After deciding to have weight loss surgery, I had to choose which procedure would work for my body and my lifestyle. The best way to do this is to talk to a doctor. However, I knew before I even started the process with my surgeon, that I wanted to have a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (pronounced roo-en-why). Statistically speaking, it's the most drastic and risky weight loss surgery, but it also offers the best chance of helping a patient lose weight and keep it off forever. It also didn't hurt that my mother had a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass in 2001, with excellent results.
Abbreviated RNY, the procedure involves two parts: it drastically decreases the size of the stomach, thereby restricting how much food you can eat. It also bypasses the first part of the small intestine, changing the way your body absorbs food. During surgery, a small portion of the top of the stomach is separated from the bottom, and formed into what's referred to as a "pouch." This new stomach pouch is about the size of an adult thumb, and holds a fraction of the food the full stomach held before surgery. Over time the pouch stretches, but, if a patient follows the rules, it remains small forever.
The second portion of the surgery is the actual "bypass." The doctor attaches the bottom of the newly formed pouch to the second part of the small intestine, thereby bypassing the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. Most nutrient absorption from food happens in the duodenum and the next part of the small intestine, called the jejunum. Bypassing the duodenum causes malabsorption, meaning the body doesn't absorb those calories - or the nutrients. All weight loss surgeries restrict the size of the stomach. But only RNY comes with this malabsobtion component, and that's why I choose it. The surgeon also makes the sphincter between the stomach and the duodenum smaller, so that the stomach empties more slowly, making the patient feel fuller longer.
Because sugars are absorbed by the bypassed duodenum, when I eat sugar and carbs now, I feel sick. I get extremely sleepy and feel like I have the flu. I have body aches, and feel nauseous. My heart beats quickly and I feel light headed. It's a miserable experience, and after going through it once, I now avoid it at all costs. The adverse reaction to sugar and bread is built-in behavior control. I now know certain foods will make me feel awful, so I don't eat them. I don't even crave them! I used to have an insatiable sweet tooth and constantly wanted chocolate. My favorite candy was Cadbury Robin Eggs. I could eat an entire 9.2 ounce bag in one sitting. Now, more than one egg turns my stomach.
After surgery your diet changes completely. How much you eat, what you eat, when you eat --it's all different. And, because you aren't taking in as much food, and because you are absorbing even less than you do take in, you have to be diligent about taking vitamins. Next time, I'll get into all that!