Is lapband surgery totally out of the question?

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Lou95
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 3/2/2009 11:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I was first diagnosed with pancolitis UC about 3 1/2 yrs. ago.  I have only used Asacol and had great results- went into remission after 6 mos.  The bad thing is I've been fighting my weight and losing for about 8 years now.  I've always carried a little extra, but I've gained up to the point that I'm over 100 lbs. overweight.  So far, I have not developed any major diseases associated with morbid obesity.  But, I'm depressed beyond belief and know it's just a matter of time.  I feel like lapband surgery would be an answer but I think that it isn't allowed for UC patients because of the potential for inflammation problems.  But, supposedly it's not permanent like gastric bypass- so, couldn't it just be removed if needed?  What are your thoughts and do you know someone who had it done?

Post Edited (Lou95) : 3/2/2009 9:52:10 PM (GMT-7)


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 3/3/2009 1:58 AM (GMT -6)   
My sister recently had surgery to remove part of her stomach in an effort to lose weight. She no longer gets food cravings and has lost an enormous amount of weight during these past five months. Lapband can be reversed, but it's success rate is lower and complications are higher in comparison with the type of surgery she got.

I'm not sure about getting such surgery when one has Colitis though. I know my digestion issues do affect my Colitis.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...
Avoid: anything with high-fructose corn syrup, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)


Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 3/3/2009 8:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe that this is something you need to discuss with your doctor.
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Peety
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 3/3/2009 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   
That would be pretty risky with this disease, I would think.

I am somewhat familiar with the coverage issues, from my work. The criteria are pretty strict, so you might not be considered an acceptable candidate. It is a last resort for people who have developed life-threatening obesity-related problems. And I think you need to be a lot more than 100 lbs overweight.

Good luck I hope you can figure out something that works for you. Have you tried eliminating carbs? I expect you've probably tried everything... I'm sorry you are suffering.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering. Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances; eliminated all wheat/gluten from my diet. Probiotics (Ultimate Flora, 50 billion), trying Curamin. 
Flaring, seasonal? or supplements too harsh? Back on prednisone, trying 15/20 mg. Appt 3/6 to discuss Humira, etc.   


Pitz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 3/3/2009 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
It's not out of the question. I was diagnosed with UC in 2002 and had gastric bypass in 2005. For me, three things had to fall into place - I had to be in remission, I couldn't be on prednisone, and my liver function levels had to be in the normal range. These things all fell into place and I had my surgery in 2005 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I had to be cleared by their GI docs, who told me I would not be a candidate for the J-pouch surgery if I had the gastric bypass. Other health issues were more important to me at the time and I had the gastric bypass. While I haven't had any complications, I am anemic, but was slightly anemic before diagnosed with UC. I also am prone to blood clots, having had some in 2006, and am now on Coumadin. I had a bone marrow biopsy in 2006 while hospitalized and was found to have Factor V Leiden, which contributes to blood clotting. I have lab work almost every week to monitor those issues. But again, neither of those problems are a result of the gastric bypass. I was on prednisone for a little over two years, having just weaned off of it in January, and am now on Remicade and am seeing my UC symptoms improve. Everyone's situation will be different, but it's not impossible to have gastric bypass with UC. I don't know much about lapband, but for me, I needed the permancy of the bypass. I lost about 140 lbs. after my surgery and the health issues I had before have all disappeared. The things I'm going through now are all new since the surgery, but not a result or complication of it.
Ulcerative Pancolitis (dx'd 6/2002)
Pentasa (4gm/day); Prednisone 5mg am, 5mg pm; Aranesp injection every week for anemia;
Started iron infusions 7/18/08; starting Remicade 11/12/08
6-MP (discontinued as it lowers my white count)
Immodium-AD (occasionally)
various meds for other conditions


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 3/3/2009 11:27 PM (GMT -6)   
As someone who has never been overweight I really appreciated your post Pitz. I am ashamed to admit that I always thought gastric bypass / lapband procedures were cosmetic. It never occurred to me all the other health problems they could cure. I have also heard that one of the criteria is that you have to have failed other weightloss methods. You really put it into perspective for me.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


Pitz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 3/4/2009 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Fitzky, you're not the only one who's thought that. I've heard people say those of us who've had the surgery have taken the "easy way out." It's by no means easy. It's a lifestyle change, a forever thing. I don't mind telling people about my experience, but I have a hard time with those who don't want to learn. I have to take vitamin B-12 shots for the rest of my life, among other vitamins and extra calcium. I think the hardest part for me is what we call the "head hunger." I really realize how much of how I used to eat was all in my head and that I wasn't really hungry when I ate. I think that's something I'll always have to work on. But I've made lots of good friends through support groups and coffee group get-togethers (all have had the surgery) and we help each other out. I had high blood pressure and was on three meds for that. I was taken off two while in the hospital, and taken off the third by the end of that year. I was also on Protonix for reflux, and was taken off that in the hospital and have never had a recurrence. I also had sleep apnea and no longer use my CPAP. I never had diabetes, but it also can result in Type II diabetics no longer having symptoms and many get off of all insulin or at least have their dose lowered dramatically. You're right about having to show that you've tried and failed at weight loss by other methods. I was lucky enough to have gone through my program before the insurance companies got more strict about documentation. I got approved my first try after going through all the "hoops" of the Mayo program and I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I had to!
Ulcerative Pancolitis (dx'd 6/2002)
Pentasa (4gm/day); Prednisone 5mg am, 5mg pm; Aranesp injection every week for anemia;
Started iron infusions 7/18/08; starting Remicade 11/12/08
6-MP (discontinued as it lowers my white count)
Immodium-AD (occasionally)
various meds for other conditions


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 3/4/2009 1:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Pitz said...
I had to be cleared by their GI docs, who told me I would not be a candidate for the J-pouch surgery if I had the gastric bypass.


Please note: I'm just asking hypothetically out of curiosity. I'm not saying that you, personally, will ever need surgery. So please don't get offended. I was just wondering if you're not a candidate for the J-pouch surgery, what would happen if you had a severe flareup and needed to get your colon taken out? What would you get instead of a J-pouch?
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...
Avoid: anything with high-fructose corn syrup, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)


Lou95
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 3/4/2009 2:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I really appreciate your responses. I think the gastric banding or lapband is more attractive to me because it can be adjusted if you are losing too fast or too slow. I don't want to lose too fast because I don't want to deal with the hanging skin - I'm too old for my skin to bounce back. I also can't afford the downtime for a bypass- I can't be off from work that long as I am a single parent with one in college and another going this fall. It is so physically stressful to be this heavy - I'm only 5 ft. 1 in. tall and have a small frame (my ring size is a five). My back hurts if I stand too long. The mental stress is worse. Since I haven't always been this fat, I really see the difference in the way I am perceived and treated by strangers. For anyone this overweight, you know I'm not being paranoid.

Thank you for your caring suggestions. Pitz, I have been told I have beginnings of fatty liver, but also thought the best thing for that was weight loss. I also like the lapband idea because it is done with a small incision and laproscope. I guess that is why it has a shorter recuperation time.
Age/Sex:  51 & female
Diagnosed:  2005 pancolitis
Medications:  800 mg. Asacol twice a day - in remission; Two 1200 mg. fish oil supplement nightly.   Effexor-XR 150 mg. daily
 


Pitz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 3/4/2009 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Joy, I'm not offended at all. I hope I never need surgery, either, but if I did I'd end up with an ileostomy and be stuck wearing a bag for the rest of my life. Not my first choice, but the gastric bypass was something I needed to do and it did take care of some health problems I mentioned in my previous post.
Ulcerative Pancolitis (dx'd 6/2002)
Pentasa (4gm/day); Prednisone 5mg am, 5mg pm; Aranesp injection every week for anemia;
Started iron infusions 7/18/08; starting Remicade 11/12/08
6-MP (discontinued as it lowers my white count)
Immodium-AD (occasionally)
various meds for other conditions


Pitz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 3/4/2009 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Lou -

I was told to take four weeks off after surgery, but I actually took six. It's not that everyone needs all that time to recover, but a lot of it is to get used to your new way of eating and not be tempted by treats and such at work or wherever else. I've heard of some people going back to work in a week or so, but I think that's really pushing it with a bypass. Regarding a fatty liver, yes, weight loss can help that. Also, a lot of programs have people doing a liquid diet for a week to ten days or so just prior to their surgery to shrink the liver a bit to make it easier to do the surgery. A fatty liver can get in the way of what the surgeon needs to see and work on during the surgery. I don't think how fast you lose the weight will prevent hanging skin, though. I'm afraid you'll most likely be stuck with some of that. :(
Ulcerative Pancolitis (dx'd 6/2002)
Pentasa (4gm/day); Prednisone 5mg am, 5mg pm; Aranesp injection every week for anemia;
Started iron infusions 7/18/08; starting Remicade 11/12/08
6-MP (discontinued as it lowers my white count)
Immodium-AD (occasionally)
various meds for other conditions


Lou95
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 3/4/2009 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Pitz,

Thanks so much for the info. I heard wrong, I guess. I really thought it took a long time off work. But, I'm still thinking it I ever need to have surgery later on in life- I'd rather have a J-pouch if given a choice. I've felt very fortunate so far with this disease after reading posts on this forum the past few years. A friend since high school also has UC and she has had a much rougher time than I. She has had a lot of pain with it and been on many medications. She told me once that each bowel movement felt like giving birth. When I had my worst time with it - I only had blood and diarrhea all day & night. I would go about 20 times before leaving for work in the morning. I couldn't go to the store or the movies or anywhere without going to the bathroom right before I left. I also made sure I had not eaten for a couple of hours prior to leaving. At work, I would try to skip lunch or else I would spend the afternoon in the bathroom and not get anything done. So, after having a pity party about it I realized I was lucky that all I was having was inconvenience and sleep deprivation. At least I didn't have pain, too! I don't know how some of y'all do it- you are much stronger than I. I guess God knew what a wimp I was since he only gives us what we are prepared to handle.
Age/Sex:  51 & female
Diagnosed:  2005 pancolitis
Medications:  800 mg. Asacol twice a day - in remission; Two 1200 mg. fish oil supplement nightly.   Effexor-XR 150 mg. daily
 

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