I was always the big girl, pleasingly plump, chubby. I was put on my first diet at age 12. By the time I graduated High School I had yo-yoed up to 200 pounds at College graduation I was up to close to 300 pounds. In 2002 I had RNY Gastric Bypass surgery. I was 39 and weighted 280 pounds. I was told it was the Gold Standard. The Band was still considered experimental and the Duodenal Switch was never mentioned as an option. In fact, I did not even know it existed.
I lost 110 pounds and was considered a WLS success. I did not have any food restrictions and I felt great and maintained the loss for five years. Then I started to slowly gain weight. In little under 5 years I gained 70 pounds. I developed Dumping Syndrome and my Stoma was stretched out. I joined Weight Watchers and lost 5 pounds in a year. Nothing worked. I developed ulcers, osteoarthritis, planter fasciitis and could barley walk a couple of blocks without pain. I was miserable. I felt like a failure
In 2012 started to research surgical options. A local surgeon wanted to “revamp” my already tiny stomach, put a band around my stoma, and “clean up my intestines”. I asked about revision to Duodenal Switch and was strongly discouraged, but I wasn’t going to settle because that was what he was only capable of doing.
I wanted the best. I wanted long term success. So I travelled from Northern CA to Southern CA for a consult with Dr. Keshishian. The only choice for me was to revise to DS. In December of 2012, I had revision surgery of my RNY to Duodenal Switch. One week after surgery, still in the hospital, I went in for a second surgery. Dr. Keshishian found a small leak. I spent an additional two weeks in the hospital. My experience was not the norm and a leak can happen in any surgery involving the stomach.
Recovery was slow but steady. The first 2 weeks Dr. Keshishian called me every three days to make sure I was doing ok. I still have his cell number in my phone. I was back to work 14 weeks after surgery. I could have gone back sooner.
Over the past year I have lost 115 pounds. My BMI is 20, and I feel great. I have my life back. All pre-op issues have been resolved and I am going to start training for a 5K.
My advice for anyone contemplating Weight Loss Surgery is to research all of the options available. Do not settle for a substandard surgery. Get a second or even third opinion. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. It’s your life fight for it!
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