Feeding tube after gastric bypass 

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Story - dying to be thin - aired on Phoenix TV approx Dec 6 on the nightly news.

In this story, two Arizona residents, patients of Dr Juarez were interviewed. They apparently were both quite ill from their gastric bypass surgery (although both had lost about 100 lbs and were keeping it off (one was on a feeding tube and the other couldn't eat much without vomiting) so ironically, statistically, since weight is the only thing considered in judging whether the surgery was a success or not, both these ladies statistically were considered WLS successes.

The following is a transcription of the videos which were up on AZ Republic (they took them down a while ago)

Delilah: "This is where my tube goes in, it comes in through my neck right here and goes back into my intestines to feed me."

This is the side of gastric bypass which you don't see in commercials. It's not glamourous, in fact it can be deadly.

Delilah: "I'm in bed a lot - have a bag.. always throwing up. In pain all the time. My whole body is always in pain. Just life has stopped"

Actually it's come to a screaming halt for 34 year old El Mirage resident, Delilah Nelson. Since the surgery, a year ago, she's had 16 corrective surgeries and she still can't keep food down.

Reporter: "What happens if you try to eat a small meal?"

Delilah: "It's very painful going down. I could feel it digesting."

"It's hard" (says Delilah's mom) "because no mother wants to see her babies go through anything like this."

REPORTER: "You were actually in the hospital on one occasion and they told you to make your funeral arrangements, right?"

Delilah: "I was in the hospital for 18 days and they said I had a blood clot the size of a silver dollar in one of my incisions and I was told not to move because they were worried that the blood clot would move and kill me instantly."

One of her only comforts is her new friend Adrian. They met in the hospital both undergoing corrective surgery for gastric bypass.

ADRIAN:"The surgery was a 'get thin' quick deal. I'll have surgery, I'll lose weight, I'll be gorgeous. I never knew all this would happen."

Like Delilah, Adrian had a blocked intestine, couldn't eat and was in extreme pain. For 6 months her family was worried she wouldn't make it.

ADRIAN: "I had to go through - I was very sick - I couldn't get out of the bed."

She lost weight alright, 100 lbs, but she was a walking skeleton. A year later, she's weak but at least she's able to hold her precious grandson and she's back to work. But...

ADRIAN: "I'm having problems at work because I can't concentrate and that's part of malnourishment."

And the news from her family doctor isn't not good.

ADRIAN: "He said I would never been normal again"

Part II the doctor speaks out: transcript of video

AZ residents, Delilah Nelson and Adrian Tyler are among the 20 percent of patients who have complications from gastric bypass surgery.

DELILAH: (crying) All the misery and all the illness - what's going to happen to me?

The two met in Phoenix in ST Luke's hospital while undergoing corrective surgery.

Dr Hilario Juarez performed the procedure on both women.

DR JUAREZ: every time we do an operation there are certain risks. This operation is specific and it's got these - these risks that we talked about. The bleeding, the leaks and so there are -- there are deaths that have occurred.

Three out of every 1000 patients die from complications of gastric bypass. That's according to the American society for Bariatric surgery. Delilah insists she was not told about the other life threatening complications.

REPORTER: was it explained to her in a seminar that these things could occur?

DR JUAREZ: Absolutely - we go through that - I speak - seminar is approximately one hour and I spend at least 15-20 minutes going over the complications.

Adrian went to the seminar before surgery as well.

REPORTER: was it explained to you that this might happen to you?

Adrian shakes head: No

The surgery reduces the stomach from about the size of a nerf football to an egg-sized pouch and rearranges the intestine. Both women ended up with a blocked intestine. And as a result Adrian had to sleep sitting up for 6 months.

ADRIAN: the food couldn't, it wasn't going down so it was just sitting there when I lay down. So I was afraid that one night I would- you know - choke to death and no body would know it.

Dr Juarez and St Luke's tell us their complication rate for gastric bypass is around 10 percent which is lower than the national average. But for Delilah, Adrian and their families, that's not much comfort.

DELILAH: [you think it's] like a little present just wrapped up, as easy as can be - just pull the ribben and it's all done. And you know it's so not like that. You're opening up Pandora's box right there and you didn't even know it.

Note: At the seminar of Dr Juarez' I attended, he spent less than 5 minutes on complications (I noted that in my notes because that was about the least time spent in any of those seminars I had attended). Dr Juarez did not mention at all, the common repercussion of intestinal blockage which both these ladies suffer from. He also did not mention at all, the common complication of pain which seems to occur in some patients, a year or more after gastric bypass and is often unfixable without exploratory surgery which of course, is extremely risky.