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 #58

November 1, 2004

In This Issue


* Would You Like to Be on the Maury Povich Show?
* Blog Along with Me
* Research Article: Weight Loss Surgery Can Cure Diabetes
* Book Excerpt: Hair Loss  
* Success Story: Stacy Leary
* Spreading the Word in Princeton, NJ and Nashua, NH

Would You Like to Appear
            on the Maury Povich Show?

I was contacted by the Maury Povich Show for a program that Maury is doing on weight loss.  The producer wants to highlight people who have lost a lot of weight and how the weight loss has changed their lives dramatically. It will be a very positive upbeat show. It is on weight loss, not on gastric bypass surgery.

If you have a very positive story to tell about your weight loss, contact Morgan at 800-547-6912 Extension 8487.  When you call, be sure to reference that Barbara Thompson told you to call, so that Morgan will give your story close attention. When you call, she will ask you to describe your experience and how much weight you have lost.  They are looking for people between the ages of early 20’s to 40ish. The show will be taped on Thursday and Friday, November 4th and 5th in New York. 

Blog Along with Me

Have you ever heard of a Blog? Isn’t it a strange word? Well, a Blog is “short” for web log.  On a Blog, the host posts frequent messages about a particular topic and people can comment on the topics.  Last week, I set up a Blog! 

You can get to it by going to my website http://www.wlscenter.com. Look at the Site Navigation on the left hand side under my picture and you will see that the first item says, “Barbara’s BLOG” and is printed in red.  Click on that and it will take you to my Blog. On the right hand side of the Blog you will see a list of recent posts.  Some are written and some are audio recordings that you can listen to.  Click on any of the recent posts on the right and you can read the post or listen to those in audio format. Each post has a box underneath if you want to make any comments.  Pretty cool!!

This will give me the opportunity to write about things less formally and more frequently.  And for anyone asking me a question, I can answer it so that everyone can see the answer.  So if you want to ask a question, feel free to post it.  You can also email your questions to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com.  I will answer the questions on the Blog, and will be very careful to keep your identity private.

I will continue to write this e-newsletter twice a month.  This is just a little added bonus.

Let me know how you enjoy it!  

Research Article:
     Weight Loss Surgery Can Cure Diabetes

In the last newsletter I referenced the land mark article in the Journal of the American Medical Association that detailed how much the medical conditions of diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are improved following weight loss surgery. 

Web MD recently reported on the same article, but they also detail the mortality rates and success rates for gastric bypass, lap banding and the duodenal switch.  If you would like to read the article, click here: http://my.webmd.com/content/article/95/103237.htm

Book Excerpt: Hair Loss
During the question and answer period when I speak, I am always asked about hair loss.  Hair loss is a cruel thing to have happen.  It occurs about the fourth or fifth month, when you have lost some weight, but are still not yet happy with yourself.  I don’t know about you, but when heavy, there were only 2 things I liked about myself.  I liked my blue eyes and my hair.  I hated everything else.  To consider losing one of the only two things I liked about me would have been awfully hard to take.  Fortunately, I was one of the majority that did not lose hair.

Here is an excerpt from my book on the topic of hair loss.  I hope it helps to clarify and give hope to those who are nervous about hair loss.

Hair Loss

There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that one third of the people who have weight loss surgery lose up to one half of their hair. It actually comes out in handfuls. The hair loss usually starts around the third or fourth month. It seems to be caused by the body's reaction to the trauma of surgery.

The bad news continues. There doesn't seem to be much you can do about it. Keeping up your protein, taking zinc pills and biotin may help a little, but not enough to really make much of a difference for most patients.  Minoxidil products may limit how much you will lose, but if your body reacts this way, the use of these products and medication will not help.

I have never known anyone who has lost all of his or her hair; so don't think that this surgery will result in your looking like a cue ball!  Getting your hair cut in a shorter style makes it look fuller, so that is an option. Not everyone experiences hair loss. But if it is you, it can be very traumatic while you are going through it. I was one of the lucky ones. I didn't experience any hair loss at all. 

Now, here is the good news. It comes back because the hair loss is only temporary. Around the fifth or sixth month, it starts to grow back in. Soon you have your normal head of hair back. And you can then breathe a sigh of relief!

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

Success Story: Stacy Leary  

I want to offer a special thanks to Stacy Leary for sharing her journey with us. Here is her story:

Hi Barbara,
First, I would like to thank you for all that you do for us!! I saw you speak when you were in Portsmouth, NH in August sponsored by Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Atlantic Surgical.

That is where I had my Roux-En-Y laprascopic gastric bypass on Nov. 14th, 2003. I know it hasn't been quite a year yet but I am at goal and have been for over a month!!

I have been told that this surgery is only a tool and what we do with it is our choice. I am so grateful for having this surgery. Just over a year ago I was 263 pounds and a size 26-28 tight!! I would get out of breath just crossing the room. I had no energy, never exercised, and ate huge portions.

My husband and I have known each other since 7th grade and he has seen me at all my sizes. When we started dating I was dieting and had yo-yo'd down to about 220 pounds from around 230 pounds. Two years later when we got married I was 218. After we got married I was happy and before you know it I was 263 pounds.

I started doing research and discovered gastric bypass surgery. I read all I could, both the pro's and con's for about 6 months and then went to an informational seminar for Atlantic Surgical. I was very impressed with their presentation and filled out the paperwork and sent it in thinking I probably wasn't going to be a good candidate or something would go wrong. I feared I would still be morbidly obese until the day I died. Well, I was told I was a great candidate and started all the pre-op testing. My insurance accepted me in less than a week for the surgery!!

I had the surgery and it was so hard after the surgery!! I didn't have any major problems with the surgery; my problem was mourning food. I missed the comfort of eating. My friend was gone. I remember one day, my mother-in-law was taking care of me and I was drinking my Carnation Instant Breakfast for the 2nd time that day. She was eating lunch and I just started to cry because she could eat and I couldn't.

But every day got better and eventually I was able to eat a little. One day my nutritionist, Kristina, told me I could have pureed egg or chicken. My mom brought me home and made me egg salad for lunch, just pureed egg with fat free Miracle Whip. I ate that and I knew life was going to be OK! I said, "Mom, I love you. This is the best egg salad I have ever had!!" She said I was easy to please!

I had only one glitch in the road in the Spring. I had a lot of severe pain in my stomach and had to go in for emergency surgery. I had an internal hernia and a problem with adhesions. My surgeon repaired my hernia through the same holes from my surgery.

It is now 11 months since my surgery. I am 133 pounds and am a size 4 to an 8 depending on the cut of clothes.  Even my shoe size went from 7 1/2 wide to 6 1/2 regular. I have so much energy now. I can run up the stairs instead of going up half way and pausing to catch my breath.

I work out 4 times a week at Curves and I am trying my best to help others on their journey of gastric bypass surgery. When I went to hear you speak last month in Portsmouth, NH, I received your blue ribbon for losing over 100 pounds. You have no idea how much that meant to me!!

Thanks again for all that you do!!
Stacy Leary

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.  

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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/

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