Gastroplasty including lap band surgery or stomach stapling is a restrictive operation for weight control. Both a band and staples are used to create a small stomach pouch so you physically can not eat large quantities at a time and it slows down the passage of food.
Here is part of one women's journey of 180lb weight release with this.
Interview with Karen Twomey
In 1987 a 310lb Karen Twomey had stomach stapling and released 110lbs in a year. In the next 21 years she would release a total of 180lbs. In the 24 years since the surgery Karen has been through more than most would want in their life. Including divorce and care-taking for her second husband until his death.
“At first I used the Stomach stappling as a tool to release the bulk of my weight. It's been 24 year long journey and I have learned a lot about myself through the journey. At first I used exercise to keep the weight off. Later I started lifting weights to lift my husband when I was caring for him when he was ill. After many years on this journey I realized that weight lifting and exercise are keys for keeping off the weight but also other things.” Today Karen says she also uses good outlook, no dieting just common sense to maintain her weight.
What would you say to someone who was considering stomach stapling, gastric bypass, lapband surgery?
“50% of of people who get gastroplasty succeed. That means 1 out of 2 are failing. That is a big number.“ Even though gastroplasty creates a physical limitation allowing the recipient to eat only a small amount at a time. Karen says, “ People find a way around the limitation and can gain back the weight.” Finding out what her eating triggers were was a key to Karen's success.
Understanding Why you Eat
Karen says; “I learned what triggers me and what I can do to stop a trigger. I was an emotional eater not a food addict there are definitely two differences. I remember I had a friend who passed and I went out and bought all the foods I used to eat. Sweet, salt for comfort. Then I looked and realized I was trying to fill the pain. This was the first time I realized I was an emotional eater.”
One Addiction for another
For me exercise became an addiction until I would find balance in it. Karen is right many gastoplasty patients transfer their food addiction to something else.
October 24th 2006 episode of Oprah Winfrey showed 30% of this addiction transfer to alcohol. This is why it is so important to find root causes of our food addiction. At www.thetotalwellnessdoc.com we are committed to helping you find root causes.
When you are off track you slip into old patterns. Patients are now told prior to surgery that gastroplasty is just tool. That diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are the key to success but Karen highly recommends those who have this procedure to be in a local gastroplasty support group for at least 6 years. Support groups have helped Karen and 24 years later she still attends meetings.
Karen was determined she would not fail. She had baby and says for her, “it was life or death.” I believe it is that determination that encouraged her to not give up, to learn about herself, and solutions for wellness. She is an example to any of us who are on the path to better health through her constantly learning and growing.
“It has been a journey. Every year I am learning more about myself and my relationship with food. To make it a healthy one not a destructive one. Food is something we need to exist. You have to maintain a good relationship with food.”
We publish newsletters and blogposts twice a week for our readers for general education purposes only. We cover topics that are related to achieving and maintaining total wellness which includes our emotional, physical, spiritual and financial health.