I’ll be honest: I’ve regained this year and it has SCARED THE BAGEEZUS OUT OF ME. Now granted, it is to be expected. They tell you up front that you’ll probably regain 15-20 lbs of your original loss. Mine was a bit skewed, though, because of my unexpected kidney-near-death-illness for a few years when I lost WAY more weight than I was ever supposed to. When I settled back in to a normal and healthy safe weight, I landed right around 165. That was my happy weight. I stayed there for a few years. Until recently.
I’m almost seven years out now from my gastric bypass surgery, and I’ve regained a LOT this year. At one point, I was up to 186. Right now, I’m at 176. My appetite? Pretty big. I can eat – a lot. Not as much as pre-surgery, but a lot more than post-surgery. I get hungry now. I can eat almost anything except steak and ice cream. And it scares me – a lot. Am I going to regain it all?
I went home to Boston for the holidays and I was right around 186 when I got there. No one in my family said a word, and I was truly thankful for that. I knew that everyone could see it, but they were all very kind and even though the last time they had seen me was twenty lbs lighter, they were just happy that I was home. They focused on what mattered, and my weight wasn’t it. (Thank you, family. You guys are the bestest.)
My sister was listening to NPR and heard about a bariatric procedure called TORe, which is a transoral outlet reduction. Apparently, it’s s less invasive procedure to make your stomach smaller again. It involves inserting an endoscope through the mouth into the stomach while the patient is under anesthesia. It costs $8,000 to $13,000 and insurance coverage varies (although I’d be willing to wager that Kaiser, my insurance, would laugh me right out the office if I requested it). New sutures are put in place to once again reduce the size of the stomach, and most patients can immediately return to work. It apparently can help return your pouch back to it’s previous restriction, leaving you feeling fuller and less hungry.
The interesting thing about the article (linked above on “listening to NPR”) is that when you click on the link that NPR provides about the procedure, this is the description that UCLA Health uses to describe transoral outlet reduction:
Endoscopic suturing for bariatric revision has been studied for more than a decade. A study published in 2013 in the journal Gastroenterology on patients who had weight regain after RYGB compared 50 patients who had endoscopic suturing for bariatric revision (also called transoral outlet reduction, or TORe) with patients who had a sham procedure. Patients who received endoscopic suturing experienced a 3.5 percent weight loss compared to 0.4% among the patients who underwent a sham procedure. (10). No significant procedure related complications occurred.
That doesn’t exactly leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling. A sham procedure? Yikes! My procedure was done quite well in very capable hands. It’s just the nature of our bodies – eventually the pouch will stretch a bit. In any case, I sent the article to my surgeon and asked him about the procedure and his thoughts. I’ll follow-up with anything he responds with.
I wouldn’t consider this now, but if my regain continues and/or gets worse, I may. I’m curious: what are YOUR thoughts? Would YOU consider this procedure? What do you know about it? Have you had the procedure? Leave your comments below.