The Mini-Gastric Bypass: TAKE THE PLUNGE!!!!

Latest Update 5/23/10

Sheba Raviv
Dr. P 10/01/09
Highest/Pre Op/Post Op/Now/Goal

Dear Contact:

I am a 55 and 9/12 year old female, 5’7” tall, and at my height weighed 266 pounds. I have been married twice, have two children from first marriage, 3 grandchildren and have had a weight problem my whole life.

I was never thin enough. Yet, when I look at my photos of myself in my youth, my oh my, I looked good. BUT, I don’t think I ever met anyone who thought I was thin enough. “If only you would lose a little weight, you would look amazing!! You have such a pretty face, but…”

I went to fat farms where I fasted

I gained 60 pounds with each pregnancy (9 months apart), and my body started disintegrating since then.  I lost and gained and lost and gained and lost and gained…..Until I got up to 180 pounds, and thought that I was going die from embarrassment. My husband was not a happy camper. I went to a diet doctor where I would get pills and injections. We would be given injections to take home and administer ourselves subcutaneously 3 times a week. My girlfriend would steal them, give some to me,  and I would do it even more. (Don’t tell anyone!!!) I lost a lot of weight and was my thinnest ever. BUT, it was short lived. I started gaining again and my husband was disgusted and would call me names. I went to live in Georgia where I gained more weight and reached 260 pounds. Then when he asked for a divorce, I didn’t eat for 40 days from anxiety, exercised 3 hours a day from the adrenaline and lost 45 pounds.

Then back to Florida, got divorced. And then met my second husband when I was 220 pounds. He thought he could fix me. But he couldn’t. I would lose weight but it was too hard. I went to Overeaters Anonymous and for two years I was “abstinent from sugar and flour” and weighed and measured all of my meals. My husband did all the shopping, all the cooking, all the weighing and measuring and I lost 50 pounds in two years. I was 173 pounds and my husband had promised me a tummy tuck if I reached 170 pounds. I couldn’t get past the 173 for 5 months and he did not relent. I did not get the tummy tuck, and I started to be resentful and gained back plus 30 pounds.

He became resentful and said bye bye. He said I didn’t love him enough or that he wasn’t able to give me what I needed to lose weight.

The only time I find I can’t eat a morsel of food is when I am anxious or fearful. Otherwise, there’s no stopping me. I eat when I am happy, when I am excited, when I am sad, when I am bored, when I am lonely…BASICALLY WHEN I AM AWAKE.  I did ALL THE DIETS!! ALL OF THEM!!!! Nothing left for me to do.

So, my husband left me at 230 pounds. I lived alone and little by little, within two years, I got up to 266 pounds. I kept going to meetings hoping it will “hit me again” until I got to 266 pounds. What, am I going to wait until I’m 500 to “Get it”???  I hit bottom when I had to get on the floor to play with my grandchildren and I couldn’t get up, couldn’t climb up the stairs in my son’s home, couldn’t bend down to buckle my shoes, couldn’t manipulate (with ease) basic hygiene …I was able to be clean but it was extremely difficulty, twisting with the aid of holding on to my shower door bar.  What the heck was I going to do?  When will I do something?
I couldn’t sit in the movie theater, I got stuck on a Disney ride…., mortified to ask for belt extension on the airplane…No, we can’t eat at this restaurant, there are arm rests on the seats…No darling, I can’t do that position…..

I work in a condo office. A resident came downstairs and said her niece is coming for lunch from Costa Rica. She went to a doctor in Las Vegas who did this amazing surgery and she had virtually no pain and was in the malls the next day!! (a little about that later on in this letter…) She came downstairs, and she was a size 4, from a size 24.  THAT’S WHAT I WANT!!!  NO PAIN!!! NO HASSLE.

Researched the information on line. What the hell am I doing?  I spent many many hours reading, watching youtube, etc. I even googled “complaints of mini gastric bypass” and nothing came up, versus all the problems that came up when I googled lap band and gastric bypass. So that was reassuring.

I downloaded all the forms I needed to . I spoke with Flo many, many, many times, to the point where I was afraid she would tell me, “Sorry, you are not a candidate.” But she didn’t.  : ) No matter what time of the day or night, she was always there.  I scheduled the surgery a couple of months away from the time I started the packet, but I finished it so fast because everyone was cooperative. And so I was able to change it to 10/1/09.

Well, let me tell you, I was crazy with questions.  I couldn’t sleep at all until the day of the surgery. I was up all night thinking… hmmm, are all these testimonies paid for??? Are these real people?

I got my contacts, Rose Wolf, Edie Elting, Shari Millette, Maggie Raia, Elinor Reynolds, Cindy Mielke, Holly Christensen, Toni Meares, Meg Parke, Marvin Jarrett, and Laura Harris.  They were with me all the way.

Three days before my trip, I began a quasi- liquid diet to make the surgery easier.
So, 9/29/09, I was on my way to Orlando and my first meeting with the psychiatrist in Orlando the next day.. then to meet Flo and Dr. Peraglie. My parents were my caretakers and they were so impressed with the doctor and never felt as confident about a doctor as they were about him. He explained everything and he showed me so many photos of before and after and was patient and caring…and cute.  Then I went to the hospital and filled out a lot of paperwork and met Barbara, a nurse there who also had the mini gastric bypass and she was so nice.

OK…surgery scheduled for 9:30 am 10/01/09.  Got up at 6:30 to be at the hospital at 7:30.  On the way they called to say they were going to schedule it for 7:30 because they had a cancellation.  Oh Oh…(Oh, by the way, I was going to be the only one and at first I was totally disappointed…but it was ok. I had Dr. P all to myself.)

So I got there, they admitted me, mom came into the admission area with me where I was prepped for surgery. The nurse, Louise, was another one who had the same surgery with Dr. P.  She administered the IV with antibiotics (they were trying to rush it because of the vacancy..) and fluids and I kept having to pee. The gowns were nice and big.  I was in a cubicle with a curtain as were all the other patients waiting for their turn for surgery for one thing or another. Dr. P came by and kibbutzed a little and left. Said something about how I would have to get off this bed and get on to the surgery bed by myself…

THEN….the assistant anesthesiologist came to explain what will happen….oh oh!!! ANXIETY SET IN AND I GRABBED MY MOM AND BEGGED HER TO TAKE ME HOME. “Mommy, I change my  mind, I ‘m afraid, please, please take me home!” I was practically climbing up her body.  “Give her something,” she muttered under her breath. The nurse came back and administered Verced. Whew! I felt better already and then Dr P said he’s ready and mom kissed me and dad kissed me (I remember his looming face, white beard, kiss me..) and then I woke up from surgery!!!!! (When did I get off this bed and on to the surgery bed????)

Ok.  So, I must say my memory may be a bit faulty..but I remember someone saying, “Sheba wake up.”  I opened my right eye a crack and saw bright light and couldn’t move or say anything except…p a  I n .  P a I n.  P a I n. I was too weak to speak but I was able to blurt it out in a very hoarse voice.  I felt a deep pain in my viscera… and then it was gone.

NO MORE PAIN until I left. The next thing I remember is going for a walk to the washroom and feeling so happy. I experienced very little pain due to the meds, which they gave so generously and they were at my beck and call. I sipped, sipped, sipped, nibbled on crackers, you know, the whole protocol….Peed A LOT!!! Relaxed, relaxed, relaxed… walked, walked, walked. Mom was with me in the hospital and slept over. They even brought her meals.

Time to go back to the hotel. (the hotel was ok.) I met the general manager there, who also had the surgery with Dr. P in Texas.  He lost a few hundred pounds!!!!

That evening, I started to feel like everything I swallowed was backing up and it was uncomfortable, and I got scared and called Dr. P.  I tried to take the liquid Tylenol, but I threw it up immediately. Mom didn’t want me to go back but I was insistent. I didn’t want to take any chances. So during the 25-minute drive to the hospital I started to feel better. Still, I wanted to go back.. and Dr. P ordered the cocktail, whatever that is.  And I slept like a baby until the next day and was all better.

Went back to the hotel and took care of myself (actually, mom and dad were my slaves) We went to Wal Mart, K Mart, a couple of malls.  I did get tired quickly and we would return back to the hotel and I would rest and sip sip sip, yogurt, nibble, sip sip, etc.

Luckily, the room had a 50-feet balcony and I walked 10 minutes three times a day on the balcony. It was a lifesaver. I experienced just tenderness, especially when sitting. But walking was the best. And when I couldn’t sleep took a Benedryl pill. (Per Dr. P.) Oh, and I succumbed to putting on the estrogen patch.

I ate yogurt, probiotic yogurt drinks (in those cute little bottles, the first one took me 1.5 hours to get down), G2, G2, G2, G2, G2, G2….did I drink  (sip sip sip) a lot of G2 ya’ think?)

And saltines, goldfish and pretzels. Mmmmmm.

Last day… have to get staples out. Went to Dr. P and he took out the staples, I lost 6 pounds, and he said, Bye Bye. Of course, I had THOUSANDS of questions, and he answered all of them.  I wanted to ask them again, but…

Driving home was wonderful. We got lost and took the scenic route.  A 3.5 hour trip took 5 hours. All the while I sipped, sipped, sipped and cracker, cracker, cracker.. I myself could not tolerate licking straight salt, I tried it once and I gagged.  I have an extremely sensitive gag reflex.

At home I continued my stage I diet. And tried to go to work the next day, but I overdid it and stayed home until the next Monday. It was easier, but sitting too long really does me in. I start to feel tenderness. So I get up and walk, walk, walk. I told everyone at work, everyone in my building, everyone in the supermarket…..about my surgery.

So now I am ready for stage II, and going on line with all my MGB friends. They are all supportive and helpful and I couldn’t continue without them, I really could not.

So, with all that said, hope I didn’t bore you too much. I am just about to start the supplements and do not know how that will go yet (considering my gag reflex).  But I’m sure it will be fine.

I am not a typical contact because I have no more experience past this. I don’t know how I will lose, how I will be, but at least you know how my experience was until now. Everyone is different.

I still can’t believe I did it.  As I said once before, desperation is the best motivation. I am so proud of myself as is everyone else. I am such a chicken and drama queen, no one believed I would do it. BUT I DID, and so will you!!!!!

I am sure I left out a few things, but I guess it wasn’t important.

Good Luck. And please keep in touch!

Love always,


Sheba Raviv
Dr. P 10/01/09
Highest/Pre Op/Post Op/Now/Goal

6 months have passed. WOW. What a journey.

Stage II was great!  I couldn’t swallow all the supplements, just as I thought. I tried Flintstone vitamins and gagged on those, couldn’t believe it. Thought I would die of malnutrition. But finally found gummy bear vitamins for kids and took 10 a day, and lo and behold, my blood work came out great!!!! I took extra D and the calcitrate and the actigal and the prilosec, etc. Hard but do-able.

Eating became so nice again. I ate mashed potatoes, cottage cheese , avocados, apple sauce, soups, etc. No problem And yogurt.

I went to work a day after my return home, and found that sitting for long periods of time was uncomfortable. The remedy for that was walking walking walking. I walked A LOT!! Also, I was not able to sleep on my side or stomach for the longest time. I would use a pillow between my legs to sleep on my side, but it was still uncomfortable. But sleeping on my back was hard for me. I propped myself up on pillows to help me out. My recliner was a lifesaver!!!!

(for more information please go to

and look me up)

Then Stage III. YUMMY!!! I tried everything slowly but surely. All the while my weight loss was getting pretty slow. I lost 17 pounds in one month and 5 days when everyone else was like at 30 pounds down!!! I was frustrated!!! What, 17,000 dollars…. Thousand dollars per pound!!!!  I kept whining and emailing complaints of failure. Everyone was supportive and told me to hold on!!! It will come off!!!! I’m not going anywhere and time will pass and that’s all I have to do, is wait.  I called Dr. P. and he said, “Sheba, please, you have 23 months more to lose weight!” I felt like a dum dum!!!

Today, I am down 63 pounds and 10 inches off my hips. Lost some hair, (to me a lot, and I bought a wig but I hate wearing it so I’m in acceptance with the loss) but heard it should grow back. My hair was thinning before surgery as well. I can sit in any restaurant seat, go on any Disney ride. As far as “not that position darling” I don’t know about that now, got rid of loser boyfriend. (Oh, that’s another 200 pounds I lost!!)

Everyone who knows me is in shock at the drastic difference.

This is only 3 months post op. My face looks pretty much the same at 6 months.

I am so happy now. The weight loss is virtually effortless. Eating is not an issue. I eat slowly (I try to ) and every day I am able to eat a little faster. I’m eating more at a sitting than I had hoped I could, but it still comes out and doesn’t stay in my body. I only drink water.  If you go into my blogs on the website I gave you above, you will see my fridge full to the brim with G2 and yogurts, but I don’t drink that anymore, although I didn’t have problems with cold Fruit punch.

My life is great. A guy asked for my phone number at this event I went to last week. He called too!!!!  (Nothing came about from it, but it’s a beginning).

I can’t tell you enough how happy I am that I did this surgery. HAPPY!!!!
I can’t tell you enough how happy I am that I did this surgery. HAPPY!!!!

So, with that said,


Love, Sheba

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