Why do people have weight loss surgery?



  • KathieSwenson
    In my experience it is one of three things. Either they have tried everything and just can't loose the weight. Sometimes this is a lack of knowledge issue and sometimes it is lack of will, and sometimes it is a medical condition that keeps them from loosing weight. I have seen people that have done really well with the lap band or the gastric bypass and I have seen people who didn't do well. In my experience those that didn't do well outweighed those who did do well. Yes, they go through psych evaluations but I know of two people from my own personal experience that both had gastric bypass and passed the psych evaluation and still did not do well. One would eat and eat till she vomited at the table and the other ended up and a psych rehab facility shortly after getting the surgery.

    I don't have an opinion either way. I'm currently a fitness instructor that teaches body flow and I have plans to get my trainer certification along with my Body Combat certification and my Body Pump certification. I firmly believe that if we had been well educated as far as nutrition and how the body works that a lot of the WLS candidates would not be doing WLS unless it was medically necessary. Even I am having problems loosing weight at this point and I am learning more about why Apples make me feel better when I eat one, or what level of acidity our body should stay at to feel more energetic and healthier.

    It is a learning process and I'm not real sure that we should be asking this question. Everyone has a right to decide if they want to go through the WLS or not. I personally will not because nutrition wise I don't believe its "fixes" the issue. One of the ladies I talked to told me how she was to eat after surgery and your body must have 1200 calories or more to survive. That being said she was eating around 200 calories a day if even that after her WLS. Did she loose weight. OF COURSE! who wouldn't when you are not getting the necessary calories your body needs, but what it causes is muscle Catabolism - meaning your body breaks down the muscles not the fat to survive.

    I think WLS is a surgery that each and every individual has to ask them self, did I do everything I could. Then they should go from that point at this time I would not be a candidate. Do I want to be NO but if I did I would not be because first my Body fat % does not meet the criteria and 2. I haven't done EVERYTHING.
  • zoeysasha37
    zoeysasha37 Posts: 7,088 Member
    I know a lady that had the surgery done. She went threw many months of testing, counseling and was finally cleared to have the surgery. She rapidly lost about 90 lbs. She then slowly slipped back into her old ways and has now stretched her stomach back out and gained the weight back.
    I think this is like anything in life, some do what they need to do, in order to be successful and others just give up. I have nothing against anyone who had wls, that's their choice. Some make a positive lifestyle change and are successful and others fall back into their old habits.
  • vismundcygnus27
    vismundcygnus27 Posts: 98 Member
    For weight loss surgery to make a difference in the long run, you do actually have to make an effort. My mother got liposuction several years ago - she was quite overweight, and her thyroid problems made it difficult to lose weight "the right way". So she got lipo, and made sure to have healthy eating/ exercise habits afterwards, because if she put the weight back on, it would probably never come off.

    I don't think surgery should be the first line of fire when it comes to weight loss, but I think it's a valid option is sincere efforts at changing your habits have been unsuccessful. That said, it seems like many people jump to it far too quickly because they haven't put the work in, or simply became frustrated too quickly. Those are the same sorts of people who are likely to gain the weight back after their surgery.
  • George_Baileys_Ghost
    George_Baileys_Ghost Posts: 1,524 Member
    Anytime the question starts with "Why do people...", the conversation goes awry from the start. The presupposition of intent on the part of a single person, with some knowledge about them is difficult at best. The presupposition of intent on the part of a general group, or of all people is impossible.

    There are many reasons. Some of those will hit the farthest end of the spectrum for good, others for bad, and the rest will fall anywhere in between. Weight loss surgery in and of itself is no indicator of failure or laziness. Neither does it absolve one of those things either. Some people want an easy way, Some need a quick solution for health reasons. It's pointless to try and judge the process or the generalized group of people who have it.
  • CyberEd312
    CyberEd312 Posts: 3,536 Member
    Speaking from experience at my heaviest I was consuming close to 10,000 calories a day and had no problem doing that... I consumed foods very calorie dense (21 in. Pizza's, boxes (not individually wrapped) of swiss cakes, hoho's, Nutter butters, bags of chips like Doritos, tortilla chips smoothed in cheez wiz, etc, etc..... It really was not that difficult, my biggest problem at that point was guilt tripping my family or flat out verbally bashing them until they caved and gave me what I wanted.. the Last couple years getting close to my max weight I could barely get around the house, let alone leave the house.. I still managed to get to my truck on occasion and drive myself through the drive thru's when I really wanted something.... When you are in that vicious cycle of being hungry, stuffing your face til you feel like throwing up, then play the why do I do this to myself and saying I am going to change, and that only lasting til you have room in your belly to eat more so you start the cycle over again.... At that point (and I think I can speak for most) you are in a cycle that you can't see anyway out of so you refrain to the fact nothing will change and I would say alot of people view the surgery as an easy way to try and break that bond. If you can't eat all that food because your stomach is the size of an egg now then you'll just get skinny and that is that.

    You can't see past that part of it to all the changes you are going to have to make to sustain any of it... Changing your eating habits, exercising for fitness, changing your mindset towards all that you have known to date, etc, etc.... At that size the easy way out is to take the easier road (or atleast what at that time you perceive to be the easy way out.) but in my case I still had enough common sense to know that no amount of Weight Loss Surgery was going to fix what caused me to get to 560 lbs. If I could not fix what was broken in my head then there was no chance in my mind that I would ever be able to lose the weight and keep it off.... So I was totally against WLS for me as an option.. When my doctor asked me if I wanted the surgery I told him HELL NO!! I would do every thing I was asked to do by him and the dietician and whoever else but I was doing this naturally or die trying.... You really have to be in the right mindset to do this.... I don't know the statistics but I would have to say it is in the single percentages of people that can lose 200-300-400 lbs, on their own and keep it off. And for the majority of those people the WLS in the beginning probably looks like the easier option... Little do they know it is NOT and is why alot of them fail because they never tackle the real reasons they got that big to begin with...

    A life long friend that had Gastric bypass and lost 200 lbs. and I followed her journey on facebook a couple years ago and was doing so good at her weightloss and exercise had been distant the last year and I had not seen much posted from her until a few weeks ago she said she was moving back home (lived in Missouri the last 10 years) and didn't give a reason why... She called me Friday (knows I am an IT.Computer nerd) and asked if I could fix her laptop and she stopped over and to my horror she has put back on all of her 200lbs, lost and I would say another 50-60lbs. on top of that.. Seeing me she lost it in the driveway, She is so ashamed of failing and seeing my success (even though she is really happy for me and my success) and when I asked her what happened she said she never fixed the mental side of the journey. She never addressed her severe depression, her childhood issues that cause her to eat to hide her problems and even though she experienced so much success in the beginning it wasn't enough... I sat in this very recliner with a loaded handgun for 3 days back in 2009, trying to think of a way to blow my brains out and not leave a mess for my family to come home too, on the 3rd day I realized that was not going to be possible, I accepted I had a major problem, and had that AHA moment and put the gun down and start working to fix the problem...

    I can tell you it was nothing short of climbing my own Mt. Everest but I went about it the right way getting to heart of my problems, working through them and taking my progress in steps and finally overcoming my weight issues... So when I say they use weight loss surgery as the easy way out I don't want you or anyone to think I mean that in the sense that it often gets taken out of context in other threads on here. I simply mean when you weigh 500+ lbs. that surgery is looked upon (atleast from my view) as a quick fix so that I would not have to put in all the effect it would take to lose 300+ lbs. but in the end there is NO EASY WAY OUT.... You will have to work your *kitten* off regardless end of story....... Best of Luck
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,659 Member
    I'm currently working with a client now who already had it done and my niece is opting for it because she was born with a hormonal issue (thyroid) where weight loss is an uphill battle.
    For those who think it's the "easy" way out, they don't know much about he complications and lifestyle changes that go along with it. It's by no means easy, and for some it can also very stressful because they still aren't able to address the reasons on why they turned to food for comfort and end up utilizing something else to replace it instead of food now (IE alcohol, gambling, etc.)

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • arewethereyet
    arewethereyet Posts: 18,702 Member
    Just wondering. I was watching some show on tv about this person eating whatever they want because they're planning on having weight loss surgery later anyway, so they figured screw it. Won't try to eat healthy. The surgery will fix the fatness! Then I watched something on YouTube about someone having a lap band put in and they lost a bunch of weight quickly and then...ate a bunch of crap all over again and gained the weight back, stretching out their stomach again.

    I know there must be a legit reason people have it and I'm probably getting the wrong idea watching these programs so I'm asking, why do people get it instead of just eating healthier and getting some exercise? It must take a lot of stuffing your face to maintain at 500 lbs. like you really have to work at it. So I'm assuming even at 3,000 calories a day, they would lose a bunch of weight. How can having surgery be their best option, considering cost and health risks associated with having an operation? Isn't gastric bypass the same as just eat less, but being forced to do it cause your stomach is smaller? My brain hurts

    The people I have known to have had the surgery all had to wait 3-6 months when using reputable doctors. In those months they lost as much weight as the average MFP member does in the same time frame. This, I have been told, is to reduce the inflammation thus having a better result during surgery.

    One of the women decided she would join here instead (wonder who put that in her ear ;) ) after losing 50 lbs. She is well on her way to a healthy weight.
  • SunofaBeach14
    SunofaBeach14 Posts: 4,899 Member
    I think what you're missing OP, is the mental health aspect in all of this. When someone's mental health problems are terribly damaging to their physical health, surgery simply becomes a viable option to keep them alive. Mental health is often missed in these discussions, and it's not always a factor, but I would argue that most people who get to this point have issues above and beyond the physical driving them to eat that much. It's not far off from why people become alcoholics or drug addicts in terms of trying to find a way to lessen the pain and depression. Just because something is easy for you doesn't make it easy for everyone else.
  • Meerataila
    Meerataila Posts: 1,885 Member
    Thanks for the insight, CyberEd. I'm a My 600 Pound life junkie. And what I see on that show is what you describe, too. And a place I know I could eventually end up in if I don't manage both my eating and the rest of my life very carefully. I'm a huge eater. I can put away close to ten thousand calories of certain foods. I could do it right now if I wanted to, and I weigh under 115. Doesn't matter. It's about capacity and the urge to do it.

    Fortunately I have some genetic blessings along with my curse, and right now I have the resources to buy healthy foods and eschew (pun intended) the junkfoods that allow me to eat almost 10k calories in a day. So I don't need the surgery. But I will never say it's not ever in my future. Someday it might be. And it sure doesn't look like an easy way out to me. Weight loss surgery patients still struggle and obsess about food and fight every day to lose and keep weight off.
  • whovian67
    whovian67 Posts: 608 Member
    Statistically speaking... people that get bariatric surgery (without psychological intervention for underlying issues) gain back their weight within 5 yrs.

    Its an easy way for people to lose weight fast. No exercise required.
  • maidentl
    maidentl Posts: 3,203 Member
    There are many reasons why someone chooses to get WLS, none of which are any of mine or anyone else's business.

    This would be my answer as well. Everyone is different and has their reasons. Just like all things in life, you have some people who "abuse the system" and some who don't. It doesn't make sense to lump them all together.
  • JojoEffeckt164
    JojoEffeckt164 Posts: 146 Member
    I don´t get it either... I´m soooo afraid of surgery! I hate needles, I hate medication for no reason... Here are the impressions of a German.

    When I went to the States, I was quite surprised that I could get weight loss pills at a 7/11! In Germany you have to go to a pharmacy and ask for it. Than the pharmasist will educate you about the medication. what does it? what are the risks? But in the states you just buy serious stuff for losing weight like bubble gum. I´m not talking about dietary supplement. That´s free here too, I´m talking about stuff that can cause a hole lot of danger to your body if you take it wrong... So this shows already the mentality difference between Americans and Germans... Americans tend to just "take a pill" for any imaginable problem, instead of actually finding out what causes the problem... Unfortunately this trend is comming to us too.

    It´s basically the same with WLS in most cases. It´s easier to get surgery than actually facing your mental problem: Why am I eating that much? What am I trying to satisfied? What´s wrong with my life? How could I gain that much? those are uncomfy questions... Not everybody has the fate to face them
  • muggzie399
    muggzie399 Posts: 116 Member
    Know two people who have had it done. One looks really good after, but yes it happened. She went right back to her old habits and gained it all back. Not did she do it once, but she went back again. I guess if you can afford it and can convince your doctor, anything is possible. She is back to grown. She is probably the worst dieter I ever knew.

    The other, she wrnt back to eating regular food after only two weeks. Yes small portions but of course that increased.

    Saw her two weeks ago and she is dieting and looks better than after he WLS. Working at it makes all the difference.
  • zyxst
    zyxst Posts: 9,135 Member
    Because some people think it's simpler to amputate parts of their body than put in actual effort to change how they eat.

    Right, because losing weight with WLS requires no "actual effort." You're clearly a scholar on the matter and know what you're talking about. Your opinion is well-informed and valuable.

    Right, because every person who has WLS follows through with doctors' orders on their dietary intake and recommended exercising (if applicable). No one who has had WLS ever did it, expected it to be all they had to do to lose weight, and changed nothing about their lives.

    Believe it or not, there are people in the world who truly think removing part of their digestive system is all they need to do to lose weight,

    Thank you for the sarcastic, back-handed insults. Made my afternoon.
  • AllOutof_Bubblegum
    AllOutof_Bubblegum Posts: 3,646 Member
    Uhhhh...to lose weight, I'm guessing? Is this a trick question or something? :huh:
  • Jenna9797
    Jenna9797 Posts: 33 Member
    Weight Loss Surgery.

    ¶ ¶I cannot speak for everyone, only my own journey. I found myself in a surgeon’s office because I felt that I had exhausted every single option to adjust my weight through diet and exercise and I just kept failing. I *knew* that I needed to lose weight, I just couldn’t figure out why I kept failing. So I went to the office to see that surgeon.

    ¶ ¶I admit, I was nervous, I didn’t like the idea of someone cutting into my stomach nor did I like the idea of a foreign device being placed inside my body but I didn’t think I had a choice. So I listened to the nurse’s presentation and asked my page of questions to the surgeon. I decided to have the lap band, figuring its eventual removal would be better than having my stomach sliced and stapled.

    ¶ ¶I filled out the papers and left for home. Two days later, the financial person from the office called me and said that the cap on Bariatric Surgery that my insurance had placed would ensure that I would pay a lot of pocket money for the surgery. Ouch. I’m a videographer, not a lot of money in that pocket.

    ¶ ¶Although resigned to diet failure due to lack of will power, I decided to try “one more time”. I dusted off MFP and started recording my intake again, and started trying to find things to eat that I liked. I re-discovered my love of stir-fry and I developed a great spicy Szechuan sauce! I have been back on MFP for 110 days and I’ve lost 25+ pounds. I discovered some facts about how my body works and began to eat that way. I feel pretty positive that maybe, just maybe this time, this will work.

    ¶ ¶The point of that whole story is that I ended up in that surgical office because I was at the end of my resources. I didn’t see any other way to stop losing and gaining the same 10 pounds. If my (crappy) insurance hadn’t had that Bariatric cap, I’d have the surgery right now. I probably would have lost way more weight but I am grateful. I am grateful that I am doing this weight loss journey naturally and discovering things about how MY metabolism works.
  • moxiecowgirl
    moxiecowgirl Posts: 291 Member
    Statistically speaking... people that get bariatric surgery (without psychological intervention for underlying issues) gain back their weight within 5 yrs.

    Its an easy way for people to lose weight fast. No exercise required.

    "Statistically speaking", you say? Really? Please cite your statistic studies. I'd love to see them.
  • 1princesswarrior
    1princesswarrior Posts: 1,242 Member
    You know how people filing bankruptcy go out and start maxing out their credit cards? (Losers) Same basic concept. I would say that with few exceptions (because there are medical necessities sometimes), people don't want to put the work in. This site shows hundreds of people who have lost 200- 300 pounds so it proves WORKING it, it CAN be done.

    Actually if you do that and get caught you cannot get bankruptcy, you can in fact have charges pressed against you.

    I know a friend of my parents who had WLS to save his life and he has done fantastic. I don't know if he is the exception though. He has done everything the doctors have told him to do, lost 150 lbs, done what he could to preserve LBM, eats right, etc. He's getting ready a year out to start weight training because his doctor just released him to do so. Because he did everything he was supposed to he's had no complications. He had the gastric sleeve done. The only down side is now his needs to have excess skin removed.
  • 115s
    115s Posts: 344 Member
    "Easy" way out in most cases, although some may be medical. I considered this, myself. Not only did it seem much riskier, but I wouldn't actually be getting healthier and have a better lifestyle. I did it myself.
  • RHachicho
    RHachicho Posts: 1,115 Member
    Because some people think it's simpler to amputate parts of their body than put in actual effort to change how they eat.

    Right, because losing weight with WLS requires no "actual effort." You're clearly a scholar on the matter and know what you're talking about. Your opinion is well-informed and valuable.

    Right, because every person who has WLS follows through with doctors' orders on their dietary intake and recommended exercising (if applicable). No one who has had WLS ever did it, expected it to be all they had to do to lose weight, and changed nothing about their lives.

    Believe it or not, there are people in the world who truly think removing part of their digestive system is all they need to do to lose weight,

    Thank you for the sarcastic, back-handed insults. Made my afternoon.

    Yeah it is amazing how people get defensive about crap like this. It's the same for loose skin surgery. People don't want to acknowledge that there are A LOT of really stupid people who think that going under the knife is the quick fix solution to everything that's wrong with their bodies. I am sorry but yeah the surgery is often beneficial. Many on this site have no doubt benefited from it. It's unlikely doctor's would perform it if the prognosis was always bleak. But the kind of people the OP talks apart are frightfully common. Those that jump straight for surgery because they think that it will be their perfect solution. And end up with disastrous results.

    Basically anyone who gets one of these operations before they have tried EVERYTHING else to get the results is one of those people.It's ok if you are one of the smart ones then more power to you. You don't have to be tarred with their brush. I mean it's not as if chef's have to be insecure about using a knife because people stab other people with it. Surgery is a powerful but dangerous tool and those who misuse it are merely foolish.