Weight Loss Journey: Robert Ginn

By Bari Life Team

Robert’s background

After roughly 20 years of international and domestic business travel / customer entertainment my weight had increased from 240 to 425. I had tried a variety of weight loss programs, to no avail.

Details are included in a Gastric By-Pass Pre-Approval letter that I developed from a lot of research in 2002/2003. This letter was used as the format for future University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Bariatric Program candidates.

Surgery & recovery

During my research, I had found out that Carnie Wilson (Bryan Wilson’s daughter) had been through the Roux-en-Y procedure in 1999 and she made available to me a video of her surgery.

After selecting a Surgeon, with the help of UPMC and finally gaining the approval of my healthcare provider, a date for the surgery was set for the week before Thanksgiving in 2003, with my weight at 407 lbs.

The surgery went off without a hitch but the following morning with a real-time radiographic procedure, it was discovered that I had a leak in the pouch that was “communicating” with the severed stomach.

The decision was made to insert a G-tube port and wait 6 weeks for the tissues to clear before attempting a repair. The second surgery for repair of the leak was done in mid-January 2004 with no anomalies. Post-op my weight was 334 (-73 lbs) but I had been living on liquid through the G-tube.

Over the next 10 months my weight dropped to 280 (-127 lbs) but I had a huge flap of abdominal skin and a incisional hernia that required additional surgery, which was scheduled for mid-November 2004.

Post-op, in the recovery room I threw a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) which left me on cardio/pulmonary support in a coma for 17 days.

My post-op weight in early December 2004 was 245 (-162 lbs).

Fourteen years post-op gastric bypass, I am now 70 years old and living a somewhat less active lifestyle, and I have only gained back about 20 lbs.

After recovery from the PE and abdominoplasty, UPMC asked me to teach a class to potential bariatric patients on the risk factors of bariatrics and what to expect from the surgery.

I also consulted with individuals to assist in the insurance approval process, which was a nightmare in those days because bariatrics was quite new.

What I have learned

First is the importance of taking dietary supplements that are specifically formulated for bariatric patients. Centrum multi-vitamins nearly killed me! Make sure that your vitamins are specifically formulated for bariatric patients so that you know you are getting the nutrients you need.

Second, Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is potentially a silent killer. It is a symptom of Dumping Syndrome and is at least one of the probable causes of low blood sugar due to the pylorus being removed during Gastric By-Pass.

And most importantly, I have learned that most Primary Care Physicians have no clue how to deal with a gastric by-pass patient so be sure to talk with a bariatric specialist when embarking on this journey.


More Bariatric Articles

5 Tips to Avoid Slow Weight Loss After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Are you dealing with slow weight loss after gastric bypass surgery? Or maybe your weight loss has come to a complete halt. Don’t give up on your hard efforts! Slow weight loss, or a weight-loss plateau, is normal after gastric bypass surgery. Let’s discuss some common causes and tips to avoid a weight-loss plateau. What […]

Gastric Bypass Weight Loss Chart

So you’re interested in gastric bypass surgery for weight loss – that’s amazing! Gastric bypass surgery is one of the best ways to achieve sustained weight loss, even years after surgery. During surgery, your surgeon bypasses part of your stomach and small intestines so less food can be absorbed and you feel fuller faster. When […]

What are your tips and tricks to post-bariatric success?

Share your thoughts or questions in the comments below – we want to hear from you!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.