100 pounds lost!

Jul 13, 2007

I reached my first goal on July 5th by officially losing 100 pounds.  I was just over 4 months out from my surgery and so far I feel that I am right on track to where I had hoped I would be.

My Surgery Experience

Jun 04, 2007

I was originally schedule for surgery with Barix Clinic in Belvedere IL  My main reason for this choice was because my wife had her surgery there about two years earlier.  After I went through all of the testing and had the surgery date scheduled, I received a phone call from the clinic explaining that they were going to be closing their doors and my surgeon was transferring to another clinic they had on the east coast.  At first I was quite angry and disappointed, but now that I am looking back I can tell you that I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason.  I had to start researching fast because I was already approved and wanted to try to keep as close of a time frame as possible to my original surgery date because my wife and I had already made some long term planning and scheduling to work around the surgery.  This wasn’t going to be easy considering I was a little more then a month out from my surgery date.  I went on OH and started researching non stop and reading people’s opinions on different surgeons.  I also wanted someone who was part of a bariatric program and not just a surgeon who had the ability to perform my LAP RNY at the hospital they do all their other surgeries at.  After a lot of research and thinking about this in my mind, I decided that the best choice for me was going to be Dr. Rosen at LifeWeigh Bariatrics in Downers Grove, IL  My next challenge was going to be their ability to move me through their extensive pre-op program so I could get a surgery date that still fit with my original timeframe.  I must say that I was quite appreciative with the entire staff and all of their efforts to help me meet my goal.  Although I was required to meet all of their pre-op testing and criteria, they really did their best to move things along for me and spent a good deal of time working with my previous surgeon to get all of the information they needed and then expediting anything I was missing in the form of testing because their standards were higher.  After meeting all of the goals that Dr. Rosen insisted on I am happy to say that we were able to schedule my surgery for February 22, 2007 which was only about a week away from my original surgery date.  My first impression of Dr. Rosen was quite good.  I though he had a great sense of humor and I found him really easy to open up and talk to which was important to me.  I never felt rushed or that he was acting like a “salesman” to talk me into surgery.  In fact, it was actually quite the opposite.  Even though he knew that I had already met all of the requirements for the other clinic and that my wife had already gone through the process herselfy which really helped me understand what I was in for, he still insisted that I reviewed all of their risks and complications associated with the surgery.  We even had some additional testing that all of their patients are required to do before the surgery.  Considering that I was already approved and met all the goals that my insurance company demanded, I was impressed that Dr. Rosen didn’t cut any corners and made sure that everything was done to his programs standards.  To be honest, I was a little perturbed after the first meeting because I had to do more things even though I didn’t need to for insurance but that was really my frustration towards my original clinic.  After my first few visits at LifeWeigh Bariatrics prior to my surgery, I realized that I would have been truly in the dark and left to do all of the support and follow up with someone else had I received my surgery from Barix.  I had my surgery on February 22, and everything went great.  I actually felt a lot better after the surgery then I thought I would.  The pain was really not that bad.  I got out of the hospital after three days and everything seemed to be going great.  It was about a week later that I was within a day or two from getting my drain bottle removed that I noticed something was wrong.  Everything up to this point was normal.  The fluid that I would drain from the bottle was always normal looking and the only reason I still had the bottle attached to me was because Dr. Rosen wanted to wait until I had less then 50cc’s of drainage in a 24 hour period.  I could tell that the drainage was diminishing and I had little doubt that I would have this tube out of me by the end of the week and things would really start to get back to normal.  Well I awoke the following morning, which I believe was exactly a week after my surgery and I new right away that something was not right.  My drain bottle was completely full and the fluid was no longer a light red color but more of a greenish brown.  I went to the bathroom and drained the bottle and then went strait to the phone to call Dr. Rosen.  As soon as he heard what was going on he told me to get into the office as soon as I could so he could see exactly what was going on.  In the amount of time it took me to get dressed and get out to the car I already needed to drain the bottle again.  Dr. Rosen saw me as soon as I walked into the front door and ushered me back to an examining room.  After looking at the bottle for about 5 seconds he said your going to the emergency room and will most likely be admitted to the hospital.  I was then driven to the emergency room where I had to wait for a bit and went through a couple of more drainings before I was admitted to a room and was awaiting word on various tests that Dr. Rosen wanted me to have performed to try to figure out where this fluid was coming from.  After a few tests and some lab work on the fluid it was determined that I had a leak in my lower intestine and that the drainage was actually bile as well as fluid emitted from the intestine.  This was a big concern to Dr. Rosen because the fluid leaking from the intestine could be quite toxic and cause a serious infection.  When he came to visit me in my room after the testing, Dr. Rosen presented me with a few different options.  One was that we can wait and monitor the situation and see if it gets better.  This is a concern because we were worried about an infection because of the fluid.  Another option was to wait until the following day and run some further tests to see if we can determine exactly where the fluid was coming from and then come up with a solution to fix it.  The final option was to perform an exploratory surgery the following morning to try and locate the problem and see what might be necessary to correct it.  Dr. Rosen did not try to persuade me in one direction or another.  He gave me the good points and bad points of each scenario and waited as my wife and I discussed the situation.  We both agreed within a couple of minutes that it would make the most sense to have Dr. Rosen go back in to hopefully find out what was going on.  After we were leaning towards the surgery option I had some questions for Dr. Rosen.  My biggest concern was whether or not he would be able to go through the same incisions he made from the first surgery so I didn’t wind up looking like Swiss cheese.  After he informed me that he would be using my existing incisions, I told him to plan on doing the surgery in the morning.  That night was a little nerve wracking because we ultimately didn’t know what was going on and why.  The area that appeared to have the leak on the various tests they performed was not close to anything that was touched in the previous operation so it didn’t really make sense.  Especially when you considered that I had no issues for the entire week after my surgery and now I seemed to have a geyser going off inside of me due to all of the drainage I was experiencing.  The following morning I went down to surgery and met with Dr. Rosen in pre-op.  He explained what was going to happen and again made it very clear that this was exploratory and that we may not be able to find it.  In fact he went as far as to say that if he couldn’t find it through LAP then he would most likely have to open me up to get a better look.  I was really hoping that was not going to be the case.  I have to say that I was quite impressed with his bedside manner during pre-op.  My wife had gone out of the room to find my parents and Dr. Rosen really did a lot to comfort me, I could tell that this was a person who was truly concerned for my well being.  After a short period of time the anesthesia crew cam by and just like the first surgery I seemed to wake up right after I went out.  I was then informed right away that Dr. Rosen found the leak and repaired it during the surgery.  I was really happy to hear that he was able to do it with the Lap procedure and that I didn’t have a zipper going down my stomach.  When Dr. Rosen came in to visit, he showed me a couple of pictures that he had taken during the surgery to repair the leak.  It was a very small whole that had some irritation around it.  It appeared to be an ulcer that for whatever reason decided to open up completely through the intestinal wall and cause the leak.  Luckily, the drain that was in my body cavity from the first surgery was so close to the hole that almost none of the fluid went into my body cavity.  I was informed by Dr. Rosen that I would be there for a few days for observation but everything seemed to be a success.  I now had my drain tube on my right side and a newly installed G-Tube on my left side which went directly into my old stomach.  This was used to feed me for my hospital stay.  After this point, everything seemed to be going fine until a day or two after the surgery and I had another scare.  My wife who stayed with me at the hospital for the majority of my time there due to the fact that they supply you with a pull out bed in the room for your spouse, suddenly witnessed me having trouble breathing.  It was a very strange sensation and it was best described as not being able to catch my breath.  I motioned her to get the nurse and by the time the nurse got to the room my breathing had returned to normal.  I was catching my breath and I explained to her what happened.  I didn’t know if I just had a heart attack or what.  That was my first fear.  The nurse said she needed to call the doctor (it was quite late) and then we would be going downstairs to take some tests and that it was most likely a pulmonary embolism or possibly even a slight heart attack.  After various tests that evening it appeared to be a very slight pulmonary embolism and it was explained to me that on a scale of 1 to 10 it was barely a 1.  If that was the case I cant imagine what a 10 would have been like.  The following day followed more testing on my legs to look for any other blood clots and everything looked ok.  I was told by Dr. Rosen that I would now be on Cumadin for three months (it would have been six months had they found other clots) and I just earned my self a long stay in the hospital for precautionary reasons.  Needless to say I was fine with that because I was obviously afraid of having another PE.  After another week in the hospital Dr. Rosen was ready to release me but due to a slightly elevated white blood count and the fact that I had a fever the night before I bought myself a couple more days.  I finally got out the following weekend after about 10 days and needless to say I was happy.  My drain tube was removed as well as the pick line I had in my arm and I went home with only the G-Tube which needed more time to heel in my stomach before it could be safely removed.  It actually came in quite handy because I used it to eat when I got home.  I used a large plastic syringe to pump boost shakes into my old stomach 4 times per day.  About a week before I was to get the G-Tube out it started to irritate me at the opening to my skin so Dr. Rosen had me come into his office to remove it.  It was much easier getting the tube removed then the drain in my opinion.  Since then everything has been going great and I honestly would do this all over again in a heartbeat.  Earlier I wrote that I now believe that things happen for a reason;  well after this experience, as I think back about the facility that I would have been operated on at Barix and if I would have had these same problems (which I believe I would have) I thank God that I was unable to have my surgery there and that they closed down when they did.  I couldn’t imagine going through any of these things in any place that wasn’t a full blown hospital with every test and type of doctor you could want.  I was also quite impressed that Dr. Rosen made it a point to visit me during both of my hospital stays on a daily basis even though I am sure there were days he didn’t have any other patients there and could have easily had the staff doctor visit my bedside.  I am currently at three months out and I have lost 83 pounds.  Although everyone loses at different rates I could not be happier with my results.  I can’t wait to see what the next three months will bring.    

About Me
Sugar Grove, IL
Surgery Date
May 23, 2007
Member Since

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100 pounds lost!
My Surgery Experience