Revision to RNY Complete! Day 28 Post-Op
May 17, 2022
Well, after almost 3 years, a pandemic, a covid postponal and cancellation, band removal surgery and my RNY (and a total of 7 weeks' pre-op fasts over the 3 surgeries), I'm HERE! 4 weeks gone since my RNY as of today.
Happy to say that the RNY surgery was MUCH easier than the removal. One night in the hospital, but I was up and walking by the first evening (my surgery was at 7am), sipping water and broth the first day, and I was headed home just after noon the next day. No heavy pain meds (just tylenol), far less incision pain, and a lot less gas pain!
The Recovery Process
I took 2 weeks of sick leave for recovery, but was already lurking on meetings and reading work email and messages the day after I got home. Did my best to relax and be as useless as possible those 2 weeks, but I was pretty self-reliant within a day or so, compared to the band removal recovery.
Week 2 I had 2 days of onsite meetings for work that lasted into the evening, which was pretty tiring, but I took extra rest time the following days (esp after my doctor scolded me).
I've started a few walks and puttering in the garden without any heavy lifting, so my energy is gradually returning. I really need to commit to regular walks (I haven't been good about that).
Diet and Food Tolerance
I'm still on soft foods for another week, but have started introducing a bit of tender meats/proteins and cooked veggies.
Protein shakes tend to make me queasy these days (even when I mix with my morning decaf), so I'm trying to get as much of my protein and fluids in with real food, rather than the shakes, and I am doing well getting 60-80g of protein in every day.
I'm still getting accustomed to my food tolerances, which I'm sure will continue as I introduce more foods. I definitely do NOT have a lot of tolerance for fat and have to be really careful (e.g. an egg salad with fat free yogurt is fine, but an egg with a little smoked salmon makes me queasy).
I have to be careful not to overestimate how much I can eat. I definitely have restriction, but really have to use the tiny bowls and spoon and slow myself down so I know when I'm done! Had a bit too much soft chicken breast last night and it HURT!! I didn't throw up but it was a good hour of feeling uncomfortable.
As for my weight, counting the pre-op diet, I'm down 26 lbs as of today. The scale did NOT move for the first few weeks post-op but is now starting to kick in.... I think!
Mental state - Revision Anxiety and Trusting the Process
One nice thing about revision surgery is that you already know what to expect from the pre-op and post-op eating phases, tiny portions, the surgery process and recovery, etc. It's a little different with the procedures, but the key things are the same.
As a revision patient, I'm worried that I won't be able to lose as much, that all those years with the lap-band slowed my metabolism down enough to kill the "honeymoon period" this time around, but I'm reminding myself it's VERY early and my body's healing. I think my "3 week stall" kicked in almost immediately. My clothes definitely are getting looser and I can see a change in my face, and I'm solidly in ketosis, so it has to happen eventually, right?
In any case, I'm here, and there's no going back!
Revisions - One Surgery or Two
For those having revisions and worried about having to have 2 surgeries to remove and do the RNY, sleeve or whatever your choice, I can honestly say I'm glad my doctor chose to split the procedures and let me heal in between. My scar tissue was extensive and healing from the removal surgery was more challenging. I don't think I would have done as well if he'd continued with the whole surgery at once.
It was also a welcome break to have a "normal stomach" for 2 months. I treated it as a bit of a vacation and enjoyed some foods that were strictly off-limits or 14 years! Let's just say i had a LOT of Diet Dr Pepper and even a BEER! I was able to go into the RNY surgery feeling like I was honestly and truly ready to start over.
I see others in support groups who had both procedures at the same time, and there's an overwhelming amount of patients that are really miserable (nausea, pain, vomiting, drainage tubes, etc). Yikes!
All in all, I feel lucky that my process went pretty easily, even if it took a while. It's worth the wait!