Gastric band surgery is often the last port of call for those of us who have put on too many pounds, and can’t seem to get them off again. It’s not, as a lot of media pundits like to pretend, an easy way out of obesity; there is nothing easy about undergoing serious surgery.
During a gastric band procedure, your stomach is banded in order to decrease its size, which means that you can only eat smaller quantities of food at a time. In other words, you’ll fill up more quickly and get less hungry between meals. It’s one way of ensuring that your body isn’t working against you while you try to lose weight.
However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to put in some effort yourself. It’s crucial that you don’t overeat after undergoing gastric band surgery, both for your health and for your weight loss. Regular exercise is also recommended to help the pounds keep coming off, and to make sure that your body stays strong and healthy throughout the diet.
It’s also important that when you’re cutting calories out of your diet, you don’t cut out any of those vital nutrients either. When you’re eating so much less than you used to, every bite counts – so make sure you’re eating lots of proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
If you’re thinking of undergoing gastric band surgery, then just get in touch with us. We’ll be with you every step of the way, and we know exactly how hard it can be to make this decision. Whether you end up deciding it is or isn’t for you, we’ll help you get to the answer you need.
If you’re considering a gastric wrap like so many of our patients, you might be wondering what questions you should ask your doctor or consultant before confirming the procedure. Making sure that you’re the perfect candidate for the role is very important before undergoing serious surgery. Here’s what you need to bring up with your doctor:
- Take along some photos of yourself showing a few different angles so that your doctor can assess your suitability for surgery. The way your weight is distributed will affect your risk levels with a gastric wrap.
- Tell your doctor if you’ve had a history of yo-yo dieting.
- Discuss your racial origin with your doctor. Those of Asian origin may be more at risk when undergoing gastric wrap surgeries.
- Tell your doctor about any other serious illnesses you have, including type 2 diabetes. These can affect how likely your surgery is to go well.
If you discuss all of these things and have a BMI high enough to be considered for the surgery, you’re well on your way to a successful gastric wrap operation. Of course, it’s important to remember that there is always a risk when undergoing any kind of surgery.
Weight loss surgery is immensely popular over here at Secret Surgery. We get so many requests for the procedures every year, and one of the most common things we hear is that our patients have been struggling with the decision of whether or not to have surgery for years.
One of the common misconceptions about weight loss surgery is that it’s, well, ‘giving up’. Or even the ‘easy route’ to weight loss. Well, this isn’t true, for a few reasons. How can weight loss surgery be giving up? Since when was making a decision – a really, really tough decision – to do something which is going to help you achieve a long-term goal, ‘giving up’? That doesn’t sound like giving up to me.
It’s not exactly easy, either. You don’t just have surgery and then carry on as before. It’s a life-changing surgery, and you still have to put in the effort to eat right and keep your body in shape even after you’ve had the procedure. This isn’t an easy fix: far from it.
What we tend to find is that the people who come to us seriously wanting weight loss surgery have tried everything else; this is their last resort. Frankly, that’s how it should be. If you’re thinking about weight loss surgery and you haven’t tried to achieve your goals through diet and exercise yet, then just pencil that in first.
Of course, if you have tried diet and exercise and found that you’re not getting anywhere, then you shouldn’t feel remotely ashamed about considering surgery. Losing large amounts of weight is very, very difficult – and due to metabolic differences, can be trickier for some of us than others. It’s not giving up to ask for help – it’s wise!
Gastric surgery is without a doubt one of the most popular surgeries we perform. The greatest risks of the gastric surgery come from not following the diet properly. If you eat too much or eat food that you shouldn’t, you could have complications. Here’s a countdown of the six things that could happen to you if you don’t follow the rules!
- Dumping syndrome. This complication occurs most often after eating foods high in sugar or fat. These foods travel quickly through your stomach pouch and “dump” into your intestine. Dumping syndrome can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating and eventually diarrhea.
- Dehydration. Because you’re not supposed to drink fluids with your meals, some people become dehydrated. You can prevent dehydration by sipping 48 to 64 ounces (1.4 to 1.9 liters) of water or other low-calorie beverages throughout the day.
- Nausea and vomiting. If you eat too much, eat too fast or don’t chew your food adequately, you may become nauseated or vomit after meals.
- Constipation. If you don’t follow a regular schedule for eating your meals, don’t eat enough fiber or don’t exercise, you may become constipated.
- Blocked opening of your stomach pouch. It’s possible for food to become lodged at the opening of your stomach pouch, even if you carefully follow the diet. Signs and symptoms of a blocked stomach opening include ongoing nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Call your doctor if you have these symptoms for more than two days.
- Weight gain or failure to lose weight. If you continue to gain weight or fail to lose weight on the gastric diet, it’s possible you could be eating too many calories. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about changes you can make to your diet.
If you have had gastric surgery and you’re experiencing any of these problems, talk to your nurse or doctor straight away – the good news is that sorting out your diet should help to fix most of these problems!
As part of our ‘Under the Skin of Secret Surgery’ series, we’ve got Professor Fried is with us today to tell us all about his own thoughts on work, life, and… everything else! Lots of our past patients will already have met the lovely Professor Fried, our bariatric surgeon and expert, but if you haven’t had the chance yet… here he is!
What’s the biggest challenge in your job?
There are several big and important challenges in my work. One of the most important is to always remember my credo, which means to perform surgeries in the safest possible and optimal way for the patient. To be able to fulfil this credo my work necessitates continuous concentration on what I am doing in the OR as well as to stay up-to-date in my professional education.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part is to see and to talk to a satisfied client/patient at the end of his hospital stay and to hear from him that he would chose the surgical care in our hospital again.
Do you have a favourite procedure to perform?
Generally, I am fond of laparoscopic (key hole), minimally invasive surgeries. From obesity surgery/bariatric point of view my favorite procedure is gastric plication (wrap), however each and every bariatric procedure is very interesting and nice to perform. As I am in favour of surgical treatment of type 2 diabetes, I consider so called metabolic surgery (treating some of the metabolic comorbidities of obesity through surgical operation) as indeed interesting.
If you hadn’t become a surgeon, what do you think you would have been?
A lawyer or writer.
If you were going to treat yourself to some surgery, what would you get done?
If surgical treatment of obesity would be of consideration, than my choice would depend on my overal health condition. If, for example, I would have been obese diabetic dependent on high doses of insulin, suffering from the disease for many years, I would go for the BPD. On the other hand, in case I would be an obese patient with a mild degree of diabetes (on medical treatment, or on lower doses of insulin), I would chose between gastric band and gastric plication. However, I would very seriously listen to the team of experts whom I would go to and ask for their opinion on the best treatment/surgery for me. So, the overall conclusion is that there´s no ideal one type of surgery which would fit all patients, and choice of the best surgical treatment depends on the actual health status of each individual.
What do you do to relax after a long day?
Walking in the countryside and having a glass of good wine after such a walk.
Today, Rachel from Wolverhampton is here to tell us about the rollercoaster ride she’s gone through in losing ten stone and finding herself again after many years! How did her experience with Secret Surgery go, and – will she be coming back?
Tell us how it all started? At a fraction under 22 stone and only 35 years old, I was miserable. I had two herniated discs in my spine, I could barely stand… even walking around the supermarket was just too painful. It wasn’t a life – I had to do something about it, so in April 2011, I had a Gastric Bypass, and it was the start of my new life.
And then what happened? Fast forward 18 months, I’m 10 stone lighter, much healthier, but stuck in what can only be described as a deflated, wrinkly old fat suit. I still felt ugly, and ashamed, and I knew what needed to be done, so I started looking for surgeons on the internet… this is where I found Angela and Secret Surgery.
Great – did you find our Facebook group? I joined the Facebook group, which I have to say, is one of the best things ever. I had the chance to talk to other ladies, and even some men who had the procedures I was interested in. I looked at the amazing results they were getting and I knew it was the right decision to make, so I sent my photos, explained what I wanted to be done, got my report back, and booked. From start to finish it was all so easy, not having to worry about a single thing, other than getting to the airport on time. Everything is done for you – flights, accommodation, transfers… the most stressful thing is working out what to pack!
And you liked the staff, didn’t you? Jack, the lovely taxi driver, is great, and so helpful. The beautiful Aga can’t do enough to help, and Dr W is a genius also, very funny and approachable, which is something you don’t get with a lot of surgeons!
But what of the hospital? The hospital is lovely, small enough that you don’t feel lost, and very very clean. The only thing I will do differently is bring my own food to the hospital next time – they don’t seem to understand breakfast, and I for one can’t do bread, cheese and tomato first thing in the morning!
And the accommodation? The apartments are lovely, light airy, and comfortable, close to the town, and ideal for Tesco, which is just a 10 minute walk up the road, great for some light exercise after surgery.
Fantastic! Any final comments? My results are amazing and I couldn’t be happier. I am happy and more confident, something which I haven’t been in years, and it has given me the boost I need to have further surgeries to fix the problems associated with huge weight loss. I really cannot recommend Secret Surgery enough, I tell everyone who will listen…I cannot wait to head back in March for my next two procedures!
Sara Bouamra is a weight loss coach and Patient Care Manager with Secret Surgery, and she’s offering our readers an exclusive guide to achieving those long-sought weight loss goals. As a trainer, Sara knows that we can all do it if we put our minds to it – and here’s how.
It is time to overcome the self-sabotage that’s been holding you back from your weight loss goals and achieve the body you deserve.
My aim as your Weight Loss Life Coach is to help you get off the dieting roller coaster, so that you may break free of your emotional eating patterns. I can help you find new ways of being in the world that support your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health. Yes your Gastric Surgery has put a large FULL STOP to the ability to overeat – but the reasons why you overate are still there! This is why Secret Surgery Patients have sustainable results – because we give you the support you need after the surgery as well as before.
Emotional eating is the number one cause of obesity. Emotional eating is any eating that is done other than to satisfy hunger. It is the reason why diet and exercise programs continually fail. I have found that people who struggle with food and emotional eating are released from that prison once they learn the skills of mindful awareness and mindful eating, emotional self-nurturing and learning to set appropriate limits and goals. This turns off the urge to overeat and engage in other compulsive behaviors. When you feel better, you eat better! I have walked this path myself, and it has led me to inner peace and emotional eating freedom.
Learning to deal with the situations that make you emotional and control them can be daunting, but each coaching session will be aimed at resolving your issues and teaching you how to cope.
Remember that you are not alone in your journey, everyone of the staff at Secret Surgery have walked a mile in your shoes. We all understand the overwhelming urge to turn to comfort food when faced with emotional situations, our online support group is there for that purpose, there is always someone online to offer assistance and I am just at the end of the phone to help you.
Has Sara given you the confidence boost you needed? To take the next step and receive a FREE personalised info pack and quote please visit www.SecretSurgery.co.uk or call 0843 289 4 982 or email [email protected]
Last week, we did a feature post about the gastric wrap, so most of you should know a little more about what it is and how it works, now. (If you missed it, read back! It’s an effective, reversible and relatively simple weight loss procedure.)
However, you might still not have decided whether gastric wrap surgery is really for you – so today, we’re going to help a couple of you fence-sitters to make up your minds. First, there are some people who are considered ‘high-risk’, which means that – if you fall into one of these groups – you’re more likely to want to explore other options first. You’re a high-risk patient if:
- You’re aged over 50.
- Your BMI is over 50.
- You’re man.
- You have high blood pressure, or hypertension.
- You’ve got a history of breathing problems, including asthma.
- You’ve got a history of hiatal hernia, GERD, stomach ulcers or a history of chronic diseases of the digestive tract.
- You’ve previously undergone an open major abdominal surgery in the upper abdomen.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a gastric wrap, but it’s important to be aware of the risks you’re taking on when you opt for any surgery. These risks would be discussed in-depth during a consultation with us.
Of course, as a radical weight loss surgery, the gastric wrap is generally for people with high BMIs, and your doctor will consider your BMI when assessing your suitability for surgery. However, it’s a good idea to bear in mind:
- If you’re a yo-yo dieter and experience vast fluctuations in weight, be sure to tell your doc this. If it’s likely that your weight will ‘go up’ again in the future, you may still be considered even if your BMI isn’t currently that high.
- You may want to show your doctor or consultant some photographs of yourself to help him assess your suitability, because the way your weight is distributed around your body will affect the level of risk you are at.
- Depending on your racial origin, you could be more likely to develop co-morbidities associated with obesity. Those of Asian origin may want to consider a gastric wrap more strongly for this reason.
- If you have any co-morbidities, such as type 2 diabetes, you can be much more at risk than others.
Of course, you’ll want to talk about your decision much more before you take the plunge – but that’s why we’re always there, at the other end of the phone.
At Secret Surgery, something that we get asked about all the time is gastric bypass surgey – and some of its more unsavoury side effects. A lot of ladies are concerned that if they undergo gastric bypass surgery they might suffer from hair loss after the operation. It is an unfortunate possiblibility, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to reduce hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth.
If you’re keen to know why hair loss after gastric bypass surgery happens, it’s all about calories. After the surgery, your body will be forced to subsist on much lower amounts of calories, and which means that none of those calories and nutrients are wasted. Keeping the rest of you alive and pumping is obviously more important than keeping your hair healthy, so it’s your organs that get prioritised.
For this reason, if you want to minimize hair loss, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re eating right straight away after your surgery. You need to take in as much protein as you can; most doctors will recommend something like 60 grams a day, but it can never hurt to get more. If you find this too difficult, you can easily boost your intake with protein shakes and snacks.
Secondly, you need to do everything you can to look after your hair. This means no perms, colour treatments, or straightening for the time being; these treatments will only increase the rate that your hair falls out! Also, keep your hair trimmed regularly for a fuller appearance, and brush it every day. If you’ve got the cash to splurge on really good shampoo and conditioner, now’s the time to do it.
Finally, if you really want to reverse the effects that gastric bypass surgery will have on your hair, you need to promote regrowth by getting your body all the nutrients it needs. Supplements will help you; not just in the way of protein shakes, but also vitamin and mineral tablets, too.
It might sound like a lot, but it’s easy to quickly get into a routine of haircare that should mean you don’t suffer too much hair loss after your surgery. The truth is, it’s not as scary as it sounds, and with our VIP aftercare package, we’ll be with you every step of the way.