June 25, 2012 I underwent 5 1/2 hour surgery for a sleeve gastrectomy. The length of the surgery was due to extreme amount of scar tissue due to a previous exploratory surgery.
After surgery, my upper GI indicated a very tight sleeve. One week after surgery, I began with severe left-sided pain. After a week of trying to get the doctor’s attention that something was wrong and three times going to ER, they finally admitted me.
The leak was at the top of the stomach, with a fistula extending to a pocket of infection next to my lung and heart. I also had a pleural effusion. The infection and the pleura both had to have drains put in them.
I was not allowed to take in anything orally. Total parenteral nutrition (PTN) was fed intravenously.
After a week, an esophageal stent was put in place. Three weeks later, after taken off PTN and the drains no longer produced any fluid and I was taking in a full liquid diet, I was sent home to recuperate. Finally the stent was removed after two months.
Two weeks later I began to vomit. Upper GI showed stenosis and a kink in the stomach (similar to the plumbing under a sink). I received an endoscopy dilation which offered a little relief but suffer from extreme belching after eating. About 3-4 weeks later, I began to vomit again. Now I am awaiting a call to see if we dilate the stomach again or put a stent in.
If it could go wrong, it did. I have lost 56 lbs, but earned every pound. Currently I seemed to have plateaued due to not being able to eat more than 3-4 tablespoons of food at a time. Hoping there is an end to this tunnel I am in.
I understand I am an exception to the normal outcome. I have since found out that the doctor who performed my surgery is no longer privileged to practice sleeve gastrectomy at the hospital.
I originally went to a group practice and a hospital both Bariatric Centers of Excellence, so I did not question my doctor’s expertise in this area. I probably should have.
– How to choose the right bariatric surgeon
– Bariatric Surgery Complications
– Find a Bariatric Surgeon in My Area
– Types of Bariatric Surgery – Comparison of the 16 Established & Experimental Weight Loss Surgery Procedures
– Analysis & Cost of Gastric Sleeve Surgery (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy or Vertical Gastrectomy)