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Suggest treatment for shortness of breath while suffering from venous insufficiency

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Posted on Thu, 7 Mar 2019
Question: Hello. My name is XXXX. I diabetic, hypertensive, suffer from Venus insufficiency, some lymphodema, and terrible shortness of breath. I am on oxygen but it tends to not help. I weigh in at about 340 lbs and about 5'5". I am being treated for all these things : lots of pills and leg wraps, bit I can hardly walk 10 steps without being totally out of breath and breathing wild and hard for 4 or 5 minutes before I can regain composure. I have been told it's not my heart. What can I Do? Do you recommend gastric bypass of some sort. I am afraid of that procedure.


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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Different options are available to you.

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

Weight loss would definitely help improve the shortness of breath and would also help blood pressure and sugar control along with the venous disease.

Though diet changes and exercise would be a very important part of weight loss, medications, and likely surgery would be needed for any significant change to occur.

There are different types of weight loss surgery, gastric bypass is one of them. Some of the other types are the gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy.

(1) In gastric bypass- the stomach is made smaller and the part of the intestine is rerouted- one part to the smaller stomach and the other part to a lower aspect of the intestine.
Gastric bypass is the gold standard of these types of procedures, this means it is considered the best one of the weight loss surgeries.

While it works really well (60 to 80% weight loss), complications can occur. Vitamin and mineral replacement is needed to prevent deficiencies.

(2) Sleeve gastrectomy involves removing a large portion of the stomach and reattaching the remainder. It can be as effective for weight loss.

It can also cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies if replacements are not used but have fewer complications than bypass.

(3) Gastric band- an adjustable band is placed around the stomach to reduce its size. It can be associated with 40 to 50% weight loss though it is slower.

It is understandable to be worried about any surgical procedure. It would be best to discuss your options with the surgeon who would likely be performing the procedure. Gastric sleeve is also successful and has fewer complications but all should be reviewed.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16810 Questions

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Suggest treatment for shortness of breath while suffering from venous insufficiency

Brief Answer: Different options are available to you. Detailed Answer: Hi, Weight loss would definitely help improve the shortness of breath and would also help blood pressure and sugar control along with the venous disease. Though diet changes and exercise would be a very important part of weight loss, medications, and likely surgery would be needed for any significant change to occur. There are different types of weight loss surgery, gastric bypass is one of them. Some of the other types are the gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy. (1) In gastric bypass- the stomach is made smaller and the part of the intestine is rerouted- one part to the smaller stomach and the other part to a lower aspect of the intestine. Gastric bypass is the gold standard of these types of procedures, this means it is considered the best one of the weight loss surgeries. While it works really well (60 to 80% weight loss), complications can occur. Vitamin and mineral replacement is needed to prevent deficiencies. (2) Sleeve gastrectomy involves removing a large portion of the stomach and reattaching the remainder. It can be as effective for weight loss. It can also cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies if replacements are not used but have fewer complications than bypass. (3) Gastric band- an adjustable band is placed around the stomach to reduce its size. It can be associated with 40 to 50% weight loss though it is slower. It is understandable to be worried about any surgical procedure. It would be best to discuss your options with the surgeon who would likely be performing the procedure. Gastric sleeve is also successful and has fewer complications but all should be reviewed. I hope this helps. Regards, Dr. Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician