‘Candy cane syndrome’: Central Florida woman recovers from rare gastric bypass complication

ORLANDO, Fla. — A woman in Central Florida says for more than a decade eating and drinking was nearly impossible.


It happened after she developed a rare complication following gastric bypass.

All these years later, she says a doctor at AdventHealth gave her a new lease on life.

She was the first person in the world to undergo a brand-new procedure.

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“Between my collarbones and my hip bones, all the different procedures and surgeries I had 22 scars,” said patient Rene Galloway.

A gastric bypass in 2009 changed Galloway’s life for the worse.

In the last 13 years, she’s had nine surgeries, two feeding tubes, and three rounds of IV nutrition for almost a year and a half.

“I was admitted to the hospital for almost a month on my son’s second birthday,” Galloway said. “And that’s just the beginning of all the things I’ve missed for them.”

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For more than a decade, Galloway struggled to keep food down.

She had a condition known as candy cane syndrome.

All the complications following that initial surgery seemed irreversible, but then she met an AdventHealth gastroenterologist known as Dr. K.

“It has to do with food being routed to a wrong blind limb of the small bowel that causes intense abdominal pain, nausea, typically vomiting,” said AdventHealth interventional endoscopy Dr. Kamibiz Kadkhodayan.

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Kadkhodayan drew out his plans. The first step would be to reduce the problematic portion of the bowel, which looks like the curved end of a candy cane.

Then during a second procedure, a channel for food would be created.

Because of her history, he had to rule out traditional inpatient surgery. So he did it endoscopically.

See more in the video above.

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