"What I would say to people considering this surgery is: DO IT! I was 60 years old and fighting 40 years of dieting. I was at 287 pounds and although I was successful at different diets I always regained the weight. At that time I was being treated for sleep apnea and high blood pressure. My cardiologist referred to me as "morbidly obese" in his report. This shook me to my roots. Then my grandson sent me a hand-made birthday card which said I had another half of my life to live. I knew I couldn't live the rest of my life as a morbidly obese person. I had been looking forward to early retirement and wanted to enjoy those years. The frustration of dieting and then regaining the weight was too much. I had to do something.
My daughter-in-law who is a nurse recommended that I see Dr. Bessler and she was with me when I had my first visit with him. She knew all the questions to ask. Dr. Bessler described very carefully the different procedures I could have done and left the choice up to me. I chose to have the gastric bypass and I did not have it done laparoscopically. I would have been on the table longer that way and, with my sleep apnea, I was worried about that. Dr. Bessler gave me the names and numbers of a few patients who had had the surgery and I spoke with a few of them. I became anxious the month before the surgery was scheduled because I had never undergone major surgery before. Speaking with other patients who had the surgery was reassuring and a tremendous help.
I experienced very little pain after the surgery. I was up and walking the same day. For the first 30 days at home I ate only pureed food. I have restricted the amount of sweet foods I eat but other than that I eat virtually everything I want to. My only complication was an infection in the skin next to the incision, which could have been avoided if I had called the doctor sooner. I was back to work within a month, and was up to full speed in every way within two. I never experienced any vomiting and the results have been great.
I've lost 85 pounds in 7 months. I no longer have sleep apnea. My blood pressure is normal. All the joint pain in my knees, hips and ankles is gone. My cholesterol is down, my triglycerides are down, and I feel great. My only regret is that I didn't have the operation sooner! Other than that, I wouldn't do anything differently. If you are considering having this surgery, speak with people who have had it done. This will help you get over your fears. I would be happy to share my experience with anyone who would like to find out more about what is involved in this surgery."