Gastric changed their lives

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 24, 2010

For one local couple, their decision to undergo the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery has been a life changing one.

Lisa Wiggins and husband, David, who is a member of Fresh Anointing, under went the procedure together in June 2006, after both suffered from high blood pressure and various other medical issues because of their weight.

“David started at 334 pounds and now weighs about 215 pounds,” she said. “I started at 240 pounds, and I weigh about 130 pounds.”

“We both had yo-yo dieted our whole lives,” she said. “We’ve tried just about every diet out there.”

The most common and preferred method of gastric bypass surgery is Roux-en-Y, in which the surgeon staples the patient’s stomach across the top, which seals it off from the rest of the stomach.

The resulting pouch is about the size of a walnut and can hold about an ounce of food, and is physically separated from the rest of the stomach.

The surgeon then cuts the small intestine and sews part of it directly onto the pouch.

This causes the food to be redirected to the second portion of the small intestine, jejunum, which limits the ability to absorb calories.

Food never enters the lower part of the stomach.

After the procedure, patients aren’t allowed to eat for one to two days to allow the stomach to heal.

Then a specific diet much be followed for 12 weeks, and the diet begins with liquids only, then gradually begins group-up or soft foods and finally progresses to regular foods.

Wiggins said she and her husband were in the hospital for two or three days and then back to feeling good about a week after surgery.

“It’s a slow process from the initial surgery to actually eating real food and meals again,” she said. “Having the surgery has given us our lives back. It’s been great for us.”

Wiggins said it took each about nine months to a year before each was comfortable with the weight loss.

Wiggins said she would recommend it to anyone that has tried everything else and this is the next step.

“My best advice is to do your homework on the actual procedure, the doctor and the hospital,” Wiggins said.

“The surgery is not a final solution to a lifetime of weight problems. It’s just a starting point of getting your life back. Don’t be fooled that you’ll get skinny and stay skinny. You can gain the weight back.

“It’s been amazing for me and David, absolutely no regrets for us,” Wiggins said.

To keep their weight off, the two eat healthy and exercise.

Lisa and David Wiggins are shown before they decided to under go gastric bypass surgery. The couple says the surgery has changed their lives. | Courtesy photo

For David and Lisa Wiggins, their decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery in June 2006 has proven to be a life-changing one. The couple is shown after losing a large amount of weight. | Courtesy photo