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Confusedmom
06-22-2010, 03:59 PM
Can others chime in as to whether you tried to actually lose weight before surgery?

I know exercise is good, but am not sure about weight loss itself.

I am probably 15 lbs. over what I want to be, but with expected weight loss post-surgery, don't know if I should go for it now or not.

One doctor told me not to bother because he wouldn't want me to potentially jeopardize my nutritional intake with weight-loss efforts.

But, does it help with recovery if you weigh less (less to carry)? On the other hand, can it be a problem with too much weight loss after surgery?

Thanks!!!
Evelyn

jrnyc
06-22-2010, 04:13 PM
hi Ev
at least 2 surgeons told me that they believe that "thin people have an easier time of recovery"...
initially, a couple of surgeons also told me they prefer to operate on thin patients because they get to the spine easier (i am not making this up!)...less to cut through...but now that there is minimally invasive approach (for lumbar), i dont know if that would be as much of an issue...

i think if you lost weight the healthy way, it wouldnt be a problem...there is time until Sept. 15th...i always thought summer is the easiest time to lose, because of all the terrific fruits that are available...not that 15 pounds is so much..

what you said about losing after surgery...i thought that everyone loses from the pain meds...but then i've been reading on forum that many gain weight after surgery, just from all the fluids needed during the operation...but they say that goes away eventually...

my surgeon said he was more concerned about my nutritional profile than with how thin i've gotten...but he would want me to weigh a little more before, just in case of those pain meds, as i've lost so much now from them...they completely kill my appetite!

jess

LynetteG
06-22-2010, 04:24 PM
Hi Evelyn,

I was 20lbs overweight before my surgery, and I asked my doctor this same question. He said that it's good to be a little overweight as you lose a lot right after surgery. Also the most important thing before surgery is just to eat healthy foods, cut out sugars and fatty foods, and walk on the treadmill or outside or swim as much as possible. Cardio is very important prior to surgery - if it doesn't hurt you too much, because it gets your heart healthy and ready to deal with this major surgery. I'm 12 weeks post op, and I lost all the weight and look better than I've ever looked with my straight back. So I'm very happy now.

Leanna
07-05-2010, 07:03 PM
I went into surgery a little underweight for my age and height. It didnt help that all the surgery anxiety didnt leave me with much of an appetite. They told me one of the reasons my operation was such a success was because I was so thin. Even though I was thin I ate right and took my vitamins. After surgery I lost another 10 lbs. but I forced myself to eat and I drank ensure. My stomach was so swollen due to anterior I could only eat a few bites and I was full. So I ate every hour. If you decide to lose weight, make sure you eat all the right foods so your body can heal appropriately.

rohrer01
07-05-2010, 08:24 PM
My doctor told me that because I am so thin that I would be able to feel the implants in my upper spine. I didn't ask, but assumed he would want me a little heavier than I am. I am not having surgery with this surgeon, though. This is a very good question. I am a little worried that I'll lose too much weight from the stress of surgery. I ALWAYS turn to skin and bones when under stress.:(

Doodles
07-05-2010, 09:03 PM
OK--I'm about 15 months out now and I have a different problem. Since about one year, I gain weight at the drop of a hat. I exercise about an hour a day about 5 times a week. I have always been good at that. I've been back to Weight Watchers--I'm far from perfect but so much better than I'd been the months before. I'm wondering if that first year uses up so many more calories just to heal you and then it drops like a rock. Before surgery I always said I had the metabolism of a slug. I think now the slug died. Janet

Back-out
07-05-2010, 10:01 PM
I think now the slug died. Janet
:D :D OK. you did it. You made me laugh! Needed it, (hehehe). Don't know why. Tears (of laughter) still in my eyes. I think reading it wrong as "the slug diet" and then reading it right, just cracked me up! Good thing I'm not post surgical. I notice people said laughing AND sneezing could hurt.

JANET, WATCH THAT FUNNY BONE. You can break a fusion, lady! :D

rohrer01
07-05-2010, 10:08 PM
Janet, that's too hilarious! hee hee! I think either way your metabolism works can be a problem, too thin, too heavy, neither one is good. At least you're exercising and hopefully eating right. If you are doing these things and if I am doing these things too, what else can we do?:p

Shari
07-05-2010, 11:25 PM
I was 10 pounds over my usual weight. After my surgery I went from 130 to 90 in just 2 months. I knew I was loosing weight but had no idea how much until my sister made me get on the scale after helping me through a shower. It was an issue w/ my family and then my surgeon at my next visit. I have to agree w/ the others here, it's not good over or underweight.

My surgeon told me that on average, most patients loose approx. 15 pounds. You just never know!!! Just stay healthy!!!:)

Shari

jrnyc
07-06-2010, 01:32 AM
i lost 10 pounds while on oxycontin...and i wasnt on it for long...it also made me very exhausted...i gained the 10 back after going back to hydrocodone...but i dont know what would happen to me after surgery...pain meds kill my appetite...it always amazes me when i read that people can eat when they are taking those meds!

still being under 100 pounds, i didnt ask what i'd have to weigh, since surgeon said he was more concerned about my nutrition than weight...but he did say the same about feeling the rods/screws when thin...and the liklihood i would need screws removed after fusion was achieved...

jess

ShariMSU
07-06-2010, 07:39 AM
I was at my ideal weight when I went into surgery and then I lost about 13 lbs.
That was the comment I heard the most, "oh my God you have lost so much weight".
Yeah but look at my back now! I have been off my pain meds for almost 3 weeks and have gained about 10 lbs.back overall. I still have a lesser appetite, but I'm sure it will come back. My surgeon and his med asst both said being thinner helped in my surgery and recovery. I think healthy eating, lots of protein, and walking and exercise and all will be good, pre and post surgery.

rohrer01
07-06-2010, 08:35 AM
...but he did say the same about feeling the rods/screws when thin...and the liklihood i would need screws removed after fusion was achieved...

jess

The last surgeon that I saw said that I would be committing myself to two surgeries when I have the fusion for the same reason that you mentioned. He said that I would need the hardware removed after fusion was complete. The reason... I'm thin, and the location of the rods being so high on the spine. He explained that the instrumentation would irritate the muscles that have to slide over it. He said I would likely not be able to raise my arms, play the piano, swim, etc... That really saddened me. He listed all of my favorite things to do, and he didn't even know it. I can't wait to hear what the new doctor has to say about it. I've never heard of anyone not being able to lift their arms from being fused at T2. Is it true?

TexEx
07-06-2010, 08:42 AM
I was at about at the top of where I like to keep my weight going into surgery and lost about 6 pounds from the pain medicine messing up my stomache. I actually stopped the vicoden and went to Darvocet, I was so sick to my stomach on it. My appetite is coming back, but I can still only eat small amounts at a time and get very full fast. I "graze" througout the day, so at 4 months, have kept the weight off.

I get many compliments on how much weight I have lost and hope that I can keep it off. We will have to see what will happens.

I would say pre op the most important thing is to eat and stay healthy and keep in as good of physical/mental shape as possible.

Melissa

Davis
07-06-2010, 08:54 AM
Wow, not to be able to even raise your arms?

Doodles
07-06-2010, 01:18 PM
Rohrer--I'm fused T2-pelvis and have no trouble at all lifting my arms. Of course, in the early weeks it was trickier. I don't play piano or swim much but there wouldn't be anything preventing me from it. That's really strange that the doctor said that. Janet

Back-out
07-06-2010, 01:49 PM
Rohrer--I'm fused T2-pelvis and have no trouble at all lifting my arms. Of course, in the early weeks it was trickier. I don't play piano or swim much but there wouldn't be anything preventing me from it. That's really strange that the doctor said that. Janet
Others have spoken of difficulty raising their arms too. Can't think off the cuff if they were "thinnies". Liikewise, even within this thread, there has been talk of thin patients having the armature entangled with muscles and/or showing.

It's worth a thread but I'll stick it here. Wondering if those at such risk, ARE those on the thin side - and what the relationship is to fusion location. I have trouble understanding this, according to the mechanics of the surgery. Guess I'm not that clear on just what is done, and how it's apt to vary. I wonder if it's a problem apt to develop, at any point, if one loses enough weight.

I also wish for comments from those post surgical who are thin. Do all such have a problem with the hardware either being felt/visible externally?

Apart from everything else that could make a partner's stomach do flip flips (the wrong kind), I've noticed, people can go all queasy about scars and signs of surgery, especially in females. Guess it passes muster more in James Bond sorts - kind of like dueling scars. Women are "supposed" to be all white and pristine. (Ha! After this intervention...:eek: )

There are a couple of men who have been somewhat casually complimentary/admiring despite my advanced age, but even they have had reactions to popping noises and whatnot from my spine. Post surgical, scars will be bad enough but if one can look and feel rods, screws and other hardware under the skin....! "Turn-off" doesn't quite suffice. Again, those of you with comfortable long-time spouses probably can't quite identify with this concern.

I was asked by a P.A at my last consult, "what's this bruise on your back?" Had to say the (to me ) obvious : "I can't see my spine!" I really don't have much of an idea just WHAT I look like rear view. I suppose if one can FEEL the hardware, it's an easy guess, but if it just casts a shadow, I wouldn't know.

Not that I go backless much. Or even at all. But others might see more than I do, eventually. Besides, after this surgery, I kind of thought I 'd try to get away from the baggy T-shirt fashion statement (for me, not saying "I don't care" but "I don't dare"!).

JenniferG
07-06-2010, 03:13 PM
I wouldn't call myself thin, but I'm not overweight either, but my screws/rods are visible at the top.

It doesn't bother me or my partner but my daughter feels squeamish when she sees them!

Back-out
07-06-2010, 04:47 PM
I wouldn't call myself thin, but I'm not overweight either, but my screws/rods are visible at the top.

It doesn't bother me or my partner but my daughter feels squeamish when she sees them!

See?

Not exactly...sexy. Trying to picture how to put this in an online dating profile.

Hmm. "exciting 'try anything once' heart of gold (back of steel) female with curves ...nope.

"Warm-hearted (room-temperature) lady, who..." scratch.

"well-preserved (guaranteed rust-proof) damsel.." shakes head.

"Magnetic (non-ferrous) former model seeks..." Oops.

URGH!!!

jrnyc
07-06-2010, 05:11 PM
this thread is no longer on topic!

dolores a
07-06-2010, 05:37 PM
My surgeon did also mention more than one time that the surgery itself would be easier and my recovery would also. I think I fared pretty well in my recovery. I was not very thin before the surgery, but it seemed instantaneous weight loss of at least 40 lbs. after my surgery, it's been just over a year since, I have only gained back about 7 lbs. -- trying very hard to gain back my weight. Also should note, I cannot even as skinny as I am see my hardware, neither can my husband.

Actually Jess I don't see where anyone was off topic, I don't get it! Is the end of the thread now?

Confusedmom
07-06-2010, 07:51 PM
Seriously, I don't think any partner who would be turned off by medically necessary rods and screws is worth a second thought, anyway.

"Screw" 'em, I say! ;)

Evelyn

jrnyc
07-06-2010, 08:10 PM
hi Dolores
i dont think the point of this thread is to worry about what to write on dating sites on line or about how to attract a man...the forum is for discussing scoliosis problems and solutions...and this thread is about weight loss related to surgery...not to male suitors!

that's all i was expressing...my opinion!

every surgeon i spoke to was in favor of patients on the thin side rather than the heavier side before surgery...

jess

rohrer01
07-06-2010, 08:40 PM
Maybe he was just trying to scare me away from having surgery. He said when I have it I will probably need T2 - L1. He didn't want me to have surgery, yet. He wants me to wait until 60*, even though I am in pain now at 46*. I don't understand.:confused:

rohrer01
07-06-2010, 08:45 PM
Rohrer--I'm fused T2-pelvis and have no trouble at all lifting my arms. Of course, in the early weeks it was trickier. I don't play piano or swim much but there wouldn't be anything preventing me from it. That's really strange that the doctor said that. Janet

Okay, I'll try this again.:o

I think he was trying to scare me away from wanting surgery.

Back-out
07-06-2010, 11:27 PM
hi Dolores
i dont think the point of this thread is to worry about what to write on dating sites on line or about how to attract a man...the forum is for discussing scoliosis problems and solutions...and this thread is about weight loss related to surgery...not to male suitors!

jess
Jess, just what are we thinking of when we speak of cosmetic issues, then? Reality factors...Some people say women are really thinking of what matters to other women, but there is a real world - well, "marketplace".

Like it or not.

Speaking of kyphosis and how we fit into clothing is all part of the same issue. Since when is whether or not screws and rods show through our skin not important?

Sherie
07-06-2010, 11:32 PM
My daughter is thin and I can see the cross tie (or bar, I'm not sure what it's called, it holds the two rods together) at the top. It's not that noticeable unless you know what you're looking at and she says she doesn't feel it.

She lost 15 lbs after surgery, gained it all back within 6 months I think. She never had any problems lifting her arms.

And she seems to be ok with her scar, she wears strapless dresses and never thinks twice about it. I think if you're fair skinned, it won't be very noticeable once it's faded but my dd is olive complexion so it stands out. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm quite impressed by it.:)

Back-out
07-07-2010, 09:14 PM
Sheri,

Just checked your daughter's photos and I'm so impressed.

What a beautiful young woman and what an astonishing correction! What were her curves before - in numbers? I can see from the X-ray she was painfully twisted in what I've come to consider "classic adolescent scoliosis". Did she gain significant height? I don't see how she could have avoided "growing" a good deal with that amount of unwinding.

Another monument to Dr.Lenke's artistry! :)

Sherie
07-08-2010, 07:56 AM
Thank you. She does look fantastic. Dr. Lenke is a genius.

She measured 56T/62L, she was having a lot pain prior to surgery. She's doing very well. now. She gained 3 1/2" in height. It was shocking when she stood up after surgery, for the first time she stood well above my measly 4'11". (I was so happy for her, she won't have a lifetime of pants hemming like me).

pint47
07-08-2010, 05:32 PM
I had a spinal fusion T10 to pelvis mar 25th My surgeon said to lose weight before surgery because the lighter i was the easier it would be on me after. i am glad i listened because I gained 40 pounds in one week while in the hospital after my surgery. Has anyone else had this problem? My legs and feet swelled to enormous sizes , after many ultrasounds and echo cardiograhms and venous mapping ultrasounds nothing was found to have caused the swelling. i have been on 80 mg of lasix since I came home from the hospital and finally most of the swelling is gone. Perhaps I was allergic to the steroids I was given after surgery or the pain meds? No one knows.
I am 63 yrs old
NY State

Back-out
07-08-2010, 07:28 PM
I had a spinal fusion T10 to pelvis mar 25th My surgeon said to lose weight before surgery because the lighter i was the easier it would be on me after. i am glad i listened because I gained 40 pounds in one week while in the hospital after my surgery. Has anyone else had this problem? My legs and feet swelled to enormous sizes , after many ultrasounds and echo cardiograhms and venous mapping ultrasounds nothing was found to have caused the swelling. i have been on 80 mg of lasix since I came home from the hospital and finally most of the swelling is gone. Perhaps I was allergic to the steroids I was given after surgery or the pain meds? No one knows.
I am 63 yrs old
NY State

Thank you very much for writing in!

I have read about other patients experiencing tremendous swelling and edema after this surgery. This must create a
serious burden on the heart and there are other effects too (skin stretching the same as if we had gained large amounts of weight in pregnancy or otherwise - stretch marks etc.).

There are risks associated with both excess weight gain OR loss.

There seems to be great variation in how individuals respond to this surgery in one direction or the other, NET weight - whether from caloric intake or fluid retention. All are functions of health issues including appetite changes related to medications (especially steroids and opiates).

Everyone responds differently to major stressors. Many are new and unpredictable. but some can be guessed at by how we've handled past stressors - emotional or physical. We can make a best guess about which one is most apt to be a problem for us, after this surgery.

In the past, I've developed "pitting edema" twice from medication side effects. It went away when I discontinued the medicines (they had already caused 50 lb weight gains, mostly exclusive of the fluid retention). Getting the actual weight off, took considerable effort and time - months.

All in all, this makes me feel that the likely cardiac (and other) risks will be less if I can start out slim to thin. What's more, I have knee problems which I know are aggravated by every pound of extra weight.

None of us has perfect control over our weight in this food-obsessed society or we'd never stray in either direction of our ideal. We can aim, though. This is just one more aspect of our health we can try to manage before "going under". There's so much we can't control in outcomes. I welcome everything I CAN control, however imperfectly. My aim here might be the opposite of that for someone with a different health history or even for me, if I were twenty years younger!

dolores a
07-09-2010, 06:12 PM
Amanda, I think you might have a point about how we handle past stressors, as I have always dropped weight under any undo stress, and surgery being a stress for sure, I dropped quite a bit of weight.

JenM
07-09-2010, 10:27 PM
I dropped sbout 35 pounds prior to my surgery which was on June 8. I was mainly overweight due to having really young kids (2 and 5) and never lost the baby fat since I was in so much pain because of my scoliosis. The day after I saw my doctor back last November I told myself I would due everything possible to try to get in the best shape of my life. I wanted surgery so bad (probably for the past 10 years) and I just really used the surgery as a motivator. I weighed myself everyday from November up until June 8, my day of surgery and lost 35 pounds. My dr didn't say to do this, I just wanted to because I really wanted to lose the baby weight. I felt great going into surgery and alot of my anxiety about the surgery eased up because of the weight loss. I was sooo nervous (probably more so than anyone else in this forum) and thought about the surgery like all the time from Nov 2009 to June 7, 2010. My anxiety about the surgery is what made me work out. Exercising has great mental benefits that I never knew about. I always felt GREAT after I got off of my treadmill for my 35/40 minute run/walk.

Anyway, I am sooo glad I did lose the weight before surgery. I would recomment it to anyone who has a little weight to loose. I am 4 weeks post op and this recovery has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. It is extremely painful. I can't imagine log-rolling if I had been 40 pounds heavier! You have to reposition your body alot in bed constantly throughout the day and night to get comfortable and I couldn't even imagine doing that being heavier.

Anyway, I couldn't believe it, but I gained 10 pounds right after I got out of the hospital. I was shocked because I couldn't even eat in the hospital. But as soon as I got home, I have lost another 10-15 pounds again.

Anyway, hope this info helps.

JenM

TexEx
07-10-2010, 07:33 AM
jen:

I had a similar experience. I gained about 5-6 pounds right out of the hospital. I think is was because I was up all night and I snacked and retained alot of fluid. I ate very small meals, but did eat frequently. After the first two weeks the meds messed up my stomach, I stopped retaining fluid and subsequently lost about 10-12 pounds for a net loss of about 6.

I have maintained most of that loss.

Melissa