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This is the topic for those who are scheduling their surgery during the month of March. Posting in this topic gives you the chance to meet other patients that are going to be in TJ during this month. So lets hear from the soon to be Gastric Plication patients.

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I had my surgery March 1 and wanted to share the experience for those who are feeling uneasy or concerned. I found in the first couple weeks I was searching for advice or something to put my mind at ease and didn't really find a narrative of the experience. (this is my experience, not necessarily the rules you should follow)

The surgery itself went well though I was the last one of the day so by the time it was my turn to get the IV catheter, I was quite dehydrated and finding a vein was really painful. I think the weirdest thing for me was the feeling as the drugs were taking effect. I don't usually even take a Tylenol for pain so my system is not used to drugs! I felt woozy and disoriented, I remember walking the OR and getting settled and then I remember waking up. If you'd not had surgery, it's quite the feeling. I had no concept of time, though the IV drip seemed to be effective as I recall having to get up to pee a couple times. I do not recall speaking to the doctors at all post-surgery, but apparently I did! lol!

The incisions themselves weren't really painful, though I found when I got home, I needed to adjust my sleeping style as I enjoy sleeping on my stomach and that was a bit uncomfortable at times. 19 days following, they are mostly healed. I never had any fear of them bursting open or anything, but I would advise anyone to take it easy in the first couple weeks.

Also, the medications gave me some serious constipation. I'm not used to that. After not going for 5 days, I had a coffee and nearly screamed halleluiah! I'm used to being quite regular so that was really hard for me.

They say you're not really hungry in the first week, but my stomach, though small, was rumbling. I spoke to one of the doctors and he advised that this is a brain thing. Because you are only having liquids, the weight of having something solid in your stomach isn't there and I felt hungry. I did have a couple crackers, though I chewed them to mush and ate them VERY slowly. It helped to curb the hunger, but it stalled my progress. Don't rush to have solid food. Too soon will REALLY hurt, I mean physically hurt! I thought I could handle some scrambled eggs on the weekend. Nope. Thought I was going to die. I don't recommend it. I'm pretty sick of soup, but it's getting easier to have a bit more and a bit more to fill me up. When I first started, literally 1/4 cup was all I could handle. There's a big mental thing there. You look at it and think, "there's no way that's enough". It's enough. Make that 1/4 cup. If you need more after, make more. I find that sometimes the time it takes to make another serving is enough to digest the first bit and I can have a bit more and feel good. Sometimes I'll have 2 spoons of the second serving and I'm done. (believe me, you'll know you 're done!)

Another thing that stalls my progress is not enough water. Small sips all day long. When I have enough, the scale really moves! When I don't, the scale reflects it.

I love popsicles and the fact that I'm supposed to have them is awesome! I get real fruit ones from safeway and they are like blended fruit frozen on a stick. They feel like you're "eating" something, but they don't hurt your tummy. I eat them slow, mind you and the last bits are pretty metly. I have even had a couple bites and put it back in the freezer! I never used to do that. Be prepared for behaviors to change and know it's ok. I think because the surgery itself was pretty simple, my "life" didn't really change, but behaviors are definitely changing.

Next week I will return to exercise. Make no mistake, I have enjoyed driving to work the last couple weeks - especially since there have been a few miserably cold days! I'm excited to feel a difference in my body and increase in strength. I'll be returning to the pool for deep water workouts and yoga at home. I don't know if others found the same thing, but I noticed and increase in agility in the first week. I could sit on the floor and easily get up. I get out of the car without effort. Not that I was immobile before, but I could feel it getting to be more challenging. I felt my age creeping up on me. It feels like the reverse of that now.

So after 18 days, I've lost 14 lbs (and haven't followed the liquid diet exactly). I haven't vomited at all, thankfully. I feel more agile and I sleep more soundly. I noticed in the first week that I was sleeping better. If you struggle with sleep, this surgery may give you a new lease on life with just that!

Anyway, this has become a small novel, but I'll continue in other posts as I have new experiences.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for sharing your experience. I had my plication on march 28 and I'm struggling with the mental hunger. I'm sick of eating soups! I'm craving everything! Tomorrow will be day seven post-op and can't wait to enjoy a good cup of coffee. I hope I'm able to keep it down. So far I haven't had any pain or vomiting.... Haven't had a vm since the surgery, but Dr. So told me it was normal since I'm still in the liquid stage. I feel really bloated and uncomfortable; my incisions are itching too. Anyway, reading your experience makes me feel better and hopeful, so thank you!

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