Barbara Thompson

Weight Loss Surgery


A FREE publication from


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

Issue #136

March 1, 2008


In This Issue


*  Fistula Help Needed
*  Special Deal: Try My CD’s
*  Warning: The Window is Closing
*  Attention Nurses
*  Blog News
*  Research Article: Obesity and Children
*  Recipe: Quick Beef with Broccoli
*  Success Story: Hank Lougee

Fistula: Help Needed

I received an email from Karen who developed a fistula since her original surgery in 2003. A fistula is an abnormal connection between two organs. After gastric bypass surgery a fistula can form between the pouch and the original stomach. It is very rare, but it can happen.

The fistula is causing Karen extreme abdominal pain.  Unfortunately, the insurance that Karen has now does not cover weight loss surgery or any complications associated with it.  Karen cannot afford to pay for the surgery to correct this problem and is living with the pain.

My heart went out to Karen when she wrote, “I spent nearly three years researching gastric bypass surgery.  I very carefully selected my surgeon, who was highly recommended by many respected entities. Throughout all of my research, I never found "transfer addiction" or "fistula revisional surgery".  Seems I have now experienced both of these.  Right now, this minute, I am completely sorry that I had this procedure.  This is the first time I've ever felt this way.  I am scared.  I am angry.  I am in extreme pain.  I am at a loss as to where to turn.  And it seems that even if I discover a viable option, it is zapped -- as my insurance excludes coverage for gastric bypass (or any complications from gastric bypass surgery).  Being self-employed, we do not have many options for health coverage.  I feel like I will just die a slow and very painful death.”

If you have experience with a fistula, please email me at I know among this readership, there are people who have suffered from this. Additionally if there is a bariatric nurse who has expertise in this area who would like to contribute an article on this topic written in layman’s terms, we would all appreciate that. 

Warning: The Window is Closing

In your weight loss journey, of up most importance is to keep the window of opportunity open as long as possible. The window of opportunity is that time following surgery when you have rapid weight loss. That window can close from 10 months post-op to perhaps 18 months post-op. It will never be as easy to lose weight again – ever in your life! 

Take advantage of every day. “Eat your protein first” and “drink water” are 2 of my rules of success that are fairly easy to follow, but then there are the other 2 rules – “no grazing” and “exercise.”  This is where many patients drop the ball. You can out eat your surgery by grabbing and eating small bits of food all day long. This can stop your weight loss dead in its tracks.  And failing to exercise can put you on a plateau because your metabolism is dropping as rapidly as your weight.  You need to exercise to keep your metabolism revved up so the weight loss continues.

When your window of opportunity does close, you want to be at your goal weight. You don’t want to be many pounds from your goal when you will be struggling and regretting not having taken advantage of the time when you were in weight loss heaven. It is so easy to think that the weight loss will go on forever and that you will never have to struggle with your weight again. Those of us who are a few years post-op know that once the window shuts, weight loss is still possible, but it is a struggle. Don’t get caught in that trap.

Attention Nurses

Would You Like to Have

Obesity Sensitivity Training for

Your Hospital Staff?

(Guess What - It May Be Free)

Speaking for Hospitals

If you are a bariatric coordinator and need obesity sensitivity training for your hospital staff, contact me at 877-440-1518 or  Obesity sensitivity training is a Center of Excellence requirement. I have sponsorship that your hospital may qualify for.

Blog News

Want to know what is going on in the TV show Big Medicine? Then check out my Blog. Find out what happened when Montel Williams devoted his show to the principles on the program, including interviews with some of the patients. 

There are a lot more articles there as well.

Stay up-to-date on all the latest information about weight loss surgery!!

Don't forget to register to receive all my Blog Posts

Research Article:
Obesity and Children

Have you ever seen an obese mother walking down the street with 2 very overweight children walking behind her? Has the thought crossed your mind, ‘It’s a shame what that mother is doing to her children.  She’s just teaching them bad eating habits. That’s child abuse.’ Or do you feel that someone thought that of you at some point in your life with your children?

Many of us experience guilt and worry about our children that we see headed down the same road we have traveled. We try to teach our children good eating habits and the importance of movement that we have learned post surgery.  But all the badgering our parents may have done for us didn’t make any difference, and it probably won't with your children.

Do you wonder why you have the problem of obesity? I know I have wondered that many times.  Why was it that I couldn’t control my weight?  How was it that I became morbidly obese?

All of this can be explained by one word, “genetics.” A British study of over 5,000 pair of twins between the ages of 8 and 11 has found that 77% of a child’s weight can be attributed to genetics.  

“This study shows that it is wrong to place all the blame for a child's excessive weight gain on the parents; it is more likely to be due to the child's genetic susceptibility," said Jane Wardle of University College London.” It is wrong to blame the parents and it is wrong to blame yourself for falling prey to this disease of obesity.

To read more about the study, go to

Quick Beef with Broccoli

Quick Beef with Broccoli

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 pound sirloin beef tips, sliced against the grain 1/8 inch thick
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 ounces frozen broccoli florets, thawed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup water

Toss together cornstarch, salt, pepper, and beef in a bowl until meat is coated.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then stir-fry the beef until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer with a slotted spoon to another bowl and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the wok along with broccoli and garlic and stir-fry over moderately high heat until the broccoli is just tender and the garlic is pale golden, about 2 minutes.

Add soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 257 calories, 15g fat (2g saturated), 51mg cholesterol, 515mg sodium, 9g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 21g protein

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

Success Story:
  Hank Lougee
I want to offer a special thanks to Hank Lougee. Here is his story:

Hi Barbara,
My name is Hank Lougee and I am from North Carolina.  Last year there came a time when I felt like I had to do something about my health.

First I want to say that I am 60 years old and had to retire from the Durham Fire Dept in 1994 due to a job related injury.  Since the injury I have gained a large amount of weight and felt like I would not live 5 more years if I did not do something about the weight.  I was at the point that when I went to the Duke Weight Loss Center for the introductory class on gastric bypass surgery, I was out of breath just walking from the parking lot to the hospital. 

Since the surgery, March 28, 2007, I have gone from 334 lbs to 230 or a total of about 104 pounds lost.  I was 53 in the waist and everything was 3X or larger, but now I am 38 to 40 in the waist and extra large in shirts. I lost my weight in 8 months but have hit a plateau.

I am now walking 4 miles every morning and have gotten myself back into the shape I was 25 years ago, with the exception of my back being fused and rheumatoid arthritis.  It is a life change and I work everyday to keep the weight off.  I have found that I am about at the weight that I want to be and have had friends tell me that since I am a big boned person that I should not go any farther. So if I lose 5 more pounds that would be ok for some up and down weight I’m sure will happen. 

I must say that I had a problem after surgery, but would do it again tomorrow.  What I had was a small bleed and I had to go back into the hospital for a few days and have a drain tube put in.  It didn’t last long and I have been doing well since.  I called it a bump in the road and like I said, I would do it again.  The doctors at Duke University looked after me the entire time and were wonderful. 

The biggest problem I have found since surgery is that I feel like I want to eat more than I can.  I feel like I could sit down and eat that big steak but now I share a small one with my wife. I used to love to eat shrimp but now I can only eat about 6. 

This has been a good experience. I think there ought to be a support group in each town and/or each state where people can call others that have had the surgery to ask questions about all parts of the surgery and concerns. Maybe there could be a database set up where people can find someone near their home that they can call and talk to.  By the way,, we went on a cruise to Bermuda last July and I lost weight!!

Hank Lougee

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

Congratulations Hank


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