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 #152

November 1, 2008


If you have a slow internet connection, wait 1 minute to play.

The above video requires free Flash Player.  

In This Issue


* StomaphyX from a Patient’s Perspective
* The Protein Deal
* Recipe: healthy Harvest Stew
* Success Story: Peg Bradtke

  from a Patient’s Perspective

You always provide such great and helpful information – thanks.  I’d like to know your thoughts on the new StomaphyX procedure. 

Debra Hammen

Dear Debra,
The StomaphyX procedure makes the pouch and stoma smaller so that you will feel full faster, much the same as you did in the early days following surgery. In the procedure, an instrument is inserted down your throat into the pouch. The instrument makes pleats in the pouch and stoma to make both smaller.

The success of the procedure depends completely on correctly using your newly refurbished tool. Losing weight will never be as easy as it was right after surgery, but the procedure makes it easier.

Karen Shannon who recently had the StomaphyX procedure has been kind enough to share her experience with us.

Dear Barbara:
On August 20, 2008, I traveled to Detroit, Michigan to see Dr. Mark Pleatman.  He performed the StomaphyX procedure the next day. The procedure was completed as an out-patient and took about 20 minutes.  After spending about an hour in recovery, I was released from the hospital.  I felt a difference immediately.  I saw Dr. Pleatman the following morning and then flew home.  I returned to work immediately, with the only restriction being not to lift over 10 lbs for 2 weeks. 

I had roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery on August 25, 2003.  I weighed over 320 lbs.  I lost 150 lbs within 10 months.  I kept that weight off for 3 years, when it began creeping up on me.  I regained about 50 lbs.  I wanted to get this under control before it got any worse.  I began researching revisional surgery options and came across information about the StompahyX.  I was intrigued by this procedure because the risk was extremely low, minimal time off work with a quick recovery. 

I noticed that the amount I could consume was about 1/3 of what I ate prior to the procedure.  I also noticed that drinking even very small amounts of liquid when I eat is NOT possible. I normally follow the rules of the pouch, but have one medication that must be taken with food, so I must consume a very small amount of water after eating. 

The StomaphyX is not a miracle cure.  As with any weight loss surgery, the patient must follow the rules for it to be successful.  I also consulted with a behavior modification therapist and continue to see her to address the issues with addictive personality.  Having suffered from transfer addiction after my gastric bypass surgery, I wanted to be sure that I didn't return to that behavior.  Overall I am extremely pleased with the outcome.  I have now lost about 30 lbs and hope to lose another 30.  It comes off much slower than the weight loss after gastric bypass surgery.  I feel this is a good thing, as I am once again more cognizant of not only the quantity, but the quality of the food I'm choosing to eat.

Dr. Pleatman's fee is $5,000 and includes everything -- hospital, anesthesiologist and his surgery fee. The fee is not covered by insurance. The procedure is very much like a scope, in that it goes down through the mouth, throat and into the gastric pouch.  Small pleats are then made, using fasteners to hold them.  Once enough pleats are gathered, your pouch is much smaller.  Dr. Pleatman did require one test prior to approving me for surgery.  It was similar to the barium swallow test that patients do the day after gastric bypass.  This test is placed on a disk and mailed to Dr. Pleatman, who then reviews it.  I believe they are looking for leaks and fistulas, also to assess the size of the gastric pouch.

Dr. Pleatman has a website and so does the company that makes the StomaphyX equipment.

Karen Shannon
Chillicothe, Missouri

Dr Pleatman’s Website is

The website for StomaphyX information and anmation is

Ask Barbara: The Protein Deal

I was recently asked a question on the yahoo group of my Back on Track Program that I thought a lot of people would benefit from.

Hi Barbara,
If we are to have 60 to 80 grams of protein daily, how do you do that without taking in more calories than you need and putting on weight?


Hi Donna
There are 2 ways that you can get in all of your protein and with careful choices, not use up all of your calories.

Some people enjoy protein supplements and there are many to choose from. As an example:

Profect 25 grams of protein = 100 calories

Profect 50 grams of protein = 200 calories

Protonix 18 grams of protein = 72 calories

Any Whey 1 scoop = 17 grams of protein and 70 calories

Nectar 1 scoop = 23 grams of protein and 90 calories

Matrix 1 scoop = 23 grams of protein and 120 calories

These are available at . Click on either “Meal Replacements” or “Protein Products.”

If you prefer to get your protein from food, it is easy to do. Notice though that in the list below, there are choices. You will have a lot of calories left depending on the foods you select:

Beef – 4 ounces of lean beef with all fat trimmed = 33 grams of protein and 240 calories
Boneless skinless chicken breast = 34 grams of protein and 183 calories
Fish baked or broiled = 24 grams of protein and 139 calories
Large boiled egg = 6 grams of protein and 77 calories
1 cup of lentil soup = 12 grams of protein and 218 calories
1 ounce of cheddar cheese = 7 grams of protein and 113 calories

Protein is protein in whatever form you select. But it is good that you recognize that calorie values are as important as the number of protein grams you eat.

Attention Nurse Educators

Preparing for COE Status?

Would You Like to Have

Obesity Sensitivity Training for

Your Hospital Staff?

Speaking for Hospitals

If you are a bariatric coordinator or nurse educator 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.

Healthy Harvest Stew

Healthy Harvest Stew

1 pound of lean beef
½ cup finely chopped onions
1 clove minced garlic
2 cans beef broth
1 medium sized can undrained diced tomatoes
1 cup peeled cubed pumpkin or sweet potato
1 cup of peeled acorn, butternut or hubbard squash
1 cup of peeled potatoes
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons cornstarch or flour dissolved in water

Trim off all the visible fat from the meat and cut into 1 inch cubes. Spray a pan with cooking spray, add meat and cook until browned. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are “clear.” Remove and drain on paper towels to remove any excess fats that cooked from the meat.

Return to pan and add chili powder and pumpkin pie spice. Add tomatoes, broth and the bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat and allow stew to simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Add pumpkin, squash and potatoes and cover pan. Allow to simmer for an additional hour. Remove from heat and take out the bay leaf. Return to medium heat and add the flour or cornstarch/water mixture into the stew and stir constantly until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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

Thanksgiving SALE

(for the month of November 2008)

Back on Track with Barbara Program

First Month, 1/2 Off

Are you...

Suffering from emotional eating and can’t stop?
Grazing on carbohydrates and can’t control it?
Lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Feel you don’t know what to do now that you have had surgery?
Dying to be in better shape with warm weather here?

 Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program is just what you need!

Be in control through this holiday season!!

View a FREE Lesson and Listen to a FREE Telephone Seminar by
clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

Success Story:
  Peg Bradtke

I want to offer Peg Bradtke a special thanks for sharing her success with us. Here is her story:

I have every intention of writing my “success story” and in fact, I’m really looking forward to it. When I finally get to write it I will be at the end of my journey to weight loss and maintenance mastery. I can’t wait!

Somehow I just always thought that I would “become”. Become a woman who loved to exercise, become someone who ate just the things that she was supposed to, become a person who always enjoyed three meals a day with those wonderful protein snacks in between. I’m just not there even though I’m patiently waiting for that day to arrive, the day I “become.”

I am by no means at the end of my weight loss and maintenance journey. I am a work in progress and realize now that this is what I may always be. So today I will write my story and my “success” will be defined by where I am and I will celebrate my health and improvement and my acceptance that I am a work in progress.

At an all time high weight of 265 my family physician encouraged me to consider weight loss surgery. I was 50 and had high cholesterol, sore knees and chronic nerve pain due to breast cancer treatment 15 years prior. I have always appreciated my physician’s frank attitude about my weight and his persistent encouragement. It may have been this quote (though I’m still not sure if he exaggerated), “The statistics for maintenance of weight loss from any given diet program remains ZERO percentile for those who have battled obesity throughout their lives.” WOW!  If the data didn’t alarm me, he suggested as I was leaving his office, “Peg, I think that you still believe that weight loss is a mind over matter issue - I do not.” I realized that day and have been reminded since that “we” come in all shapes and sizes and “we” share a set of beliefs, experiences and challenges. “We” are the ones who have battled weight most of our lives. 

These matter-of-fact and compassionate statements prompted me to return to his office two weeks later, ready to pursue steps toward a more aggressive solution to better health. I did lots of preparatory reading and conferring with friends and family. I received a lot of trust and support, but the most notable response came from my teenager who said he was really glad that I was going to have surgery because he feared that if I didn’t I would die sooner. Perhaps it would be selfish not to take this aggressive step.

I got medical and insurance approval relatively easily though I was surprised when the assessing psychologist requested a few additional visits. She said that I scored “moderate” in the area of needing to be in control. She warned that those of us having that personality trait sometimes struggle post- surgically when we are likely to be quite vulnerable. When I mentioned to my husband and my best friend that I was apparently moderately controlling they had the identical response; “Only moderately?”  I worked a brief course of therapy acknowledging a few minor revelations concerning my compulsive eating. I found the self examination process uncomfortable but helpful and chose to follow up post surgically as well.

I lost about 17 pounds prior to surgery, triumphantly coming in just under that place where the nurse must slide the big weight over a notch on the doctors balance scale. I had laprascopic RN-Y on June 15, 2007. I felt uncomfortable after surgery for a couple weeks. I did get dehydrated which seemed to escalate some of the side pain. Looking back, all of the post surgical and initial eating adjustment was challenging but very doable and relatively brief in the calendar of my journey.

My husband was and always has been very supportive and helped me with the three little pureed meals and the protein drinks in between. I was able to eat remarkably little at one time but that was OK because I could eat those tiny meals of less than 100 calories 6-8 times a day and still be taking in relatively few calories a day with my protein drinks.  I did this up until Christmas of 2007. I was down to about 180 lbs. by then. I was doing so well in fact that I was asked by the dietician and surgery staff to be featured in an article for a magazine regarding my surgery and weight loss experience. I gladly agreed, even though I knew I was only in the middle of my journey to mastering weight loss and maintenance. It was a nice article but removed any privacy I might have considered about this matter.

Over that holiday, I discovered that I was one of the 20% of post surgery patients who have no problem eating sweets. Sweets have always been my biggest challenge and apparently will remain so.  My weight loss slowed significantly that January, has remained slow and I have had several periods of staying the same for a couple of months. Staying the same for a period of time is a new experience for me and it gives my body a chance to tighten up. So that’s cool. Now it is the end of October, 2008, 16+ months since my surgery and I have lost over 100 pounds. 

I want to lose another 25 pounds. I look pretty good in clothes, I feel more active, no high cholesterol, knees are much improved. My chronic pain is still there, and it is a bit harder to manage as medications react differently to my new gastro- intestinal construction.  Everyone says I look great; I don’t feel like I have shocking reactions from people.  Nor have I had the big personal adjustments some surgery patients describe. I am a smaller, healthier, version of myself.

I do some walking, much more exercise than I did before but I have not embraced that “daily-for-life” concept. I like that I no longer create a dam behind me in the bath tub, I get to tighten the airplane seat belt, I’m not afraid to ride a bike, or be the last one to squeeze onto an elevator. I look down at my lap, however, and it seems to look about like it always did. Catching a glimpse of myself buff in the mirror still only happens accidentally and definitely does not make my day.

I am thankful every day, to have the blessing of not wanting to overeat. The volume I consume is now closer to 250 calories at a time so eating 6-8 times a day is not advised.  Yet, I’m able to sample everything. I enjoy movement, I buy clothes off the rack in regular sizes, and my family is less concerned about my health. I have so much to celebrate and an active life to look forward to. I am a work in progress, feeling and looking better than I did 16 months ago. The “head stuff,” the mental part of the journey remains a challenge. Surgery has provided a wonderful tool that helps me to deal with the physical part of eating. I’m glad each day to have that tool and always aware that there are behaviors I need to keep working on.

Maybe someday I will write again and feel comfortable calling it my “Success Story”.  In the meantime I hope your readers might benefit from and relate to this, my reality journey. 

Peg Bradtke

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


Search Barbara Thompson's Website

Custom Search
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  ”

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  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