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Patient Testimonials

Kerry J.

I had my stomach stapled in the fall of 1980 at a different practice. The procedure was a horizontal gastroplasty with a loop bypass. My stomach was not divided; instead, the top of it was stapled off from the bottom part. After the surgery, I lost almost all the excess weight, but had all the classic Roux-en-Y (RNY) problems like dumping, food sticking, foaming etc.

After about 18 months, some of the staples pulled out or tore out and I started bleeding internally and then one day, just passed out. At the hospital, they pumped 2 or 3 units of blood into me. I felt better and was able to go home the next day.

Kerry J., Before Weight Loss Surgery Kerry J., After Weight Loss Surgery

Life continued and things went well for me, but I was always struggling to keep the weight off. I managed to keep it off for about 15 years, exercising every day and eating as little as I could. It was very difficult, but I did it.

In 1996, I applied for a life insurance policy which required that I have an extensive physical and learned that I had Hepatitis C. I was cured of the Hep C with interferon treatments. But because I felt so awful during the treatment, I had stopped exercising and started eating comfort food. I lost control of my weight. I gained all the weight back between 1997 and 2001. I tried to lose it over and over between 1999 and 2007. It was a classic "yo-yo" – lose 15, gain back 25 – over and over.

Learn more about the benefits of revision weight loss surgery: watch
Dr. Rabkin's webinar on conversion to the duodenal switch bariatric surgery procedure (53 minutes).

By the summer of 2007, I finally decided that I just had to really get serious about my weight. I had developed hypertension, sleep apnea, gout and was miserable. I had quit water skiing, playing sports and pretty much every activity I loved.

I decided to find out what my insides looked like and discover what, if anything, could be done. I scheduled a barium swallow and an upper GI and discovered that I had an opening the size of a nickel or quarter between my pouch and lower stomach and that food or liquid would travel through the hole and loop and that some would go back into my pouch and some would travel on down my intestine. The doctor doing the upper GI ran the scope through the hole and loop bypass with no problems. No wonder I had such a difficult time with my weight control!

The GI doctor, a respected RNY surgeon, suggested I get a revision to a modern RNY. I was not thrilled with that idea, but didn't know about anything else. I started investigating on the Internet, found the Obesity Help web site and started asking questions. I was finally invited to visit the DS (Duodenal Switch) Forum and the more I learned, the more I knew I wanted a revision to DS.

Since I didn't have any insurance coverage for weight loss surgery, I also started looking into surgeons in Mexico, India and Brazil, but none I spoke to would agree to revise me to DS.

People on the DS Forum kept telling me I needed to talk to Dr. Rabkin. I arranged the consult and, within 10 minutes, knew I wanted Dr. Rabkin to do my surgery. He had an opening in 12 days and I went for it.

I had a very long surgery - 8 1/2 hours - and then had to have a second surgery three days later to repair a scar tissue flap in my stomach. That one took 4 1/2 hours, but it fixed the problem. I had a difficult 6 weeks of recovery; but after that, it's been all good.

I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love it and I'm having the time of my life. I work out with a personal trainer 3 times a week, I play tennis 2 or 3 times a week, I fly helicopters, twin engine airplanes, single engine planes etc. I live every day like I have a short time left because I'm finally free of the weight and guilt from eating.

In many ways I feel like I owe my life to the people who helped me get where I am today.

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