I was now considered Morbidly Obese! After a lot of time, research, soul searching and procrastination, the time had finally come for me to just do it! My surgeon, Dr Matthew Kroh, and the entire staff at the Cleveland Clinic Metabolic and Bariatric Institute started me on the road to fulfilling my dream of having Laparoscopic Roux en y Gastric Bypass Surgery, They helped guide me down the path I chose to loose weight for a healthier, happier life!
My Journey began in November of 2009. There were lots of steps along this journey…. Meeting My Surgeon, Dr. Matthew Kroh and deciding which surgery was best suited for me and my lifestyle. Meeting with other staff members like Dr. Derrick Cetin who evaluated my health condition. Including all my Co- Morbidities to determine if I was a candidate for Laparoscopic Roux en y Gastric Bypass Surgery, Talking with a psychiatrist who evaluated my mental state for having the surgery and dealing with the tremendous lifestyle changes ahead. I also had to meet with dieticians who evaluated my eating habits and advised me on healthier ones. Eventually I met with them once a month for six months as they taught me about diet, portion size and better food choices. (Although I had fairly good records of my previous diets, my insurance company insisted I be on a 6 month supervised diet before approval was given for my surgery.)
The good thing about going to the Cleveland Clinic is that every one of these people along with all the labs and testing facilities are all right there. They all work together with one goal in mind…. Helping you make your dream come true. For me that meant finally loosing all the weight I needed to loose by having Laparoscopic Roux en y Gastric Bypass Surgery. That includes one of the most important parts of this journey. Having an experienced, knowledgeable Insurance staff right on site as well. They all work together and handle all the paperwork to give you the BEST chance of getting insurance approval. They'll help you succeed at fulfilling your dream and beginning your own journey.
On September 24, 2010 I was the first scheduled surgery of the day. My family and I were up and out of bed at 2:30 AM in order to be on the road by 3:15 AM. to insure our arrival at the Cleveland Clinic Surgical unit by 5:30 AM. The day had finally arrived and I was very excited and not very nervous. At least not until I was actually laying on a gurney right outside the operating room. That’s when my entire body began to shake. There was no turning back now. My life was about to change forever!
After meeting with the anesthesiologist and talking with him I met a couple of the nurses as I was being rolled into the operating room. Soon Dr. Kroh and one of his assistants entered the room. He brought a smile to my face and put my mind a little more at ease as he briefly went over the entire procedure one last time. I saw the laparoscope and some of the instruments he would be using to perform my Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery. (Roux en y Gastric Bypass) I was aware of the small 4-6 incisions that would made in my abdomen. He again explained how my stomach would by cut and stapled leaving only a tiny pouch at the top about the size of a large walnut. My small intestine would be cut and attached to this new small pouch and then rerouted bypassing a large portion of the intestines. He explained that sometimes the gall bladder is removed during surgery but in my case he didn’t think that was necessary. He would also be doing a routine liver biopsy. And finally a several biopsies of a large duplication cyst on my large intestines would be taken.
Time to go to sleep. The average Laparoscopic Roux en y Gastric Bypass surgery takes about 2 hours. Because of the extensive biopsy being done on the cyst on my large intestine my surgery took a bit longer.
I vaguely remember waking up in the recovery room several times. I was there for quite awhile. I was very groggy and in a lot more pain then I had anticipated for having Laparoscopic Roux en y Gastric Bypass Surgery rather than open surgery. I finally started to get my bearings. I was hooked up to an intravenous analgesia (PCA) Only I or I believe my nurse could administer the pain medication by pushing a button. The PCA pump is programmed to give only a certain amount of medication no matter how many times you push the button. After many hours I began to regain full consciousness and realized when I pushed the pain medication button it made me feel worse. I was feeling dizzy and nauseous. I was finally able to explain to the recovery room doctor how I was feeling and he changed the pain medication I had been on. I soon started to recover and feel much better in spite of the pain.
At long last I arrived in my hospital room that evening where I was given excellent care by all the staff. I still remember a couple of the nurses who were so friendly and kind those 2 and ½ days of my stay. The next morning I was given a small cup of shaved ice with a little apple juice poured over it and told to slowly sip away it. I remember being nervous about drinking something but it tasted so good and I had no problems. Soon I was sitting up in a chair and being encouraged to walk down the hall. I was also soon off the PAC and given liquid pain medication by mouth. I do have to add here that I wasn’t prepared for the amount of pain I was in after having Laparoscopic Roux en y Gastric Bypass Surgery. In my lifetime I had already had 2 C sections and a complete hysterectomy. So I thought this would be a breeze. NOT! Maybe it was because I was older, then 55 years old. But then I stopped and thought about what actually happened inside my body. All that cutting, cauterizing and stapling ect… It’s no wonder you’re in so much pain. The outside doesn’t look bad but it’s the major changes on the inside that you don’t think about right away. I was in quite a bit of pain for a couple of weeks or so. I just wanted to emphasize that to everyone so you can prepare yourself and not go into it with your guard down like I did. Nothing you can do about it but just being aware should help prepare you. (Of course everyone is different and I'm sure not everyone will have the same issues I did.) I continued to be given liquids to sip throughout the day and encouraged to walk around for the next day and ½ of my stay in the hospital. I had a drainage tube that needed to be removed before going home. I never had one before and didn’t quite know what to expect. I remember when my surgeon, Dr Kroh was in checking on me and told me he would be sending someone in to remove it. I thought about it for a minute and then just blurted out…that I didn’t want just some rookie taking it out. What was I thinking? I couldn’t believe what I had just said. (I blame it on the drugs) Luckily Dr. Kroh just laughed and said the other guy was better at it then he was. It only took a few seconds to remove. It didn’t hurt. It just felt kind of weird.
The first couple of weeks were kind of rough. It took me awhile to start feeling like I made the right choice. The weight was coming off very quickly. So between the rapid weight loss after my roux en y gastric bypass and just recovering from the surgery itself I have to say I felt pretty bad for awhile. It probably also had something to do with the fact that I was 55 years old when I had my roux en y gastric bypass surgery done.
Trying to get all my fluids in and the protein was hard at first. But slowly I was able to drink a little more and move around a little easier and feel a little better each day. It was a slow process at first. But once you get over the first little hump things really start to improve quickly.
After you start eating more normally and have your strength back and are up and about again you then realize as you see the weight quickly coming off that you did make the right decision!
It’s been almost exactly 2 years now since my Laparoscopic Roux en y Gastric Bypass Surgery . I’m very fortunate. I’ve had no real problems. I’ve already met my goal weight and I’m living a much healthier, happier life!
Do you have questions for me about my Laparoscopic Roux en Y Gastric Bypass Surgery? Still not sure if it's right for you? Go ahead and ask on the form below and I'll answer the best I can as soon as I can.
Click below to see other Questions and Answers.
How bad was the pain?
Was the pain from the stitches / staples or was it from the inside?
Why not have the sleeve surgery?
Was the sleeve option not available to you? I would think that leaving a little more stomach would be good think so you could absorb more nutrition.
I"m almost 60 years old. Is that too old to consider this surgery?
Is 60 too old to have this surgery?