|On 14 July 2004, we received the following story from S.H. of Marshall, TX:
"I had the Roux nY surgery in 1997. I weighed 313 pounds and got down to 150 pounds. Over three years later, in 2001, I had a staple-line failure and had to have a revision done. I had gained 60 pounds in six months. Everything seemed to be okay and I quickly returned to about 175-180 pounds, but was unable to achieve the 150 pound mark.
I had another staple-line failure and had revision surgery in August 2003. It was awful !!!! I had complications. The very next day, I had to have emergency surgery because I was bleeding internally from the doctor cutting my liver accidentally. I had to have blood transfusions. I lost 3 pints of blood. I was sent home with a gastric tube and a drainage tube in me. The doctor finally removed those about a week or so later. Then I started running a fever and had to go back into the hospital for eight more days to treat the infection. I was left with the drainage tube and in quite a bit of pain.
In December 2003, I went back to the hospital for repositioning of the drainage tube. The doctor put in a feeding tube. I got a small bowel obstruction during the process and, after repeatedly throwing up until I thought I would die, I begged the doctors to find out what was wrong with me. Sure enough, they had used a tube that was too large and created a bowel obstruction. I had to have surgery again to insert a smaller tube.
Throughout this ordeal, dating back to my second staple-line failure, I've suffered numerous infections, and "leaks" from the pouch. After numerous CT scans and upper GI studies, they found that the "leak" was still there. I had an EGD with flouoroscopy in January 2004. They showed that I actually have a hole, what the doctor called a "fistula," in my esophogus. He said he had never seen anything like it. It is a hole about the size of a dime.
During my last stay in the hospital, in January 2004, I got an infection at the site where the doctors replaced the tube, so he opened it up again, and had an open wound in the center of my chest just below the breast line. I was on liquid food acquired through a feeding tube. I couldn't actually eat anything. After four days, I was changing the dressings and found a lot of leakage and 2 blood clots the size of cotton balls. I was sure this was due to the fistula. So, I tested it. I ate a grape popcicle (purple in colour). Almost immediately, the juice from the popcicle came gushing out of this open wound.
By this time, I had become reliant on an IV stand that I had to drag around constantly with the feeding solutions. I had missed more than 8 months of work. I wasn't even able to eat anything for three months straight.
Finally, at my wit's end, I went back to the doctors on 7 July 2004 to try to do something about the esophogeal fistula. They put me back into the hospital and attempted to inject the hole with a fibrous tissue mixture that was supposed to "plug" it up. Well, after three more days of feeding tubes, I was finally allowed to "eat" something. I tried some orange jello, grape popcicle, and tea. When the doctors returned later that afternoon, the dressings on my wound were soaked with orange and purple liquid. The doctors' response to this? They said the procedure appears to have not worked, but at least they tried!
So, here I sit at 128 pounds and still losing weight. I am depressed. I have no energy. I try to eat but I either throw it up or it runs out the hole. I have a gaping wound in my chest. I have constant pain.
I totally regret ever having had this surgery. I would rather be 313 pounds any day than be where I am now. The funny thing is that after all this mess, no other doctors will see me. I never had any health problems before this surgery, other than just being fat. I didn't have medical insurance, so I had paid for the surgery out of my own pocket. I spent three years paying for that original surgery and, finally paid it off just in time for the first staple-line failure. Go figure.
I would not tell anyone to have this surgery done after what I've been through. It seems like everyone only tells about the good side of these things, but people need to know there is another reality out there!
Be careful what you wish for!!"