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Any tips on diving after weight loss surgery

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by gentlegiant, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. gentlegiant

    gentlegiant Nassau Grouper

    My wife and I have both had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (lap) proceedures (she 6 months ago and myself 5 weeks ago). Our surgeon is a diver, has cleared and even encouraged us to dive and my wife has been diving since the surgery. We are planning a trip in a few weeks and wanted to see if any of the doctors here had any suggestions to make things easier. I went to the DS pool last night and had no trouble getting out fully loaded or swimming around, more pool trips are planned before the trip. The surgeon has advised us to supplement our diet with extra protein shakes while on the trip to help with energy levels.
  2. GratefulDiver

    GratefulDiver Divemaster

    I had the same procedure (also lap) in October of 2002. My surgeon is also a diver as well. I discussed this extensively with him and contacted DAN in addition to get their take on diving and WLS overall.

    DAN said there were no contradictions, and my surgeon cleared me for diving a few months later. Dehydration is your biggest concern. Make sure you're getting those liquids in and you're getting your protein in.

    Gearing up is also a consideration. You are supposed to stay away from heavy lifting for several months after WLS so you don't develop a hernia.

    I had my surgery on 10-16-02 and flew to Hawaii for a week of diving 5 months later with my doctors blessing. I dove 2 times a day for 7 days with no problem.

    I think it's fine for your wife. But I couldn't disagree more with your doctor about you diving 5 weeks after major abdominal surgery. I would urge you to wait at least 4 more months.

    Congratulations on your surgery. It's done wonders for me. I've lost 128 lbs. Needless to say it has really enhanced my diving. I was going to have to give up diving before I had the surgery as it was becomming increasingly strenuous. Being able to keep on diving was a primary motivator for me to have the surgery.

    Now I'm scrambling down 60 ft rock cliffs with a tank on my back to get to good entry points.

    Good luck and feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.
  3. gentlegiant

    gentlegiant Nassau Grouper

    I asked my doctor about this and was told that in the operations they have done and finished lap they have not had any issues with hernias so I am not that worried about it. I know this used to be an issue with the open proceedures, but with the small size of the lap incisions and their locations I am not thta worried.

    I can understand very well about the dehydration issues and am already getting in the habit of carrying water wherever I go and drinking constantly. We are planning my first dive with an outfit that we know very well and on a wreck that we have dove before just as another level of safety.

    One concern I have is seasickness. I have never (knock wood) had a problem before and am hoping that the surgery will not change that. I do see Dramamine in my future the first couple of trips though.

    Thanks for the reply.
  4. FLArmyBrat

    FLArmyBrat Nassau Grouper

    I had an open Roux-en-Y bypass 2 yrs ago and a hernia repair and tummy tuck in Feb. of this year. My surgeon is a diver as well and cleared me too. My biggest problem is that because of the surgical mesh put in to repair the hernia is causing some adhesions and pain, but my SO/Dive Buddy does the lifting and carrying when I'm hurting. Once I am in the water I feel good.

    I find that eating before a dive and during the SI is a bit tough since some things affect me differently at different times so I always worry that I will get "stuck" or nauseas during a dive. That wouldn't be good at all. But so far so good.

    Happy Diving!!!
    Laurel- The Frog Queen
  5. razor

    razor Angel Fish

    Just more confirmation.

    I had the open Ruen-y and I dove after 4months and had no problem at all. My Doc is also a diver and the only requirement that he had was I had to give him a dive report on the Cavern dive ! It was not related to the surgery he just wanted to know how I liked the cavern dive!
  6. Jambi

    Jambi Barracuda

    Great info guys, thanks. My wife had the surgery 2 years ago but recently expressed interest in diving, however there was concern about that would effect her while diving. Now I have some answers. My wife will very encouraged, I will have to show her this tread. :)
  7. Raywerner

    Raywerner Angel Fish

    I guess when you think about it, it is not too surprising that so many of us have had the surgery (mine was a micro pouch – a variant of an open R&Y). I had it 2 ½ years ago, lost a significant amount of weight, and have been happily pushing the limits, with my Dr.’s blessing, ever since. The only problems I encounter are with the uninformed and misinformed.

    One thing that frequently goes along with the reason we had the surgery in the first place is diabetes. If you, like me, have this condition, be sure you Dr. approves of your diving (mine has told me that I am not allowed to go any deeper than 10 atm without another consult, the cad, but he said that if I was crazy – he used a somewhat less polite variant of the word – enough to want to go to the vicinity of 300 fsw be sure to have a p-valve, dress warm, and carry some glucose).

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