As of the time of this writing, I'm fat.
I'm not "wafer thin mint" fat, but I am considered Morbidly Obese. As a result, I am also a Type II Diabetic with Hypertension. This means lots of shots and lots and lots of pills. It also means that normal stores are not going to have clothes that fit me. The only places that have what I can wear are Casual Male XL and Wallyworld. Also, as a result of being gravitationally enhanced, I am circumferentially superior to all my friends, family, and just about everybody else that I know. I don't want to go to amusement parks because I really don't fit on the rides. Ultimately, I just want to be able to spend more time with my wife, Christine.
In the past, I've tried many activities to increase my physical level and decrease my food intake. Many years ago, I used to play two-man beach volleyball several days a week. This was keeping me keep active and fit. I was losing small amounts of weight which I would find again in the Winter. A friend asked me to substitute for an injured player on her indoor volleyball team. In about two minutes on the hard court, I had blown my ACL. After I had surgery for that and recovered, I tried my hand at Taekwondo. I lost more than 30 pounds in three months! This was probably the greatest weight loss and mind-building exercise I had ever experienced. However, it was not meant to be. I was sparring with my instructor and my knee buckled and I blew my ACL again.
This is right about the time the depression (eating) set in. I was driving a desk for Toyota (same thing, over and over) and felt that exercising and activities lead to injury. It was a petri dish for depression cells. I tried Northern Praying Mantis Kung-Fu. This time, I didn't blow my knee out completely, but I injured it to the point of barely being able to walk. So, I bowed out.
Eighty pounds later, I am writing this.
What's the Purpose of This?
Fast forward to January of 2014.
I am told that Kaiser Permanente has a program called Options. This is a 12 week program that helps to get you mentally and physically prepared for bariatric surgery. The program quite effectively answered my questions, helped dispel the misinformation I had regarding bariatric surgery, helped me get over many of my food related issues, and (hopefully) prepared me for what is to come.
I am going to share some of the information with you as I'm sure you have many questions. I will show you some of what I learned, what the procedure is, what I am expecting from the surgery and what I expect the outcome to be.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
There are many more options that what will be listed here. However, Kaiser only supports three types of bariatric surgeries: Gastric Bypass or (Roux-en Y,) Sleeve Gastrectomy (Vertical Sleeve,) and Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap Band.)
Click on any of the Bars below to expand the description.
Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap Band)
Click on the left to see the Lap Band Procedure Video.
Roux-en Y (Gastric Bypass)
Click on the right to see the Roux-en Y Procedure Video
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG)
- Estimated weight loss >80%
- Resolution of diabetes >90%
- Resolution of obstructive sleep apnea >95%
- Resolution of hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol and triglycerides) >80%
- Resolution of hypertension >80%
- The portion of the stomach that produces the hormone that stimulates hunger (Ghrelin) is removed.
- The stomach is dramatically reduced in volume yet also functions normally.
- No dumping syndrome because the pylorus is preserved.
- Minimizes the potential for ulcer, so the use anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, Motrin, Aleve and ibuprofen are not problematic (great procedure for those with arthritis, joint pain or migraine headaches).
- No intestinal bypass and therefore little or no chance of nutritional and vitamin deficiencies
- Most patients with BMI between 30-50kg/M2 achieve their goal weight within 12 months following surgery.
- Safer alternative for high body weight (>400 pounds) or medically high-risk patients than the gastric bypass or duodenal switch.
- No foreign body or implanted devices.
- Can be performed laparoscopically in virtually all patients.
Click on the right to see the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Procedure Video.
Ok. Now what?
The Doctor that will be performing the surgery is Dr. Gary Belzberg who's been with Kaiser since 1989.
Oh, yea. My VSG surgery is on June 19th - Kaiser Permanente at 25825 S Vermont Ave, Harbor City. I won't have a specific time until the day before. I will be in the Hospital until the next day. I'm sure I will be groggy and hateful during my Hospital stay. So, if you come to visit me, I apologize in advance.
In the weeks and months following my surgery, I will post pictures as I am going through this process.