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Answer 29
Questions about eating.

How you move back to regular foods depends upon your particular surgeon and what he or she recommends.  It is very important to follow your doctor's advice.  What I can tell you is what my surgeon suggested which seems to be rather typical.  I was on clear liquids for 10 days and then on full liquids for 2 weeks.  I then went onto soft and pureed food for about 3 weeks and then to regular food.  The amount that you are able to eat is very small because your stomach size has gone from the size of your head to the size of your thumb.  Many people try to rush what they are able to eat and get into trouble with nausea.  Take it as slowly as you can.  It is far better to stay on soft or pureed food longer than risk irritating that new infant tummy of yours.  Anywhere from 6 months to a year you will be able to eat normally only in smaller amounts.  The only restriction might be sweets.  Some people cannot tolerate sweets and experience "dumping." Dumping is caused when sweets enter your intestines without having been broken down by gastric juices.  This causes some people to have symptoms that include cramps, diarrhea, heart palpitations, and sweating. Each episode lasts about 20 minutes.  Some people (like me) don't dump. But eventually you do even get over the dumping syndrome.  Hot sauce is fine, just not in the first couple of months.  In fact, since this surgery my tastes have changed so much.  I now love hot food, whereas I never did before.  And it does not bother me a bit.  Hot and cold drinks are fine.  Initially, some people react poorly to either hot or cold drinks.  It causes them nausea.  That is usually gone by the end of the first month.  So basically you are correct.  When you heal, you eventually have a regular stomach, just smaller.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answer 28
Anxious about insurance

I would sit tight for a week and then call the insurance company.  Make sure that they have all of the information that they need and ask them if you have been approved.  If you are denied don't panic.  Some people are approved after 2 appeals.  If your insurance company doesn't have an answer, then call them in another week.  Keep bugging them until you get an approval.  Always make a note of the person you spoke with, the date and time.  When you get your approval, call the surgeon's office and tell them and ask them to give you a surgery date. Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answer 27
Throwing up

I still have bouts of throwing up!! And it has been 11 months! But the only reason I throw up is because I have done something wrong.  Either I eat too fast or I eat until I am full and then I eat one more bite.  I have never had problems with nausea and throwing up because the surgery didn't agree with me, so to speak. Also, throwing up after weight loss surgery is quite different than throwing up before surgery.  Since you have a very small stomach, the volume that you throw up is very small.  It is more like "spitting up." Also, you don't have the terrible taste, since there is no bile in your pouch.  After I throw up, my pouch feels a little tender and I don't feel like eating anything for a few hours.

I adjusted to the new lifestyle rather quickly.  You really don't have a choice.  There were some emotional periods that I went through, but all in all, the adjustment was easier than I expected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answer 26
Worried about getting insurance approval

Your chronic lower back pain and your constant heartburn are co-morbidities and are definitely reasons why your insurance company should cover your surgery.  And as far as proof of diets, perhaps your primary care physician can help.  Can he document your weight going up and down from your physicals or at least attest to your dieting from conversations that you have had.  Past photos can also be used.  Some insurance companies don't require proof, only your own documentation.  They take your word for it.

It's great that your doctor is so supportive.  Good luck to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answer 25
How long is recovery time?

Recovery time depends upon the type of surgery you have.  If you've had laparoscopic surgery, most people go back to work after 2 or 3 weeks.  If your surgery was done as an open incision, it is more like 4 to 6 weeks. Because I had some complications with my surgery, even though I had lap surgery, I was off from work for 6 weeks, and didn't really have the spring back in my step for 8 weeks.  Since you are 25, your recovery time should be fairly quick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answer 24
Will my age be a problem with insurance?

After you get your referral, your surgeon will take care of submitting
all paperwork to your insurance company.  You can ask the staff at your surgeon's office what their experience has been with your particular insurance company, although that is no guarantee either for or against.  It really does depend how your particular policy is written.  It doesn't really help to call the insurance company either.  Sometimes the insurance company will tell you that the surgery is excluded when it is not.

You are not too young for this surgery.  The surgery has not been approved for young teenagers, but after the age of 18, you are fine.  You will probably be asked about prior attempts to lose weight.  Most insurance companies want to know that you have tried to lose weight conventionally and failed.  At least being 25, you will be able to remember all those attempts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answer 23
Will I be able to get pregnant?

Do you know that some people actually have this surgery because they are unable get pregnant?  Please don't think that you will not be able to have children after this surgery.  In fact, you will probably find that you are more fertile than before because of how estrogen is stored in fat.

Although I know lots of women who got pregnant after this surgery, the only study that has been done was done by Dr. Wittgrove from the Alvarado Center in California, where Carnie Wilson had her surgery.  Dr. Wittgrove studied 43 of his patients who got pregnant after surgery and all of them had very normal pregnancies.

The only thing that you have to be very careful about is to not get pregnant the first year after your surgery.  You will have a lot of healing to do and will be able to eat so little initially that you will not be able to get in enough nutrition for you as well as a growing fetus.  But, after one year, you should be good to go!!!  Take care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answer 22
Slow Insurance Approval

I have no idea why it would take a long time to be approved other than bureaucracy.  The five years of medical records I can understand.  They are probably trying to get a more complete picture of your health rather than today's snapshot in time.  Frustrating, isn't it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answer 21
Can I drink carbonated beverages?

The nurse is correct.  Immediately after surgery, your sister should not drink Coke or any other carbonated beverage.  There will be very little room in her new pouch because there will be swelling from the surgery.  The extra carbonation could very well put too much pressure on the stitches and staples.  Six or nine months after surgery, she should be able to drink Coke occasionally.  I drank at lot of caffeine free diet Coke prior to my surgery and there have been times when I have missed it.  I have found however, that the carbonation still makes me feel a little uncomfortable, so I very seldom drink it..  There have been studies done that have highlighted the characteristics of successful weight loss surgery patients.  One of those characteristics was that successful patients did not drink carbonated beverages.  That really is a habit that your sister should strive to break.  But that is not to say she will have to give it up forever.  She needs to give it up for a few months and then try to drink Coke (only diet and decaffeinated) only occasionally.

Also, your sister needs to try to follow the advice of her surgeon and his or her staff.   We put our lives in the hands of these people and we need to learn to follow their advice.

There are so many things that I worried I would never be able to do
after this surgery, so I know how your sister feels.  But so much changes, because you change.  It is difficult to explain, but you gain a control that you never expected to have.  Tell her to have faith in herself and in this surgery.  It is incredible.  And believe me, I have never heard anyone say that they wished they hadn't had this surgery because they can't drink Coke the way they used to.

Please wish your sister the very best for me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Answer 20
I have several questions.

OK, let's see how many of these questions I can get through!

1) Did you feel like you didn't want to tell anyone about this surgery?
Yes, I was very reluctant to tell people.  I felt ashamed that I was so out of control with eating that I needed surgery.  I was afraid that I would tell them, then have the surgery, and then fail by not losing weight.  And I didn't want to deal with negativity.  I didn't want to hear stories about someone having "stomach stapling" and regaining all their weight.  Or I didn't want to hear about someone who died 15 years ago from weight loss surgery.  I had done the research about current methods and I felt secure about having the RNY gastric bypass procedure.  I did tell family and a few very close friends.  Now, I tell everyone.  I want the world to know what a fantastic surgery the RNY is, and that there is hope for the morbidly obese.

2) How long did it take you to recover from the surgery?
I am 52 years old, my iron levels were low and I had some complications from my surgery, so it took me 4 weeks until I started to feel OK.  I went back to work at 6 weeks, but didn't get the "spring" back in my step until 8 weeks after my surgery.  Most people go back to work after 3 weeks, so I am a very bad example.

3) Once your primary care doctor said yes, how long did you have to wait?
I contacted Dr. Schauer's office about Nov. 1st and had my surgery Jan. 25th.  That was very fast.  Things really fell into place for me, plus I PUSHED everyone.

4) Were you  concerned about the risks of undergoing the procedure?
Terrified!!!

5) Are you really not hungry anymore?
I do get hungry.  The feeling is more gentle than it was before.  The big difference is that when I do get hungry, a VERY small amount of food satisfies me. I get full very fast.

6) Do you still have the desire to overeat?
Sometimes, but rarely.  I have thrown up enough times from eating one bite too much that the desire to overeat has very negative connotations.

7) Were you compulsive about eating before the surgery?
Yes, I ate huge amounts of food and could not stop.  When I think back about my old eating habits, It seems like I was living in another life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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