Tanya is a 32-year old customer service rep in Atlanta, Georgia. She had gastric bypass surgery in December, 2003. It was an open operation (traditional large incision). She shared with us her reasons for undergoing weight loss and what it has been like since then.
What weight loss steps had you tried before surgery?
All the diets around. You name it, I did it!
How had your weight affected your life?
I was always outgoing and on the go, but the heavier I got, the more I just stayed in, not going any where. I did not even go shopping anymore, because I could not stand to walk for long periods of time. I just cut everything off. I had to really think about the places I went regarding what type of seating they had, because some seats were too small.
What ultimately made you decide to have surgery?
When I walked, I would be breathing so hard I thought I was going to pass out. I did not like that. It was the last straw for me. I wanted a better life and to be a lot healthier. For me, there weren't many drawbacks to having surgery, because if I did not do this, I felt my health was in peril anyway.
How did you hear about this type of surgery?
I read an article on Carnie Wilson, the singer from Wilson Phillips, who had had the surgery.
What was your weight before surgery?
What is your weight now?
Were there any complications or problems with the surgery itself?
The surgery went very well. The only issue was after surgery, when they were trying to bring me out from anesthesia. My blood pressure shot up very, very high. So they had to re-sedate me, and they did not wake me until the following morning after the surgery. I had to stay in the ICU (intensive care unit) for a few days.
What was the recovery period like?
I never had any pain from my actual incision. My pain came from the band that they put around you after the surgery to hold the incision area together. It cut into my back and made a very bad gash. It made me not be able to walk upright at all, and I had to use a walker for balance for about 1 month after the surgery. Because the gash was in the crease of my back, it took a very long time to heal, but it did.
How has the surgery impacted your life since you had it?
I am doing everything again. Just last week, I went to the Georgia state fair and walked and walked and had no problems... I have more energy. I love life again.
Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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