cvelba

My Gastric Bypass, Emergency Resection and Reversal

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Cvelba- my 31 yo step daughter is in CCU right now from having to have emergency surgery 2 weeks ago due to twisted colon from gastric bypass she had 5-6 years ago. She almost died. After the surgery to take out all but a few inches of intestines, the dr told us she probably wouldn't make it, but right now she is a miracle. She has a stoma and a colostomy bag. She has tpn for nutrition. We are currently waiting for surgery to put a drain tube in her neck so that the NG tube can come out and she can at least drink something.  I sent a request to your Facebook support group because this is all new to us and need all the support we can get. Thank you for sharing your story. 

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On August 22, 2015 at 11:28 AM, cvelba said:

I had a laproscopic gastric bypass in 2005. I did my reasearch and was satisfied with everything but one issue that always nagged at me. There were little long term studies of over 7 years post surgery at that time.

The surgery itself was a success....no complications and I went from 230 to about 140lbs. I also developed chronic amenia.

6 years ago I began to get a very strange headache and had so much pressure on my optic nerves that my eye dr sent me to a neurologist. My sight was failing at that point too. A contrasting mri showed there was no tumor on the brain or optic nerves and that it was a "phantom tumor". Cranial hytpertension which is quite rare. The dr performed a spinal tap to relieve the pressure, put me on medication and monitored me for a few years. It went away and I forgot about it for a few years.

On Jan 21, 2015 I had chest/stomach pain that I knew I could no longer self medicate. I was slowly getting sick for months prior to this but made every excuse...perimenopause....being run down...etc.

 

I was admitted to the ER that night with a strangled colon and sepsis due to intestional twisting. The surgeon opened me....my vitals became too unstable and he decided to resume the surgery in the morning if I lived through the night. He was able to complete the resection the next day. He removed 1/3 of my colon and 72 inches of intestines along with my appendix.

I was in a medically induced coma for nearly a week. Moved to a rehab facility for physical and occupational therapy. I was finally able to go home Feb 25, 2015.

 

This is when I began to really fail instead of recover. I now had short bowel syndrome. Another extremely rare condition. Nutrients and fats were not absorbing from the foods I ate, my hemoglobin reached a critical level twice (3 and 4.7) requiring approximately 14 bags of blood for transfusion.

I was losing weight rapidly...size 12 at Christmas to a 4 currently. Most of my hair has fallen out and I'm as weak and frail as a colt.

I researched Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) and joined NORD, National Organization of Rare Disorders. I also found a closed SBS group on Facebook that connected me with 2 of the most amazing women I've ever met. Both living 7 years with SBS.

Living with SBS is a living hell. There isn't enough bowel to properly hold food in for absorbtion and I averaged about 26 explosive diarrheas daily. As soon as I took a bite or sip of something the churning would start. It was loud and painful. Imagine the worst gas pain and diarrhea you've ever had and then imagine it 24/7. I only left the house for dr appts. I had no energy and there was always the possibility of a public explosion.

 

I was slowly dying.....wasting away.

 

I felt that I didn't have too much time left so I began to research surgeons for a possible gastric bypass reversal. I found one who practices at a hospital that actually has an SBS team and after meeting him and the team decided the next course of action.

 

I had my gastric bypass reversal on August 7, 2015. I was lucky to have a good amount of viable intestines left that the surgeon used to repair the damaged portion.

 

I was told that the surgery was a complete success. I no longer feel the weakness of being malnurished, my mind is clear which means the bacterial overgrowth is gone, food is staying in much longer and bowel movements are down to about 4-6 a day.

I go back to the dr. on Wed, Aug 26 to get the staples out and for some labwork. I will make updates if anyone is interested in the recovery.

 

Three interesting things that I recently learned:

1) The scar tissue from my gastric bypass caused the twisting

2) Cranial Hypertension and Short Bowel Syndrome, both very rare, are getting more notice because most of the patients with recent diagnoses have had a gastric bypass years ago....8-10 years is the average for "us patients".

3) Most people don't survive the kind of trauma that I suffered in January. There aren't many advocates speaking up about these very serious complications resulting from gastric bypass surgery.

Adbays, I'm sorry about your stepdaughter. She has a long road ahead of her. I suggest that you go to www.rarediseases.org and read about Short Bowel Syndrome. The site is NORD (National Organization of Rare Diseases). I found them extremely helpful. Another great source of information is the Oley Foundation www.oley.org. 

I don't have a support group so I'm not sure which one you joined on Facebook. Please keep me posted on your stepdaughter's progress and please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Cheryl

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I'm now up to 50000 IUs 3x a week. I'll most likely be on this for the rest of my life. Very high doses of calcium as well because the malnutrition/malabsorption caused Osteopenia in my neck and hips. Compared to most people who have SBS (Short Bowel Syndrome) I am a very, very lucky person. Many are on TPN 24/7 and are very limited in what they can do. As long as I religiously take all my meds and supplements...and follow my SBS diet I feel okay.

Cheesehead and Mizmarycate like this

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