A mount has passed and as I promised here is my experience of the surgery & the past 5-6 weeks…
February of 2019 I meet with my surgeon who was recommended to me, however I knew him before the recommendation. I thought to myself one meeting can’t hurt! From the moment I meet him I trusted him…I’ve seen his work & as soon as I meet him in person I knew i’m doing the right thing. He explained different kinds of weight loss surgery to me & he gave me his recommendation, however he said no pressure do what you feel like you will be more comfortable. The debate was between sleeve or the duodenal switch. I had 3 months to think about it since due to insurance there are lot of tests that needs to be done prior surgery.
Some insurances require 6 months however mine required only 3 months. I had to meet with nutritionist once a month, pass a psych evaluation, do certain blood work, monitor my heart & do an endoscopy.
My doctor didn’t require me to lose weight at all. just per the surgery requirement I was on clear liquid diet a week before surgery which is not as bad. I was bit nervous so I didn’t even have appetite to eat.
for that 3 months I did all my research and consulted with my doctors & decided to go with duodenal switch. based on how much overweight I was that was the smarter move for me & my it was my surgeons recommendation as well.
On June 13, 2019 I got the surgery…4 hours and 20 minutes in surgery room & my life changed forever…
I never felt so much pain yet strength at the same time! I went in surgery knowing I will have pain so to me it was not as bad. Also having a great surgeon helped a lot since I didn’t have any complications after the surgery. 2 hours after surgery I got up and walked around since it was recommended. at first it was difficult because you have 5 cuts on your stomach but then you kinda get used to it. The first night was the most painful out of all of it.
The day after surgery they started me on clear liquid diet, which was 30ml water for an hour. with this surgery you can only take baby sips so it took me good hour to finish the 30ml. Then you do some tests to make sure there is no leakage & if you can tolerate water you are free to go home.
The ride back home was pretty rough…I held a pillow on my stomach which made it easier but I didn’t cry the whole time & was very very storing from beginning to end, however the ride back home made me tear up. it was just very uncomfortable.
You come home with a packet that tells you what you can eat for the next 4 weeks. It goes through stages & each doctor has its own recommendation but generally it looks like day 1-14 liquids only. day 14-28 pureed food & month after moving to soft solid foods.
My recovery was amazing…I had a great surgeon and i had me! I told myself before surgery that I have to be strong & do whatever it takes to recover faster & I did. When friends and family came to visit they were all shocked how good I’m recovering from a major surgery like this. You control your thoughts and I didn’t let any negative thought into my head. I kept the surgery a secret from everyone, expect my family because I didn’t want anyone opinion to effect me. I had a great surgeon and support of my family. it was enough to recover fast.
I strayed home for 2 weeks after surgery & tried to rest as much as possible.It can get boring because for how long you will watch TV and sleep? Anyways for me it was super boring so as soon as I had my post op appointment, they day after went to work.
My surgeon was super happy with how I’m recovering, my wounds all looked pretty good & he set up my next appointment for September.
I still can’t eat most of the foods. however I don’t get hungry either. mu taste buds has changed so much that nothing tastes as good anymore…I still drink sip by sip every 5-10 minutes. can only consume 1-2 tablespoon of food. I try to stay hydrated & drink my protein shakes and take my vitamins. however it is a difficult road to go through.
Answering your questions
Q: Does insurance cover the surgery?
A: Not fully. Most of the appointments you have to pay for them. The insurance covers for most of it depending on what kind of insurance you have but there are lot of expenses going into it. generally speaking it is an expensive surgery & my surgeon had contract with the most expensive hospital in LA. but i knew this before and had time to save up money for it.
Q:Did you have to lose weight for surgery?
A: Thankfully no….
Q:why duodenal switch and not sleeve?
A: It was recommended by my doctor. i did my research & decided for the long run this is better…You have to be very careful with duodenal switch…only 20% the food that I eat is being absorbed by my body. so nutrition deficiency is a huge part of this surgery.
Q:Who is your surgeon?
A:I don’t feel comfortable telling anyone this! every person experience is different and doctors and surgeons are not something I recommend.
Q: How much are you expected to lose?
A: 70% of my overweight amount.
Q:what diet are you on currently?
A:The surgeon gives you all the details on what you can eat & what you need avoid at every stage. i moved to soft solid foods for now.
Q:How long will it take you to lose all the weight?
A: 12-18 months.
Q: Are you happy with your surgery?
A:100% -this is not an easy decision to make…this is not like lab band or any other weight loss surgery. When it is done, it is done! they can’t put back your stomach so do your research before committing to it.
Q:What is your biggest struggle?
A: Energy level & protein intake. I cannot eat as much and it is so hard to consume 80-100g of protein a day being vegetarian. I am tired most of the times but hopefully it will get better. it is still very soon.