© Gastrectomy Connections 2017

  • Michelle Lykokapis

You Could End Up Losing So Much More


My story is a little different as to why I had a Total Gastrectomy.

July 1st, 2016 was when I had the emergency procedure. When I was a teenager (I am now 26) I was very overweight and tried everything under the moon. Once I was 18 as a last resort I turned to and with help from my family, was to have a lap-band surgical procedure. It was a godsend and I was able to get my type 2 diabetes under control, lost the weight and felt great!


At the 5-6year mark I had a lot of trouble and constant adjustments (band de-fills). In May of my 6th year of 2016 I was in and out of emergency not knowing why I was throwing up and had some burning in my stomach and digestive tract. All the doctors did was X-rays and blood work and concluded I had bleeding ulcers.

June 27th I was in Ireland for my best friends wedding and experienced some scary and sudden happenings. I was throwing up blood. Called around, and we were 2 hours away from the nearest emergency hospital. I stuck it out and we flew home, surprising I was okay.

Following morning, more blood and very weak. Rushed to the hospital and sent through and had 2 blood transfusions. A couple hours later I spoke with a few surgeons and doctors and was taken for tests and scans. One was a scope through my mouth and a CT scan. The result was that the lap-band had completely eroded into my stomach and there was no saving it.

It was extremely scary and at first I was worried to lose the device (even though it was killing me), it helped me through my biggest challenge- keeping off my weight. After it all I was beyond grateful for the surgeon and team I had that saved me. Myself and family were taken aback not knowing that you can live pretty much a normal life without a stomach.

From my own personal experience plastic surgery is not the way to go if you can lose the weight through diet and exercise, or you could end up losing so much more. I’m one of the rare cases that had this device of rejecting this way. If you know anyone who has a lap-band, I BEG that you tell them to get checked out. I’m 2 years without a stomach and although I’ve had some challenges and new experiences with food, I’m alive and here!

Katelyn can be contacted via email - k.cunningham142@gmail.com

#gastricsurgery #TotalGastrectomy #complications #emergencysurgery #lapband

58 views