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.