Are we prone to high colestral, I am 7 mths post op and doing well the weight is going on slowly but surely so the hopital are please with, my local GP is asking for extra blood test which is not easy due to my being very small, I do drink lots of water to help with this will the vains ever improve??? but are with prone to high colestral and if so how can we help ourself to keep it low?????


16 Replies

  • Well,We are advised to eat high fat foods to keep weight up.My cholestrol levels are low as am on simvastin which lowers it!Vains do improve over time.When they do blood they can test for cholestorol at same time so get them to do that then if medication is needed they can prescribe it.Hope thats a little help


  • Hi Griff, thanks for that but I suppose we are all differnet in some ways, what is simvastin?? not sure what that is, also sorry about the spelling of cholestrol ha ha, what would be the medication for that?? great help.


  • Simvastin is medication to lower cholestrol levels. At least you had a spelling lesson!!! ha ha.Take care and hope you get sorted and dont worry to much

  • Thank you Griff helpful as ever, Top man.


  • Hi Tina - as someone who takes blood samples if you have bad veins I would say you probably always will do - however there are some things you can do to improve the situation, always wear gloves to keep your hands warm as your veins will disappear even more the colder it is, on your way to the surgery or wherever you go for your blood tests keep unclenching and clenching your fists - get that blood pumping, once at the surgery immerse your hands in warm water for about ten minutes which will bring the veins to the surface, for patients with really hard to find veins I will always take blood from the hand using a butterfly needle which is a very small thin one - I am sure your phlebotomist will be aware of this, unfortunately some of us have particularly difficult veins to find and again some of us with nice thick veins will find they collapse the minute a needle is inserted ! Simvastatin is a medication known as a statin which are taken to lower cholesterol, there are quite a few, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin and more which I cant remember at 3.30am !! But it is not always the cholesterol result which is the marker for whether you take medication on not - the lipid test will give you a total cholesterol ratio plus triglycerides and the LDL/HDL reading - this is the good and bad cholesterol and the one which is important in deciding if treatment is needed. Hope this is of help to you. All the best.


  • Thanks Lyn so helpful and some good ideas regarding keeping my hands warm.

    Thank you


  • I would be interested to know whether our surgery makes us more prone, less prone or no difference to our cholesterol levels. Wondering if the lack of stomach changes the ability to absorb fats?

  • Hi Tina

    After my surgery my cholesterol went back to normal, it had been a little high before. My surgeon said that many people who have surgery on their stomach ( I had a partial gastrectomy) usually find that levels go back to normal. He also said that some diabetics found that leveled out too.

    I have a low fat diet anyway now so hopefully cholesterol levels will stay low.

    My veins weren't very good for a while but 4 years post op seem to be ok now, and losing weight they seem to show up more, so they seem easy to find.

    Best wishes

    Edwina x

  • Hi Edwina,Some good information from you thank you so much.

    I hope all is ok with you.x


  • It is an interesting question. I have asked a specialist dietician but have not had a reply yet.

    I am wondering whether it is trying to eat more foods with saturated fats to try and put on weight that might make higher cholesterol more likely?

    I will continue to ask around, but I suspect that it is not going to be straightforward to get a clear-cut answer. If anybody is due to see a gastroenterologist soon, and you have time to ask the question, it would be interesting to know their response!

  • Hi Alan, thank you and once again sorry regarding the spelling of cholesterol never notice the silent H.


  • This may well be yet another of those areas that varies from patient to patient.

    My cholesterol levels were pretty high pre-op but have settled down now 21 months post-op, to very healthy levels and I like most of us, have been eating food with high fat content to help put weight back on - very odd.

    My veins have all but gone to ground since chemo and have refused to come out again - I'm told this is pretty common under the circumstances. Every time I have a blood test now they have to find an expert (often a chemo-trained nurse).

    All the best,


  • Hi Peter, like you regarding my veins yes the chemo nurses gets it spot on so you are not left with too many bruises,

    I did not know what my cholesterol level was prior to my chemo and then my operation (jan 2012) to remove a tumour, and your right regarding eating high fat stuff and also little and often, they are saying its 5.9 I do not what that means or how high that is!!!!


  • Coming back to the cholesterol issue, I have now had a reply from the specialist dietician to the effect that, in the long term, the typical diet recommended to patients after upper GI surgery is indeed high in saturated fat and so can cause high cholesterol.

    The advice for patients who are concerned about this is that once you are past the immediate post surgery recovery phase - 6-12 months down the line - get your cholesterol levels checked every 6-12 months by your GP.

    Try diet changes at that stage. There are sometimes some changes that can be made to improve heart health such as including benecol/flora proactive products, also switching to more unsaturated fats, including oily fish, soya products, and if possible taking some exercise.

    If none of that does the trick, taking a statin might be recommended.

    I suppose that the basic issue is that your diet will have an effect on your health regardless of whether you have had Upper GI surgery or not.

    Trying to eat things simply to maintain a particular weight level may bring problems in the long term.

    It is a good thing to review what you eat every so often.

    But do not worry about any of this if your surgery was only a few months ago!

  • Hi Alan, Thank you so much for a very informative information well done to you, all of this is of great help when you think of what we have been through and what we are told at the beginning of our new lease of life (if you get my drift) weight being an issue and food being another and now my GP telling me about another issue and this is the GP who took over 18 months to send me to the hospital for any tests, one wonders whats next, ok I'l get off my soap box now, once again thank you I will let you know what he suggest I should be doing.


  • Hi All, So I think my GP maybe has jumped the gun a little according to the support team at the hospital who I go and see from time to time as they are dealing wth this on a day to day bases, and now my GP has said that I have an underactive tyhroid I need to start taking some tablets so with that in mind I call the support team who are saying we need to do another blood test as a second opinion as cholestral,tyhroid, and a few other thing do show up in the very early stages 6/12 post op and I am 7 mths post op, anyone have ant thoughts regarding this topic!!!!!.


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