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Posts posted by MovinSue

  1. I would like to know more about the question of doing "invasive" ie bloody dental work during the same time period as a bariatric procedure.  As a retired registered nurse, I would think that his might muddy the waters if an infection happens.  It would be a great add-on service for patients but are there safeguards for bariatric patients?  Is this perhaps why the dental clinic is not promoted?  Is it an independent provider and unconnected with OCC?  I was looking for a dentist during my post-op waiting time as I need a crown but was too unfamiliar with the language to feel comfortable with accessing a local provider.

    Could Dr Ortiz comment for all participants here?  Or should I email him directly with my question/concern?

  2. I received a private email from a pre-op patient and I thought it would be appropriate to weigh in at this point which is 37 days post-op:


    I was on the OCC forum and you'd stated you'd had your surgery can you tell me if things were successfu

    Depends on how you measure success.  I have been on an extended weight stall (4 weeks no change!) despite the low calories of the post-op regimen.  However, I am losing fat and the percentage keeps falling slowly and my clothes are becoming droopy.  That being said, I am 68 years old, am lightly active and have always had a very difficult time losing weight.  My calorie intake is around 800 daily.  
    My most notable success solves a lifelong problem--aching knawing hunger that drives food intake constantly. It is like having a monkey on my back!  After the procedure, the hunger factor has backed off 95% and what hunger I am aware of is "soft" and uninsistent.  
    In larger terms, the procedure was a success.  The trip back and forth to Mexico was uneventful, I never felt sick, my health is intact and my energy better than ever.  There is less stress on my back and joints.  I have enhanced nutritional status.   I do not suffer hunger and am almost to the point of getting back to a full food diet.  I have retrained myself to be more selective about my food choices.  
    At the beginning, I was 180--just barely into the Obese BMI category at 32%; now, I am at 167.6.  My percentage of body fat has reduced from 41.4% to 38.7%  I was not as obese as some patients but still suffering from the adverse effects of my overweight on my small bone frame.  
    So, in terms of my definition of success, on this 36th day post op, I think the effort and expense was appropriate and that I am trending well in the right definition, though more slowly than I had hoped.
    Hope this answers your question and feel free to converse about your experience.
    • Like 1
  3. I did hear from OCC and they responded:


    The first 40 days after surgery aren't for weight loss purposes, these are for you to heal and recover properly, my dear.

    Body composition changes, stalls, ups and downs will happen especially during the first-month after surgery due to water retention from IV fluids, or inflammation adaptations and overall body composition changes. These changes affect overall weight; every patient responds differently to this.

    Give your body the chance to get back to health. Weight loss is different to each person and it also depends on how aggravated your organs were before surgery. If you focus on keeping your liver happy (no chemicals, no additives, no artificial flavorings or colorings -sodas-, no alcohol, little meds, taking probiotics) at some point it will start burning fat. Also, keep in mind that you need to fuel metabolism thru supplements, so those have to be part of your daily routine religiously.

    Your body will continue adapting to a new physiology, therefore, it will be common to experience these changes/fluctuations. Monitor fat, not weight to avoid playing mind games. Think of it like a staircase, you will lose at a certain ratio then level off, then lose and level again. 

    I am still in the 40 day window; in fact, I am 24 days post-procedure.  Am following the program.  Still stalled at 166 which is 2 lbs less than pre-op weight following the Atkins diet and two weeks of fluids only (182 lb-168lb).  I have changed my evil ways with my merlot and substituted protein shakes.  More activity is just now starting, as my deconditioning fatigue from pre- and post-op liquid was numbing and I bet I lost a lot of muscle mass.  I could hardly drag myself up a flight of stairs without being dog tired!  The supplements and dietary progression has helped.  I ordered a body fat measurement scale so will start tracking changes in fat weight.  I also have to factor in my age-68- and that I cannot bounce back from this kind of drastic nutritional assault and surgery as fast as if I were in my 30's.

  4. So, I weighed in at 168 after weighing the morning of my flight at 169 so I am pretty sure that the starting weight is accurate with my home scale.  When I got back, the next day I weighed 176--eight pounds more than my starting weight despite another week of clear fluids since my pre-op weigh-in.

    I emailed OCC with this concern but I have not heard back from them with any reasonable explanation.    The only difference I can identify is that I did not take the blood pressure meds during 5 day post-op period and restarted once I returned home.  The reason I did not take blood pressure meds is because my blood pressure was extremely low during the post op period, like 92/58.  Not symptom-low but too low to add a medication.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

    I am now 166lbs and this 10 days after my post-op weight of 176.  That it is somewhat disappointing because is only 16 lbs less than my starting weight after 6 weeks of fluids.   Trend in the right direction however, and I will follow the program and be patient.

    I am trialing removing one of my three BP meds, have eliminated the water pill and am having acceptable blood pressure readings.   I suspect that when my weight loss is complete, I might reduce the 2nd med.  (Do not try this without your doctor's approval; I am a retired RN and having been managing my BP for many years.)

  5. I was browsing this website and caught a thread about "age" and bariatric surgery.  The participants were mostly in their mid-50's--ha babies to me!  I clicked and realized that most posts were 5-6 years old.  So, I decided to start a new thread.

    I am a 67 year old female in good health.  I had a gastric plication with Dr. Ortiz in 2011.  In 2014, I changed my lifestyle to incorporate more "fun" with a partner!  While alone, I was easily able to engineer my household to meet my dietary needs.  However, I noticed a "creeping up" of weight in 2015.  My first denial was that is a natural age-related decline in muscle mass/hormones etc and a small increase was expected and reasonable over time.

    In 2017, I became alarmed when I could barely close up my zipper on jeans and saw a photo of myself.  Having not worried much about my weight, I had not been weighing myself as I did before.  I weighed myself and finally came out of my denial.  I had gained back 15 lbs in 5 years.

    Now, what to do?  I am 67.  Is the time right to do this AGAIN?  Am I wasting money to throw thousands at an intractable lifelong problem that I had hoped was solved with the plication?

    I decided YES, the time is absolutely right!  I am a well female and may live another 20 years!  I am now "out of denial" about the reason for my slow, steady weight gain--and--it had almost nothing to do with the plication.  Though, as a retired nurse and quasi-geek on many things, I do have some technical and practical doubts about the long-term efficacy of the procedure but that is another subject.  I am going to ask Dr. Ortiz about one key question.  I decided to have a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) rather than a revision of the plication.

    I decided that the time is right to invest in my future health and comfort.  I have the dreaded X syndrome, a petite frame, genetic predisposition for energy thiftiness and am vulnerable to other exacerbations of carrying around too much weight (including having had a second hip replacement surgery about a year ago).  I am very uncomfortable in my current pants wardrobe and the thought of shopping for a bigger size is depressing.  My boyfriend has a big dog and I would like to hike along on morning walks along the river.

    On another level, WHO defines the "right time" for anything?  Is there a cosmic "right time".  I think that "right time" is our human way of putting off things that are unpleasant or seem daunting.  I can attest, having been through a plication, that it is not pleasant thing to look forward to but is most certainly made as easy peasy as possible with the coordinators on staff at Dr. Ortiz's office, who will guide you every step of the way.  I am impressed that the process has become "higher tech" since 2011 and patient accountability has been buffed up.

    I look forward to this procedure reset button as my "right time" on May 9, 2017.


    • Like 1
    • Haha 1
  6. I'm having my gastric sleeve surgery on May 10th.

    I live in northern coastal California.  I previously had a plication in 2012 by Dr. Ortiz but over time, the pouch seems to have progressively enlarged and eroded my weight loss.  Going backwards is not for me at my age (67)!

    I tried to find a local bariatric surgeon who was also a medicare provider but they are not plentiful.  And my BMI of 32 was not high enough to meet the requirements.  It took me just a few days to decide to return to Dr. Ortiz.  I did not even consider another provider in Tijuana.

    Would love to hear from anyone who will be there at that time.


    • Like 1
  7. I guess I am the Old Lady. Had my surgery at 62 after a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and regular aerobic exercise. Finally, life got the best of me when my husband died and the weight crept steadily up with the abandonment of exercise, altered food and activity routines and increased stress. Additionally, I required a hip replacement at age 58 and, by age 61, the hip was starting to hurt from the extra weight.

    On a steady upward weight gain trend, I believed that the deck was stacked against weight loss and I needed a powerful new tool to avoid the inevitable problems (joint damage, high blood pressure, diabetes). I decided on bariatric surgery and headed for the internet for information. My only health concern was a slight reduction in pulmonary vital capacity from a chronic bronchitis. OCC simply gave me a preventative breathing treatment to open up the airways fully before surgery and everything went fine. As a retired RN, I was surprised and appreciative of OCC's attention to this detail as I have seen far inferior care in my experience in the US. I had no post-op discomfort beyond the usual bloaties/burpees.

    I have always believed that age didn't matter much from the "inside" looking out but with my nursing training, I also knew that physiologic age does matter. Simplicity and non-invasiveness were top priorities for me--at my age--and that is why Gastric Plication was at the top of the list. I am quite happy with the outcome and no longer have hip pain, have regained full mobility, have increased exercise tolerance and am shopping for smaller clothes. Extra caution makes sense when you are more mature, but don't let age alone be the limiting factor!

    • Like 1
  8. Hello Plicators-I am a Dec 1 patient; weighed in at 193 and 13 weeks later am at 168 with no complications or complaints. I did not come to the procedure with "numbers" as my goal--only the return of physical comfort and mobility and perhaps freedom from fear of continuing weight gain despite declining food intake. If I do not lose one more pound, I am still a Happy Camper as my goals have been met. And, the weight loss continues s l o w l y. Despite small food volume, I may be eating near my maintenance calorie baseline.

    My yardstick to compare plication: a miserable, lifelong failed history of repetitive dieting and compulsive exercising--a near miss for an eating disorder. So, I guess I would have to compare plication with the only alternative based on current experience--continued age-related weight gain pounding on my hip replacement, altering my mobility and making it impossible to continue aerobic exercise. I have a very small bone structure and at my highest weight of 200, I was in pain, miserable and could no longer walk all the aisles at Walmart in one trip.

    YES, I would do the plication over again!

    I am disturbed to hear that OCC would remove negative posts; it is one thing to not like a negative post but that is what Forum moderators are for--to identify and clarify problems expressed as negative outcomes and appropriately probe the post or, in some circumstances, remove it. But, it is quite another level of intervention to delete all negative posts. Negative posts have the greatest potential to help people understand the process and accurately identify and solve problems. And, I am instinctly suspicious when all I hear or read is Rah Rah. No one is naive enough to think that there is no one out there with a failed or troublesome plication. One would hope that the patient would go first to OCC before making a negative post. I hope that this report is MIS-information and that OCC is appropriately moderating members' posts.

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