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Bariatric Surgery/laprscopic gastric bypass surgery soon!


Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer. I am 299lbs and am scheduled to have surgery Dec 13th. I was told I have sjogrens I am not on any medications for it. I am 65 and have been trying to get this for years. Do you see any problem with this proedure? Slow healing? What would that be? Excited ready and a bit nervous at the same time.Just don't want to make anything worse...

ANSWER: Karen,
The key thing is that you are not on any immune suppressing meds, which are sometimes use in advanced Sjogren's.   Give that you are not on any of these meds, I would not expect any special problems for you in relation to the Sjogren's. To my knowledge, the disease itself does not cause any problem with healing.

Best of luck to you!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dr. Pilcher,
I have a few more questions for you, I was not able to get the answer so far. Is there something you can do before or after bypass surgery to minimize hair loss? Also I have read fast weight loss can cause liver failure is this true how common if so? What is the most common complication? I had my gallbladder removed in the 80 unfortunately before laproscopic do you think the scar tissue could pose any problem?
Thank you for you time.

To my knowledge, no one has found a way to reduce the chance of temporary hair "shedding."  I describe it this way because it seems to be temporary, and it seems to be a natural stress response to surgery in about half of patients.  There does not seem to be a correlation with any nutrient deficiency that anyone has found so far.

In my experience, liver problems only occur if there is a a serious problem that prevents the patient from making normal dietary progress toward solid healthy foods during the months after surgery.  I'm reasonably certain that liver damage only shows up in the context of some other complication.

Regarding the most common complication - you should speak to your surgeon to learn about his/her most common complication.

Usually, a history of open gallbladder surgery is not a problem.  To be on the safe side, I suggest you speak to your surgeon about this one too.

Best of luck!

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John Pilcher, MD


I can answer medically oriented questions about bariatric surgery including: patient selection, preparation for surgery, differences between types of bariatric surgery, aftercare following bariatric surgery. I can answer detailed questions about gastric bypass, Lap-Band, gastric sleeve, and revision bariatric surgery. I am only somewhat familiar with Biliopancreatic diversion. I am not prepared to answer insurance or other financial questions related to bariatric surgery.


I have been a practicing bariatric surgeon since 1995. About 85% of my current practice consists of bariatric surgery, including all of the above procedures except biliopancreatic diversion. I am the senior surgeon of a 5-surgeon group. I am recognized among surgeons and other medical professionals as the most experienced bariatric surgeon in my region.

Fellow of American College of Surgeons Member, American Society for Bariatric Surgery

BA in Biochemistry - University of Virginia Medical Degree - University of Virginia Surgical Residency - University of Virginia

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Alpha Omega Alpha

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