Was Wondering About Gastric Bypass Surgery

Updated on August 31, 2008
D.M. asks from Ottawa, KS
5 answers

hello to all you moms out there. I had a few questions about Gastric Bypass surgery. I was wondering if you could have children after you have it done?, How much you have to be over weight and is there a certain way you have to eat after you have it done? I was also wondering if you have had it done how has it changed your life and did you have a lot of left over skin? I am about 90 lbs. over weight and I really need to lose it. I'm really worried about my health and I would love to have another child. Thanks in advance for all your advice!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hello D.. I have not had the surgery, but my best friend did. We were both very overweight, and contemplated having the surgery done together. We went to the orientation at the hospital together, and one of us walked out wanting to do it and the other one did not. LOL After I learned that by removing the top portion (a few feet) of the intestine, which is VITAL to absorption of vitamins and minerals and nutrients, that one would have to take a supplement for life, I was skeptical. My question was, if I can't absorb it (after the surgery) naturally via the foods that I eat, how will I be able to absorb it from a pill? I was not comfortable with that at all. I felt I would be 40 with osteoporosis and degenerative this and that, with no way to correct it, and it scared me. So, I never went back. Like I said, this information did not bother my friend at all, and she just had the surgery in February. She had to go through a lot of mandatory classes, which included nutritional counseling for 6 months to see if she could lose the weight herself first, then counseling to make sure she was doing the surgery for the right reasons, plus a sleep apnea test, and a slew of other things. It took her a lot longer to have it done than most because a month before she was scheduled to have the surgery, the company she worked for switched insurance carriers. She had to start the process all over with the new insurance company. I will tell you that she looks fantastic, and being pregnant and fat, then seeing how amazing she looks kills me, but I still don't think I would ever do it. Yes, she has a ton of excess skin, but she is also still losing weight. She has told me time and time again that she would never recommend this surgery to anyone, and that if I did decide to have it, she would not come visit me in the hospital, because she would not support my decision. I went to the hospital every day after work when she had the surgery, and the first two days she talked to me somewhat, but later never knew that I came. She was in an immense amount of pain, had a lot of trouble once she got home and generally has had a hard time with it. She went through a period where she threw up everything she was eating, even though she ate what she was supposed to, in the portion that she was allowed. It has been a nightmare for her. I think the biggest problem with this surgery is identifying the cause of the weight, why we overeat, etc.. because having a surgery is not going to cure that. I know of too many people who have had the surgery, and gained the weight right back. It is a lifelong commitment, just as personal health, eating right and exercising is. She was a HUGE Pepsi fan, and sometimes will "sneak" and have some, which completely sets her off. She feels miserable, physically, after drinking SOME, but does it anyway. Her aunt had the procedure done many moons ago, before that craze caught on, and had got an infection that was so bad, they had to reverse the process. I never understood how they did that when they removed the top portion of the small (?) intestine - how would you reattach something that isn't there? but anyway, is fine now, although somewhat overweight. My best friend's cousin (daughter to the aunt) had the lap band procedure, and has not had much success with it. She was not losing weight very fast, like she wanted to, then ended up pregnant, so they had to loosen the band. I've talked to people who have had the gastric bypass and who say they would do it all over again in a heartbeat, and look good still, some don't though. It is a personal choice and commitment. I feel your pain though. Being overweight can be so overwhelming. I'm morbidly obese (gotta love the labels, huh?) and know from personal experience that it is so hard to become motivated to do something about it. My problem is, because I AM so heavy, I have no energy to do anything. I can go for a walk, which lasts about 15 minutes, around a couple of blocks, but that's about it. I can get on my elliptical machine for a total of 7 minutes before I feel like I'm going to die, and that's after the first two minutes, and I keep pushing myself! I get on my treadmill and last about 10-15 minutes, depending on my day. It is sooooooo hard, and I truly sympathize. I can't stand any kind of meat, fish, chicken or pork, so my diet consists of too much bread and pasta, but a lot of fruit and veggies (which I adore!) too, but they do not outweigh the bad stuff :( I do not have a sweet tooth, but love salt :( Best of luck to you. I would suggest going to a nutritionist if you can. My doctor sent me to one about a year and a half ago (ironically enough, the same one my BF saw before her surgery) and she had some great ideas. I thought she would be a stuffy person, with a regime I would not be able to follow, but she gave me some great advice. Even on how to order when I go to fast food places. For example, she said if you absolutely HAVE to go to Taco Bell, order two bean burritos with extra red sauce. The protein will be good for me, since I don't care for meat, and it's something I can eat and not feel TOO bad about. I tried that, actually got hooked on those puppies for about three weeks every day for lunch. LOL There are a lot of alternatives, and you just have to be willing to change some things in your life, add exercise (or add more) and really get to the root of the problem. Again, best of luck to you :)



answers from San Diego on

HI D., my name is S.. I have had the gastric Bypass surgery. I had it done in April of 2003. When I was having the whole process started there was not one thing anyone could tell me that would change my mind. I was set on having it. I had absolutely NO health problems prior to surgery. Now 5 years later. I am back to the same weight I was PRE surgery and every possible health problem you could imagine. I get sick on a daily basis, from anything from water to something I can eat one day and not the next. It just depends. I have vitamin deficencies and constantly tired due to low iron. I completely regret have the surgery. I have bleeding ulcers from there being too much acid that gets produced and has no where to go so it sits and eats the lining of your stomache. Its a personal thing you have to decide. I did have a baby after surgery. I was considered high risk due to the surgery because of the malnourishment stuff. I did go on to have a healthy little girl who is now 3 years old. When I had my surgery I had to be 100 lbs over weight. Im not sure if its the same as it was 5 years ago or not. Best of luck and all I can tell you is if you have NO health problems other than being heavy, then really really think about it. You can have a baby when you are big just stay active! Keep in touch if you ever need info on the surgery. Total I lost 80 pounds and have regained all but 5 pounds.




answers from Reno on

I have not had Gastric Bypass, but I am very good friends witha woman who did have it. Yes, you have to totally change your eating after having it. She can only eat very small amounts of food at a time, she doesn't eat any sugar, and she doesn't have any carbonated beverages at all. I know of other people that have had this surgery and didn't follow the recommended eating and have gotten very sick from it. It is a surgery, but also a lifestyle change. I have thought about having it myself. Good luck with your decision.



answers from Los Angeles on

you can have children after you have had the surgury (after your all healed and through the difficult part). im not sure how over weight you need to be to qualify for it. i do know from a friend that has had it done that it is very demanding. you have to take mandatory preparation classes before the surgury and your very limited on what you can eat. it takes a lot of will power to do. what also is a good way to loose weight is the lap band. you can have it tighter to loose weight and then when you get pregnant you can loosen it. i think that if you are going to have another baby in the next couple years that would be the best way to go.



answers from Los Angeles on

My sister has the lap-band which is much less invasive than gastric bypass. With gastric you could be down for like 2 months recovery is very hard. With the lap-band my sister was down for like 2 days and even in those 2 days she was able to get around, shower cook etc. The lap band surgery is a tiny incision you are NOT CUT OPEN like gastric. I highly recommend it Blue cross PPO helps pay for it as well but of course you must meet their criteria. My sister was not considered big enough for insurance to cover it so she financed it through Care Credit. SHe had the surgery last October and has lost 40-50 lbs. THe weight loss is a bit slower than gastric but that is better for your body and skin.
As well she wants to get pregnant again and it is possible with the lap band her doctor told he that when she wants to get pregnant they just loosen the band so you can eat more. The doctor that she used is Dr Carson Liu, he has offices in beverly hills and in Orange. He is the leader in lap band technology and is very good. I also was 90 lbs over weight after my little one was born and have lost some through the south beach diet, it is a wonderful start. I wish I could get lap band but I dont want to finance it. Good Luck

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