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Sleeved Twice - My Story



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Now I am feeling better about my situation I wanted to tell my story in the hope that it will help other people. Like most others I have a long history of struggling with my weight and when I found out about the sleeve I thought I had found the solution.

I went through a company called Weight Loss Forever in Canada and had my sleeve in Tijuana with Dr Pompa. I was impressed with the doctors and the facility and was well taken care of. I had hardly any pain and was able to drink without many of the problems I read about on this forum.

When I got home I followed the plan strictly and was losing weight. However I was so hungry all the time and I didn't feel I had any restriction at all. It got worse after a few weeks of recovery. When I questioned this with the support from Weight Loss Forever I was told I had to learn to work my sleeve. I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I did lose weight by eating the 800 calories I was told to eat by support. But it was so hard, I felt I was starving and still no restriction with any kind of food. This went on for months and I felt such a failure and that it was all my fault. I just couldn't relate to anything I read on line. I remember being asked what my favourite foods were by somebody at WLF. I mentioned pizza and was told that that was the great thing about the sleeve - no foods are off limit and I would be satisfied and unable to eat more than the toppings off one slice. Five months out I could eat several slices! No restriction at all, I could eat the same as my friends if I let myself.

Then a friend was sleeved by a different surgeon. I couldn't believe the difference. As she recovered we continued to compare and she lost weight easily, due to the food restriction she had from her sleeve. We started off at a similar weight but she passed me, continued to lose weight and is now 70lbs lighter than me and close to her goal weight. I have been able to lose some weight in the past but could not keep it off and that's what I was doing. I asked advice at Weight Loss Forever several times and was brushed off and ignored.

Then my friend persuaded me I should do something about this. I contacted another group in Canada, (Thanks Adele!) and they asked me to have an Upper GI series of XRays, which I did. The doctor said everything looked healthy. The images and report were sent to Dr Aceves in Mexicali and a day later I was told I had a huge stomach. I asked if I had stretched my stomach because I knew I had been overeating. I was told no, it was a surgical failure. The doctor had only removed a small part of my stomach and simply left too much. I asked a couple of times if it was my fault and was told absolutely not. I cried. I knew I had done what was asked of me initially but for somebody at last not to blame me was awesome.

I was told that I could be sleeved, no problem, because there was so much stomach left, it would be like an operation on somebody that hadn't had surgery. My friend wanted me to show the results to Weight Loss Forever and Dr Pompa but I wouldn't want to be operated there again, so I paid again.

I was sleeved by Dr Aceves on 19th March, just 8 days ago. It was a good experience, very little pain and I was lucky enough not to be nauseous either. I have photos of my actual surgery and Dr Aceves actually took photos to show me how much he removed.

I was lucky enough to meet some very cool people in the hospital, including AmandaRaeLeo. I am home and there is a huge difference in how I feel. I am able to get in the liquids required, but I really do need to sip, sip, sip. A sip to many and I feel like I have a brick in my chest! I am not hungry, not finding liquids difficult to stick with (apart from finding Protein I like) and 11 lbs downs already! My friend keeps saying I told you so!

There is always going to be a negative comment or two about a surgeon and I am not writing to push my surgeon. There are lots of good ones out there. I just wish I had googled a bit more, not only before my surgery, but when I was made to feel such a failure. I am finding that the hardest to forgive. When somebody told me to google Dr Pompa too large sleeve, there were lots of hits for people with similar problems. Then I started to think and realised that of the few people I met through Weight Loss Forever, I knew two that had been back - one was at the hospital when I was sleeved the first time and the second is actually a WLF member of staff.

I admit to being quite bitter, I think anybody would in my situation, but I tell my story to encourage people to do lots of reasearch before choosing a surgeon. But also if you go through a company as many Canadians do, to make sure that you have one that will go to bat for you if you have a problem, rather than blaming the patient. It's easy to appear to be supportive when everything is going well, but a sign of a good company that takes your side when there are problems.

Sorry for the long post, but it's been a long road! I feel better for writing it and hope it helps a few others.

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Hi Canada,

First off, you are very courageous and brave for telling your story here. I am so sorry that you had to go through the trauma of the first surgery and feeling like a failure when it truly was not fault of your own.

Good for you for being your own health advocate, getting a second opinion as well as continuing your care and getting re-sleeved. I know that your posting here will help others.

I wish you continued success on your weight loss journey, and if you need to talk feel free to reach out!

-Cassie

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WOW!!! I hope you do something about the original surgeon (file a complaint, bring it to their attention, something) to save future people. All surgeries can have complications but not removing what the surgery was intended for is not a complication. I am glad you were able to have the second surgery (what a financial nightmare) being private pay. I bet the weight falls off now and you hit your goal weight soon.

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Wow! That is scary! Congrats on getting it taken care of & beginning your real journey!

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I'm sorry that you went through so much, glad now your feeling better. I was sleeved in Sept. 2012 and only lost 52 lbs. so far, I question my sleeve sometimes bc I get very hungry at times and I can eat almost an entire slice of pizza if i allow it. Now I'm wondering if there is anything going on with me. I had it done in NY and my insurance paid for it.

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That's so scary because one of the reasons I haven't done the surgery "yet", is that if it fails, I feel I have no options left. What a nightmare. I'm glad you didn't give up and it is all going well now. Congratulations!

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surgical failure- was told that I could be sleeved, no problem, because there was so much stomach left

Canada

how horrible :angry:

good for you for "getting to the route of the problem"

knowing something was up

i don't/hope things like this happen often - but as you proved, anything can happen at least once :(

repeating the WLS with the same surgeon, have WLS free this time - you were right, not to go there again

BUT - i think "something" should be done about what happened to you!!!!

you paid for surgery twice - due to doctors incompetence - NOT FAIR :angry:

i am a very naiive person - i just don't know how stuff like this can happen, and the doc gets away with it!!!!

i "think" have heard Dr. Pompa on the board???

he "probably/maybe/usually???might do a successful WLS :mellow:

but that doesn't help your situation :(

i guess i am/was hinting about suiing - but you might just want to get on with your new life

putting nightmares behind you - looking towards sweet dreams only

starting with your new wonderful life - to be successful sleeve :)

take care

good luck

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Wow, what s story. So sorry you had to go through surgery twice:(

Thanks for putting your story out there. People that haven't been sleeved yet, whether your private or self pd. Check and double check your Dr! Most have a history and success rate, don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. I sure did. I even made my Dr uncomfortable at times with all my questions, but I found out everything I needed to know to have a successful surgery

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Hey Canada!

I'm glad you decided to share your story. I'm extra glad that your sleeve is doing its job now!! I understand it can be a challenge to sue in Mx but I definitely agree you should push back at them. Maybe you could get a refund.

Amanda Rae

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Thank you so much for the kind replies and good wishes.

sknyinside - Please do not let my story put you off surgery. That wasn't my intention at all. There are a tiny amount of people who have problems compared to the huge majority that are successful and happy with their sleeve. If I didn't believe in it, I wouldn't have done it twice. Good luck!

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I'm really sorry that happened to you. You handled it way better then how I would have!

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Hi Amanda

Hope you are still doing well! I had thought about writing my story for a while but you convinced me it was the right thing to do. You were right, I feel better for doing it. Thanks!

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Hi Canada,

My well wishes go out to you now. I am in Ontario and had my surgery with Dr Garcia in Tijuana in September 2012. I reached my goal weight in 6 months less a day and am now 5 pounds under goal. Best thing I could have ever done for myself!! So glad you went for a revision, I wish you lots of success and hope you reach your goal weight quickly!!

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Thank you for sharing your story! it sucks you had to go through the surgery twice :/ but im so happy for you that you are now on track :))

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