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Jabsie

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About Jabsie

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
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Information

  • Surgeon
    Dr. Namir Katkhouda
  • Hospital
    USC - Keck Medical Center
  • Height (ft-in)
    5-05
  • Start Weight
    278
  • Current Weight
    210
  • Goal Weight
    164
  • Surgery Date
    9/2/2015
  • Surgery Type
    Vertical Sleeve

Recent Profile Visitors

4,096 profile views
  1. Hello TT Community. It's been a while since I've been here but with all the time at home we're having it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reconnect. To put it plainly, I'm struggling. I got to my goal weight in about 8/9 months post op and kept within 5 lbs of it for a couple of years. Over the last few years I regained about 50 lbs and it bothers me A LOT. There are a number of factors I can point to for which I haven't coped well where my maintenance is concerned. They include things like entering meno, my Dad dying, and starting a new job that demands a lot more of my time. I use
  2. I was not ashamed of having surgery so I wasn't willing to lie about it to anyone, however, I wanted privacy. There's a difference between privacy and secrecy so here's how I chose handle it: I went to my employer shortly before my surgery to request the time off recommended by my surgeon for recovery. I explained that I was having a routine surgical procedure and explained what/how long my physical limitations would be afterward. When pressed for more information regarding the type of surgery, I expressed gratitude for their concerns and assured them the procedure was not life-threatenin
  3. i see that you have had the vertical sleeve. Can you elaborate on y our story, your experience? I am thinking i want more the sleeve than the bypass... though both scare me to death.

    1. Jabsie

      Jabsie

      I totally understand your fears. It's a big decision.

      I spent a year researching weight loss and weight loss surgery for a blog I was writing before I ultimately decided to move forward with a sleeve (often referred to on this forum as a VSG). I read countless medical studies, research papers, and articles published in credible medical journals and publications. The news for me wasn't very good. I have tons of data I can provide you but the bottom line is this: The chances of losing my weight and keeping it off were shockingly low, and the chances of premature death as a result of my obesity were shockingly high.

      It took me a long time to come around to the idea of weight loss surgery. Concerns over the relative safety and long term side affects, and quite honestly my pride, kept me from moving forward with having any procedure. However, once the data became undeniable, I decided to try my best to take the emotion out of it and make a decision based solely on what was most likely to help me live as long as possible, as well as possible.

      I'd like to stress that the type of procedure you have is much less important than your commitment. Without the hard behavioral and emotional work, surgery will just end up being an expensive diet. Having said that, here are the reasons I ended up choosing the VSG over RNY (bypass):

      • With the VSG, the Pyloris is kept in tact. As a result, there are no limitations on the types of food you can eat long term and patients do not have to deal with 'dumping syndrome'.
      • The VSG is considered safer than the RNY from a surgical perspective because it's a simpler procedure that takes a shorter amount of time to perform.
      • Because the VSG works by restriction only and not malabsorption, there are far fewer issues long term with nutritional deficiencies. Some of those deficiencies can be very serious and irreversible. This was the single biggest reason I chose the VSG over the RNY.
      • Compared to RNYers, VSGers are less likely to experience short and long term complications such as strictures and bowel obstructions.
      • You are statistically likely to lose the greatest percentage of excess fat with the RNY but the VSG isn't that far behind.
      • RNY is generally preferred by surgeons for patients who have Acid Reflux Disease. I did not have any issues with that but that may be something for you to consider.
      • The chances of regaining weight post op were equal among all weight loss surgeries so choosing the procedure that balanced effectiveness with safety was my priority.
      • People are quick to share horror stories but the fact of the matter is that instances of serious complications and/or death resulting from weight loss surgery is very low. The risk is no higher than any other routine surgery, and in some cases it's significantly lower.
      • Both the VSG and RNY removes approxiamtely 80% of the stomach including the part that produces ghrelin, the hunger hormone.

      My experience post op:

      On the day of my surgery, I was nervous but confident that I was making the right decision. I had done my due diligence and found the very best surgeon available to me. People get pretty freaked out about being put to sleep but I've had several surgeries in my life so going under anesthesia didn't scare me as much. It doesn't hurt that they give you really good drugs in your IV pre-op that calm you down ;-) In pre-op, I met with the Anesthesiologist. I explained that I get sick to my stomach when I wake up from anesthesia so she gave me medications during the procedure and after in my IV to control it. It was the first surgery I've ever had that I didn't feel sick when I woke up. I was calm, nausea free, and my pain was well managed.

      They fill your belly with surgical gas to do the procedure laparoscopically and most people agree that post-op pain is associated with this. I had 6 small incisions including a drain that was pulled out the next day (it doesn't hurt to have the drain taken out, it just kind of feels weird). I had a 'pain pump' in my IV which aloud me to press a button for a really good pain med when I needed it. I didn't need it much but it was great to have. After I left the hospital, I didn't need any pain meds stronger than Advil.

      They get you up and walking pretty quickly. My pain wasn't bad but I felt it primarily when I stood up or sat down. It felt like trying to stand up the day after doing the most intense ab work out ever. Walking helps to dispel surgical gas so the more you do it, the faster you'll feel better.

      After I was able to drink and eat a little jello and broth, I was discharged from the hospital. It was 48 hours after surgery. Getting in enough fluids and protein in the first few days at home were challenging. I could only consume 2 oz at a time so I just had to sip throughout the day. For the first time ever in my life, I had no desire to eat, I craved nothing, and I wasn't hungry. Eating was something I just had to do. You progress to solid foods gradually over 4-6 weeks. I had a schedule and list of doctor's instructions that I followed religiously. There were a few times that I ate too fast and things felt uncomfortable going down but I learned my lesson quickly and made adjustments. I never once threw up. After a few days, my pain was gone completely. I slowly got stronger and started to adjust to life with my new baby stomach. I went back to work 2 weeks after my surgery but I could have probably gone back sooner.

      After I was medically cleared to do so, I started exercising again. The weight came off really fast in the beginning and slowed the closer I got to goal. I've lost 119 pounds and reached my goal weight 9.5 months after my surgery. I maintain my weight within a 5 pound window of my goal (depending on the day, I can be a little under or over my goal). I can eat anything I want but I keep it healthy most of the time and exercise 5-6 days a week. Exercise got much easier the more weight I lost. After about 6 months, my cravings returned but by then I had totally new habits and was feeling highly motivated by the amount of weight I had lost.

      So let's talk about excess skin....I'm always surprised by how frequently people express concern about this or site it as a reason they don't want to get WLS. I usually have a blunt response; excess skin won't kill you but obesity will. How much excess skin we end up with varies greatly depending on many factors including 1) Genetics/natural elasticity of the skin 2) Person's age 3) How much overweight the person is 4) How long the person has been overweight. There are things you can do to help the appearance of excess skin but despite the claims, there's nothing you can do to get rid of it short of skin removal surgery. Lots of people end up having it done, especially women. There's a ton of posts on this forum about this very thing. I've been very lucky as far as excess skin is concerned. It's there but it's not bad, and it's gotten better over time. I'm not crazy about how it looks but it doesn't bother me enough to have anything done about it surgically.

      The most important thing I've done to get healthy aside from having the surgery is to get into therapy. The data shows overwhelmingly that folks who utilize professional therapy increase their chances of success by many times. Not addressing the behavioral, emotional and psychological reasons I became obese in the first place, puts me at serious risk of gaining my weight back. No surgery will fix my relationship with food. The surgeon operated on my stomach, not my brain. I'm not a particularly touchy-feely person but therapy is working for me.

      I feel great. I had little pain, I've never thrown up, and I had no complications from my surgery. I wear a size 6 dress and 8 pant which is by far the smallest ever in my adult life. I don't worry about breaking a chair when I sit in it. I comfortably fit in to airplane seats. I can sit on my husband's lap. I sit with my legs comfortably crossed. I can share clothes with my sister. I eat like a normal person for the most part. I have done everything possible to live as long and well as possible.

      I apologize for such a long response. Best of luck to you, Ali. Please feel free to ask me any questions.

      Best,

      Jabsie

    2. Alirocks713

      Alirocks713

      Omg you hve no idea what a relief it was to read your story. I am beyond greatful, thank you so much.  I would love any research you'd be will to share with me, and congratulations on such a great surgery outcome. I am leaning more towards VSG as well. For all of those reasons. I am still scared. I have no health problems other than being obese, and other than wisdom teeth being removed, I've never had any surgery, so that scares me to death.  I really don't know where to start. Where I live I don't trust our "bariatric surgerons" I used to work for the hospital here for 8 years. So they are not high on my trusting scale, so I have looked to other bigger cities other than where I lived.  Again thank you for your story. You are very inspiring. Please share any research with me. My email is  Alicia.m.rockwell@gmail.com.  

       

      Thanks again for for taking the time to help me, talk to me, and share your story.  It means a lot. 

       

      Have a a great rest of the day!

      Ali

  4. Jabsie

    After from the side

    Thanks so much Cinwa!
  5. Jabsie

    Jabsie

    One year post op.....yay!
  6. Thank you for your detailed response on constipation! It is so very helpful!!!

    kate

    1. Jabsie

      Jabsie

      I'm so glad it helped! It's been a challenge for me since my 2 week pre-op diet and literally the only VSG related issue I've had since. It can be an awkward subject to broach so I'm glad it got brought up.

  7. This is a great post. So much of it resonates with me. I could have done backflips the day I fit in to a size 14 jean. Now I'm in a size 10/12 and I still can't believe it. When I hold up the pants, they look so small to me and it feels like some type of magic trick that they actually fit. It sounds like your relationships with your friends may have become more complex. Your best friend is probably genuinely happy for you, but it would not surprise me if she had mixed feelings about it. Your body is changing rapidly and you are bound to feel differently about it as time goes on. As you ch
  8. Congrats on your surgery approval. The day will be here before you know it. My suggestions are to get some samples of protein shakes/powders so you taste-test them before surgery. I blindly bought a pallet of protein drinks before surgery without testing it first....bleck! It was a total waste of money. As far as cooking for your family is concerned; if it's at all possible, it may make your life easier to temporarily abdicate that job to another adult in your household during the time you're recovering. You could even help train that person learn how to make 5 or 6 different meals a
  9. Jabsie

    Overwhelmed

    The pre-op diet is a drag for all of us. No way around it. I was on 2 weeks of a liquid diet. No solid food of any kind, only protein shakes and clear, sugar free liquids. The first 2 days weren't fun mainly due to caffeine withdraws. However, after that I was very surprised to find that the diet was much easier than I expected. I think having a super clear and basic eating plan made eating simpler. The biggest decision I had to make was what flavor shake to drink. I also wasn't nearly as hungry as I thought I'd be which reinforced how important protein is to staving off hunger. You are c
  10. Congrats, this is great news!
  11. Jabsie

    Research

    Congrats and welcome! I think you'll find that many people are on the same path. Please keep us updated.
  12. Congratulations, you should be very proud of yourself. I hope you feel as good as you look because you look amazing!
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