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Month: April 2015

GERD, Nausea and Vomiting- Don’t ignore it!

April 28, 2015 11:30 am

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a serious matter and should not be left untreated. It is know as heartburn or reflux and if you are experiencing more than twice a week you should be evaluated by a physician to investigate the cause. Listed below are some of the causes and end results of not treating GERD.

Esophagitis – An irritant that can be acid, bile, food and digestive enzymes coming back up the esophagus can cause irritation and swelling in the esophagus. If left untreated, it can damage the lining of the esophagus to the point of erosion and scarring. Bile Reflux may also be a cause of esophagitis and Duodenogastroesphogeal reflux (DGER). Bile Reflux information here.

Esophageal Stricture – Scar tissue can cause the lumen of the esophagus to become smaller and narrow.  This stricture makes it difficult or painful to swallow foods. If a stricture is narrow enough food may become stuck and require intervention for removal and treatment.  This can also put a person at risk for choking. The treatment includes ballon dilation with an endoscope and in cases where it recurs surgery may be required.

Esophageal Ulceration– If GERD is left untreated it can progress to actual ulcerations in the esophagus.  Patients may cough up or vomit blood or see it in their stool as dark tarry or coffee ground type stool.

Gastric Stricture– After weight loss surgery such as sleeve gastrectomy, RNY Gastric Bypass, Duodenal Switch, SADI/Loop,  Adjustable Gastric Banding, or other gastric surgeries a narrowing of the inner opening of the stomach can result from scar tissue forming.  This will require a surgical procedure to rectify.  The symptoms can be food intolerance, full feeling, nausea and/or vomiting. (See pictures below)

Hiatal Hernia– An anatomical weakening or enlargement of the opening of the diaphragm muscle where the esophagus meets the stomach.  This defect can allow a portion of the stomach to slide or roll into the chest cavity. This then causes reflux of gastric juice and content.  Hiatal Hernia’s can also form on weight loss surgical patients.  There are several examples within this blog here.

Breathing Difficulties– The acid aspiration while sleeping can make asthma and other breathing difficulties worst and can cause coughing and other issues.

Dental Issues – The acid, food, digestive enzymes backing up into the esophagus and mouth can cause dental issues such as erosion and tooth decay.  In regards to dental issues after weight loss surgery there are also other vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can cause oral health issues. Dental Issues after WLS here.

Lower Quality of Life– GERD can affect a person’s quality of life.  If you are in discomfort from acid reflux or having food intolerance it can make life difficult.  It can also alter food choices and impact nutrition.

Barrets Esophagus– Pre-cancerous changes in the bottom portion of the esophagus due to long term acid exposure from gastric reflux. Diagnosis requires and endoscopic procedure (EGD) and biopsy.

Esophageal Cancer– There is a significant rise in the western world in esophageal adenocarcinoma. The main risk factors are alcohol use, smoking, untreated GERD, and poor diet.

Reflux and difficulty with swallowing caused by stricture is not normal. These problems are quite frequently encountered as complication of Adjustable gastric banding, with slipped band or a band that is too tight and scarred in placed resulting is belt effect. This results in the esophagus not being able to empty and propel the food down. The end result is significant reflux, with difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting etc.  Similar problems are seen with Gastric bypass where the anastomosis between the stomach pouch and the small bowel RNY limb is too narrow. In Gastric Sleeve and Duodenal Switch operations, is the sleeve is made too narrow, or misshaped (hour glass, funnel, cork screw) it will result in the patient having reflux and symptoms of stricture. One specific problem with the new operation of SADI is the concern for  risk of bile reflux, similar to the BillRoth I procedure.

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Gastric bypass patient with stricture at the gastro-jejunostomy before and after balloon dilation. Fig A

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After balloon dilation. Fig BScreen Shot 2015-04-28 at 9.33.14 AM

Fig. C : Lap band Patient with stricture where the band as removed at another facility and the scar tissue formed around the GE junction was not taken down. The patient had to be taken back to the operation room after his symptoms persisted even though the band had been removed 3 months prior.

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A corkscrew stomach of a Duodenal Switch done at another facility, with the patient presented with persistent reflux, nausea and vomiting for years after surgery.     Fig. D

 

 

This is not an inclusive discussion of GERD and the treatment.  Please see your healthcare providers if you are experiencing any symptoms pertaining to GERD or any other health care issue.

Adjustable Gastric Band Removal & Hiatal Hernia Repair

April 21, 2015 6:30 pm

As it is a recurrent theme, a patient presents with a band that was placed years ago with marginal weight loss over a short period of time. Multiple office visits to the same center for band adjustments, which only results in worsening nausea, vomiting and reflux to the point of having difficulty with taking fluids in. The irony was that the patient was being blamed for the symptoms as to “…eating the wrong food, …eating too much, etc” The patient presented to the Emergency Room and was taken to the Operating Room within few hours for a partially slipped band and a Hiatal Hernia was also identified. The adjustable gastric band was removed and the Hiatal hernia was repaired.

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The band in place and after being taken down

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The dissection of the wrap over the band that shows erosion

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Part of the hiatal hernia repair.

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The band and the port removed.

Shared Success Story- Dr. D. Brown

April 13, 2015 11:38 am

I had Roux-en-Y (RNY) gastric bypass surgery in February 2004. I was told it was the “Gold Standard” procedure and it was the only one my insurance would approve (according to the surgeon’s office). I lost around 130 pounds with some minor bounce back. Kept it off for 7 years. I had so much energy; I decided to go back to school to become a doctor.

In medical school I really began to regain, for a total of 75 pounds over 5 years. I tracked food and found that if I ate more than 1300-1400 calories daily, I was gaining. I had absolutely no sugar dumping or satiety or restrictive effects left from the RNY Gastric Bypass, only my metabolism’s memory of starvation mode.

In fact, I never had one incident of dumping syndrome; I only felt satiety for the first 2 years and was able to eat well over 2 cups of food per meal by year 7. Lack of dedicated exercise, extreme stress (time, financial & academic) as well as poor food choices all contributed to my regain. However, the RNY Gastric Bypass surgery only has an average long-term excess weight loss of around 50%, so that still makes my weight regain close to the acceptable range.
Finally, I looked into revision surgery. Not only is surgery always a major decision, but also a revision to a DS is a very technically complicated surgery. I extensively researched all the options to make the right decision. The Duodenal Switch surgery has the best long-term statistics for maintained weight loss in all the medical studies (close to 75% excess weight). The major feature is nutrient malabsorption. The amount is dependent on an individual basis but most fat and some protein calories are not absorbed. There is an initial restrictive component as well. With the nutrient malabsorption also comes vitamin/mineral malabsorption. However, RNY also causes vitamin malabsorption and I was already taking vitamins, so what’s a few more? I am just 4 weeks post-op now and am still in trial-&-error mode, but I have found a safe plan for returning back to work. I really could not have afforded any complications and am so glad that I placed my trust in Dr. Keshishian.
Dr. D. Brown

Starting wt: 274.0

Vitals for 4-16-15 (4 weeks post DS)
wt = 249.0
T = 97.7
P = 88
BP = 108/80

Evaluations of Gallbladder Disease And Function

April 11, 2015 7:03 am

Gallbladder disease can include both anatomical and functional condition. We are familiar with gallstones. Bile acids, Lecithin (a phospholipid), and cholesterol are present in the Bile. When the proportional percentage of each one of them is outside a very narrow range, gallstones are formed. Approximately 75% of the gallstones are formed because of the supersaturation of the content of the gallbladder with cholesterol which results in cholesterol stone formation.  The rest are pigmented stones. Gallstones are usually identified by ultrasound and they are seen as shadows. Gallstone There are patients that have a normal gallbladder ultrasound result   that  continue to have signs and symptoms of gallbladder disease, such as abdominal pain in the right upper quadrant, nausea and vomiting with fatty meals, and bloating to name a few. These patients should be evaluated by a dynamic HIDA scan. A dynamic HIDA scan study evaluates the function of the gallbladder, by creating a movie of the gallbladder, where as an ultrasound takes pictures of the gallbladder. In a dynamic HIDA scan, and contractility of the gallbladder is reported in form of ejection fraction (%EF). This represent the amount of gallbladder contraction in response to the stimulation  by a fatty meal mediated thru cholecystokinin (CCK).  A normal EF is greater that 35%. Anything less than than with the sign and symptoms of gallstones, should be highly suspect for acalculous cholecystitis. Calculus because there is no stone. (The bright white collection represents the filling of the gallbladder) This short movie represents the uptake of the radio nuclear material in the gallbladder and its normal secretion in the small bowel.   Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 8.53.46 PMThese are the static images before the injection of CCK. Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 8.54.24 PM Following the injection, digital subsection of the images measure the amount of nuclear activity of the gallbladder before and after contraction and an Ejection Fraction is calculated.  

Vitamin K1

April 08, 2015 7:16 pm

Vitamin K1 is a found in dark green leafy vegetables, asparagus, brussels sprouts, some grains,  olive oil, prunes, soy bean oil, and canola oil.  The body has limited storage capacity for Vitamin K and uses a recycle system to reuse it. vitamink3

Vitamin K1 is a fat-soluble vitamin that after Duodenal Switch is not as easily absorbed due to the limiting contact of the food product with the bile until the common channel.  Bile is needed to absorb fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins.

Duodenal Switch patients in need of Vitamin K1 supplements should take “Dry” or water miscible type of Vitamin K1, such as Biotech brand.  The patients laboratory studies will determine if a patient requires Vitamin K1 Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 10.40.36 AMsupplement.  Duodenal Switch patients should  have laboratory studies drawn and evaluated at least on a yearly basis. Vitamin K works in a delicate balance with other supplements and should be monitored by a physician,  in at risk people.

Vitamin K1 is most know for it’s coagulation effect and the clotting cascade.  Vitamin K1 works with calcium and proteins in order to accomplish coagulation synethesis. Care should be taken with Vitamin K supplementation and anti-coagulation (blood thinners) therapy.  Please see your physician regarding any supplementation of Vitamin K and blood thinner medications.

A discovery of Vitamin K dependent proteins has led to research on Vitamin K1 in bone health.  Bone matrix proteins, specifically osteocalcin, undergo gamma carboxylation with calcium much the way coagulation factors do; this process also requires Vitamin K. Osteocalcin is a Gla-protein that is regulated by Vitamin D.  The calcium binding ability of osteocalcin requires several Vitamin K carboxylations to exert it’s effects on bone mineralization.

vitamin-2Bk

In adults, the causes of Vitamin K1 deficiency include the following :

Chronic illness
Malnutrition
Alcoholism
Multiple abdominal surgeries
Long-term parenteral nutrition
Malabsorption
Cholestatic disease
Parenchymal liver disease
Cystic fibrosis
Inflammatory bowel disease
Medications:  Antibiotics (cephalosporin), cholestyramines, warfarin, salicylates, anticonvulsants, Cefamandole, cefoperazone, salicylates, hydantoins, rifampin, isoniazid, barbiturates, and certain sulfa drugs, higher Vitamin E can antagonized Vitamin K)
Massive transfusion
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) – Severe
Chronic kidney disease/hemodialysis

Additional information: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminK/

Intake of Vitamin K1 and K2 and bone fracture risk

As always, discuss with your physicians and/or surgeon any changes in medications and supplements.  This is not meant to be an all inclusive discussion of Vitamin K.

 

 

Shared Success Story- Odessa D.

April 07, 2015 10:20 am

My name is Odessa D. I am going to talk about my weight loss journey with the lap band which started in 2006. At my heaviest I weighed 270 pounds and was a size 24 waist. I had high blood pressure, was a border line diabetic, had lower back pain, I had no energy, I was tired all the time, and I had sleep apnea.

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My family doctor had suggested weight loss surgery but I was hesitant because I was afraid of surgery. Until one night my 8 year old daughter found me not breathing in my sleep. I made the decision to go through with the surgery.

Prior to surgery I did as much research as I could about the lap band. At the time I felt it was the right decision. On the day of the surgery everything went well. The first few months were great. I was losing weight, feeling good, feeling happy, and healthier then I have in years.

Then it began, all the symptoms of a slipped band. I started vomiting, nausea, acid reflux, and I was having trouble drinking and eating on a daily basis. My doctor confirmed it was a slipped band. We decided to replace the band because I was still overweight. On day of surgery I weighed 210 lbs.

After a month I started having symptoms of a slipped band. My doctor performed x-rays but everything looked fine. After 2 years with these symptoms and numerous doctor visits and x-rays I just gave up and learned to live with it. In 2 years I lost 4 lbs. My high blood pressure and sleep apnea came back. I finally decided to get the lap band removed. I wanted my life back and if that meant gaining the weight back that I lost then I was willing to make that sacrifice.

Dr. Keshishian was referred to me by 2 of his past patients. From the moment I walked into his office I was already at ease. When I first met Dr. Keshishian, I knew I was in good hands and I knew he could help me. He confirmed I had another slipped band and a detached port. At this point we discussed removing the lap band and switching to the Sleeve Gastrectomy. Finally everything was going to be fixed and everything was going to be right.

I can’t express how much my life has improved since removing the second band and switching to the sleeve. I have lost 46 pounds in 9 months. I now weigh 160 pounds and wear a size 8 waist. Now I look forward to each and every day with joy and pleasure knowing I don’t have to deal with a bad band and all the horrible symptoms that came with it.

Image3Since the surgery and losing more weight I have been very active. I go hiking almost every weekend. I have literally climbed a mountain! I did my first 5k mud obstacle course in which my second 5k is in October. I even have a purple Mohawk! I have 100% confidence in myself and in everything that I do. My life has greatly improved since the sleeve. All thanks to Dr. Keshishian. It has been a very bumpy road with my weight loss journey but Dr. Keshishian has smoothed out the bumps and I plan on traveling the distance with many adventures along the way.

Image9I would like to leave a huge “Thank You” to Dr. Keshishian and his staff. Thank you for making me feel welcomed, being friendly, making me feel comfortable, and especially for giving my life back to me. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and my family!

Thank you Dr. Keshishian and staff!

Odessa D.

First Duodenal Switch Patient- Dr. Hess

April 05, 2015 3:35 pm

I had the opportunity to be in a meeting with Dr. Hess in November of 2004. He presented a lecture about the history of the Duodenal Switch and his collaborative work with Dr. Scopinaro, the pioneer surgeon of the Biliopancreatic Diversion. The BPD was the the foundation of the Duodenal Switch operation.  The first patient ever to have had the Duodenal Switch was a revision from a failed vertical banded March of 1988 by Dr. Douglas Hess.  At the time of this particular meeting (in 2004), the patient was 17.5 years post op.

Hess
First Duodenal Switch Patient by Dr. Hess

This is a copy of the slide that he shared with the surgeons present at the Duodenal Switch meeting  on November 21, 2004.