I started my wls journey by having a gastric sleeve surgery in May 2013. I lost about 150 lbs from that surgery and was doing well... until...
SURPRISE! First pregnancy at age 34! I was unexpectedly pregnant and had my son in May 2015.
After having my son, I had a hard time losing the weight I gained during pregnancy - in fact, I continued to gain weight for about 6 months post-partum until I decided I'd had enough and went back to basics. I began losing again. Life was good. I felt in control. I had a high BMI prior to my sleeve, and getting pregnant 17 months out was tough. I never got anywhere close to goal, which was 250 with the sleeve.
In January 2017, I was hospitalized for a lung infection, pneumonia and empyema. I was in the hospital with a sudden onset of pain in my right shoulder, neck and chest. I had major difficulty breathing. Had these symptoms been on my left side of my chest, I'd have called an ambulance and thought I was having a heart attack! It was very intense. I had a bedside aspiration of my lung the following day, was monitored, and it was determined that there was still fluid present and I needed to have surgery.
I had a laparoscopic thoracotomy two days later. During the surgery, I aspirated again and surgery had to stop immediately, before it was finished. Aspiration during surgery can be fatal. I was sedated for two days until they could operate again, in ICU and on a respirator. The 2nd surgery was the open thoracotomy, which was successful, but almost immediately after surgery, I went into septic shock. My kidneys shut down and I had to have dialysis. All while I was unconscious. I remained sedated and on a ventilator for another 2 days. In total, I spent 3 weeks in the hospital before I could go home, and even then - I had to BEG all of my doctors to let it happen. I was helpless for days, so weak from being on a ventilator that long.
The aspiration that caused the initial infection was due to a condition called achalasia. It is where the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach is completely closed off and your esophagus doesn't properly move food into your stomach. I had symptoms related to this for several months prior, but chalked it up to being on a keto diet and eating too much meat for my sleeve. Hindsight is 20/20 and I shouldn't have ignored this, but I honestly thought I was simply throwing up and having issues because I was eating too much meat for my sleeve. It didn't seem like a big deal at first, now I've learned that achalasia tends to worsen over time, which I have experienced.
My plan now is to have a Heller myotomy to open the sphincter to my stomach. Because the sleeve creates a high pressure system, my surgeon says my best bet is to revise to a gastric bypass so I won't experience extreme reflux due to my sphincter being opened. I am scheduled for surgery in September 2017 and can't wait to feel better, and hopefully lose another 150lbs!
Lowest WT: 310
Original surgery: Gastric Sleeve 5/2/13, Dr. Minh Luu, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
Second surgery: Heller myotomy and revision to RNY, September 2017, Dr. Bipan Chand, Loyola University Hospital, Chicago
Height: 5 feet 11 inches
Starting Weight: 459 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Current Weight: 276 lbs
Goal Weight: 200 lbs
Weight Lost: 183 lbs
Surgery: Gastric Bypass
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 04/15/2017
Surgery Date: 09/11/2017
Hospital Stay: 2 Days
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval
makemyownluck's Bariatric Surgeon
Cleveland Clinic Bariatric And Metabolic Institute
9500 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44195