Thursday, April 29, 2010

What is VSG?

The surgery I will be having on June 10, 2010 is called VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy), at St George's Hospital. During the surgery, my surgeon (Grant Coulter) is going cut away about 85% of my stomach. He'll do it by running a bougie (tube) down my thaot, and then using a device which will run six rows of staples through my stomach.

A razor blade will run between the staples, leaving three rows on either side of it that are then either oversewn or covered in surgical glue. I'll be left with a much smaller stomach that can only hold about 80-100 grams of food (that's 3 -4 oz). Out of all the different weight loss surgeries available it's sort of a middle ground between a lap-band and a roux-en-y/duodenal switch. There's a lot of different reasons that I chose to get vsg instead of these other options, which I'll go into later, but needless to say me and my surgeon and my family have talked it over at length.

It's not necessarily what my first choise for weight loss would be, if I could do it alone I would. But I know that I can't do it alone. Unfortunately studies show if a person has more than 20 kilos to lose by themselves, they have about a 5% chance of being able to lose and maintain it. Also I have a condition called PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which makes it very hard for a lot of women to have children, and can leave them unfertile. One of the most effective treatments for PCOS other than medication, is to lose their excess weight. However unfortunately a side effect of PCOS is that it makes it incredibly easy to gain weight, and insanely difficult to lose it.

I've spent years seeing nutritionists, going on weight watchers and jenny craig, busting my ass at the gym for six weeks - and through all of this I've somehow steadily gained weight. Which is how I've ended up here. Basically I'm twenty-one, and I want to have children, avoid diabetes and not get any of the co-morbidities that I know are coming to me if I don't get things under control. So my family and I have made a decision as to what's best for me and just quietly... I'm a bit excited about it.