Seven weeks ago, I converted from gastric sleeve to gastric bypass. It has been an exciting journey going through the bariatric surgery process again. There were a few reasons why I decided to convert from gastric sleeve to gastric bypass. I originally had gastric sleeve back in 2014 and had a lot of success by losing 160 pounds. Life was great and I felt on top of the world. However, as time went on, I started to put unhealthy habits back into my life, which caused me to regain. I was also suffering with sever acid reflux, which was affecting my overall health and happiness. My decision to have a revision was the best decision I made.
Life after my conversion has been different than what life was like after my original surgery. After I had gastric sleeve, I had significant restriction. I could only drink a small portion at a time and it took weeks to work my way up. The feeling of that level of restriction is really strange and only something that people who have the surgery can understand. After my conversion surgery, my restriction did not change. I was actually quite surprised that my restriction was not similar to what it was like when I had my original gastric sleeve surgery. It makes sense, though. My surgeon explained that I probably would not feel a difference with restriction since that is not the only way gastric bypass works. Since my stomach was already smaller, he did not have to make any changes to it. Therefore, I did not feel any difference with restriction. It has been something I have had to learn as I have gotten farther out from my conversion surgery. I want to make sure that I am not overeating. As we all know, this surgery is a tool and can only do so much. We have to put in the work to make sure the surgery is successful.
The reason the conversion helps with weight loss is because now I not only have restriction, but I also have malabsorption. As someone who experienced regain, I can say that the conversion surgery has been a wonderful tool to help me lose the weight again. Although the restriction has not changed, the malabsorption is definitely doing its job. The other plus side of getting the conversion surgery is now I have zero acid reflux. It is an amazing feeling knowing I do not have to deal with that anymore.
Revision or conversion surgeries are not for everyone, but there are many options. You do not have to be like me and convert all the way to gastric bypass. You might choose a mini gastric bypass, duodenal switch, or a re-sleeve. It is important to do your research to see if you are a good candidate for surgery. It is nice to know there are options out there, whether you have experienced regain or are having other issues with your original surgery. If you are one of those people, take the time to meet with your surgeon and talk through what those options look like. I learned that I did not have to suffer anymore and I am extremely happy with my decision. Be patient and do your research because you must be confident with your decision. Remember, there are risks with any surgery and you must take that into consideration. Take a deep breath and relax. You will know what is best for you.