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Gastric Bypass - Stomach Size
What Happens to My Stomach During Surgery?
During the RNY surgery, the stomach is resized to create a small pouch. My surgeon says that he tends to make a small pouch for his patients, about the size of a ping pong ball.
The small intestine is then rerouted to bypass the area of the small intestine that absorbs sugar and fat. Hence, the bypass part of gastric bypass. It looks like a Y when complete.
This new pouch does not stretch as easily as the original stomach (which remains in the body). So, when the RNY patient eats, the new pouch fills much more quickly. Also, there is no gastric acid in the pouch to break down the food when it enters - again, aiding in feeling full after eating just a small amount of food.
At this point, ten months after surgery, I can eat about six ounces of food at a time. If i eat any more than that, I have a tight feeling. Yes, it hurts. A lot. The only thing that will relieve that pain is getting that food out of the pouch. That usually involves getting sick.
Talk about behavior modification! I don't want to hurt, and I certainly don't want to feel sick! So, I try not to overeat. I'm not perfect, though. I'm still learning to care for myself better.
Have you experienced Dumping Syndrome?
Can't Absorb Sugar or Fat? Dumping Syndrome!
The small intestine that is now attached to the pouch does not handle sugar or fat well so GB patients have to be careful with eating these foods. If they don’t, they may experience something referred to as Dumping Syndrome. Dumping usually happens within an hour after eating an offensive food.
The first time I dumped was after eating Indian food at one of my favorite restaurants. I had chapati bread and sauteed vegetables (vegetarian choices are my favorite Indian foods). I'd had those foods before, but the chef put ghee on the bread. This is a butter-like sauce. Muffy, what I named my pouch, did NOT like ghee. An hour after eating, I began to feel the food quickly moving through my intestines. Then, it started to hurt! The pain was horrible!
I tried to sleep it off. I tried a hot bath. I called 911.
I didn't know I was dumping. I thought I was having a complication from the surgery! By the time the (hot) firefighters got to my house, the pain was all but gone. I went on to the hospital anyway. They gave me painkillers and sent me home. Everyone thought the spiciness caused my pain. For some, it would. However, I can still eat spicy foods - thank goodness!
Want more information on Dumping Syndrome? Check out this info from the Obesity Action Coalition!