About VSG

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a surgical weight loss tool in which the stomach is reduced to about 25% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach, following the major curve. The open edges are then attached together (often with surgical staples, glue and possibly cauterization) to form a sleeve or tube with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach and is performed laparoscopically and is not reversible.


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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

10 WLS commandments

Found this online.  Love it, stole it for my blog to remember it.  I'm guilty of some of these items occasionally :)

1st Mistake:Not Taking Vitamins, Supplements, or Minerals
Every WLS patient has specific nutritional needs depending on the type of surgery you have had. Not only is it a good idea to ask your surgeon for guidelines, but also consult with an experienced WLS nutritionist. Understand there is not a standard practice that all surgeons and nutritionists follow in guiding WLS patients. So, it is important to do your own research, get your lab tests done regularly, and learn how to read the results. Some conditions and symptoms that can occur when you are deficient in vitamins, supplements, or minerals include: Osteoporosis; pernicious anemia; muscle spasms; high blood pressure; burning tongue; fatigue; loss of appetite; weakness; constipation and diarrhea; numbness and tingling in the hands and feet; being tired, lethargic, or dizzy; forgetfulness, and lowered immune functioning. Keep in mind, too, that some conditions caused by not taking your vitamins, supplements, or minerals are irreversible.

2nd Mistake:Assuming You Have Been Cured of Your Obesity

A "pink cloud" or honeymoon experience is common following WLS. When you are feeling better than you have in years, and the weight is coming off easily, it's hard to imagine you will ever struggle again. But unfortunately, it is very common for WLS patients to not lose to their goal weight or to regain some of their weight back. A small weight regain may be normal, but huge gains usually can be avoided with support, education, effort, and careful attention to living a healthy WLS lifestyle. For most WLSers, if you don't change what you've always done, you're going to keep getting what you've always gotten -- even after weight loss surgery.

Mistake: Drinking with Meals 

Yes, it's hard for some people to avoid drinking with meals, but the tool of not drinking with meals is a critical key to long-term success. If you drink while you eat, your food washes out of your stomach much more quickly, you can eat more, you get hungry sooner, and you are at more risk for snacking. Being too hungry is much more likely to lead to poor food choices and/or overeating.

Mistake:Not Eating Right

Of course everyone should eat right, but in this society eating right is a challenge. You have to make it as easy on yourself as possible. Eat all your meals--don't skip. Don't keep unhealthy food in sight where it will call to you all the time. Try to feed yourself at regular intervals so that you aren't as tempted to make a poor choice. And consider having a couple of absolutes: for example, avoid fried foods completely, avoid sugary foods, always use low-fat options, or only eat in a restaurant once a week. Choose your "absolutes" based on your trigger foods and your self knowledge about what foods and/or situations are problematic for you.

Mistake:Not Drinking Enough Water 

Most WLS patients are at risk for dehydration. Drinking a minimum of 64 oz. of water per day will help you avoid this risk. Adequate water intake will also help you flush out your system as you lose weight and avoid kidney stones. Drinking enough water helps with your weight loss, too.


Many people who have had WLS regret that they ever started grazing, which is nibbling small amounts here and there over the course of the day. It's one thing to eat the three to five small meals you and your doctor agree you need. It's something else altogether when you start to graze, eating any number of unplanned snacks. Grazing can easily make your weight creep up. Eating enough at meal time, and eating planned snacks when necessary, will help you resist grazing. Make a plan for what you will do when you crave food, but are not truly hungry. For example, take up a hobby to keep your hands busy or call on someone in your support group for encouragement.

Mistake:Not Exercising Regularly 

Exercise is one of the best weapons a WLS patient has to fight weight regain. Not only does exercise boost your spirits, it is a great way to keep your metabolism running strong. When you exercise, you build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn, even at rest!

Mistake:Eating the Wrong Carbs (or Eating Too Much)

Let's face it, refined carbohydrates are addictive. If you eat refined carbohydrates they will make you crave more refined carbohydrates. There are plenty of complex carbohydrates to choose from, which have beneficial vitamins. For example, if you can handle pastas, try whole grain Kamut pasta--in moderation, of course. (Kamut pasta doesn't have the flavor some people find unpleasant in the whole wheat pastas.) Try using your complex carbohydrates as "condiments," rather than as the center point of your meal. Try sprinkling a tablespoon of brown rice on your stir-fried meat and veggies.

Mistake: Going Back to Drinking Soda 

Drinking soda is controversial in WLS circles. Some people claim soda stretches your stomach or pouch. What we know it does is keep you from getting the hydration your body requires after WLS--because when you're drinking soda, you're not drinking water! In addition, diet soda has been connected to weight gain in the general population. The best thing you can do is find other, healthier drinks to fall in love with. They are out there.

10th Mistake:Drinking Alcohol 

If you drank alcohol before surgery, you are likely to want to resume drinking alcohol following surgery. Most surgeons recommend waiting one year after surgery. And it is in your best interest to understand the consequences of drinking alcohol before you do it. Alcohol is connected with weight regain, because alcohol has 7 calories per gram, while protein and vegetables have 4 calories per gram. Also, some people develop an addiction to alcohol after WLS, so be very cautious. Depending on your type of WLS, you may get drunker, quicker after surgery, which can cause health problems and put you in dangerous situations. If you think you have a drinking problem, get help right away. Putting off stopping drinking doesn't make it any easier, and could make you a lot sicker

Nervous for nothing

I've been dreading a family function recently.  I'm still pretty new in the post-op phases really and very unsure as to how I wanted to handle telling people that I've had WLS.  ESPECIALLY my family.

It was my gma's 75th and my dad's 57th birthday party on Sunday (Sept 4).  Much of the family that I haven't seen at all this year (and since I was over 220 lbs) would be commenting on my weight loss... this I know.  They've seen me lose and regain many many times over the years so I was prepared for the latest barrage of questions and comments. What I wasn't prepared for was the unbeliveable support!

Up until (literally) the drive to the restaurant I was still deciding if I should tell them or just stick to my work response of "medically supervised diet".  I finally came to the conclusion that if anyone should understand how hard its been for me, it would be them.  So I decided even if they judged me for it, I didn't care and that I was feeling too good (having just broke into the 160's...yay!) to have them affect my mood.

So I told anyone who asked.  At one point, most of the people in the room were listening as I recounted my surgery experience and a few were interested in possibly pursing it themselves!  I received support like I didn't expect and some family may make this journey along with me.

In short, I'm happy I chose my sleeve.  I'm happier yet that I chose to start telling people in my life about it.  I'm still uncomfortable with my work knowning though... because its none of their damn business mostly but also because its not up to them to decide if I required that surgery for sick leave post-op or not.  A medical doctor said I needed leave for at least a week, so I had leave for a week and I have the dr note to prove it. :)