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Long term effects of radiation and bariatric surgery

Alive and Kicking's picture
Alive and Kicking
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi everyone, I had Hodgkins in 1991 and have been cancer free ever since, although I have had some side effects from therapy that many of you have mentioned here . What I am interested to know is if any of you have had or know of any survivors who have later had bariatric weight reduction surgery. I ask because my surgeon is hesitant as she is unsure of my possible outcome. I had full upper and lower mantle radiation therapy as well as a short course of MOPP/ABVD. I know that I received the max dose of RT. as I had too many complications from Chemo and they had to stop my treatment.
I live in Canada and the approved insured bariatric procedures involve major stomach reconstructive surgery. I would be gratefull for any feedback ..Thanks

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

I am in contact with many Long Term Survivors but have not encountered any that have had this surgery.  What I do know is that our bodies are forever altered from the radiation therapy.  For example, if you require Heart surgery to fix any radiation induced effects, it is imperative to find a surgeon who is an expert on radiation damage.  Our bodies present many problems to the surgeon because of the fibrotic tissue from the Rads.  As for myself, I need to have a teflon granuloma removed from my vocal cord.  Standard procedure is to operate externally and to place muscle from my neck in the cord.  None of this can be done to me as muscle is wasted and fibrotic in my neck and elsewhere.  Also, it is unknown how my radiated skin will heal.  When I had my double mastectomy healing of the skin was of great concern.  Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments were discussed.  Thankfully, I healed well. 

So what I'm trying to illustrate is since you've had full upper and lower body radiation your proposed surgery should be discussed with surgeons who are fully versed on radiation effects to our bodies.

I just wish you the best.  We have been blessed with survivorship but that survivship comes with great challenges.

Cathy   HD 1989 Mantle RADS     HD 1994 ABVD    IDC 2007  DBL MX   Managing LT Effectc from treatments

Alive and Kicking's picture
Alive and Kicking
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

Thanks for your response Cathy... a final decision has been made, in fact my case was presented to the Nation Bariatric institute and it was unanimously decided not to proceed...I am apparently the first such case here in Canada Smile Apparently most of us survivors do not tend to be overweight due to the damage to intestinal tissue we aren't supposed to be able to absorb nutrients well enough to do so...ah well, I am a woman of faith and I trust that the decision was the right one.

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm sorry to hear of this.  Did the panel explain the reasons for not proceeding?  I admire the way you are handling the decision.  Keep the faith.

All the best,

Cathy

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