Monday, March 22, 2010

What is RNY and Why would I do it?

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is a weight loss surgery that results in creating a small pouch from the stomach and bypassing parts of the intestine from the digestive tract, the duodenum and a portion of the jejunum. This results in drastically restricting stomach size and creates a malabsorptive effect of nutrients and calories. The resulting pouch is about 1-2 oz in size and is connected to the lower (distal) portion of the jejunum. The "remnant" stomach, also called the blind stomach, is closed and left inside the body, where it still remains viable and healthy, although it is no longer used during digestion of food. The part of the intestine removed from the digestive tract is still connected to the remnant stomach and food "bypasses" this area, and is then attached to the ileum to allow the digestive fluids to rejoin the digestive tract lower down the pathway. The body still has bile from the liver and digestive juices and enzymes from the pancreas.
For a further in depth look at RNY gastric bypass, read here, here, or here. The above picture is from

The surgery can be done open or laparoscopically, each have their pros and cons. My surgery was laparoscopic, resulting in less scarring, shorter hospital stay, and supposedly quicker healing times.

Why did I chose RNY?

Well, in all blunt honesty. I was super morbidly obese. Yes, that's an official medical term. Morbid obesity is when someone's body mass index (BMI) is above 40, meaning their body is 40% fat. Super morbid obesity is when a person's BMI is 50 or above. I am 5'1" and my highest weight was 267.8. For calculation purposes, I use 268. I was two hundred sixty-eight pounds. Yes, seriously.
I tried multiple diets, and followed an eight month program through my primary care doctor. I ate the same food for 11 weeks: slim fast for breakfast, decent/healthy lunch, small dinners. My lunches were my large meal of the day. Anyhow, I gained weight during those 11 weeks. It sucked and I was mad and frustrated. After I failed my first internship, I needed to take control of my life. Those 11 weeks of internship were the most horrible time of my life. It was a bad experience and I wouldn't wish that environment on anyone. Although it seems insane, this was the way I could control my life. I had to get healthy so I could perform my job at 100% and the extra weight was another obstacle and prevented me from handling stress effectively. I was tired of being fat, I was tired getting so winded, my joints ached at the end of the day. And my doctor I was well on my way for a heart attack by the age of 30. Not to mention, I want to have children and I was not in a healthy place to be able to try to conceive and healthfully sustain a pregnancy. I would be a high risk pregnancy because I WAS OBESE.
I went to the information session, met the primary surgeon for the practice and decided to go through with it. Hubby was very supportive and wanted me healthy too. So that was that. I made the decision. It was scary. I was scared. But I knew I had to do it. I knew Lap-band wasn't a good idea for me because it doesn't restrict the TYPES of foods you can eat. And I needed that severe physiological reaction that would create strict behavior modifications (such as if I have more than 3 bites of cake, I'm on the floor, sick as a dog). But the malabsorptive effect is also a very good point. It helps you lose weight because you can't absort all the calories you take in. So the combination was best FOR ME.
Mike & I, a week prior to surgery.

Me doing some gardening intervention with one of my OT kids about a week or so prior to surgery

Me in August, one month prior to surgery.

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