The operation I had when I was 18 years old, is what is called horizontal gastroplasty. I was actually the youngest person at that stage (1980) to have had the operation here in Australia.
As I said I was very young, and not really confident enough to ask the doctor too many questions but, in saying that he was not very forthcoming with any information either. All I was told, was that it was major surgery and that I would experience some pain afterwards.I actually had 2 rows of staples inserted in order to stop the possibility of bursting or stretching, this was my doctor's recommendation.
When I awoke after the surgery, I felt like I was dying ... my mother even became hysterical when she saw me as she thought that I was going to die also.
Click on the image to read Part Two of my story
I woke from my operation with a tube, that went into my nose and down my throat, into my stomach, from which the nurses, sucked fluids out of my stomach. I had a drainage tube in my left side that had from memory, approximately 10 feet of gauze attached to it inside me. This was taken out gradually over a 3 day period, about a week after my operation. By the third day the pain was so horrible, I was hysterical about it and had to have a local anesthetic to have the last of it removed. I had a lot of difficulty with pain ( even though I was being medicated for the best part of a week with morphine) causing me to only be able to breath in very short small breaths. Talking and crying caused pain, and coughing was hellish. If I had a coughing problem they had to give me this medicine to stop the coughing immediately.
I had 22 stitches in my stomach that went from my breast bone to my navel, which made it very difficult to stand up straight, let alone walk. I was supplied with a kick board at the end of my bed, so I could push myself upwards if I found myself sliding down the bed or caught in an uncomfortable position ... and also a triangular bar was hung above my bed so I could pull myself up. Two nurses had to come and lift me every few hours and rub my back, so I did not get bed sores .. this was also very painful. All in all it was a nightmare. I experienced a frightening amount of pain and discomfort during the ten days that I was in hospital and was quite traumatized when I came home. After I had the surgery, my doctor informed me that he had done an experimental procedure as well as the gastroplasty and had narrowed my esophagus. This was done without my prior consent and has been a great source of problems for me for 29 years now. It causes me to have food that gets caught in my throat, in particular, red meat, cold chicken, rice or pasta, after which I cant get any fluids down my throat. And I have to force myself to vomit so it will move. Vomiting is not easy for me, so I dread getting sick and when I was pregnant I nearly choked when suffering with morning sickness.