There are a few different kinds of gastric surgery, which can make matters confusing when you’re considering what gastric surgery actually is. The gastric wrap is slowly becoming one of the most popular kinds of surgery, and today we’re going to tell you – with all the gory details – what exactly a gastric wrap is!
A gastric wrap involves the surgeon making small, keyhole incisions in the stomach. The stomach is then folded in on itself, to create a narrower, tube-shaped pouch. In other words, your stomach will be smaller, so you’ll be able to eat less food, but otherwise your digestion works normally.
This means that the gastric wrap doesn’t restrict the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, as the gastric bypass does. This is one key reason why the gastric band is gaining popularity; you don’t have to compromise on your nutrition to lose weight with the wrap.
Gastric wraps can lead to very quick weight loss, and most patients are very happy with their operation. Of course, it’s something we only recommend to people who have already tried to lose weight through diet and exercise – but for some of us, that just doesn’t seem to do the job.
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!
How did you get introduced to Secret Surgery? I first met Angela at her gastric & plastic support group when I went with my partner Elaine who was completing her journey by having a tummy tuck, we discussed gastric wrap that week & I thought to myself – I want and desperately need that! A friend was travelling out to Prague so I eagerly followed her journey & wonderful weight loss so I set to hard saving. In October 2012 I managed to book my surgery for 15th January 2013 – a new start for a new year! I couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over so I could start my pre-op diet on 1st January.
What happened nearer the time of your surgery? 1st January arrived & I started on my diet of soup & yoghurt which I found surprisingly easy but I did suffer with ketosis, mainly smelly breath. Finally we’re on our way on 14th January but it decided to snow at Gatwick but there was no hiccups and we arrived in Prague at lunch-time.
How was your arrival? We were met by Paul who took us to the clinic, he has limited English. When we got to the clinic we were met by Tina who checked us into our apartment which was very comfortable, she answered any questions and showed us where our surgery buddies were. Once we were all unpacked we headed into town on a tram and the underground, we found Tesco which was great as our companions got their provisions, this was lucky as we found out the restaurant on site shut at the weekend. I had most of my pre-op checks (BP, Temp, urine, ECG, weight, peak flow, MRSA check, bloods).
How did the surgery itself go? On the morning of surgery I was up early in the shower eager to meet Tina at 7am, we went through paperwork & signed consent form, had a group consultation with Prof Fried as there was four of us having surgery that day and one the day after, seen by general Dr, psychologist, and then had ultrasound scan and also had gastroscopy, this wasn’t a nice procedure but is necessary & doesn’t take long. I was then taken to my room which you share & there is an en-suite bathroom between 2 rooms. I was given a gown & sexy white stockings, given pre med medications & within minutes pushed into theatre, Elaine was told I would be back in 4 hours. All the theatre staff were extremely friendly with ok english, I was set up in theatre & the next thing I knew I was chatting to a lovely male nurse in recovery, I always chat in recovery. I was back in my room in 2 hours!
Great! And what about post-op? My recovery went really smoothly, in the evening i was allowed to suck on a ice cube which was great, the following day I was allowed fruit tea & broth. The following morning I was given tiny balls from 2 capsules but I really struggled to swallow these as took too much water & was promptly sick, I spoke to the Dr’s & Prof Fried & he said I could take them whole but to take them slowly. The nursing staff were really nice but some of their English was difficult but they understand sign language. Later on this day I was discharged to our apartment which was lovely. I slept loads in the apartment, it was so cosy. The clinic was very clean & 4* standard.
That’s excellent. Would you recommend your experience? My overall experience was very good & would recommend this weight loss procedure to anyone struggling, I’ve lost 2st 13lb since 1st January & feel so so much better. I’m on my journey to a healthier, happy life.
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.
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]
Bariatric surgery – also called weight loss surgery – isn’t as easy as it’s always made out to be. It’s not an ‘easy’ route to weight loss; it’s actually very tough, and it comes with a whole loads of risks. If you’re not fully aware of what you’re risking by undergoing bariatric surgery, then you really shouldn’t be doing it.
These complications can occur in just about any bariatric surgery – we can’t second-guess whether it will or won’t happen, and it’s nothing to do with sloppy surgery; sometimes, things just don’t turn out the way we hope. This isn’t supposed to put you off surgery, but we do want all of our patients to be fully aware of the risks they’re accepting when they choose a procedure.
Risks and complications of bariatric surgery include:
- Death – not to start you off on a downer…
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Gastrointestinal Tract Leak
- Conversion to Open Procedure
- Bowel Obstruction
- Low Blood Sugars (Hypoglycemia)
- Kidney Problems
There are many more, some of which are associated with the problems your body might have when it starts taking in much less food after surgery than it did before. Some of these risks – like infections – come with just about every surgery under the sun, and some are specific to bariatric surgery.
This isn’t to say that the surgery is dangerous; if that were the case, it wouldn’t be approved! Most people come out of bariatric surgery absolutely fine, with a bright new future ahead of them. However, it’s a big, life-changing surgery – and we’d be lying if we didn’t tell you the risks.
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.
I was understandably distraught, and suffered terribly over the next few months. The comment had not helped – in fact, my weight crept up even more. (more…)