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I just had the ESG procedure



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Having struggled with my weight most of my life (was always successful at losing just not keeping it off), I started researching different WLS for years. I was turned down back in 2013 because my BMI wasn't high enough. So the doctor put me on a low carb (Atkins) diet and of course I lost weight, but eventually put it all back on, and then some.

Some stats for me:

45 M

HW: 340

Surgery Weight: 310

I met with the staff locally (Washington University in St. Louis) in late July for the first time. I decided to do the ESG because I thought it was my best option for non-surgical WL. I had some follow up tests with a nutritionist and the endoscopic clinic to make sure I could have the procedure. All told, it has been a fairly simple process, start to finish. Some of that may be because I was self-pay (my health insurance doesn't have bariatric coverage). All-in cost is about $16k. I will try and answer an questions for people who are considering it. The procedure was painless, and quick (I think they said 49 minutes under anesthesia) and while in recovery, there was a little stomach cramping but not horrible. They threw a little pain killer in the IV and was gone right away. I had the procedure at 1:30 pm and was home by 6:00 pm. I was able to drink about 16 ounces of Water last night and a serving of the Unjury chicken Soup without much issue. I can tell if I take to big of a sip, my stomach will cramp a little. I just was a minute of 2 before attempting another swallow. Today, I've had about 16 ounces of water and 2 Protein Shakes from unjury.

Good luck to anyone else who is either looking or scheduled for the procedure.

Jim

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That's awesome Jim!! My ESG already was rescheduled once because the doctor had a conflict with the schedule. So now it's supposed to be THIS Monday 9/25. I was told that the office Precerted the procedure and it would be covered at 90%. Awesome, so I'm getting prepared and then thankfully I pulled the policy last weekend and it's listed as uncovered because it's labeled as experimental. I could just CRY!!! So at this point I have no idea if I'm going to be able to have it on Monday or it. Sorry for the book, I'm so frustrated as I'm diabetic, have high cholesterol and was really counting on this help to get me on the right track and get off of these meds and be healthy.

How are you feeling? Are you staying hydrated? How many days post-procedure are you now?

Good luck to you! I look forward to hearing about your progress!!

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39 minutes ago, KikiSue🙋🏼 said:

That's awesome Jim!! My ESG already was rescheduled once because the doctor had a conflict with the schedule. So now it's supposed to be THIS Monday 9/25. I was told that the office Precerted the procedure and it would be covered at 90%. Awesome, so I'm getting prepared and then thankfully I pulled the policy last weekend and it's listed as uncovered because it's labeled as experimental. I could just CRY!!! So at this point I have no idea if I'm going to be able to have it on Monday or it. Sorry for the book, I'm so frustrated as I'm diabetic, have high cholesterol and was really counting on this help to get me on the right track and get off of these meds and be healthy.

How are you feeling? Are you staying hydrated? How many days post-procedure are you now?

Good luck to you! I look forward to hearing about your progress!!

I had the procedure yesterday at 1:30 so I'm just a day out. I have been sipping on something since waking up. Today I've managed 2-8 ounce shakes (About 21g Protein each) and 32 ounces of Water today. As long as I take it slow, I feel great. If I go too fast, my stomach starts to cramp a little. I sure hope you are able to get your situation straightened out. The biggest reason I pulled the trigger was my cholesterol and sugars were slowly creeping the last few years.

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Since there isn't much out there about the ESG (from a patients perspective), I will try and update every few days. I'm 3 days post-op today and other than an occasional stomach cramp (usually too big of a drink), I feel great. No pains, nausea, etc. I wasn't going to get on the scale until the 25th (one week from procedure) but it's too hard to quell the curiosity. I'm averaging about 45g of Protein and 550 calories a day. I'm also averaging about 60 ounces of liquid (including the milk/water I add to the shakes). I don't really think I could do more than that at this point. Again, if I can answer any questions, please ask away.

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Hello- I had my ESG on 8-18-17- I feel great, Still learning, first week of free food choice. I'm down 20lbs, I did have weight loss stall in the 2nd week, I think my system must have been a little in shock :) I've had small issue with regularity and now take Fiber. But I feel great! Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty Support Group USA on Facebook- Some have had the procedure in the group many are waiting. If you would like to share your experience I know many would welcome it!!

Kerrie

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Jim, thanks for sharing your progress. It's really helpful. How soon after the procedure did you feel well enough to return to work? I'm hoping I can have the procedure on a Thursday or Friday and return to work on the following Monday. Was your throat really sore afterwards? If so, did the doc give you something to ease the pain? How much weight loss were you told to expect over the first 3-6 months? And, finally, did your doc say anything about how patients who have lived with the procedure for a longer period of time are doing?

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8 hours ago, SammieKay said:

Jim, thanks for sharing your progress. It's really helpful. How soon after the procedure did you feel well enough to return to work? I'm hoping I can have the procedure on a Thursday or Friday and return to work on the following Monday. Was your throat really sore afterwards? If so, did the doc give you something to ease the pain? How much weight loss were you told to expect over the first 3-6 months? And, finally, did your doc say anything about how patients who have lived with the procedure for a longer period of time are doing?

I actually felt well enough to return to work 2 days after the procedure. I work a desk job though and am able to walk around freely (very important the first few days because it helps the gas pains more than anything). I was not in any pain so I only took the painkillers the evening after the procedure and the first morning. My throat was a little sore, but manageable. They did have a Maalox/Lidicane mixture as one of my meds, but it was supposed to be refrigerated, and I didn't notice until I went to open it up. Honestly, didn't really need it. What we talked about was the ESG "helping" me achieve a healthy weight. The restriction is important for me psychologically, because I have always eaten large portions and I felt this procedure would stop that behavior. This morning I weighed in at 297.2 so the weight is dropping off, 12.8 pounds in 4 days. I think one of the biggest fears I had was that there wasn't a ton of long term data on this procedure. I figured if places like Johns Hopkins, mayo Clinic, and Washington University were doing it, that was good enough for me. Good luck in your journey, I hope it is as painless as mine has been so far.

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Jim,

The restriction is key for me too. Considering what you've shared I need to give some thought to when I want to return to the office. I can pretty much get up to walk around, as needed, unless I'm in a meeting. But, I really don't want to be at work gasing up the place! That wouldn't be good at all. I'll ask the doc if there's something I can take to lessen the effects. I, too, hope that my experience will be as "pain-free" as yours has been. Thanks, again.

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12 hours ago, SammieKay said:

Jim, thanks for sharing your progress. It's really helpful. How soon after the procedure did you feel well enough to return to work? I'm hoping I can have the procedure on a Thursday or Friday and return to work on the following Monday. Was your throat really sore afterwards? If so, did the doc give you something to ease the pain? How much weight loss were you told to expect over the first 3-6 months? And, finally, did your doc say anything about how patients who have lived with the procedure for a longer period of time are doing?

Hello, I had my procedure on a friday, I returned to work on Wednesday. I could have on Tuesday though, maybe even on Monday, but I had my follow up appt on Monday. I live in Arkansas west of Little Rock, I had the procedure in Houston, its an 8 hour drive and I had follow up on monday then drove home, alone. The hardest was planning the clear liquid for the first week, have to pack your liquid and take to work.

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@GreenEyed, Did you also have gas "problems"? If so, when did the gas subside enough for you to feel comfortable at work? You're doing great with the weight loss! Was the 20lb loss the result of the ESG alone, or have you been working out, as well? Thank you for sharing your experience. The more info I have the better I feel about moving forward with the procedure.

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1 hour ago, SammieKay said:

@GreenEyed, Did you also have gas "problems"? If so, when did the gas subside enough for you to feel comfortable at work? You're doing great with the weight loss! Was the 20lb loss the result of the ESG alone, or have you been working out, as well? Thank you for sharing your experience. The more info I have the better I feel about moving forward with the procedure.

I think I was fortunate when it came to the gas after surgery. By Tuesday after it was gone, so that would have been 4 days, I had procedure Friday before. But I can tell you that there has been a few in our group that it has lasted a full week. They say walk as much as you can. My gas would settle up in my shoulders, and be worse when I laid down. At night I would take my pain medication not because I had any stomach pain, it was all up in my shoulders from the gas.

So far, no exercise at all, I plan on it though. My knee on my right leg hurts, and ankle on my left, just from carrying around this weight. I bought a bicycle, flat foot technology bike, I am excited, can't wait until I am little smaller, I'm going to ride!

Edited by Green eyed

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Ok, so I'm 5 days post op and unless I drink too much/fast, feel, I feel normal. I am obviously still only on full liquids but never feel 'hungry'. I haven't had a random gas pain in the last 24 hours. I'm starting to walk more frequently as well because I don't feel as weak now. Hope everyone is doing well.

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JimL, thanks for your updates after surgery, hearing every few days about your progress is very reassuring to those of us considering ESG. I was wondering about hunger feelings during the first few weeks of liquid diet, so your comments on this are great. Sounds like you have had a great first week, I hope all continues to go well for you!

As you continue, I would be interested to hear how long it is until you can resume exercising. Keep the updates coming!

Thanks, TS

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20 hours ago, Tex Slim 66 said:

JimL, thanks for your updates after surgery, hearing every few days about your progress is very reassuring to those of us considering ESG. I was wondering about hunger feelings during the first few weeks of liquid diet, so your comments on this are great. Sounds like you have had a great first week, I hope all continues to go well for you!

As you continue, I would be interested to hear how long it is until you can resume exercising. Keep the updates coming!

Thanks, TS

Thanks for the kind words Tex. I had my 1 week check-up with the Surgeon (actually the NP) today and all is well. I'm still pain free and back at work full time. I still have a little fatigue at different times throughout the day that are usually quelled with sitting down and eating (drinking) something. So I am only walking a little here and there. I truly believe that the hardest part of this is the liquid diet. I've had dental procedures that caused way more pain. A neat by-product of the procedure is when they took my BP today, it was lower than it's been the last couple of months (I also quit smokeless tobacco to get this procedure). I can't wait until Wednesday because that's when my doc allows me to start the pureed food. I remember talking to my wife at the Nutritionist visit and saying "no way am I going to puree meat and veggies, that sounds nasty", but let me tell you, I'm having pureed meat on Wednesday morning for Breakfast haha. Ok, maybe a scrambled egg, but some tuna and mayo for lunch for sure.

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So I'm a few days into the puréed stage and noticed I have to be very conscious of eating slow and taking time between bites. I wasn't feeling the restriction as I thought I would and may have over eaten once or twice and then you feel that pressure, haha. I'm measuring my food to make sure I stay unde a cup in volume to avoid it and it seems to work well for me. I still haven't felt hungry. It's kind of weird because I can remember every decision about food being based on quantity, pre-procedure. Hopefully this is the start of a new life where I eat what my body needs and not what my mind believes. Good luck to everyone.

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