WLS Center E-Newsletter
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Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
The Voice of Obesity
We are coming up on the most difficult eating time of the year –
Halloween through Christmas, two months worth of solid emphasis on
food. There seems to be food everywhere you turn. We start with
the Halloween candy last night. Hopefully you have given it all
away, or better yet gave non-candy treats. This is followed by
Thanksgiving which is a day with far more emphasis on food
than on “thanks,” holiday parties, Christmas and New Year’s.
If you have just had surgery, this can be
very depressing as you try to figure out how your new eating
patterns will fit in and be managed. You may want so much to be a
part of the fun, especially since you are looking and feeling
better. But there are so many dynamics going on over the
holidays. If you are a year or more
post-op, you maybe struggling with weight regain. I will be talking about
our relationship with food in the next 4 issues of
this newsletter so stay tuned.
In This Issue
* Research Article: Age and Weight Loss Surgery
* Back on Track
* Oh my Aching Back: Back Problems Following Weight Loss Surgery
* Recipe: Pumpkin Pie
* Retreat News
Success Story: Karen Andrews
* Spreading the Word in Orange, CA
Age and Weight
I am often asked
what the age limit is for weight loss surgery, such as
in the email
What is the age limit on weight loss surgery? A friend of mine
is in her 60’s and wants to have the surgery
Technically there is no age limit for weight loss surgery.
However the risk of surgery increases with age. The following
article details research on this subject:
Flum, David, et
al. “Early Mortality Among Medicare Beneficiaries
Bariatric Procedures.” Journal of the American Medical
Association, Vol. 294: 15, Oct. 19, 2005: 1903-1908.
followed 16,155 Medicare patients who had weight loss surgery.
Of those aged 65 to 74, 13% of men and 6% of women died within a
year. Those aged 75 and above, 50% of men and 40% of women died
within a year.
Most surgeons have an age limit, so your friend will have to
check. But Centers of Excellence have more experienced surgeons
and are better equipped to treat older patients. For a current
list of Centers of Excellence, go to
It's time to get Back On Track
you’re not happy with your weight loss,
then join the
Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring
Here is a recent
comment from a new member:
“I sure wish I had come here when my eating started slipping.
But we are all on our own journeys--even though we have so much
in common. I highly recommend listening to some of the audio
seminars. I just joined last week and already I have a ray of
hope I haven't had in quite some time.”
information or to join the Program, go
Oh my Aching Back: Back
Following Weight Loss
I had gastric bypass surgery in March 2004. Since then my T8-9
vertebrae herniated and I have had to have major back surgery. I
have heard others say they also had back trouble after losing so
much weight so fast. I also now have a disc bulge at T-10. .Do
you think this could be the cause? Have you heard of this
Curious if anyone
else had the same issues....
Back problems are very common with people who are morbidly
obese. The pressure of carrying extra weight combined with
gravity exerts a lot of pressure on joints and spinal disks.
Generally, people experience pain relief following weight loss
surgery because they are carrying less weight. However, when you
are losing weight rapidly, your center of gravity shifts, so you
are carrying your body weight differently. This has caused some
people to experience back problems, even when they had none
before surgery. I have not however heard of back problems as
severe as yours as a result of losing weight rapidly. It is
always tough to determine if a problem would have emerged, even
if you didn’t have weight loss surgery and perhaps been even
worse, or if a problem occurred as a result of surgery. But
then that is what research uncovers.
If anyone has experience with back problems
good or bad following surgery, let me hear from you and I will
report it in the newsletter. Send your responses to
I talk about this problem and so much more
in my book, “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding
inside You. Get your copy here
“Barbara, your book has been my bible
before during and after surgery. Every time I ever have a
question about anything, I can find the answer there. I could
not have gotten through my surgery as well as I did without it.
You are a godsend!!”
If you really want to have pumpkin pie for
Thanksgiving, try this one. It is sugar free and low in calories.
Folded refrigerated unbaked pie crust (1
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 Tbl. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. salt
16 oz. can pumpkin
12 oz can evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup egg substitute
16 packets or 5 tsp. Equal or Splenda
Bake one piecrust
according to package directions; reserve remaining piecrust for
garnish or another pie.
In a large saucepan
combine gelatin, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
Stir in pumpkin and evaporated skim milk. Let stand 5 minutes to
soften gelatin. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture
bubbles; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
Gradually stir in
one cup of hot mixture into egg substitute; return all egg mixture
to saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Do not
boil. Remove from heat. Stir in Equal or Splenda. Pour into
baked piecrust. Cover and chill for a minimum of 6 hours or
overnight. Makes 8 servings.
information per serving: 237 calories, 8 grams protein, 28 grams
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues
of this newsletter, please send it to me
I am currently working on my retreat
schedule for 2007. I am working with bariatric practices and
their support groups to have retreats in Charlotte, NC in
January; Milwaukee, WI. in April; and Kansas City, KS (date
yet to be determined).
If you would like for me to have a
retreat in your city, have your support group leader contact
Barbara@WLScenter.com. It is a fabulous tool for educating
and rejuvenating patients who are more than 1 year post op.
“This retreat has been such a
wonderful and inspirational experience for me. I have
met so many special and loving people that I will
cherish for the rest of my life. You did such a
wonderful job in covering the issues we all share.”
I want to offer a special thanks to Karen
Andrews. Here is her story:
I was the poster child for "Yo-Yo" dieting. Since high school, I
was always trying some new fad. I would lose the weight then always
gain it back, plus more.
In the Fall of 1999, I made the decision to
become a mom. I flew to China and adopted the most beautiful
child! I thought that being responsible for this precious life
would inspire me to take better care of myself! Unfortunately, it
Finally, in the Fall of 2004, I decided to
investigate gastric bypass surgery. A good friend of mine had done
it with wonderful results. I contacted my Human Resources Office at
work and they said the only plan we had that would cover it was Blue
Cross HMO. As a result, I switched to Blue Cross during open
enrollment in November and by March of 2005, I was approved for
When I went in for surgery April 13, 2005, I
weighed 250 pounds. My surgery was done by Dr. Titus Duncan, the
surgeon who supposedly did Starr Jones’ surgery.
As of today, I am a constant 145! This is the
second best thing I have ever done in my life (second only to
getting my sweet child)! I am off blood pressure medication for the
first time in 20 years. My sleep apnea has disappeared. My joints
rarely hurt from the arthritis and I'm playing tennis again!
I know I have been blessed in many ways. But
when people say this is a second chance at life, I know it's true.
Hopefully by doing this surgery, I can look forward to seeing my
daughter graduate from college and make me a grandmother!
Kennesaw (Atlanta), Georgia
If you have a success story to share along with before
and after pictures, please send it to me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com so that I can include it in
Spreading the Word in Orange,
Start the holidays off right! If you live
near Orange, CA come join me just before Thanksgiving. Here
are the details:
I will be speaking for Dr. Ninh Nguyen
When: Tuesday November 21st, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: University of California, Irvine
101 The City Drive
Building 53 Auditorium
Please Note: I am asked very often about
coming to speak for various practices. If you would like me to
speak, I am sponsored to speak by either the Hospital or by a
corporation. Call me for details 877-440-1518.
If you are a nurse and would like for me to
speak on positive patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, or
obesity sensitivity for your State Nurses Association, please
have the conference planner for your State Association contact
me. I have a corporate sponsor who will pay my fee and expenses
so it is free for your Association. I also speak for many
hospitals on the same topics.
Contact me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com or 412-851-4195.
You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or
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from Barbara Thompson’s free e-newsletter featuring helpful
information and research material to help patients succeed following
weight loss surgery.
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