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Being far from medical assistance after surgery


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Hi! I'm considering the sleeve and was wondering what the first month or so after the surgery was like. Also, since I work in remote areas of Alaska for months at a time, how much time I would need at home before I wouldn't really have to worry about complications. I don't have to go back to work until January (for crab season), but since I probably couldn't get everything in order for surgery for at least a month, I feel like I'm running out of time. Would 2 months of "learning the rules" be enough, do you think?

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Hi! I'm considering the sleeve and was wondering what the first month or so after the surgery was like. Also, since I work in remote areas of Alaska for months at a time, how much time I would need at home before I wouldn't really have to worry about complications. I don't have to go back to work until January (for crab season), but since I probably couldn't get everything in order for surgery for at least a month, I feel like I'm running out of time. Would 2 months of "learning the rules" be enough, do you think?

Dear Callmecrazy, My name is Donna and I am an R.N. If you follow the instructions you are given re; diet[a day by day schedule] is given to you at the OCC and you take your Iron, a Multivitamin, Vit B12, VitD and VitC you should be fine.I switched to oral meds after 2 weeks except for the B12 and Iron since I still had alot left from before the surgery. I was not on any solif food yet and couldn't take them all at once but took them everyday. I have had follow-up care once a month and my bloodwork has been fine. Gastric Sleeve patients shouldn't have malabsorption problems because nothing was done to our small bowel but because the volume of food we can eat is much less we need to compensate for this and because the B12 is made in our stomach which is 2/3 smaller we need to add this also and take it forever. The other thing you must be careful about is how fast you eat and how well you chew what you eat once you get on solid food. You don't want food getting stuck when you are far from help if you can't pass it or vomit it up. I only had trouble once and it was my own fault. I was thinking about something else and didn't chew a piece of meat well enough. I forgot, I also take Calcium Citrate everyday.It is a large pill so I break it in half. Your bowel schedule may change a bit butI find the Vit C helps that too. I went back to work after 2 weeks and was able to lift patients after 4 weeks. I hope this helps you

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Hi! I'm considering the sleeve and was wondering what the first month or so after the surgery was like. Also, since I work in remote areas of Alaska for months at a time, how much time I would need at home before I wouldn't really have to worry about complications. I don't have to go back to work until January (for crab season), but since I probably couldn't get everything in order for surgery for at least a month, I feel like I'm running out of time. Would 2 months of "learning the rules" be enough, do you think?

It has been 2 months since my sleeve surgery and I've definitely adjusted to this new way of eating. I just spent the past weekend away, eating all my meals in restaurants and did fine.

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callmecrazy,

just wondering why were you set on the gastric sleeve? I'm in Anchorage and went to TJ with Dr. Ortiz for the lapband myself. There is a local doctor here in Anchorage that will do fills on Mexico patients and he's also been excellent with me about questions I have about the band and fills etc....

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I was interested in the sleeve because there is no need for fills. When I'm working in Alaska, I'm on a boat. We don't get off the boat for 3 months or more, unless we stop in Dutch Harbor for some supplies or something. Pretty much we just get on in Seattle and get back off in Seattle however many months later. Also, I work with a gal who got the lap band in Mexico (not sure where), but she had major complications (not even being able to keep down water) and had to pay to fly herself out more than once. Not only are you ill, you're having to take a small boat to a village where a 2 seater plane "might" fly out of and take all day to get back home. Plus it usually costs $1000 or more for airfare and who knows how long before they will let you come back to work. I'm just worried about complications or needing a doctor's care when I don't have the options available to me for months at a time.

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I am in the same "boat" so to speak. I work on a cruise ship and it is impossible for me to get fills as we travel all over the world, it is the reason I am chosing gastric sleeve. I am a little worried about the recovery as medical care is limited on the ship. I have the exact same fears.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Don't worry! I had a band and it was TERRIBLE. Now that people have had them in for several years they are finding that MANY are slipping. Go with the Sleeve. I LOVE it. I'm 3 months out, and have NO problems except getting enough protein. Take protein drinks with you on the boat and you should be fine. I drink 1 a day - Costco's Premier Nitrition protein shakes. If you don't get enough protein you will lose muscle mass and lose hair. Seriously. You will also get saggy skin.

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  • 8 months later...

callmecrazy,

just wondering why were you set on the gastric sleeve? I'm in Anchorage and went to TJ with Dr. Ortiz for the lapband myself. There is a local doctor here in Anchorage that will do fills on Mexico patients and he's also been excellent with me about questions I have about the band and fills etc....

I would like to know which doc in Anch you follow up with? I went to meet with Dr. Todd. Sincerely, Aksonflower

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I would definitely go with the VSG then, generally you will know if you have a leak within the first 5 days--that is the number one complication with the sleeve. The OCC keeps your drain in for those five days specifically for that purpose. Dr. Ortiz has never had a leak with his sleeves because of the drain and the way they do the double stitching. Other than taking your vitamin, calcium, iron, and B-12, you shouldn't really need much follow up care. Just follow the post surgery diet and make sure you get in your protein, I still can't get all mine in from food alone, I still drink a protein drink every day--I, too like the Premier Protein from Costco. It has 30 grams in it.

Also, the first month sucks, but it does get better! It was hard to drink for a couple weeks after surgery and your taste buds change for a few weeks, too. It's really weird, plain water tasted bad to me...but that's what crystal light is for, I guess. LOL. Now, I'm good. Good Luck and if you have any questions, please feel free to send me a message. :)

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Great thread. I had the band and am revising to Plication. I didn't want to go back to a band revision for many of the reasons listed in this thread. I am tired of fills and fiddling with adjustments. I like the idea of being in control with what I eat and how I eat it...

You might want to consider the Plication instead of the sleeve - it's a much easier recovery time as nothing gets cut out - but talk to the docs - they will tell you what your best choices are based on you.

Thanks

DonnaC in Seattle

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