Please read, my friend needs help

  1. Please help me......I need input from any nurses that may know or work in areas where the proceedure of stomach stapling is done. I have a very dear friend that is in a very bad situation right now. Anna used to be very active. Then she had a critical medical situation that left her bedridden for 18 months. She is now able to get out of bed but still only walks with a walker due to the severity of her pain. Anna weighs 300+ pounds. This weight was gained after her onset of illness. She has seen 3 doctors and all have told her that she needs both knees replaced or she will soon not be able to walk. They are telling her that she must loose a lot of weight very fast and are recommending this surgery. Anna already deals with many health issues and she lives in constant pain. I know they most likely won't operate at her current weight and even if they did, her weight can slow down her recovery drastically. They have already told her that she will be laid up and need constant care for at least 6 weeks after each surgery. I won't bore you with the details of her many illnesses, but she is very ill and I am torn here on how to advise her. You know, just because I'm a nurse, I should have all the answers, but I don't so I'm posting in hopes that some of you can tell me what you think, first about the stomach stapling and secondly about the knee replacements at her current weight. Will the stomach stapling help her loose the weight quickly enough to make it worth it? What is the long term affects of this surgery? This one is reversable, is it not? Do you know of anyone that has had it done and lost weight? We used to walk 10+ miles a day together so I hope you can understand why it hurts my heart so much to see her in this situation. She says she would love to talk a walk with me again.....I sure hope that is possible someday. Any input would be very welcome and prayers would be helpful too. I would not want to have to make the choices she has to, especially after all she's been through already. Thanks is advance....God Bless.
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan

    I know of 2 pt's who have had gastric stapling, all over 4 years ago or more.

    One nurse, worked in OR has constant diarrhea, hasn't really lost any weight (b/c she still eats like a horse) and is always having bowel problems.

    Another, a dtr of a HH pt I admitted became so emaciated, she started at 400 lbs, now weighs 85. She has constant nausea, looks like she has major protein deficiency, ascites, looks 10 months preg, is weak and unhappy.

    I have heard of many other people, but don't know them, who have had this done, none were reported to have good results except one.

    In all seriousness, I would recommend she have her jaw wired shut and be put on a medical liquid diet, before trying this very drastic surgery. I think the doctors should have had better sense than to recommend this procedure. Has she been seen by an endocrinologist? Hormone levels checked? Food allergies checked? I feel for her I really do. Trust me when I say, I have seen many a home care pt who is debilitated by obesity. It is a serious problem, unfortunately, no one has the answers.

    The best way to loose weight is and always will be to eat properly and exercise, which sounds like it's out for her. So, she can only try to eat properly to start.

    God bless you for caring so much! Hugs.
  4. by   RNforLongTime
    One of the RN's on my unit just had this surgery done in May of this year. She started out weighing, by my guestimate about 300-400 lbs. Thus far she has lost about 80 lbs and has problems with nausea/vomitting every once in a while. She told me that she has lost her food cravings and eats a lot less now than before the surgery.
    A family friend had the surgery done over a year ago and says he ha never felt better as he has lost 100 lbs.
    Another RN at my hospital who works in the ER also had the surgery done over a year ago and has lost weight too! She hasn't had any major complications that I am aware of.
    As with any major surgery, there are the risks of complications. I would suggest that your friend get a second opinion before making any decisions. I read an article in the April (or was it May) issue of Self magazine that told the story of 2 people who had the surgery and are now sorry that they had it done.

    I'll say a prayer for your friend. Keep us posted of her progress.

  5. by   JennieBSN
    Yikes. How horrible. I've taken care of pts who had gastric bypass, and they are pretty miserable post-op. Don't know anyone personally who's had the surgery, but have heard both good and bad things. Mainly bad, though. Have heard similar stories about things like the n/v, diarrhea, emaciation, hair falling out from malnutrition, etc., etc..

    I agree w/Kelly. She should get a second opinion. I have bad knees cartilage in either knee, both patella off line and out of joint. It HURTS. I can still walk, though...I only limp after a really bad shift. I know I'll have to have surgery eventually, but for now, I'm trying to get my weight down, as I know it's a major contributor to my problems (I'm not morbidly obese, but definitely obese). I've battled my weight for YEARS and have tried EVERYTHING, and finally started weight watchers 5 days ago. It is a GODSEND. It is easy, I don't feel hungry, I eat what I want, and get this...I've lost FIVE POUNDS already. If your friend can wait on the surgery on her knees, she should try something else before doing something drastic like gastric bypass.

    Tell Anna we're praying for her, and wish her the best.
  6. by   tillie1
    Hi Duckie, My husband had roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery In June of this year. He has lost 50 ( I am serious!) lbs and is feeling great. Prior to his surgery we went to mandatory nutrition meetings run by a nutritionist that has worked with these people for 7 years. He also has to see a psychologist and provide written documentation of what he has tried in the last few years for weight loss. ALL before the surgeon's office would contact his insurance company. They also have a support group that meets p ea nutrition class and the stories are amazing. Not everyone has as great a post op course as he did but no one has ever said they were sorry they had it done. Both th enutrition classes and the suport meetings afterward are intended to let pople know what they are in for. several pre -op people have said they are frightened p these classes and the nutritionist tells them good, don't go into this lightly! Professionally, I have cared for several pts tht were in the hospital for incisional hernia repairs but even if they have other complications had they all have said they were glad they had the surgery. Please make sure your friend understands that this is a live style change that is forever. make sure the surgeon see sees has done tons of this surgery before and if at all possible, gets her hooked up with some kind of pre/post-op support system.
  7. by   CEN35
    Sorry Duck,

    I dont know a thing about this? the only thing I do know is this: They do that surgery.....because the stomach will fill up with less, give the full feeling, and then they wont want to eat as much. If she could a certain diet, or limited amount of intake per day...........that would essentially be the same as the stomach stapling. The stapling does not increase your metabolism........thats the bottom line.

  8. by   klhs
    I had vertical banded gastroplasty 5 years ago.... I lost 110 pounds in less than a year. I have had no complications and the only thing I regret is not having it done sooner! I even went thru a 2nd pregnancy 3 years after the surgery and had no problems then either. I did not want the by pass due to the complications I had heard other people having. My family history is very strong for heart disease, cva, cancer, and diabetes. I wish your friend the best.... whatever she decides.