By Anne Marie Mortensen
Anne Marie Mortensen
English 51 11:00 a.m.
April 5, 2006
Research- Final Draft
A gastric bypass has benefits including more energy and a new life-style.
Patient’s initial feelings after having surgery at the hospital will vary depending on whether they had the procedure done laparoscopic or the open procedure. The open procedure is a long incision from the sternum to the bellybutton, whereas a laparoscopic procedure is 5 small incisions. Patients usually feel very groggy, dry to the mouth, and run down. On the first day after surgery they usually just get ice chips and sleep most of the day. On the next day, the physical therapist will come in and help the patient get out of bed and walk around the ward. This helps the patient get rid of the gas that is pumped into the body during the procedure if they had the procedure done laparoscopically. On the following day patients will get their first meal, which is a protein shake. If they do well with taking in food and are drinking water and able to go to the restroom on their own, they will be released to go home that day. According to Leach, “When I had my successful gastric bypass surgery on June 11, 2001, I landed with both feet firmly planted in my new world with no turning back” (xiii preface). After being in the hospital
for about 3 days, then patients will be released to go home. For some patients who had the open procedure done, they will stay for a couple more days to make sure the incision
is not leaking. When the patients are home they may have some discomforts, like difficulty getting out of bed, lying on their stomach, or lying on their left side because it hurts. The left side hurts because it is where they have done most of the work during surgery. It can be very sore and some patients will go home with drainage tube, which can be uncomfortable until it is removed usually about a week after surgery, (depending on the doctor). This makes the patient feel so much better. Patients will have either staples or steri strips on their five incisions (it again depends on the doctor). Therefore, the patients that have staples will have them removed at the same time the drainage tube is removed. The steri strips will fall off in the shower after about a week. Patients will have a variety of emotions, like having a hard time believing that they are losing weight because when they look in the mirror they still see the same person as before the surgery. According to Foltz-Gray, Dorothy, “The sisters look strikingly healthy-partly because they are now roughly half their former size” (Life After a Gastric Bypass).
As patients continue losing weight, they will continue adjusting to the new way of eating. They usually start out drinking protein shakes, then gradually they will start eating puréed foods. After doing well on shakes and pureed food, they start to eat foods like chicken, tuna, and turkey. This is the hardest thing for them to learn because if they do not chew their food properly, it will hurt them in the newly made pouch, and will cause them to throw up. In addition to chewing very slow, they cannot drink anything
while they are eating. The reason behind this is that it fills them up to fast and they don’t
get the nourishment that they need, so this is a very major learning curve to go through. They have support group meetings that they can go to. There is always someone there
that is able to help them with problems they run into. The support group also helps them adjust to going out and eating in restaurants, which can be very emotional: all these plates with so much food! But as the scale goes down and the body starts adjusting to the new lifestyle, they do not think about it anymore. The support group also helps them find foods that are rich in vitamins and nourishment and they also swap recipe ideas. Here is an example of a recipe from Kats journey: Tex-Mex Beef and Bean Soup
Enjoy Mexican flavors in this easy beef and bean soup.
Ingredients: Nonstick spray coating, 1/2 pound boneless beef round steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 clove garlic, minced, 2 cups water, 1 14-1/2-ounce can tomatoes, cut up, 1 cup chopped carrot, 1 8-ounce can kidney beans, drained, 1/2 cup chopped green pepper, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules, 1/4 teaspoon pepper,
Directions: Prep Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Spray a large saucepan with nonstick spray coating. Preheat over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir about 3 minutes or until meat is brown. Stir in water, none drained tomatoes, carrot, beans, green pepper, tomato paste, chili powder, bouillon granules, and pepper. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until meat is tender. Makes 5 servings.
Nutrition Facts (per Serving): 147 calories 16 g carbohydrates 29 mg cholesterol 3 g fat 381 mg sodium 15 g protein. (Kats Journey) The next thing that is so wonderful is the new energy level that patients get from losing so much weight. Patients are able to move around so much easier than before because of the weight loss; they can walk more easily than in the past because of the surgery. Some patients who have had high blood pressure or diabetes see major improvements in their conditions because they now can exercise and have the energy to do these physical activities that they could not do in the past. There are some patients that have high blood pressure and are now able to discontinue taking medications. Diabetics are also able to discontinue taking their medicines or eliminate most medications. There are some patients who no longer have extreme back problems, knee or ankle pains, because they are no longer carrying that extreme amount of weight on their joints. Some patients no longer have extreme medical problems: Their health problems have melted away with the fat. Gone are the heartburn, thehigh blood pressure, the incipient diabetes, the incontinence. As Lee Ann puts it, “Now I can sneeze freely.” A 2004 McGill University study underscores the health benefits: Of almost 7,000 obese patients, those who had weight loss surgery reduced their risk of death by 89%, compared with obese people who didn’t have surgery. (Foltz-Gray). Another wonderful benefit to the weight loss is being able to go shopping for clothes, in much smaller sizes, because when a person is overweight they are limited in where they are able to purchase clothing and these specialty stores are very expensive.
So this is a wonderful enjoyment for patients to go shopping in normal clothing stores for clothes and have great selection and great prices: Although the sisters would never lightly recommend the surgery, they agree that the upsides far outweigh the downsides. The first time Cindy fit into a pair of size-12 jeans (down from a size 22), she sat in the dressing room and cried. She now wears a petite size 8 and weighs 136, having plummeted from 267. I lost a 5-foot-2 woman, she says. Lee Ann dropped to 115, shedding 115 a pounds. Pam weighs 134, a 121-pound weight loss—and wears a petite 6. (Foltz Gray). Finally there are so many great benefits to having a gastric bypass. One of the most important benefits is that you will be able to live longer than before. Here are some of the other great benefits because of the surgery: a patients will be able to visit the movie theaters and amusement parks, and they will be able to fit in the seats, where before, they would worry about if they would fit in the seat, or that if it would hold their weight. The next benefit is that when they are in the public’s eye, they won’t be made fun of anymore, which in the past would be very hurtful. There are some downfalls to the surgery, for example, that they will always have to take iron, B-12, calcium and a multi-vitamin, because they are not able to absorb the vitamins in the way the body was accustomed. The small downfalls just do not overcome the wonderful things the surgery gives the patients. It changes for a better life-style and there are opportunities to try new things they could not do before.
Leach, Susan Maria. Before & After. New York: Morrow, 2003.
Foltz-Gray, Dorothy. “The Surprising Real Story.” Life After Gastric Bypass, Prevention
Prevention; March 2005, Vol. 57 Issue 3. Page 158-184. 22 February 2006. < http://www.prevention.com/article/0,5778,s1-4-77-286-4885-1,00.html>.
Kats. “Kats Journey.” Kats Journey . 5 December 2003. 5 April 2006.
Anne Marie Mortensen
© Anne Marie Mortensen