Monday, April 20, 2009

Why I Had a Sleeve Gastrectomy instead of Roux-en-Y

I have been asked this before and am not sure I ever responded....so here goes.

In 2000, I had diverticulitis. During a prep for a colonoscopy, my bowel ruptured. I just thought I was sick to my stomach (as usual) and the increased temperature didn't really strike me as being much worse than the one I was running on a normal basis. Tom was at a meeting and when he got home, he called the Dr. who said to stop drinking the prep and just come in for the procedure as scheduled. We had an alarm set for 5am and when it rang, I fell to the floor when getting out of bed. I could not stand because of the abdominal pain, so Tom dressed me on the floor and took me to the emergency room. Nothing touched the pain...even with a butt-load of morphine, I could still feel the vibration of rubber soles walking in the hall!

I had emergency surgery later that evening to repair the rupture. They removed 8 inches of my colon, gave me a colostomy (reversed 4 months later), and found that my peritoneal abscess was MRSA. I was in Intensive Care for 8 days and the surgeon gave little hope of my recovering. Then I was in quarantine in a standard room for another 10 days, since they were concerned about someone leaving my room and giving another patient MRSA. Finally went home on IV antibiotics (Vancomicin) 2 times a day, daily dressing changes for the gaping hole in my stomach (no wound VAC back then), home health nurses 3 times a week, and the most patient & loving "Nurse Tom" a gal could ever ask for.

Since that surgery and colostomy reversal, I have had 4 hernias along the main surgical scar and another hernia at the reversal site. I am LOADED with mesh to keep from having further hernias (I have had a total of 7, so far).

To have the Roux-en-Y surgery, one needs to have a decent intestinal tract. For Tom, they removed 8 feet of intestine and most of his stomach. They then stretched the remaining intestine to attach to the bottom of his stomach pouch.

I do not have a decent intestinal tract. It is fill of scar tissue, adhesions, and mesh. I always knew it was a possibility that I would have the gastric sleeve, but did not know for sure until I woke in recovery.

So that is my tale of woe. I have received a call from my surgeon's nurse who says "Don't worry...this is normal....and we WILL get it covered....it will just take some time." So I am working on not worrying.

Thanks!

T

1 comment:

Amber said...

I'm sure they are correct and this is just a glitch; you were supposed to have one procedure so they approved that but you ended up having another and it WILL be approved, it was a decision they made during the surgery so it sounds like it's just a matter of paperwork.

It's just annoying having to wait, I know.