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8 days away and having second thoughts, help....



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Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum. Was really hoping to get some advice from those who have been through the gastric sleeve.

A little background. I'm 45, BMI 43, history of arteriosclerosis (2 stents) and T2 diabetes (under control with meds). My cardio has recommended I consider the gastric sleeve and I've been working towards it since end of last year and I am 8 days away now.

I was excited and all ready for it but lately the more I read of some people's experience the more I'm scared, and I am suddenly getting second thoughts. I've been trying to find out more about what to expect after surgery but can't seem to find a good source from people who have actually gone through the surgery, so I'm really hoping you would be willing to help to share your experiences.

Some of the things that are playing on my mind:

1) How long will we struggle to drink Water? I've read that even after healing completely it may take 15 minutes to drink even half a teacup of water without vommiting, is this true?
2) I've seen that some people say they will almost always vomit after eating or drinking? Is it really that common?
3) I am on quite a few meds which my cardio says I need to start the day after the surgery. Will I be able to swallow the meds?
4) Will we feel tired and impaired due to the limited food and water we can take? I'm on my pre-op liquid diet now and I just feel so weak and hungry, is this the constant feeling to expect after surgery?
5) I was made to understand from the doc that dumping isn't common for the gastric sleeve, yet I've read quite a number of accounts that say otherwise. Is this something common as well?
6) I currently do not have GERD, but is this something I should expect to occur after the surgery? I've read some people can't even lie down without getting acid reflux.

I know it is a long post, but I'm really hoping to get some idea of what to expect as the fact it is permanent and (for example) I may be stuck with not being able to even stay hydrated without being nauseous just scares me. Thanks in advance for any advice or help. Cheers.

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It’s natural to feel apprehensive right before something major like a life changing surgery. I had mine 6 days ago and I almost cancelled the day before. I feel so much better that this weight is coming off and so will you. Even with that being said…it’s permanent and lifestyle changes will be forced upon you. Every body (literally) is different and drinking Water will just take longer but it will be able to be done, just slower.

All the best

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It’s natural to have some concerns the closer you get to your surgery date. The thing to remember is that everyone heals & recovers from the surgery differently. Some people fly through others take a little longer. It’s a surgery so allow yourself time to heal & recover.

If you have a lot of swelling post surgery, you may struggle to swallow for a few days. I did. I found warm liquids easier & more soothing to drink. I did struggle to swallow the pain meds in hospital & it was a bit painful but I was swallowing my Vitamin capsules by day 4 pretty easily - just took a break between taking each one. You can crush any meds you can’t swallow at first & mix them with a little of your Protein Shake or soup.

Yes, you have to sip slowly & often. Your tummy is healing & you don’t want to strain or stress it & all the internal stitches &/or staples holding it together while it heals. My surgeon was ok with me not meeting my Fluid & Protein goals at first as long as I was working towards reaching them. Remember everything you drink (shakes, broths, Soups, etc.) count to your daily fluid goals. At 26 months, I can really only swallow two mouthfuls at most at a time. Take a third one & my restriction kicks in. Again that is just me. Others can guzzle fluids easily after a few months.

Vomiting or the foamies (saliva not food) can happen. Eating too quickly, eating too much, food too dry or your sensitive tummy just doesn’t like a certain food (it can be very fussy to begin but it passes too). If it happens it tends to occur in the early stages but at 26 months post surgery, I can get the foamies if what I eat is too dry but that’s me & I can easily avoid those foods. You’re right, dumping isn’t very common with the sleeve. If it occurs it’s usually because you’ve eaten too much fat or sugar.

Yes, you will experience periods of low energy. It passes. I found electrolyte drinks helpful but get your blood work done regularly to ensure you’re not lacking in any essential nutrients like Iron or the B Vitamins. I was doing all my house hold chores, grocery shopping , etc. by weeks 2 & 3. Just took it slowly & at my pace.

Gerd is a possible side effect of the sleeve. I had a little reflux before surgery. I changed a lot of my diet when it was diagnosed to reduce symptoms (low fat, no spicy foods, limited carbonation, no rich creamy foods) I still have it post surgery. It manifests differently but is easily managed by meds which I take every day now versus as I needed in the past & still avoiding foods which can aggravate it for me.

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It's normal to have questions and second thoughts. It's a big decision a life-altering experience. It's good to get first hand testimonials, but remember that we're all different, so someone else's experience may be different from yours.

Here are my answers to your questions:

1) How long will we struggle to drink Water? I've read that even after healing completely it may take 15 minutes to drink even half a teacup of Water without vommiting, is this true?

I struggled with drinking for the first two weeks. In week 3 the swelling subsided, the pain eased up and I was able to sip without difficulty. And from there it just got easier. Two and a half years out, I can now chug about two swallows of water, LOL.

2) I've seen that some people say they will almost always vomit after eating or drinking? Is it really that common?

I did not have this experience. I only really threw up once - the first and only time I overate. It happened because I didn't recognize what "full" felt like with my new tummy. After that, I knew when to stop.

3) I am on quite a few meds which my cardio says I need to start the day after the surgery. Will I be able to swallow the meds?

Swallowing meds is hard at first. In the early days I crushed those that could be crushed and managed to get down the two that couldn't. It gets easier as the swelling goes down.

4) Will we feel tired and impaired due to the limited food and water we can take? I'm on my pre-op liquid diet now and I just feel so weak and hungry, is this the constant feeling to expect after surgery?

No, it's totally different after surgery. The surgery leaves you with a much smaller stomach and it also affects the hormones that case hunger. Many of us have very little appetite in the early months and then appetite usually returns gradually. There's no guarantee that you'll NEVER be hungry, but constant hunger and weakness is uncommon, IMO.

5) I was made to understand from the doc that dumping isn't common for the gastric sleeve, yet I've read quite a number of accounts that say otherwise. Is this something common as well?

I've never experienced it - I've heard it's possible but much less common than for bypass patients.

6) I currently do not have GERD, but is this something I should expect to occur after the surgery? I've read some people can't even lie down without getting acid reflux.

I didn't have GERD before surgery and I still don't. The sleeve can make GERD worse for people who have it, so they are usually recommended to have the bypass instead. And it does happen that people who didn't have GERD develop it after getting the sleeve, but a lot of people (like me) don't.

I hope that helps. Don't be afraid to ask your surgeon these questions as well. You should be able to go into this with all your questions addressed (although actual outcomes aren't guaranteed). Best wishes!

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I just passed my one year VSG surgiversary. Things have gone real well for me, and for that I’m grateful.

1) How long will we struggle to drink Water?

I was able to sip Water (baby sips) just a few hours after surgery. I never really struggled.

2) I've seen that some people say they will almost always vomit after eating or drinking?

I have not vomited or even felt nauseated since the surgery.

3) Will I be able to swallow the meds?

I was able to swallow my pills the day after surgery and thereafter - no problem.

4) Will we feel tired and impaired due to the limited food and water we can take?

You may feel tired for a few weeks, but I think that is more due to being post-op/post-anesthesia. YMMV, but I haven’t struggled with hunger.

5) I was made to understand from the doc that dumping isn't common for the gastric sleeve.

I haven’t experienced dumping.

6) I currently do not have GERD, but is this something I should expect to occur after the surgery?

I didn't have GERD pre-op. After the surgery I felt an occasional slight gnawing in my stomach. The surgeon put me on omeprazole for a few months. It worked, and I have been doing fine without it for several months now.

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply and share your experiences. I don't know why I'm getting these concerns now, I've been working towards this for months. I keep playing in my head that I could end up miserable, hungry, thirsty and weak for the rest of my life. Anyway thanks again for the sharing.

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My surgery involves a VSG stomach (just with the intestinal bypass bit in addition). I'll be 18 months post-op tomorrow. I was concerned with several things leading up to my surgery, but everything has worked out well and, honestly, like many, I just wish I'd done it sooner.

1) How long will we struggle to drink Water?

I struggled the most with my Fluid intake. I was really bad at it and I don't remember how long it took until I was getting in what I was supposed to, but it's not as bad as you're probably imagining.

2) I've seen that some people say they will almost always vomit after eating or drinking?

I've never vomited once since my surgery. Nausea? Yep. Vomiting? Nope.

3) Will I be able to swallow the meds?

I can't really help you with that as I have EOE and couldn't swallow pills BEFORE my surgery and still can't swallow them after surgery (EOE is an auto-immune disorder that can cause dysphagia. I can't swallow pills because I choke on them. Every damn time since I before I was even officially diagnosed 5 years ago. I, quite literally, haven't been able to swallow pills in half a decade)

4) Will we feel tired and impaired due to the limited food and Water we can take?

You'll feel tired because you had surgery! I've had surgery three times in my life (two other times then the WLS) and exhaustion is a normal symptom after. You'll be fine after a few weeks. I think it was about 3 for me.

5) I was made to understand from the doc that dumping isn't common for the gastric sleeve.

It's very uncommon for the sleeve. I mean, it's not impossible, but it's more likely you'll just stumble onto a food you don't tolerate well. It likely won't be full on dumping syndrome, but maybe nausea or stomach upset. But then, there are some who have no issues whatsoever. You may be one of those.

6) I currently do not have GERD, but is this something I should expect to occur after the surgery?

My EOE causes acid issues, but only at night. I had that before my surgery. After the surgery I noticed that I had LESS issue with acid. I take one antacid a day verses the two I used to take before my surgery. Only about 30% of people have GERD issues. That's 3/10. If you look at it like that, then your odds are that you may have no GERD issues at all. I mean, it can happen, but there's a 70% chance that you'll be fine.

I hope this helps, and I wish you the best!

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I struggled to drink Water for about two months. After that, I can drink a cup in about five minutes. No problem.

I am one of the few people who struggled with nausea and vomiting until about seven weeks. At one point, I was vomiting eight times a day, even while on anti-nausea medicines around the clock. But I don’t vomit anymore, and rarely get nauseous.

I have been able to swallow pills since the day after surgery. I did get nauseous from them and vomited, but I had no problem swallowing them and getting them down.

yes, very tired after surgery. I was not able to work until eight weeks. But again, I had issues with vomiting.

No dumping, was able to get off acid reflux medicine after six weeks, no GERD.

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I'm only 7 weeks post-op but thought I'd chime in.

I never had trouble drinking Water and was up to my full 64 oz within a week. I have not vomited since the surgery and never had any nausea. My surgeon prescribed a patch to put on the night before and wear for three days. He also gave me oral anti-nausea meds, but I never needed them.

I was able to swallow pills after a day or two.

I'm 58 and I went back to work (desk job) a week after surgery. I did feel weak and tired for a few weeks, but it was more wanting to get more rest/going to bed a little earlier. I was JUST as (if not more) tired when I was on the pre-surgery diet. My energy level is much better than before surgery at this point!

All the best to you!!

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46 year old male here, 13 months post op. BMI was just over 40, now it’s under 25. Starting weight 334, currently 195. Short answer: I wish I did this years ago, it’s been stupid easy for me.

1) It depends. I had no problem drinking Water right away. Cold water bothered me for a few weeks but room temp water was fine. I was a chugger and drink in my sleep, I was worried about this but I’ve adjusted. I know exactly how many mini sips I can take (8) in a row and do it instinctively.
2) I’m a year post op and I haven’t thrown up. I’ve been close I think. Twice I ate way too fast without thinking. I said I’d never do it again after the first time…. and the second. Never had nausea or “x food doesn’t agree with me.” I can literally eat anything I used to with no difference in taste, smell or tolerances. Just less. Much much less.
3) I was given a giant antibiotic pill in the hospital right after my surgery. It was an inch long and thicker than a pencil. It caused no issues (took one each day for ten days). I also had no problem taking my regular BP meds, which now I no longer need anyway.
4) possibly. I probably had a two weeks or so after where I felt just tired but very shortly after my energy levels went way way up and I feel like I can work harder and longer each day. I haven’t had this much energy since I was a kid, and my calorie count is still around 1000-1500 a day depending on what I eat.
5) I’ve never dumped and now that I’m trying to find my maintenance calorie levels I’ve been eating high calorie foods (to keep volume minimal) without issue (peanut M&Ms).
6) I never had heartburn in my life. Until after surgery. They put me on… omeprazle or something like that… right in the hospital. It’s a PPI and I stopped taking it after a couple weeks (I’ve never had heartburn, didn’t after surgery so why keep taking it?) I got heartburn!! It sucked, I was scared, omg my first negative side effect!! so I took it again and it went away. When I stopped taking it it came back… so I took it again. Turns out it can have a rebound effect for some people. Once I read about that I just stopped it altogether and the heartburn went away after about five days or so and I haven’t had a single reoccurrence since.

Am I unusual because I’ve had a really easy go of this? I don’t know. I know there ARE others out there who have also said it was easy. I do know is this (and I’ve said this before… sorry for repeating to those who have read my previous posts)… this forum is a wonderful resource for people to get info pre op, and to get help post op. That second part is a blessing and a curse. It’s easy to read all these posts where people having issues are trying to find help…. and to get a false impression of how frequently serious problems arise. Not too many people create a new thread to say “hey I’ve had no problems, this was so easy and I’ve been wildly successful beyond my even most optimistic goals… ok carry on.” But we are out there. Most people who fall into this category are probably just out in the wild, living their best life, this forum not anything they think about because they don’t need it. I’m sticking around to make sure people in your situation know that we’re out here. It can be easy, problem free, life changing, exciting, etc. On the flip side my wife also had the sleeve and has had a hell of a time. No problems from the procedure, no gerd or vomiting… just near zero weight loss but you can read my other posts for the specifics. Then there are those who do have medical issues from this, do have problems of all sorts of things. They’re real and I’m so sorry for them, and they do need this forum for advice and comfort and just to vent. I am in no way knocking them for doing what they have to do, but their collective voice is much louder then people like me and it skews perception.
No one can tell you where on the spectrum you’ll land. If you take it seriously, know that it’s a just a tool to help you lose weight, make better choices, and are ok with the idea that you may have some ups and downs to cope with, you’re off to a great start. Me? I’d do this 100 times over just to feel the way I do today. I wish you the best. No matter what you decide. From a purely statistical point of view problems from being obese far outweigh problems related to getting sleeved. And unfortunately with statistics there are the outliers. But it isn’t a coin flip.

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On 7/22/2021 at 5:36 AM, Jaelzion said:

It's normal to have questions and second thoughts. It's a big decision a life-altering experience. It's good to get first hand testimonials, but remember that we're all different, so someone else's experience may be different from yours.

Here are my answers to your questions:

1) How long will we struggle to drink Water? I've read that even after healing completely it may take 15 minutes to drink even half a teacup of Water without vommiting, is this true?

I struggled with drinking for the first two weeks. In week 3 the swelling subsided, the pain eased up and I was able to sip without difficulty. And from there it just got easier. Two and a half years out, I can now chug about two swallows of Water, LOL.

2) I've seen that some people say they will almost always vomit after eating or drinking? Is it really that common?

I did not have this experience. I only really threw up once - the first and only time I overate. It happened because I didn't recognize what "full" felt like with my new tummy. After that, I knew when to stop.

3) I am on quite a few meds which my cardio says I need to start the day after the surgery. Will I be able to swallow the meds?

Swallowing meds is hard at first. In the early days I crushed those that could be crushed and managed to get down the two that couldn't. It gets easier as the swelling goes down.

4) Will we feel tired and impaired due to the limited food and water we can take? I'm on my pre-op liquid diet now and I just feel so weak and hungry, is this the constant feeling to expect after surgery?

No, it's totally different after surgery. The surgery leaves you with a much smaller stomach and it also affects the hormones that case hunger. Many of us have very little appetite in the early months and then appetite usually returns gradually. There's no guarantee that you'll NEVER be hungry, but constant hunger and weakness is uncommon, IMO.

5) I was made to understand from the doc that dumping isn't common for the gastric sleeve, yet I've read quite a number of accounts that say otherwise. Is this something common as well?

I've never experienced it - I've heard it's possible but much less common than for bypass patients.

6) I currently do not have GERD, but is this something I should expect to occur after the surgery? I've read some people can't even lie down without getting acid reflux.

I didn't have GERD before surgery and I still don't. The sleeve can make GERD worse for people who have it, so they are usually recommended to have the bypass instead. And it does happen that people who didn't have GERD develop it after getting the sleeve, but a lot of people (like me) don't.

I hope that helps. Don't be afraid to ask your surgeon these questions as well. You should be able to go into this with all your questions addressed (although actual outcomes aren't guaranteed). Best wishes!

I love your posts. They're always so insightful and encouraging. Thank you. ❤️

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I'm just over 7 weeks out - and I fall into the no issues category too. I literally looked up every possible side effect so I was prepared; it still didn't sway my decision to go forward with the surgery.. The only *thing* I have is still get hungry; but not the I need to eat everything hunger. I just wait for my next meal or snack. Its tolerable. I'm hoping that goes away eventually. I'm still on a PPI for another week, so I'll watch for the GERD then, good idea to wait a bit. The nurse said if I need to extend the prescription for awhile longer to contact them.

I have had no issues with Fluid (other than its baby steps in the beginning; but right away post-op I could drink 3 oz in 15 minutes ....and they were just looking for me to get that in per hour. )

No Vomiting or Nausea. I've been good at stopping myself from eating more before I'm overly full.
My only Med Issue after surgery is the Tylenol EZ Tabs were not so easy, the caplets were fine. All other meds they had me on went down fine. (I had alot of pills the first 3 days after surgery)

Have not had dumping; also have not ate anything that is off-program yet.

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On 7/22/2021 at 3:01 AM, Vincent AI said:

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply and share your experiences. I don't know why I'm getting these concerns now, I've been working towards this for months. I keep playing in my head that I could end up miserable, hungry, thirsty and weak for the rest of my life. Anyway thanks again for the sharing.

That would be the pre-op diet talking! The pre-op diet is truly a miserable experience - but temporary and necessary.

Surgery changes not only the size of your stomach but also the hunger hormones generated there. Personally, at 3 months out I have not had any issues with drinking Water or vomiting, dumping, swallowing meds, or GERD etc. These are all things that are possible but I'm not sure how common. The problem with a lot of online resources is that people often come here when there is a problem or a question and we don't think of all the success stories that don't necessarily write in.

If you are uncomfortable in any way you can always write/call your doc and ask how likely these thing are in patients he has seen.

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