Four months have passed since my Roux-En-Y (RNY) weight loss surgery. As I started down the revision surgery road earlier this year, I was unable to find many blogs by revision patients. I enjoy learning from the personal experiences others share. I made a decision to share my experiences along the way to help myself and those following in my footsteps. This is my four month progress report.
Change was in the cards for me. The adjustable gastric band (Lapband) and RNY surgeries achieve weight loss in different ways. I knew that food choices, hunger, satiety, and weight loss would be topics that I needed to wrap my head around as I moved forward. There are similarities in the surgeries and distinct differences at the same time.
Hunger and Satiety
Lapband patients search for the “sweet spot” where the restriction in the band allows just the right amount of food to pass at the right speed through the stomach without experiencing discomfort or pain. It’s a delicate balance of finding the right formula that satisfies hunger and leaves the patient feeling satisfied. The restrictive nature of the band leads many adjustable gastric band patients to a vicious cycle of adding (fills) or removing (unfills) fluid.
There is no adjustment with RNY. There is a restrictive component to RNY surgery with the small pouch created from the stomach by the surgeon that controls the intake and flow of food. I have found this to be much more effective for me. I reach satiety earlier and remain satisfied for a much longer period of time. I love being free of Lapband adjustments.
Weight loss surgery necessitates that the patient change their diet. As a general rule, pre-op bariatric patients are not eating a proper diet and consuming portion sizes that are oversized. Over the past five years, I learned what made my Lapband happy and what made it unhappy. The texture and preparation of food factored heavily into what food was acceptable. Very lean, dry, and overcooked foods were out. Pasta, breads and carbs were to be cautiously eaten.
RNY has diversified my diet. I am more tolerant of foods that are lean and dry. Carbs are easier to digest. I still need to monitor the quantity of these foods. I have experienced no episodes of stuck foods. This newfound diversity somewhat concerns me. I know these carb-laden foods can add on the pounds, have little nutritional value, and can be habit forming.
The adjustable gastric band is a pure restrictive weight loss surgery. RNY combines a restrictive surgery with malabsorption with bypassing the upper part of the small intestine. I have become very sugar intolerant as the result of my RNY surgery. I have learned I can tolerate 25 grams of sugar per meal with no issues. If I consume excess sugar, I experience severe cramping, gas and discomfort. I am actually happy to have a mechanism in place to force me to limit my sugar intake. I know how quickly sweets, chocolates and such can add to the pounds.
Statistics show that RNY surgery handily outpaces adjustable gastric banding in terms of weight loss. I felt I was a success with my Lapband losing 58% of my excess body weight. Many banded patients experience much lower amount of weight loss. I expected some additional weight loss with my revision. I have been pleasantly surprised to have lost 65 pounds since my revision surgery. My weight loss has slowed. I suspect I may be able to see another 10 pound loss in the coming months. I am very happy with my weight.
Changes that Matter
Many bariatric patients seek revision surgery because they did not see large and permanent weight loss they expected. That was not a factor in my decision. I was relatively content with my pre-revision weight. Six years ago, being healthier and fighting chronic heart disease were the top motivators in choosing the weight loss surgery path.
I made a commitment to change my life and be more active when I had my Lapband surgery. I am thankful that I have succeeded in making that a reality. I love cycling, hiking and being outdoors. I see this as my biggest achievement over the past five plus years.
I am very happy at this time. I have no regrets. My RNY surgery removed the health issues I was experiencing with my Lapband. It has made eating more pleasant. It left me a 165 pound man with a 26 BMI. I now carry much less weight around and hope to see marked improvement in my cycling, running and endurance activities. I plan on taking this surgery to the limit.