Sunday, February 01, 2015

Gastric Sleeve revisited

The sleeve gastrectomy is the popular procedure these days.  Those promoting this surgery suggest it's safer than the gastric bypass because no bowel is bypassed.  But the problem with the procedure is that in order to promote weight loss, surgeons must cut away 90-95% of the stomach, leaving a remnant about twice as long as your thumb and the same size.

True to the "conspiracy of silence" about weight loss surgery, the dark side of this procedure has been mostly not told.

But as the procedure gets more popular, the dark side is emerging.

Some patients are beginning to tell their stories and there is a very dark side to this surgery - one patient mentioned that it's very difficult to get in even the minimum of 6 glasses of water daily and describes the shock of seeing brown urine (extremely dehydrated and hard on the kidneys). 

This makes sense because this procedure retains the lower stomach valve but the tiny thumb sized stomach doesn't really conduct the peristaltic wave very well so perhaps the valve which is dependent on the muscular movement of the stomach, doesn't really work very well (probably why they did not include it in the gastric bypass).  A swallow or two fills the tiny stomach and takes a while to empty - think of the difficulty of swallowing water slowly, a swallow or two at a time and it becomes a real chore just to get even a glass or two of water in, during the day.

Additionally, the tiny stomach likely does not do much digesting of either proteins or fats (we do need some fats) or calcium or B12.

Finally, patients describe a constant and very serious case of GERD or gastric reflux and well as problems with leaks and "fistulas".  The tiny size of the stomach would also tend to cause a detention of the esophagus, a problem seen in the gastric bypass also.

If the patients keep the weight off, it's by starvation and / or dehydration and/or illness - this is anything but healthy!

Patients should realize that doing something unhealthy is not worth getting the weight off - especially as there is no reversal possible of this procedure since the part of the stomach removed is discarded
The sleeve gastrectomy is a permanent change to the stomach in other words...

Bottom line, all that glitters is not only not gold but may not even be really glittering when you live with it... Caveat Emptor - or "let the buyer beware".


Moose said...

Someone just tried to convince me this surgery is "safer" than other WLSs because "it doesn't cut out part of your intestines.

It never ceases to amaze me how easily they can sell this stuff to people who have zero understanding of how their body actually works.

E. Jane said...

I'm so glad I never went this route. I have a friend who did, and she's gained a good deal of her weight back in less than two years.
I have lost 42 and kept it off the old fashioned way--pushing myself away from the table. I know that not everyone can do that, but I surprised myself, because I never thought I could either. I think the key is to eat small portions of what you enjoy, but I had to leave out the candy and most of the sweets. Now I don't miss them. It's been nearly two years without regain, and now I want to lose about 20 more, so I have to cut back enough to do that. I will be cautious, however, because sometimes food deprivation can cause a gain. Sometimes being 20 pounds overweight is better than having that happen. It's a complicated business, but for me, cutting up my stomach was never the answer.

Sue Joan said...

Someone sent two comments (this person apparently had the sleeve and likes it) but did not give their name - if you send me your name, I will be glad to publish your comments but I do not publish "anonymous" comments... thanks - actually, it says under the comment form that this blog does not allow anonymous comments... hmmm

Moose said...

Not everyone can lose weight by "pushing back from the table." The myth that all fat people stay fat because they constantly overeat or excessively eat junk food is just that -- myth.

While it's possible to lose weight by drastically reducing your calories, you're going to wind up with many of the same problems as if you get WLS - higher risk of not enough nutrients, along with a high risk of weight regain. If you live at 1000 kCal (which is technically considered starvation) for a while your body will decide that's 'normal' and should you ever go back to a healthy, normal diet you'll very likely regain anything lost.

Unknown said...

I know for a fact, by studying nutrition and the medical information, that it's not good to lose a huge amount of weight all at once. Your body has what is called a "set point". It keeps trying to go back to that set point weight. The way you have to lose weight, is this; you lose a little bit of weight, and then don't lose any more. You let your body, Take time to readjust to the weight loss into your present weight, and you do that before you try to lose any more.

So you have to do it gradually, A little at a time, and then wait for your body to reset the set point.that is why people who lose 100 pounds, all at once, are very likely to gain it all back including extra. They didn't do it gradually, over many years. And your body's Setpoint won't allow that, because it's telling it "oh no, you're not getting enough food, your starving!" And then refuses to lose anymore. That happens also; your body can get very alarmed by your losing weight, and it will clamp down, physically and not even allow you to lose any more weight. This is absolutely was probably the mechanism from ancient times, that happened because people were starving, and their bodies tried to retain as much weight, as possible, to keep them from dying.

We also know that your hormones regulate your weight. While you are young,you can stay slim, but when you go thru menopause, and lose yer hormones, nothing is regulating yer weight any more.Women tend to gain a bit of weight,and can't easily keep it off. Men lose hormones,and have wt.gain too.not as much as women.we women just can't make diets work any more. It's best to eat healthily,and be realistic about it.

Unknown said...

I was sleeved june 2015..started out at 390 and I'm now 340 . Worst thing i ever did. Been sick since the surgery. Running fever. Stomach wounds. Just awful. Dr. Who did surgery has been awful too. Dont do it.

Sue Joan said...

Regina Marie, I am so sorry to hear of your bad experience with the gastric sleeve... feel welcome to write to me privately if you wish! I do phone calls also (if you wish).

Unknown said...

Thanks so much. I may soon. Kinda weary about what I saw online. I plan on talking to a lawyer the week after thanksgiving. I have met others that used the same dr who have had bad problems with same dr. Thank you so much. I hope to beable to share my story with others. That is my prayer is for God to use this situation to help others.

Unknown said...

I loved this. It made me feel so encouraged. My last visit with my dr was awful. He said I need to lose more and saying his other patients lost more than me. His other patients are much younger than me.
Anyways thanks for posting this.

Sue Joan said...

Regina Marie, please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing (after you see your doctor etc).