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About gastrointestinal Surgery...

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About gastrointestinal Surgery...

Postby twinkleStar » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:39 pm

Hello everyone, it has been some time i didn't lurked on here, I was quite busy recently and didn't have much time for myself. However, there is something which compelled me to leave my works aside.

I have a friend who suffers from severe obesity and he can’t be treated through diet and exercise alone because it is a chronic condition. Thus, the doctor told him about Gastrointestinal surgery which can be an option for a person who is severely obese and cannot lose weight by traditional means or who suffers from serious obesity-related health problems. He has been told that the operation promotes weight loss by restricting food intake and in some operations, interrupting the digestive process.

While searching fro information online on Gastrointestinal Surgery, we came across
JD Healthcare's Gastrointestinal Surgery Hospital performs advanced and complex surgical procedures on routine basis.


• Basic and advanced Laparoscopic surgery for various intra-abdominal problems viz gall bladder stones, appendicitis, hiatus hernia, intra-abdominal tumors, splenic pathology etc.
• Complex liver, biliary and pancreatic operations are routinely performed.
• Acute abdominal emergencies and abdominal trauma routinely treated.
• Cancer surgery of gastro intestinal tract.

Source: http://www.jdhealthcare.com/gastrointestinal.html
What I would like to know is whether someone has ever had recourse to this kind of operation?
Is it safe? Is there any risk in doing this operation?
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Postby Becksta » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:07 pm

I had seriously considered getting a lap band because I was so depressed and had struggled with my weight for years.

It is extremely expensive, I think around $14000 even with private insurance?

As with any surgery, there is always risk involved.

Also the person has to be extremely disciplined about what they eat, I believe your food intake is restricted to broth/liquids eg for the first several weeks as your body readjusts. It also requires constant maintenance and on going visits back to the doctor. My doctor was telling me of people that were melting chocolate or pureeing other foods etc to get it into their stomach and the results were disastrous.

It will generally only be recommended as a last resort.

I decided to give the VLCD shakes a go before I thought of doing this, and I have replaced 2 meals a day with those, and am sticking to lean meat/veggies/salad etc for dinner each night and severely restricting my carb intake. This so far is working well for me.

Also there's been a lot of study done recently which shows that Low GI diets have been extremely successful in helping morbidly obese people lose weight.

anyway, I am waffling on :)

My opinion would basically be only do this if you feel it is the last resort. There's lots of info on the web.

Good luck with whatever you decide. :)
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Postby reester33 » Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:55 am

I had a friend who had a lap band put in and she went from a size 24 to an extremely skinny size 6-8. She had the old type that wasn't adjustable, and she had a lot of trouble getting pregnant...not that this is a problem in your friend's case!! :lol:

Basically the band is place around the upper portion of the stomach thus creating a small pouch. This significantly limits food intake. The newer bands are adjustable, so they can make this pouch bigger once the patient has lost the weight. I haven't heard of the band breaking.....not like the old type of "stomach staples" where the staples came off and you were back to square one.

On the negative side....most people can only eat a few mouthfuls of food, and there have been cases of severe gastrointestinal upset.

I think most procedures are done via keyhole surgery these days which significantly reduces the risk of complications....but as Becksta said there is always risk involved.....and that risk increases the more obese you are.

There's a thread at the Australian Health Message boards which gives details of people who've had the surgery and their comments (good/bad/side effects, etc)...plus surgeons they thought were good.

http://au.messages.yahoo.com/health/lap-band/11/

It also sounds like the doctor may have suggested gastric bypass as an option as well. That's a whole different ball game!! Personally I think that this should be the LAST of last resorts! Basically they cut you open and rearrange you gastrointestinal tract (GIT) so you don't absorb as much nutrients and fat from your food. Celeb's who've done this type of surgery are Roseanne Barr and Carnie Wilson (daughter of Beach Boy Brian). Carnie actually wrote a book on her experience.....very enlightening and convinced me that I'd never want to cut & paste my GIT!!! :lol:

:) Maree
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I WAS EATING MYSELF TO DEATH WITH A KNIFE AND FORK!
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Postby twinkleStar » Wed Aug 01, 2007 4:49 pm

I think around $14000 even with private insurance?

:shock: wow so much!!!

It also sounds like the doctor may have suggested gastric bypass as an option as well. That's a whole different ball game!! Personally I think that this should be the LAST of last resorts!

yes you are right because this sounds really freaky...
Also the person has to be extremely disciplined about what they eat, I believe your food intake is restricted to broth/liquids eg for the first several weeks as your body readjusts. It also requires constant maintenance and on going visits back to the doctor. My doctor was telling me of people that were melting chocolate or pureeing other foods etc to get it into their stomach and the results were disastrous.


I hope that my friend won't have to do all these. What should I advise her?
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Postby Mandie » Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:18 pm

This is such a tough issue.. surgery should always be the last resort.

The problem is, you have to be mentally prepared for it to - reputable surgeons send people to have psychological assessments before they get lap banding done, so that they can deal with their food issues first - as someone said, some people end up pureeing chocolate/downing milkshakes etc because they have a pathological need to drown themselves in calories... like many of us, I've had times when I've been so depressed I've eaten so much chocolate I've made myself sick... having a lap band won't stop this happening.

There's risks to every surgery. Out of all the options, lap banding is the safest because it is keyhole surgery. However, it can fail (rarely) and some people may need to have it taken out. You'll never be able to eat a "normal" meal at a "normal" pace again.

Risks of the anaesthetic include death - not something to be taken lightly! If you are obese, you have an increased chance of requiring more anaesthetic, and an increased chance of having complications. You may have breathing difficulties and require mechanical ventilation with a tube down your throat in ICU afterwards. You might even have a heart attack. The risk goes up with the degree of your obesity, smoking habits, family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, etc.

There is no "quick fix". There really, really isn't. I'd advise to your friend to see a really good dietician/counsellor who could advise them on an action plan to change their lifestyle to lose weight slowly, steadily, and for the long term.
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Postby ali » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:25 pm

As the others have said, there is always some risk, however with the new lap band procedure I think it is fairly safe, and It should be a last resort, however it seems like this is your friends last resort.

I had a friend who got a band around her stomach about two years ago. She was fairly overweight, however at only 17 she was just more lazy and so her rich daddy paid for her to get this surgery.

She did everything wrong that you can do. During the HSC she was living off melted chocolate and custard and had many trips to the hospital for fainting and constipation as she wasnt getting the right nutrients to keep her body functioning properly. Also, once she started back on solids, she would continue to eat and eat, but due to the band, she would just bring all the food back up again.

Many people dont realise that surgery is not a quick fix. Although it helps you to lose weight, you still have to watch what you eat and exercise. Although my friend is now a petite size 10, and I believe she has had the band removed (it is adjustable to control how much and how little you can eat and it is reverseable) I dont believe she learnt anything about why she was overweight or how to eat properly and exercise, she was just lazy and spoilt. Not a good combination!

So people thinking about surgery have to be sure and they have to be aware that although they will be able to lose weight by doing nothing at all, it doesnt mean that they should!
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