Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What the hell happened to me

Ok, so exactly what surgery did I have? What does it do? I've had a lot of people asking me these questions. Here is my best non-sciencey explanation for non-sciencey people: I have Franken-guts.

The name of the surgery I had was Duodenal Switch. I did NOT have gastric bypass (known as RNY or Roux-en-Y). The Duodenal Switch and the RNY both combine a restrictive element and a malabsorptive element, but that is where the similarities end.

In the Duodenal Switch, 85% of my stomach was removed. This is the restrictive element. I can only consume a small amount of food at a time. The most important thing to me regarding this surgery is that my remaining stomach remains a stomach. I do not have a "pouch" like bypass patients. I have an honest to blog functioning stomach with acid producers and a pyloric valve (not a stoma). It churns and gurgles and does all the things a stomach should do.

The second part of my surgery causes the calories I DO consume to be malabsorbed. The intestines are rerouted so that the food I eat does not have as long of a journey through the small intestine (where all nutrients as well as calories and fats are absorbed). I absorb about 20% of the fat I ingest. Pretty neat, huh? On the down side, it also means I absorb significantly less vitamins and other nutrients. I have to load up on protein and vitamins and minerals in order to not become malnourished. Tit for tat, as far as I see it.

So what does this all mean?
  • Because I don't have a "pouch" I can consume slightly larger quantities of food than a bypass patient.
  • I NEED to consume larger quantities of nutrients because my malabsorption is higher than that of a bypass patient.
  • I will not get "dumping syndrome" if I eat sugar or fat. However, I will pay for overindulgence with very unpleasant bathroom emissions.
  • I have an extremely good chance of maintaining at least 85% of my weight loss after 10 years (as opposed to other weight loss surgery outcomes).
  • I HAVE FRANKEN-GUTS!!! Sorry, but that amuses me to no end.


  1. I'm going tomorrow to the seminar. My aunt had gastric bypass 2 plus years ago and lost like 100lbs. I am thinking of having lapband surgery because I desperately need/want to lose weight but we also want to have kids sooner than if I were to have gastric or what you had. I didn't know about the stomach thing. Why did you pick this surgery over another?

  2. why did they take out your gallbladder?

  3. Eileen, my surgeon removed my gallbladder because it is very hard to get at after the intestinal rearrangement. So if anything should go wrong later (which statistically it probably will due to family history), it would be very risky to operate on.

  4. Mine's coming out too. I can't wait to get my Frankenguts. :)