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Weight Loss Surgery


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Dolly W Find out more about Dolly W
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  • Weight Loss Surgery

    I am currently in the screening process to have bariatric surgery. I was wondering how many other HCM'ers have had WLS & what was your experience? Any tips/advice is greatly appreciated!

    HOCM, Septal Myectomy 10/02 (Mayo Clinic), Medtronic ICD 10/07, TIA 10/07

  • #2
    Re: Weight Loss Surgery

    Dolly, I have not had weight loss surgery so this reply imparts no first hand knowledge. There is someone very close to me who had the gastric band procedure. That band is placed around the stomach and when inflated, constricts the size of the stomach, The theory of the band is that it effectively reduces the stomach size in half so you can eat less. The band can be inflated or deflated to change the effect on the size of the stomach. It was advertised as doing the same thing as gastric bypass, but was easier to modify or reverse.

    The person that I know who had the this procedure has had some success in weight loss, but not as much as she wanted or expected. There is one big side effect that you need to investigate. This person frequently complains that food "gets stuck" and she regurgitates the food. Sorry but I can't think of a much more polite word for it. And when I say frequently, I mean like three or four times a day. I myself have only "regurgitated" food like five times in my whole life gong back to when I started remembering things. The sensation is very unpleasant to me, so this would be a lifestyle change that I could never accept. I also wonder how healthy it is to have gastric contents continually coming back up. I am not saying this happens to everyone, or would happen to you. Its just something that I would certainly ask the surgeon about before dong the procedure. The person that I am referring to does not have HCM so this comment relates only to the procedure generally, and not to HCM patients in particular.

    I have noticed from advertisements that the criteria for this surgery have been reduced (I think now you only need to be 50lbs overweight and have one co-morbid, so this procedure will become more common. It is a thoughtful choice. I wish you the best of luck.


    Diagnosed with unobstructed HCM in 2004 after a bad experience playing tennis
    Graduated to obstructed HCM by Dec, 2008.

    Life outside of HCM: Law, Photography, Tennis, Music, raising kids and camping


    • #3
      Re: Weight Loss Surgery

      Thanks for replying, Jeff. Regurgitation is not pleasant & the gastric contents wreak havoc on the esophagus. Unfortunately, this is my second time going through the program & both times my surgery was cancelled due to insurance issues. Hmmmmm, maybe there's a reason? Anywho, Thanks again!
      HOCM, Septal Myectomy 10/02 (Mayo Clinic), Medtronic ICD 10/07, TIA 10/07


      • #4
        Re: Weight Loss Surgery

        Hi Dolly I had the surgery 6 years ago in October. Although the team that operated on me consider me a success for all the reasons they do the surgery in the first place .. I have had many issues as a result directly related to the surgery. I lost about 100 pounds and have about 50 of it back on-- they still consider my overall loss and the number of years off as a success. I have had chronic issues with gastric ulcers, vitamin deficiency; Calcium , D and B12, I have progressed to osteopenia and severe arthritis. Two years ago I had to have my thyroid gland out and the deficiencies; D and calciium further complicated my recovery from that surgery and also my bone demineralization. I have not had lots of issues with my diabetes as the surgery took care of that. Last year I had 17 inches of my colon out and that was complicated and a long recovery as well D/T the complications. My sleep apnea did not get better even though they felt it would and my settings/ needs went up. My weight increase has actually been more from my heart issues and an increasing intolerable exercise ability, fluctuating heart failure and now kidney disease. My weight has started to come down over recent months as my creatinine stays up and and kidney function does not improve.

        I am sorry but I am not a good positive advocate for bariatric surgery. Do your research and the decision will have to be yours. Would I do it over? Only if I knew for sure that none of the other issues resulted from the surgery. They told me going in that such things could happen but usually only to people who do not follow a close medical regime or fail to take their supplements. I did everything I was supposed to do and still I fall short . It is a BIG decision and I wish you a lot of luck in whatever you decide. One interesting thing is I used to enjoy eating before the surgery and these days/ years it is a chore to get in enough good, nutritional food and to enjoy it.

        Best Wishes, Pam
        Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
        Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
        Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
        SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
        [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
        Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
        Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
        Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


        • #5
          Re: Weight Loss Surgery

          I'm no expert, but here in CA, we have a bariatric group that is currently being investigated. They contract with local hospitals and surgeons and provide all the advertising - Like 23 billboards in a 8 mile stretch of the freeway. This includes nonstop TV Commericials and Radio ads as well. From what I've read - the national average for lap bands is 50% loss over 3 years. Not sure what the 5 and 10 year rate is. What a lot do not mention is that the the stomach can and does STRETCH out to its old self. I know that stomach stapling and by-pass are more successful, but much harder on your system (see Pam's post). The stomach does stretches back out in time unless the patient learns self control. The period right after surgery is where it forces you to eat very little and often. In other words, you'll be on a diet. Please do investigate all options before committing your body to surgery - Wishing you the best.
          Diagnosed @ 48
          Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
          Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
          AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
          After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
          Quietly going insane . . .


          • #6
            Re: Weight Loss Surgery

            My best friend had gastric bypass surgery about 12 years ago. She doesn't have HCM, but I can share with you her story. She was considered morbidly obese and therefore the surgery was something she was excited to do. She lost a lot of weight after her surgery, but has gained about 50lbs of it back. She still looks great though. However, a month or so after her surgery she began having gallbladder issues and had to have surgery to remove that. They said it was related somethow to the gastric bypass surgery, though I'm not sure how.

            She still, after all of these years, can't eat many things because they make her sick. If she eats a sandwich, she often vomits, so she hasn't had a sandwich in years. She can't eat much bread, of any type, at all. If she eats too fast or eats too much, she will vomit. I know it was something she was told could happen, but I don't think she expected it to still be a problem so many years later. She has issues with heartburn often as well.

            I do know this though, she doesn't regret having the surgery..she has had three kids since the surgery too, which explains some of the weight gain back. However, she doesn't have a heart condition and I'm sure that having HCM puts you in a high-risk category for many things for an invasive surgery. Good luck to you with your decision!


            • #7
              Re: Weight Loss Surgery

              Nice sharing.
              I am sorry but I am not a good positive advocate for bariatric surgery.
              Do your research and the decision will have to be yours. Only if I knew for
              sure that none of the other issues resulted from the surgery.
              Chino Hills Fitness