Dialysis and Weight Loss – Part Three

lapband

Update 5/4/16: I reached the 100 pound achievement!  Now, for 50 more.  Wish me luck and it looks like I might make it there.  I’m optimistic t this point.  When I get a chance, I’ll post before and after photos.

Here is the third and final post about my recent weight loss experience using bariatric surgery.

Of the selections available to me to assist with my weight loss objective, I chose the Lap-Band procedure.  The reason was very simple. My doctor told me that the Lap-Band is reversible. If there’s a problem the band can be removed and, by design, it can be increased or decreased in it’s constriction of the stomach.

From the previous post (Dialysis and Weight Loss Part Two), you can see the band forms a small pouch before the remaining stomach.  The result is that you should feel full before food gets to your “real” stomach.  The opening between the pouch and the stomach can be increased or decreased in size.

The other procedures are fairly permanent and affect you in different ways. Gastric Bypass is a very extensive procedure that bypasses the stomach altogether and cannot be reversed. However, it is effective for some patients and is a fairly common procedure.  The gastric sleeve is also irreversible and is easily circumvented by the patient simply eating too much, packing the stomach. and stretching it out.   I didn’t trust myself to not do this.  I needed a solution that would be adjustable and reversible.  So the lap band with its adjustability has helped me to pace my eating

To adjust the band, a technician injects saline (salt water) into the band or removes some as needed.  Only in the first week after the first injection did I have fluid removed.  It was too tight and I spent most of a day with something caught in my pouch that wouldn’t move. I had an adjustment to the band 3 times in the first year. Each time I had them inject fluid and increase the constriction of the band.  Finally on the anniversary of the procedure, I had a final injection of fluid.

Each time I added fluid, I went on a liquid-only diet for the first couple days, then a soft food diet for a couple days and, finally, back to regular food.  My only difficulty is that I often have hypotension (low blood pressure) problems especially after dialysis.  This effects how often I can go to the fitness center and follow the most effective course of action for weight reduction.  That is, Decrease Eating and Increase Activity.  If you are serious about weight loss, this is the course you need to take.  Eat well {healthy) in small amounts and get plenty of exercise.

The result of all this is that I’ve lost just short of 100 pounds since September 2014.  I know there are some who tout their extreme weight loss over a short period of time.  I don’t deny them their success.  I wish I could have done the same but as a dialysis patient, we must be careful with extreme weight loss.  It can have negative results.  I didn’t want to interfere with my dialysis and risk not losing this weight.

One thing the loss of 100 pounds has benefited is my access is much easier to stick.  It’s no longer buried under nearly an inch of fat.  Because it’s easier to stick, I no longer must endure three or four needles before the tech finds the fistula.  That’s especially nice when my regular tech isn’t there or when I travel.

It almost goes without saying that the weight loss has benefited my life generally.  I can move better and longer.  My stamina has increased for sure and it will get better as I exercise.  I actually bought a bike so I can feel the wind in what little is left of my hair!  There are several things I want to do as goals and rewards to myself.  In general, life is so much better and getting better every day.

One important thing to do before you take a radical course of action like bariatric surgery is to consult with your nephrologist, primary care doctor, and dietitian then work with them all along the way.  I spoke with them and followed their advice carefully. If available attend a support group for bariatric patients.  The advice of other patients is very valuable. Also, be realistic about your weight loss.  Don’t go too quickly.  Take it easy.  It took years to put on and it will take a while to get off.

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About DevonTexas

I am a person with ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) which means my kidneys don't work. Forty or so years ago that would have been a death sentence but today there is Dialysis which means I can be hooked up to a machine that will clean my blood as the kidneys should. Three days a week, I go to a center and have too very large needles stuck in my arm to remove and replace my blood as it passes through a process where it's cleaned and the fluid is removed, a process taking a little over four hours each time. I want to advance knowledge about dialysis so that other patients can learn from my experience and mistakes. We shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, eh? There is so much to be learned and experienced about our predicament. There are vast resources available to support us and enrich our lives but many patients don't know about them. There are also many issues that we have to deal with whether we want to or not. So I blog about them. All comments are confidential until I approve them. If you don't want your comment public, let me know and I will respect that. So, feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy.
This entry was posted in dialysis, diet, dietary restictions, dry weight, exercise, kidney, Kidney Diet, weight reduction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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