Diagram of Operation

Diagram of Operation
My new tummy arrangement after gastric mini bypass

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Link to the photos and report of my abdominoplasty performed this week

For the moment I am just posting photos and a brief summary of my abdominoplasty this week.

Please look at my other blog for the photos and report.


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Two years and five weeks post op - Skin Removal

The two year anniversary of my mini gastric bypass went unmentioned and I guess this shows how used now I am to being slimmer.  It is no longer something I think about every day.  My weight has been stable since September last year and I now weigh 71.5 kilos and hover between 70.5 and 72.5 kilos on a week to week basis.

Now it's finally time to have the excess skin on my abdomen removed.  The plot is to do this op removing the skin in a way which will result in a very large upside down T shaped scar.

I am not looking forward to the operation as I am very worried about healing such large incisions but have to try and be positive.  I will enter the hospital on Sunday, 8 September and have the operation on the following day.  Dr David Lechaux, who did my bypass, will be my surgeon and this will be the third time he's operated on me so I have complete confidence in him.

I'll post again after the operation.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Bladder repair operation - TVT - 23 April 2013

I meant to post before about my bladder op which I had on 23 April and which was performed by Dr R Braguet. 

Everything went smoothly and I had just two nights in Clinic du Littoral before being allowed homes after two separate scans of my bladder to check that it was emptying completely, which it was. 

I had been suffering from stress and urge incontinence since the births of my three children – all of which were difficult.  I did have a bladder repair, involving lifting and sewing the bladder into its new position, in 1988, nine months after my daughter was born but it was unsuccessful.

This time they inserted a Tension-free Vaginal Tape (TVT) which lifts and supports the urethra.  There was the possibility that even if it alleviated the stress incontinence it might worsen the urge incontinence.  I am happy to report that both conditions appear to have been completely cured.  For the first time in the thirty years since I had my first baby I am totally dry and have finally got the confidence to live life without any protection whatsoever. 
So, with the mini gastric bypass and my TVT incontinence operation, life has changed radically for me for the better.  Brilliant!

One year and forty-five weeks post op - skin removal and folic acid

At the end of last week I received a letter from the Service de Control Medical. This was asking me to attend a meeting with a Doctor Spinelli of the Health Service here to ensure that the operation to remove the spare skin on my abdomen was a necessary one.  I had to take photo identification and details of my mini gastric bypass.  I was surprised how nervous I was.  Dr Lechaux had told me before the bypass that I would get this skin removed without paying but, clearly this was not rubber stamp job. 

I found the building easily with the aid of TomTom and there was loads of parking available.  My appointment was not until 14.00hrs but I arrived at 13.30hrs as I hate being late and also thought that if I arrived during the French two hour lunch break I was more likely to find a parking place.  Parking was free too as is usual here in France.  I checked in with Reception and read my book in the waiting area for about 15 minutes completely alone when Dr Spinelli arrived and called me in early.

He asked me about my operation date, weight then and now etc. and asked me to show him my stomach skin.  I had to take my jacket off and when he had seen my excess skin he said that it was not a problem and it would be dealt with without me paying and the same for my arms.  My breasts, however, I would have to pay for if I wanted them done.  Really it’s only my arms and stomach which bother me.  He said I would get it done at Rennes, but I explained that Dr Lechaux had said he wanted to do my stomach skin himself.  I have an appointment at Rennes with Dr S Aillet for my arms and breasts.  

So a good result for me.  He was a very pleasant chap and it was nothing for me to have been nervous about.

Three weeks ago I was left an answerphone message from my GP asking me to collect a prescription for folic acid.  She wasn't around to talk to so I didn't know why, but I see from the product leaflet that it is recommended for malabsorption of food etc so I presume that the answer.  My diarrhoea has changed and the frequency has decreased so I think it was a good call.

My weight remains stable.  I hover between 69.5kgs and 72.5kgs.  This morning I was 71.9kgs.  It's now been stable at this point for eight months so I am very happy with this.

I have a friend going in for her bariatric surgery a fortnight today, with Dr Lechaux at Yves le Foll.  I’m sure everything will go well for her and I’m glad she’s been able to take advantage of this surgery – it will change her life.

Three things I like:

1.   Being able to bend down and garden again.
2.   Running down the lane when I got caught in the rain.
3.   Going through a turnstile entrance without thinking about it

Monday, 18 February 2013

One year and thirty-one weeks tomorrow post op

It's the most beautiful sunny morning here after so much rain for the last months.  It's so lovely to feel the sun eating into my back and the general warmth and brightness.  It was a hard, very hard frost last night but it didn't seem to take long for the sunshine to work it's magic and melt it all away.   After I'd done the animals I went to a healing session for my neck and then onto the physiotherapist - belt and braces!  On the way back from Bourbriac I parked by the patisserie and came home to sit in the sun and have

a gorgeous almond crossant and a mug of sweet, black coffee.

I weighed in this morning at 69.5kgs/153.2lbs/marginally under 11stone.  I have been in the 69.5-72.5kgs range for months now and feel this is where I will stay unless I have excess skin removed at some point.  I am more than happy at this weight and, as I don't have a partner so no-one really sees my body except me, I'm not sure the excess skin is a real problem.

I now eat pretty much what I want to when I want to.  Sometimes I can't manage the whole plate of food I have given myself.  I push the plate away and then have another go about ten minutes and a microwave flash later.  I suppose I should really stop after the first attempt when I have finish half the plate, but as I am not gaining weight I don't see the need to do that.

I am still finding things which I can now do which I couldn't do before and that's always good, just as it is when I meet friends who haven't seen me since my weight loss and are dumbfounded at my new size, complete with sharp intake of breath and hand up to the mouth before saying Oh My God!    

I have now turfed out more of my fat clothes having realised I am never, never, never going to need them again.  I am a hoarder by nature so it has not been easy to get rid of anything!  I do though need the space to put all my smaller clothes which I really enjoy buying from the normal size rails and trying on to find they fit. 

Some difference between the "then" and the "now" photographs!

I thank Dr Lechaux in my head every day for doing my operation because without it I would still be disabled and missing out on life.  

The diarrhoea has calmed down.  It hasn't totally gone but no longer rules my life and I am confident leaving the house for the day.  

Life is good!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Exactly, one and a half years post op

It's been so long since I've posted, but as it's now exactly one and a half years since my mini gastric bypass I thought I ought to do an update.  These are both photos of me in December 2012.


I seem to have stablilised at 70 kgs/11stones/154 lbs and I'm very happy with this weight. I visited my lung specialist in the latter half of last year and was able to lose my oxygen machine.  In December I had an overnight sleep apnoea test.  The results showed that I could return my night time breathing machine and sleep without it in future.  I can't tell you how pleased I am about this. 
In November I went into Clinic du Littoral and had the large vein in my right leg removed along with some smaller veins in my right calf.  The operation went well.  
I may be having an operation this year to hoick up my bladder, but having visited the surgeon last Thursday, we are going to try two drugs and some bladder reeducation for three months to see if that will do the trick.
Immediately before Christmas, I decided I would not go ahead with the revision to the bypass which had been rescheduled by the surgeon for 17 January 2013. I have not been able to get my head round having the operation and apparently it carries possible complications. Bizarrely, since I have made the decision my diarrhoea has been much better. In fact, during the last three days it has not really been diarrhoea. The definition of diarrhoea is "the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day". For the last three days I have only had one movement in the morning. I feel vindicated in my decision not to have the revision, though why it should suddenly have improved after eighteen months I have no idea.

On the left, here I am early on Christmas Day 2012.  I'm in scruff clothes as I was just about to go to the field to do the animals.  On the right, it shows me at Christmas twelve months ago.

I am now able to shop from women's rails instead of men's which is a novelty!  While back in Cornwall during the first week of January I bought three swimmers from the normal rails and it was good.

My lung specialist asked me to talk to another of her patients who wants to have a mini gastric bypass.  J came over to see me a few weeks before Christmas and she is currently seeing all the professionals who will make the decision about whether she can go ahead with the operation.  She is very positive and I am sure that she will make an ideal candidate.  I look forward to doing anything I can to make it easier for her.

I never dared dream eighteen months ago that I would have had this transformation - it has changed my life in every possible way.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

One year and sixteen weeks post operation

Yesterday morning I had an appointment with Dr Lechaux to discuss the revision of my bypass.  This will reduce the bypass length from 2 metres to 1 metre and hopefully mean that I will absorb more food instead of it rushing straight through me.
He gave me a date of 23 January for going into Yves le Foll hospital, with the operation taking place at 14.00hrs the following day.  He then offered me an earlier date at the beginning of January, but I said I'd stick with the first date he suggested.  He said I must start taking the vitamins I am supposed to take daily for the rest of my life as he wanted me to be in tip top condition so that the intestine will heal well and not leak in anyway. 
He said that it would be a seven day stay in hospital which is longer than it was for the bypass itself.  He knows I hate it in hospital and said he'd see how I was and may let me home earlier but they do need to know that there is no leakage.
He thinks that it will not be necessary to go through the liquid, then purée regime before embarking on "proper" food again, as my stomach will not be operated on.  We shall have to see how things go. 
I have to see the anaethestist on 7 January and this time he has given me a devi for my insurance company which is weird as I haven't had problems with them paying on invoice the last three operations I've had.
He asked if it didn't work would I want a complete reversal and I said definitely not.  I would prefer to have diarrhoea for life than have the possibility of getting fat again.  Perish the thought!
So - I am not exactly looking forward to it - in fact I am worried as usual about another operation, but feel I do have to give it a go.  Fingers crossed.