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Eve Gastrectomymy Gastric Sleeve Journey



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2 years ago I weighed over 350 pounds. I live in Iowa so I went to talk to one of the surgeons here about weight loss surgery. They suggested that I have a lapband so after getting approval from my insurance I had the lapband surgery. I had some success and lost about 85 pounds. I finally stopped losing weight about a year ago and my weight remained the same for a year. I had reached my maximum Water fill for the lapband. However this still left me with another 90-100 pounds to lose. When I went back to my surgeon here in Iowa he told me that with the amount of weight that I had to lose initially that I should have had the gastric sleeve.....nice time to tell me after I had the lapband surgery. After checking with my insurance I found that they would not pay for the gastric sleeve surgery and to have the lapband removed. This got me looking at other options as I was still having some health issues as I was still over weight.

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After doing some research about the gastric sleeve I checked into having the surgery in Mexico as the cost out of pocket here in Iowa would have been about $30,000. I knew that I could not afford that. I had live in California up until about 5 years ago and I still have a brother that lives in Vallejo. He told me about a friend of his who had been to Tijuana and had the gastric sleeve surgery and was doing great, was having no problems and was very happy with the service that she received. i spoke to her several times on the phone and decided to contact Alighterme regarding the possibility of surgery. When I emailed them I received a response from Linda Preciado. She sent me the information on the surgery and I went though all of the information. Lori from California who had the surgery had a different doctor and when I asked about having the surgery with him he was booked at the dates that I was looking at. She told me about Dr Garcia and I looked at his references on the internet site. I have worked in the medical field for over 35 years so I have medical knowledge which sometimes can be dangerous but everything I read about Dr Garcia and Hospital MI seemed to impress me. After thinking about it for a couple of days I decided to go ahead with the surgery and contacted Linda and she set it up. I purchased my plane ticket for San Diego and began to make plans.

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On Dec 10, 2011 I boarded the plane for San Diego and decided to go alone as I often travel alone and have very little fear. I had also been into Mexico about 5 times prior to this and was not nervous about Mexico or the surgery. I arrived in San Diego and meet the driver that took me to Tijuana. I arrived on Sunday and was taken to the Hotel Pueblo Amigo. They got me all checked in and made sure that I had everything that I needed. I took my luggage to my room which had 2 queens beds, internet service and was very spacious and clean. I then headed out to do a little shopping as I did not know how I would feel after the surgery. After shopping I came back to the hotel and had some chicken broth for supper and then decided to get a good nights sleep before heading to the hospital early Monday morning for surgery. The driver arrived at the scheduled time and I check out of the hotel and was taken to Hospital MI. The hospital is very new and I was impressed as I was taken into the lobby and then to the admissions office. They were all so friendly and accomodating. After getting checked in I was take to my private room. I put my luggage away and changed my clothes into a hospital gown. After I got into bed a nurse, I believe her name was Anna, came in and said that she would be taking care of me and would be starting an IV. Being in the medical profession and starting many an IV myself I watched as she prepared everything that she would need. I was extremely impressed with her and all of her preparation and cleaning my arm for the procedure. The IV was placed on the first attempt without any diffuculty. The IV was started and I waited for my next procedure.

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The day started out having my blood drawn and then an EKG done by the doctor. After my blood work came back within normal limits and I was cleared by the cardiologist I was ready for the next step. I had to have a scope as they had to make sure that I had no damage from having the lapband which would have to be removed. I was taken to the area where the procedure was to be performed. It was all new equipment and very clean. I waited for the doctor to arrived for the procedure. After he arrived I remember them giving me some medication through my IV. The next thing I remember I woke up and the procedure was already completed. I was told that everything looked good and that I would be able to procede with the removal of the lapband and the gastric sleeve. I was taken back to my room and I think I dosed off for a bit. Soon it was time to go to surgery. I was taken into the surgical suite and placed onto the surgery table. They placed my arms out on padded areas for support. I remember meeting the anesthesiologist and then I was out. The next things I remember was waking up after the surgery in recovery. I had very little pain....I guess that I would describe it as more of discomfort. I was taken back to my private rooom and moved into bed. They were very attentive at keeping track of my vitals and watching my IV. I had a drainage tube from the surgery which is common and also i had about 4-5 other areas on my stomach that were covered with some large bandaids or dressings. I had a very comfortable night and the next morning I was feeling good. They told me that I would need to get up and start walking the halls. I took my time walking but soon was walking more and more each time that I got out of bed. I was even allowed to get up and use the bathroom. I was even allowed to take a shower which felt so good. The day after surgery was pretty uneventful and I was given some medication for the pain and several doses of antibiotics. So after surgery on Monday afternoon I was released after they had done 3 different leak tests on my new stomach to make sure that there was no leakage. My IV was removed and I was given pain medication and antiotics to take after I was released and taken back to the hotel. So after having surgery on Monday I was released and went back to stay at the Hotel Pueblo Amigo on Wednesday. The hotel was more than accomodating in providing anything that I needed.....crushed ice and bottled Water. Wednesday I did not do much but walk around the hallways and did go down to the casino and play the slot machines a little. I never felt unsafe no matter where I went. On Thursday morning I decided to take a taxi out to tone of the shopping centers and do a little shopping. I did a lot of window shopping and walking without any problems. I returned to the hotel. Thursday afternoon my stomach started to feel upset and I called the hospital and I was put on another medication as they thought that the antibiotic might be upsetting my stomach. After that my stomach settled down and I went to bed early on Thursday night as they were going to pickme up to take me to the airport in San Diego early Friday morning. My driver, Hector, arrived right on time and delivered me safely to the airport. Hector was very friendly and informative with any questions that I had.

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Since arriving home I have not had any pain or discomfort. I have been following the diet instructions and today I am 3 weeks post op. I only weight once a week and as of this morning I have lost a total of 28 pounds. i have gone from wearing 2X-3X down to a XL. I have already started to get rid of many of my large clothes. I feel fantastic and my incisions on my stomach are healing well. I did start backto the gym the middle of last week and have been walking mostly on the treadmill. I have not started to do any weight training as heavy lifting is discourage for several weeks after the surgery. I am actually enjoying some of the baby food that I have been eating over the past week. My mother did not think that she feed me baby food when I was a baby so this is a first for me.

I am so excited about my results and people that I have not seen in some time can not believe the change already. Since I am still off work from the surgery I am going to be traveling to Chicago on January 14, 2012 to see Dr Garcia who will be speaking at a seminar at the Marriott Chicago Midway Airport Hotel from 2pm - 5pm. It will be great to see him again and to be able to talk to those who might have interested in having surgery with Dr Garcia. I will keep you all posted on my progress.

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Congratulations on your weight loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I will be having surgery in February. I work in health care too and because of that it has taken me longer than many to decide to have surgery. When I received my date, I was taken off guard that the approval had come through. I was told that it would likely be rejected & I would then need to appeal. I am cautiously optimistic and hopeful that the surgery will be a great tool for me.

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Congratulations on following thru to revision to the sleeve. I truly enjoyed reading your journey!! I am 59 & hope to get my surgery date later this month if approved. Thank you soo much for sharing, soo encouraging!!

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Thank you so much for posting the details of your experience. It was very interesting and quite similar to my experience. I to opted to have my surgery in Tijuana, since I was paying for it myself. (Our insurance company cover NO type of weight loss procedures/medications, etc.) I am now 6 1/2 months out. I weighed almost 260 when I started and am now firmly in the mid 160s. I have to say, I am THRILLED to death with my results. I went from a 3X or even 4 X in tops to a large. My pants size was 24-26 prior to my surgery. I now wear a size 8! (I love to say that! So I'll say it again; I wear a size 8!) I am in my mid 60s and thought it was to late to have the surgery and lose weight, but so far, so good. Keep going. You will be thrilled you did!

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I always weight on Monday mornings since that is the day of the week that I had my surgery. I have been very happy with my weight loss since my surgery on Dec 11, 2011. This week when I got on the scale I had gained almost 2 pounds. How could this have happened I wondered. I know that I did eat a little bit more on New Years Eve but could that have caused me to gain 2 pounds. I certainly hope not. I was looking at one of the boards and I came across what some call the 3 week stall. I have read postings by several people who seen to have suffered the same thing. I have put my scale away and I am continuing to get all of my Protein, Vitamins, fluids and most important my exercise. I am hoping that when I get back on that scale next Monday I will see a good number again.

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    • hauntedhideaway

      I started a blog to record my experience, and hopefully get my head on straight re: a complete lifestyle change. amiabutterfly.blogspot.com
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • Thunder Thighs  »  countrygirl29

      hello , im a four days post op of having the Roux En Y done and things seem to be going well , alil concerned about the rather large divot in my left side if my stomach . Did you have that issue ?
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    • Tunchi71

      3 months later and down 60 lbs......is that good?
      · 1 reply
      1. Tunchi71

        I ended up having the surgery on March 1st.

    • spatty

      June 17th is almost here. Picked up everything I need for my after surgery needs. After work will go home and finish packing a light overnight bag to make sure I don't forget anything. And the final countdown begins. Not nervous at all just looking forward to the call for my arrival time. 
      · 1 reply
      1. spatty

        Had surgery on Thursday the 17th. Everything went well and came home the next day. I have been on two protein shakes and liquids/broth each day since but will finally graduate to pureed foods on Thursday. Been walking and doing my breathing exercises as recommended. No pain that Tylenol can't ease but only needed it twice since I've been home. Don't bother taking extra stuff to the hospital as you will not use it. No time to read or talking as you will be sipping all day long and walking. And they will be giving you pain meds so you will be sleepy. Definitely take lip balm and wear loose clothes to the hospital and wear the same ones home. No need to overpack. Good luck everyone who will be going next. YOU GOT THIS!!!!

    • Fredeique2020  »  Catherinetheokay

      I am 19 days post op and I am still struggling to drink the fluids. I am not even able to drink the protein shakes their now nasty to me , I tried the protein bars & it didn’t end well. I have chest pains & I can barely eat. I am weak & my mouth is always dry, and feeling nauseous. Can anyone provide any advise. At least I doing the vitamins. Recently my chest & stomach have a burning sensation. 
      · 2 replies
      1. SamanthaC12

        I had a very difficult time finding protein shakes that tasted okay and didn't make me sick. I ended up drinking FairLife Core Power protein shakes. I love the chocolate (tastes like chocolate milk to me). I like to blend it with some ice and PB2 powder (or real PB) to give the smoothie consistency. I also found that if I put Panera's Turkey Vegetable soup through the blender, I could eat it. I survived off those two things. My chest pains were from the gas, which was incredibly bad and took so much longer than I expected to resolve. I'd definitely stay away from bars or anything solid until you've conquered liquids. I'd love to tell you the dry mouth will get better soon, but it didn't for me for a very long time (months). The plus to that was that I drank a ton of water. The good new is I suspect you are close to the light at the end of the tunnel on this first and hardest part of the journey. It gets SO much easier after this part.

      2. Iluvbats

        I am 2 days post-op and really struggling with everything. My depression isn't helping any. I couldn't even finish one shake today and swallowing meds is just excruciating.

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