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Old 12-16-2004, 10:23 AM   #1
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What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

Im really nervous about getting it done and id like to know what all of you think about the risks involved. Im not concerned with the anasthesia , i have had it before when i had my galbladder out so im not concerned about that. Im more concerned with the surgery its self and after

 
Old 12-16-2004, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

Hi there, I have not had gastric bypass surgery myself, but my brother has.
I know as much about this as he does. It is not without risks ofcourse. It is a pretty invasive proceedure. What the risks are. Well that depends on your overall medical state. For my brother it was a very risky proceedure but the doctor told him that he would be dead within 3-4 year anyways IF he didnt have this done. My brother was at 495 lbs. His heart stopped being able to pump the blood around in this massive body, it simply wasnt strong enough so within a couple of weeks he had put on another 80 lbs of water and his lungs started filling up with water and he couldnt breathe. 1 month later after lung draining and on constant oxygen in his home he finally had the surgery. It was a success but it was a very messy afair and very painful for him. He went on for 2-3 months with infections in the scar that wouldnt heal. But overall it saved his life and today he is 120 lbs lighter..after almost 2 years.
Unfortunatly his then egg-sized stomache is stretched out and back to almost normal size now and he is not loosing any more weight. But his heart can now pump the blood in his body, so he simply have to loose the rest of the weight with normal diets and exercise now.

 
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Old 12-16-2004, 02:26 PM   #3
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

The mortality rate with WLS is about 1 in 200.

I'm looking into it myself and have done lots of research on it. I have my initial consultation with the surgeon in January.

Like pcantona said... the risks greatly depend on a number of factors. Those with a higher weight, more co-morbid conditions, and those who are in generally bad health when they go into the surgery are the ones that seem to have the most complications.

Depending on which procedure you have, your "after" problems will differ. With an RNY, there's a chance of "dumping". This occurs when you eat foods high in sugar content, which your body can no longer tolerate because of the surgery. Dumping symptoms include nausea, vomiting, sweating, and feeling weak. Sometimes so weak that you actually pass out. Another complication with the RNY is having a stricture form where your "pouch" (the new stomach) meets the esophagus. Your stomach, in this procedure, is reduced to the size of 1 to 3 ounces.

The duodenal switch (DS) is a popular choice now because it basically allows you to eat any type food. Even sugar. A main problem with this one though, is that since you CAN eat those fatty, surgary foods... you fall into old eating habits. Yes, your stomach is smaller and you can't eat as much (only about 3 to 5 ounces in size) but you're still eating foods that are "bad" and it doesn't bother you physically (like the RNY) to do that. So... you're still getting in sugar, starches and carbs that will make you GAIN weight... just not as much as before the surgery.

You can have procedures done open (with about a 7" incision) or lapriscopically (with 7 to 8 small incisions for the instruments). There's conflicting data over which procedure is best. For those with more weight, previous surgeries, or lots of scar tissue... they say that an open incision is best. For others, they say that the lap procedure is best. Personally... I'm going to try and have my procedure done lapriscopically instead of open. Hernias at the incision sites are a common complication. That risk is less with the laproscopic procedure.

As with any surgery, there are risks involved. Including death. Those of us who make this journey have to decide if the result is worth the risk. For me, it is. I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, DDD, GERD, gastritis, arthritis, and a host of other problems. I take 31 different pills a day for all my conditions to try and keep them under control. Yes... I can die from the surgery. I can have complications. I can also die of a heart attack from the high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I can die from a stroke because of the HBP and high cholesterol. I can die from diabetes complications, or... I could wind up having a limb amputated because of it, or have to be on dialysis because of it since diabetes reeks havoc on your kidneys. I weighed the risks of NOT doing the surgery, with the risks of doing it and decided that the risks were worth it to me. I could "possibly" die from the surgery or complications.... I will "surely" die without it because of those 3 conditions I just mentioned and the complications associated with them.

After the surgery, you will be on vitamin supplements and protein supplements because your body doesn't absorb your nutrients from food any longer. I tell you though... having to drink 1 or 2 protein drinks a day, and having to take a vitamin 2 or 3 times a day is a lot better than having to take 31 pills a day for me.

We can't give out website addy's here, but there are a number of them out there. I belong to a couple myself. You can go to any search engine and put in the words "obesity help" and find websites that can help educate you.

If you have any more questions, I'll answer them as best as I can.
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Old 12-16-2004, 02:47 PM   #4
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

hello. thanks you for your replies. I think i should get this done.. I am 21 5'6'' and wegh almost 300. im so miserable i dont even want to go out in public because i dont have anything to wear. I live in sweat pants and i just feel so gross. i have 2 kids and im married. I would love to just live a happy healthy rest of my life. Im on meds for depression and anxiety. I also have asthma. I am scared of the surgery but know ill be glad of the outcome afterwards. I think id have to have the open surgery and not the scope because i have had galbladder surgery 2 years ago.

 
Old 12-16-2004, 03:30 PM   #5
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

cjr4

My question to you is... do you have insurance? Or will you be a self-pay for the surgery?

It runs about $30,000.

If you have insurance coverage, most require you to jump through a lot of hoops. 6 months to 1 year of doctor documented medical diet programs, a BMI of 40 or more (morbidly obese) - or a BMI of between 35 and 39 with co-morbid conditions (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.). Some insurance companies also have exclusions for WLS and won't cover it at all. Some companies state in their policies that the surgery has to be medically necessary in order for them to consider it at all.

With your height and weight, your BMI is above 40 so you would qualify in that aspect. Do you have a doctor that would state that it's medically necessary for you to have the surgery? (If you'll be using insurance, that is.)
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Old 12-16-2004, 04:21 PM   #6
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

Oh yes i definately have insurance that will cover it and ive already been recommended for it by another doctor but i couldnt go to a surgeon because my insurance was switching and id be without for awhile. well now b/c of my insurance i had to switch doctors and i have an appt with him on the 29th to discuss it and get a referal for a surgeon. I have already tried every diet. Since i was 12 or so ive been dieting and ive been over weight my whole life. My old doctor told me im a good canidate for it and so it was basically up to me if i wanted to get it done. Like you i have certain risk factors but they are different than yours. I have kids and a husband that id like to be here for, ro a long long time. If i dont get it done i am destined to have a herat attack and keep on gaining weight or stay the same and just be this weight forever and yo yo diet the rest of my life or i can take the risk of surgery and loos weight and be a normal weight and be healthier and take a risk of maybe somthing happening. I think surgery is the best thing right now.

 
Old 12-16-2004, 05:34 PM   #7
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

Oh, I'm not talking about trying diets like Atkins, South Beach, or anything like that.

Some insurance companies require a doctor supervised diet attempt (or attempts) and some want that for 6 months to a year. Where the doctor gives you a medically approved diet to follow, you do weekly/monthly weigh-ins with the doctor, the doctor has written you a prescription for a weight loss drug, he charts your progress or lack of in your medical records. That's what I meant by a "doctor documented" diet. Not just diets you've tried on your own. You may want to check your policy and see if this is one of their criteria. It's not a good thing to get sprung on you, just when you think you're getting approval for the surgery. Then... you have to wait for that 6 months to a year while your doctor documents your diet... and start all over again at the beginning. I know people who've been through that exact scenario.

I have 3 children and a husband myself. I know what you mean about wanting to be around for them.
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Old 12-16-2004, 06:27 PM   #8
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjr4
Im really nervous about getting it done and id like to know what all of you think about the risks involved. Im not concerned with the anasthesia , i have had it before when i had my galbladder out so im not concerned about that. Im more concerned with the surgery its self and after
The risk of death is about 1/200, which is equivalent to a 1/2 of a percent, which is a risk that runs with ANY surgery performed, not just GB. My cousin had open RNY 2 years ago. She is 5'10" tall and weighed 375 pounds. She had no complications whatsoever from her surgery. Now, 2 years later, she is down to 155 pounds. She wears a size 8 in clothing. She looks amazing. She is really strict with herself though. She is one who CAN tolerate sugar after having RNY. Many people cannot tolerate sugar after RNY....but she can. Even though she has reached her goal weight now, she still eats just as healthy as she has since having the surgery.

My sister also just had the same procedure as my cousin did, but by laproscope on December 3rd. So far, she is down a little over 20 pounds. She is doing very well. She too handled the surgery well, without any complications. My sister also had her gallbladder removed 2 years ago and was still able to have her GB done by laproscope. So, there is a possibility that you could have it done that way as well.

As for insurance, my cousin's wasn't covered as much as my sister's was because she went out of network. So, she ended up with a $13,000 bill out of $30,000 that her insurance didn't pay. My sister however, only had to pay $2,000 (her out of pocket expense) because her surgeon was in network. My sister and my cousin had to both go through a lot though prior to getting approved from their insurance. They had to meet certain requirements.....such as BMI of 40 or more, failed attempts at dieting (that the doctor could verify), psychological testing.........as well as numerous other clearances from specialists (cardiac, etc). Both of them off the bat had a BMI over 40 as well as a note from their doctors saying that they had tried dieting without success. Then they had to meet all of the other requirements.......surgeon appts, specialists' appointment, etc. My sister had her consultation with the GB surgeon in September and had her surgery this month. So, the process took a few months. It also took a few months for my cousin.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 05:48 AM   #9
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

Hi again, yes I have to agree with the posters above. For most morbidly obese people that has been obese all their life, this is the only way to do it.
Your body forces you not to eat, you simply get full on eating only a couple of bites of food and your brain will register it as "full". Another thing to note:
You will to 99% NOT being able to eat foods that are hard to digest. For most people, high fat/greasy foods makes them noxious and may womit. Not to worry though, because you quickly learn what to eat and not to eat.

Surgery like this is foremost a medical one. A doctor will only suggest surgery that is this serious to people that are in a life or death situation. If a doctor feel like you can loose it any other way that does not require surgery, he will not suggest this. I do not want to dissapoint you but..depending on your weight and size, you will never have a tight body or "go to the beach in a bikini body" unless you have skin removal surgery afterwards. You may loose the weight but you will have a massive amount of excess skin afterwards. Yes the skin does tighten up a bit and get smaller but it will never go away unless you have surgery, since it has been so stretched out.

My brother did his surgery 2 years ago and he has alot of problems with this, he will have surgery for this when ever he can afford it. An idea I have had for him to try is to look into to "donate" excess skin to burn victims to one of the hospitals in my area that live off donations only and you may get it done for free. I am not sure if this might actually help someone and help you at the same time with out having to shell out massive amounts of money for so called "plastic" surgery.

 
Old 12-17-2004, 11:39 AM   #10
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

The Donation of skin to the burn victims, is something I am also looking into at this time. If anyone does find out about how the donation works, and if it is free, or if there is a fee I would be very intrested to know about it, and if I find out anything about it I will also post. Good luck with your decision. Thank You

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Last edited by cooki; 12-17-2004 at 11:41 AM.

 
Old 12-18-2004, 04:01 PM   #11
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Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

I am only 21. My doctor told me the younger you are the less loose skin you will have. I also have a friend that had this done. She was only 18 and she has no loose skin on her but her mother has a ton.

 
Old 01-23-2005, 09:23 PM   #12
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Talking Re: What are the chances of dying from GB surgery?

Hi ,

I had this surgery four years ago and it is right that sweet things don't settle well on your stomach you can have a little meaning half a candy bar or a small peice of pastary but more then that you will throw it up.I weighted in at 317 lbs.had sleep apena this was why it was done on me.they took 90% of the stomach out leaving me with a 2 1/2 oz.stomach you need to eat six small meals a day you no longer have an appetite to eat you have to remember to eat.i now weigh 221 and have been there for three years now.i don't eat like i'm suppose to some times i go days with out eating i have to be reminded to eat most of the time.my problem i drink pespi all the time and it keeps me full not diet either.The surgery it self was hard i was in the hospital 13 days nothing to eat till the 12day.which did not bother me at all.you can then feel jello when it hits you stomch it will really make your skin cold milk products usely can not be tolerated,if diabetic like me it keeps your sugar down i don';t even take meds.for it.the scar is from your upper chest to your navel and they remove around 25 lbs when they are doing the surgery in order to close back up right. any thing else you want to know you can email me at [ please carefully review the posting rules - no emails ]

Last edited by moderator2; 01-24-2005 at 06:07 AM. Reason: please carefully review the posting rules - no emails

 
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