Less than two weeks from today...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I will be having vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery. For those who don't know, this means my stomach will be reduced by about 80%. I elected to have this procedure rather than the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for a number of reasons, most prominently because I don't want to have a lot of re-routing of my intestines, making it much less invasive and easier to heal from. There isn't so much of that awful "dumping" syndrome you hear of with bypass, either. What differentiates a gastric sleeve procedure from gastric bypass is the nerves to the stomach and the outlet valve of the stomach remain intact to preserve the functions of the stomach while at the same time reducing the amount it is able to hold. There is no bypass of the intestines with the gastric sleeve, only stomach capacity reduction.

Basically they are going to make my stomach into a "sleeve" which resembles a banana or some folks say a hockey stick which will hold 4 or less ounces at a time. The area of the stomach being removed also produces Ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite. My endocrinologist says I have high levels of ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone, which seems to make high calorie and high fat foods look more appealing and draw you to them, even when you aren't truly hungry. You experience that false sense called "head hunger". I get that a lot! Here's a picture of what basically happens in a VSG procedure:

And here is the main reason I don't want the full gastric bypass; so much rerouting of my bits and pieces!

My appointment on the 11th with my surgeon went well, though he said he needed to see another 10 pounds off me by the 28th. They have you rapidly lose weight over a short amount of time to reduce the fat on your liver. If there is too much fat or the liver is too large, it makes seeing what they are doing inside you very difficult. So, 10 pounds off by the 28th or surgery is rescheduled. Not going to happen if I can help it!

I've lost almost 5 pounds since then, and have to lose another 5 in the next 12 1/2 days. I saw the nutritionist the same day. The general diet for two weeks before surgery is 2 meals a day consisting of liquid protein and 1 meal of about 3 ounces of lean protein and one non-starchy vegetable with no fat. Because I have to lose so much so fast, we opted to go with all three meals being liquid protein.

I also have to walk more, despite my bad knees, because the chance for a pulmonary embolism is increased with poor circulation and I'll be walking a lot right after surgery while still in the hospital. So, walking I'm doing. Slowly. Painfully at times, but it will beat having a blood clot any day of the week!

This isn't an easy path I've chosen, despite what some think. It's the path that years of attempts and failures and rapidly declining health has brought me to. I'm excited for my new, improved, healthier life to start. I'm also scared of complications, but the excitement is still the prevalent emotion here.

I'll post at least one more blog before surgery. After surgery, the blogs will mostly be updates with pictures of my progress. I hope some of you find this of interest and I hope all of you will wish me success.

As always, I love you all.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GHK1962
    Wishing you well today MJ (well ... wishes you well EVERY day actually) ...

    1725 days ago
    Super excited for you! I'm thrilled to share this journey with you. emoticon
    1734 days ago
    Wishing you all the BEST with your new adventure!!!

    ndmother's Fitness Club, co-lead
    1736 days ago
    Congrats on your decision. I had the same surgery in December, 2013. Best decision I ever made. Good Luck!
    1736 days ago
  • DEB62BIE62
    Blessings. Hope all goes well.
    1736 days ago
  • SPEEDY143
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1737 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    I had the same surgery on 3/6 and haven't regretted it for a moment. You will be pleased with your decision. You explained the procedure well. I was going to do the lap band, but when they told me of the 5 year success rate only being that 45% of the people with the lapband gain their weight back, and the limitation of the foods you can't eat and the complications of slippage and such, I went with my little Sleevie! He and I are doing this journey together and it is going well. You will be pleased with the surgery and I have to say my carpal tunnel surgery I had two weeks ago hurts worse than the Sleeve Gastrectomy did. I was shocked. I expected to have a sore stomach but none! Good luck and congrats on your decision. emoticon
    1737 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    I definitely wish you the best! I look forward to your posts. Prayers for you, your family and your caregivers during and afterwards.
    1737 days ago
    I am soooo pleased for you! You have had a very long time trying to get to this, and now it is becoming a reality :-) I think that you have made a really wise choice of type of op, too :-)

    Good luck, and I'm dying to hear your wonderful updates!
    Kris xxx
    1737 days ago
  • NHES220
    Graham Elliott, who you may know is a chef, opted for this same procedure. He did it because it would allow him to still taste the foods in his restaurants. He has lost about 150 lbs since his surgery, ran a 10k on Memorial Day in Chicago and is training for the Chicago Marathon. He started around 400 lbs. Sounds like a good procedure vs. the other one. Best of luck to you.
    1737 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.