  God Bless you and yours. PRAYING!!!!!
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