WLS Center E-Newsletter

A FREE publication from


Hosted by Barbara Thompson
Author of:
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.

Issue #50

July 1, 2004

Nothing is automatic following weight loss surgery.  Some people lose weight rapidly, some lose slowly, but then those who lose rapidly may “hit the wall” and never reach goal. Or those who get to goal may have a rebound in their weight.  We need to utilize every tool that we have in this journey, and one of the most effective tools is our local support group.  I had a letter from someone who emphasized that to me. Her letter follows later in this newsletter.

In This Issue


* Book Excerpt: Pregnancy
* Recipe: Quick Dessert
* Value of Support Groups
* Success Story: Jo Anne Junkin

Book Excerpt: Pregnancy

Dear Barbara
My husband and I have been married for 15 years.  I had RNY gastric bypass surgery on Sept. 26th, 2003. In the 15 years we have been married we had not used birth control and had undergone fertility treatments for 9 years.  I have never had a regular cycle in my life until the month of my surgery.  In 1998 we adopted twin boys at the age of 5.  They are now 11 and they are just the joy of our family’s lives. 

Just last week I decided that things are not right with me and my cycle.  I have not been regular but not only that, I’ve been spotting non-stop since April 15th. I just discovered that I am 3 months pregnant.  Now I understand how important it is to use birth control every single time.  We are overjoyed about this pregnancy but there is a lot of worry that comes with it.  I got pregnant 6 months after my surgery and for 3 months had no idea and so I also had no prenatal visits either.  So for those of you who think that getting pregnant is not possible for you, it can happen.  This is just a short note to stress the importance of birth control after surgery.

Kathleen Pritzlaff  

While I am sure that we all wish Kathleen well on her pregnancy, her message is an important one. The following is an excerpt on pregnancy from my book, “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding inside You.”


For some women, one of the reasons for having weight loss surgery is their inability to conceive.  Estrogen is stored in fat cells and as women gain fat cells it affects their fertility.  As they begin to lose weight and lose fat cells, pre-menopausal women experience a newfound fertility. Added to this possibility of pregnancy, is a more active sex life as you become more physically attractive and begin to feel better about yourself. Women, who have not had a period in years, suddenly find that they have begun again.

Eighty percent of patients having weight loss surgery are women in their childbearing years. It is very important to remember to not become pregnant within the first year following surgery, to give your body time to adjust. In the beginning months following surgery, it is difficult to get in a sufficient amount of nutrition to satisfy all your own bodily needs and nearly impossible to supply the nutritional needs of a growing fetus. During the first year after surgery, pregnancy is considered to be high risk and the possibility of a miscarriage is increased by 90 percent. 

It is very important to not become pregnant within the first year following surgery. 

After that, you should be “good to go!”

Another factor that creates a high-risk pregnancy is that morbidly obese women commonly have co-morbidities such as high blood pressure and diabetes that puts increased stress on the body.  The addition of a pregnancy could endanger the health of the mother.

Therefore, if you are at all sexually active, it is very important to use birth control during the first year after surgery. You may very well have a healthy baby, but the risk is not worth it.  Wait the year, for your own sake as well as for the sake of your baby.

However, once you have received an approval from your surgeon or obstetrician to become pregnant, you should have a very normal pregnancy.  In the August 1998 issue of Obesity Surgery, Dr. Wittgrove et al reported on a study conducted following 41 of their own gastric bypasspatients who had become pregnant.  Their pregnancies were normal and their deliveries were without complications. 

If you do not have your copy of my book “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You,” what are you waiting for?  It is recommended by surgeons across the country and has been dubbed the “unofficial bible of bypass patients” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Order your copy at http://www.wlscenter.com/Announce_Book.htm#book.

Recipe: Quick Dessert

Hi Barbara, I am 8 months post-op and doing great. I wanted to share this recipe with you that I got from Arlene Williams at a home cooking show. I am not sure of the amount of protein etc., but it has all good things in it. I really enjoy it and hope your newsletter readers will also. Keep up the good work I really enjoy your newsletter. djp@laurelweb.net 

Quick Dessert
1 large container vanilla yogurt
2 packages pistachio sugar free instant pudding
1 (20oz) can crushed pineapple packed in own juice
1 (12 oz) container cottage cheese

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well, cover and refrigerate until chilled. 

I have used sugar free vanilla and sugar free banana pudding and they are very good also.

If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of this
newsletter, please send it to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com

Value of Support Groups

Weight Watchers may have failed for many of us, but they certainly have the right idea when it comes to support groups.  The act of getting together with people, who share a common problem, is a powerful way to work through that problem. But I think that too few of us take advantage of support groups. 

There is nothing that keeps us on track better than attending support group meetings once a month.  We are able to share problems, successes and solutions to the many problems that arise following surgery. We are there to be inspired by those who have succeeded, learn from speakers and eventually be there to inspire those who come after us.

The following letter from Laurie emphasizes these points.

Hi Barbara,
I just wanted to write and thank you for all your wonderful information on bypass surgery.  I started attending a local support group last September when my husband requested I check into bypass surgery.  I was against the surgery and knew of some people who had some bad results.  One was my best friend who was still on a ventilator following the surgery she had in April 2002. 

I did go to the support meeting and gained information and did some research on the web.  I saw my physician in October and mentioned to her I was thinking about the surgery.  She was 100% for it, and even though that very week my friend died, I went on with the testing and attended one of the physician lectures. 

Well here it is April, my testing is complete, all doctors are in agreement that I should have surgery and Monday I heard that my insurance has approved the surgery.  I am writing to encourage others who are thinking about surgery to attend support groups. 

I have been attending since September and would not have gone this far without their support and guidance.  Hats off to my wonderful "By Pass-Banders Buddies" support group.    


Success Story:  
  Jo Anne Junkin
I want to thank Jo Anne Junkin for sending this wonderful Father’s Day success story. 
It is so touching.

Dear Barbara,
I always look forward to the arrival of my WLS Center E-Newsletter! It was here awaiting me when I opened my computer this morning and I started my day reading every word. What a great way to start one's day with inspiration!

I had a medial RNY with Dr. Elariny in Virginia on July 23, 2003 (eleven months ago).  I can truthfully say it was the best thing I have ever done for my health and my happiness (except for marrying the most wonderful man in the world almost 35 years ago!).

I had three children in three years from 1971 - 1974 increasing my family and my weight. I am 5' 1" tall and when I had my surgery, I tipped the scales at 263 pounds. I had the life most women would love to have with a wonderful Navy husband, family, home, etc., but one thing was wrong. I hated myself for losing control of my weight and not being able to regain control over it.

I think I have tried every diet over the years. I'd lose weight for a while and then gain it back plus a few more pounds each time. I would always joke that my husband believed he had married one thin woman who had grown into Siamese twins! I joked but it hurt inside knowing it was true. I had asthma, knee joints that ached constantly, shortness of breath, water retention that caused my ankles to swell horribly. The list goes on and on. My family has grown by eight grandchildren since 1993 and I was too large to even enjoy doing things with them which made me even more miserable.

I made the decision in December 2002 to seek weight loss surgery. I did tons of research on the internet and in books (Barbara, your book was the best help of all!), talked to people and made an appointment with Dr. Elariny. I decided on the RNY because it seemed to fit my lifestyle best. I received insurance approval much faster than I ever expected and was scheduled for my surgery on 23 September but, thanks to some rescheduling in my bariatric surgeon's office, actually had it done in July 2003.

Eleven months later, I have gone from 263 pounds to 134 pounds. I have dropped from a size 26 to a size 6! I feel absolutely fantastic. I can hardly believe the energy I have! My whole family is so excited and calls me "the incredible shrinking lady."

Yesterday was Fathers' Day and I spent the weekend with my parents in Raleigh, NC. My dad is 83 years old and in very bad health. My mother and I walked to a nearby school and walked around and around the track in the evenings doing miles easily. Barbara, my Dad had worried for years about my health due to my obesity. Yesterday he had tears in his eyes when he hugged me and told me how proud he was of me, and how relieved he is that I am in so much better health. He said my weight loss was the best Father's Day present he had ever received! It's so wonderful to know that he can quit worrying about me!

Thank you for the E-Newsletter with all of its helpful information and for the opportunity to share my WLS story.

G8ful 4 WLS!

Jo Anne Junkin
Lexington Park, MD

Click Here for more photos

I love good news.  If you have good news, a success story to share, or inspiration, please send it to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include it in future issues.

How Do You Maintain Your Weight Loss?

Are you 2 or more years post-op? If so, I need to know what your secret is for maintaining your weight. I will be using your story in my next book on maintaining your weight loss long term. You must write at least 1 full page. Anything less than 1 page will not be useable. I also need your before and after pictures sent via email. I need to know how you eat, what you do for exercise, and any tips that you have to offer. This will be a tremendous help to people who are having the common problem of weight gain following surgery, or are struggling to maintain their weight loss.

Send your stories to Barbara@wlscenter.com

Permission to Reprint

You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

Reprinted from Barbara Thompson’s free e-newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
Subscribe at http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com/

Subscription Corner

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Would you like to receive a personal notification  when it is ready for you to read? It's simple! Just go to http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com/ and scroll down to the subscription form. After filling out the form and submitting it, watch for an email that asks you to CONFIRM your subscription. 

Your subscription is not complete until we get this confirmation back!

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to your friends and family and have them signup for our notification service.

Do you want to unsubscribe? Go to the bottom of your newsletter notification email message and click the unsubscribe link.  You will be automatically deleted.

If you have any problems with this process,
call our office toll free at (877) 440-1518.

Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved