Surgery: Laparoscopic Gastric Plication & Gastric Band
Case 1: Jennifer
I have tried having 10 meals a day! I want to eat once I see food and am never able to stop myself! I am 31 now with a weight of 120. No one would have guessed that I was a 260 pound girl one and a half year ago, who never had a meal without meat and little vegetables, finished 5 plates of fried noodles at a time. I am always a big-eater since I was small and no restriction in diet. Once I had 2 fried noodles in the morning, I could still have another 2 bowls of noodles in the afternoon. Therefore, I already weighed 90 pounds when I was 8.
Profuse sweating and tachycardia when taking pills
Like most girls, I wanted a slim body shape. When I was 18, I tried medication therapy for weight loss and lost 30 pounds in 2 months. However, I experienced profuse sweating and tachycardia during the treatment and was forced to stop. Later I turned to another doctor for weight loss treatment, but the effect was insignificant. Without the medication, my appetite came back and then my weight rose to 200 pounds again. As my family had nothing to say about my body shape, so I turned back to my over-eating habit again.
Breathing difficulty and angina
Last December I experienced sudden shortness of breath and angina and headed to the emergency department immediately. Although the results came back normal, it gave me a serious warning as I was worried that my weight would cause me severe illnesses. “I have been paying attention to the news about bariatric surgery and I know that I couldn’t control my mouth, and I don’t want to have a heart attack, so I asked the doctor if I could be referred to have bariatric surgery.”
I was referred to see Dr. Dennis Wong and following detailed explained of various procedures and risks, we finally decided on laparoscopic gastric band plication surgery. Besides gastric banding, my stomach wall was folded and sutured to reduce its volume for successful weight loss. The surgery took about 2 hours under general anesthesia. The doctor made 5 small holes on my tummy and I was able to move around in 3 days. My doctor told me that the first 15 days after the surgery I was allowed fluid diet only, such as rice water and milk. From day 15 onwards, I could have puree diet. Normal diet was resumed after a month.
It took me some time to adapt after the surgery. It felt a little bit like my stomach was floating and sometimes I would feel some nausea. At first, I ate quite fast and I had the habit of drinking water with food, so I vomited a lot in the early days after the surgery. But once I corrected these habits, I was able to adapt quickly and the vomiting was subsided. My appetite was significantly reduced after the surgery, now I only have half bowl of rice, some meat and vegetables each meal, which is a great contrast compared with my past habit. Besides, my taste has changed quite a lot, now my favorite food is high-fiber stuff, such as vegetables, tufu and fruits, not meat anymore.
First half year after the surgery, I needed to visit my doctor once a month, then it was reduced to every 3 months. Besides adjusting the banding, my doctor also prescribed vitamin pills to supplement my nutrients. Originally the target was set at 160 pounds, but my result was good and I exercised regularly. The first 3 months after the surgery, I lost 5-7 pounds per month, then 8-10 pounds per months, up to 2-3 pounds per month now. My waistline reduced from 48 inches to 27 inches now. Besides the weight loss, my period became more regular once my weight returned normal.
To be honest, it felt like a dream to me to have a weight of 120 pounds. I am more confident and happy than before and I join outdoor activities more often. Now I can buy the clothes I like without the fear of looking too fat in colours other than black. The coming October would be a new page of my life - getting married as a happy bride!