Weight Loss Surgery

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Replies

  • garber6th
    garber6th Posts: 1,894 Member
    I had a 6 month waiting period before I was even going to be given a date for surgery. During that time, I had to show that I could stick with the program by losing a certain amount of weight, I saw the psychologist, had sleep tests, lots of lab work and check-ins with my surgeon, met with the dietitian, I had to attend support groups... I also saw a therapist on my own for a year before making the decision. I knew that I had to address certain issues if I was going to be successful at maintaining my loss. I think having your head in the right place is one of the most important things, also understanding that surgery is a tool, and it's not going to work long term if you don't use it properly. Many people think surgery in and of itself is a solution and it isn't. That's why so many people fail. Do your research, take your time, and make your decision based on what YOU want to do, not what your doctor wants you to do. If you don't have surgery now, you know it can be an option in the future, if you choose.

    Also, it seems almost every surgical group is a little different as far as surgery prep, etc. I know some people who had to be on liquids a week prior, but my surgeon didn't require that. Everyone seems to recover differently too. I didn't have any issues or take any pain meds after I got home from the hospital, and I was up and walking around in the hospital within hours of my surgery. So, not everyone has a horror story about surgery!
  • nutmegoreo
    nutmegoreo Posts: 15,532 Member
    acorsaut89 wrote: »
    Wtn_Gurl wrote: »
    Even if you have weight loss surgery, you still MUST eat a particular way or else you will get complications. you have to change your eating and the things that cause you to overeat, with or without surgery.

    Yes I understand that. Sorry but I get what this means for me, and if you notice I said I'm hesitant about it . . . I understand this is such a scary thing and it doesn't mean it's going to work. I'm not jumping up and down and saying "Do it tomorrow". If I didn't understand the commitment/decision I was making do you think I'd be as hesitant about it as I am?

    Go to the first couple meetings and see what they say. The programs in Canada do tend to be fairly holistic (I am not versed in the US programs, but do know that going to Mexico for medical tourism fan end badly). I've seen many people not really taking in all the rest of the information, they are solely focused on the weight loss. Those who absorb the information and really work with it seem to have better outcomes. Check into alternatives. Can you follow the preop diet for a while, to see if that will help get things moving again? (Something to ask them about, they will need to monitor you, if you do this)

    I can tell you are struggling with this decision. Be wary of not getting a balanced look at everything. Best of luck. Updates would be awesome!
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,098 Member
    I agree with Cheryl - WLS is a very, very personal decision, and a very serious one - the sleeve and bypass are irreversible, and as in all surgeries, there are serious potential side effects. I know several folks who have done it and succeeded; I have met several folks who did it and wished they hadn't.

    My sister in law had it done last summer. Yes, she's lots a in incredible amount of weight, but she isn't changing her lifestyle, she isn't learning to eat differently, and she's having a lot of difficulty because of it. I won't be surprised if she's one of the ones who gains the weight back in 5 years.

    My brother is going through the pre-process now to have it done. He has dieted off and on for years, looses weight, then gains it back. He has made the decision to have the surgery because he believes it will force him to stick to a diet and not slack off. He can be very disciplined and unlike his wife, he's strictly following the pre-surgery regime, which includes diet and exercise. I think he has enough drive to be one of the successful cases.

    Me? I've looked into it, have had it suggested to me, and after researching the surgery, the side effects, and the good and bad long term effects, I've decided its not for me. I have grave concerns about the process and about the long term outlook. I'm also concerned at how quick doctors are to suggest it these days. I'm not against the surgery all together, because I know that for some people, its the last resort and the only option; I just think that the decision to have it done should be based on realty and valid health reasons (and not vanity, like my sister in law).

    But like I told my brother - its his body and his decision, and I'm not going to fight him or ridicule him for it. We all have to walk our own paths. So I would highly encourage you to do your research. Look for success and failure stories, try to weed through the hype, go to the information sessions, and think long and hard about it. Talk to folks who've had it done - and look for the long-termers, the ones who had it done several years ago, not the folks who've done it recently. The recent ones are still riding the initial weight loss wave and haven't hit the reality of life after the surgery yet. The ones who did it a few years back will be able to give you a much more realistic picture of the pros and cons and what to expect. Of course, the recent ones can give you a good idea of what the recovery is like, too.

    In any case, don't let anyone pressure you into making a decision either way; make up your own mind. You are the one who has to live with it one way or the other.
  • nevadavis1
    nevadavis1 Posts: 339 Member
    I have grave concerns about the process and about the long term outlook. I'm also concerned at how quick doctors are to suggest it these days. I'm not against the surgery all together, because I know that for some people, its the last resort and the only option.

    This is just how I feel. Right now my friend is starting the pre-surgery program and really he is not so heavy considering--but they are pushing him to do it at a lower BMI because he also has sleep apnea. But a lot of his over-eating recently is because he is so tired and uses junk food as a "pick me up." They suggested surgery right off the bat to him and said "it's the only thing that works." I want to ask him to seriously consider because it cannot be reversed (sleeve) and he doesn't have THAT much weight to lose. I mean, I think if he lost just 50 lbs he'd be doing a lot better. But I don't know how to bring it up because he seems so convinced by the doctor.
  • acorsaut89
    acorsaut89 Posts: 1,147 Member
    I agree with Cheryl - WLS is a very, very personal decision, and a very serious one - the sleeve and bypass are irreversible, and as in all surgeries, there are serious potential side effects. I know several folks who have done it and succeeded; I have met several folks who did it and wished they hadn't.

    My sister in law had it done last summer. Yes, she's lots a in incredible amount of weight, but she isn't changing her lifestyle, she isn't learning to eat differently, and she's having a lot of difficulty because of it. I won't be surprised if she's one of the ones who gains the weight back in 5 years.

    My brother is going through the pre-process now to have it done. He has dieted off and on for years, looses weight, then gains it back. He has made the decision to have the surgery because he believes it will force him to stick to a diet and not slack off. He can be very disciplined and unlike his wife, he's strictly following the pre-surgery regime, which includes diet and exercise. I think he has enough drive to be one of the successful cases.

    Me? I've looked into it, have had it suggested to me, and after researching the surgery, the side effects, and the good and bad long term effects, I've decided its not for me. I have grave concerns about the process and about the long term outlook. I'm also concerned at how quick doctors are to suggest it these days. I'm not against the surgery all together, because I know that for some people, its the last resort and the only option; I just think that the decision to have it done should be based on realty and valid health reasons (and not vanity, like my sister in law).

    But like I told my brother - its his body and his decision, and I'm not going to fight him or ridicule him for it. We all have to walk our own paths. So I would highly encourage you to do your research. Look for success and failure stories, try to weed through the hype, go to the information sessions, and think long and hard about it. Talk to folks who've had it done - and look for the long-termers, the ones who had it done several years ago, not the folks who've done it recently. The recent ones are still riding the initial weight loss wave and haven't hit the reality of life after the surgery yet. The ones who did it a few years back will be able to give you a much more realistic picture of the pros and cons and what to expect. Of course, the recent ones can give you a good idea of what the recovery is like, too.

    In any case, don't let anyone pressure you into making a decision either way; make up your own mind. You are the one who has to live with it one way or the other.

    This is where I'm struggling: yes I've made enough changes in my life to lose as much as I have, but what if I can't make more? Failure for this scares the crap out of me. This, for me, would be the final thing . . . I don't see it as the end, but more of a high-speed launch into the challenge I ultimately planned to face: maintenance. But what if I can't? What if I fail?

    There was someone who said only about 4% of people who are obese or morbidly obese can keep weight off long term on their own. . . that's really scary for me. Really scary.
  • acorsaut89
    acorsaut89 Posts: 1,147 Member
    nevadavis1 wrote: »
    I have grave concerns about the process and about the long term outlook. I'm also concerned at how quick doctors are to suggest it these days. I'm not against the surgery all together, because I know that for some people, its the last resort and the only option.

    This is just how I feel. Right now my friend is starting the pre-surgery program and really he is not so heavy considering--but they are pushing him to do it at a lower BMI because he also has sleep apnea. But a lot of his over-eating recently is because he is so tired and uses junk food as a "pick me up." They suggested surgery right off the bat to him and said "it's the only thing that works." I want to ask him to seriously consider because it cannot be reversed (sleeve) and he doesn't have THAT much weight to lose. I mean, I think if he lost just 50 lbs he'd be doing a lot better. But I don't know how to bring it up because he seems so convinced by the doctor.

    This was my argument . . . I am only at 275 . . . when I always thought this program was reserved for people who were 400, 500+ lbs and needed this to help them get to a point where they could move/start to be healthier.

    I didn't think I was big enough for this . . . at all. I'm sure there's some kind of kick back for referring me, but he was able to give me links to various studies done about this surgery (good and bad). I plan to read them later tonight when I have time.
  • amyepdx
    amyepdx Posts: 750 Member
    I started at 267 and thought about WLS for about 5 minutes. What stuck with me was this - you have to change how you eat FOREVER either way. The surgery will somewhat influence yours decisions (making you too full or sick when you eat or drink certain things) but you can always override them. My cousin had it and not only did she never get down to her goal weight, she's gained back everything she lost plus motr. Meanwhile, I've lost 97 lbs in 2 years. I know that sounds like a long time at your age, but in the scheme of things, it's not.

    You are saying that at only 28 you should take this chance now, but I think it's the opposite. You are so young and the prospect of living 60 years with the consequences of surgically altering your body is what I'd be concerned about.

    I'm actually kind of shocked that WLS is recommended for people with only 100 lbs to lose. You've lost weight before and you can totally do it again with the help of great tools like MFP!

    I hope you don't feel this was critical of your exploration. I'm just so amazed and what MFP has done for me and also sad seeing how my cousin has struggled.

    Good look in whatever you decide and keep us posted.
  • cheryldumais
    cheryldumais Posts: 1,931 Member
    acorsaut89 wrote: »
    I agree with Cheryl - WLS is a very, very personal decision, and a very serious one - the sleeve and bypass are irreversible, and as in all surgeries, there are serious potential side effects. I know several folks who have done it and succeeded; I have met several folks who did it and wished they hadn't.

    This is where I'm struggling: yes I've made enough changes in my life to lose as much as I have, but what if I can't make more? Failure for this scares the crap out of me. This, for me, would be the final thing . . . I don't see it as the end, but more of a high-speed launch into the challenge I ultimately planned to face: maintenance. But what if I can't? What if I fail?

    There was someone who said only about 4% of people who are obese or morbidly obese can keep weight off long term on their own. . . that's really scary for me. Really scary.

    Just wanted to mention that I too hit a plateau that lasted three and a half months. I thought I would never lose any more. I am finally losing again. I don't know why our bodies do that but you may just be stuck for a bit. Not trying to discourage you if the surgery is really what you want but you have mentioned not being able to lose any more on your own and wanted to encourage you that you may just have to be patient. BTW the way I got it going again was to go to maintenance calories for a week then back down. I am losing slower now but I am losing. I had been dieting for a year when I stalled.
  • MichelleSilverleaf
    MichelleSilverleaf Posts: 2,029 Member
    acorsaut89 wrote: »
    This is where I'm struggling: yes I've made enough changes in my life to lose as much as I have, but what if I can't make more? Failure for this scares the crap out of me. This, for me, would be the final thing . . . I don't see it as the end, but more of a high-speed launch into the challenge I ultimately planned to face: maintenance. But what if I can't? What if I fail?

    There was someone who said only about 4% of people who are obese or morbidly obese can keep weight off long term on their own. . . that's really scary for me. Really scary.

    I think you'll feel better once you start talking to the people overseeing the process. They were quite adamant at the orientation that ultimately you are the one who decides what to do in the end. They can advise you to the best of their respective abilities, but at the end of the day the choice is yours. There is definitely a lot of information to process.
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,098 Member
    acorsaut89 wrote: »
    This was my argument . . . I am only at 275 . . . when I always thought this program was reserved for people who were 400, 500+ lbs and needed this to help them get to a point where they could move/start to be healthier. I didn't think I was big enough for this . . . at all. I'm sure there's some kind of kick back for referring me, but he was able to give me links to various studies done about this surgery (good and bad). I plan to read them later tonight when I have time.

    The average is saying less than 5% keep it off, and that specialists are slowly starting to admit that bariatric surgery isn't the panacea they've been proclaiming it to be. And to make matters even more confusing, when you do a search on obese people keeping the weight off, you get opposing articles - one set says research has shown that the chances of losing weight and keeping it off for 5 years or more is 5%, and it gets worse the more obese you are, but then I see an article out of Copenhagen that claims that if the obese can get it off and keep it off for a year, they will have reset their bodies and will be able to hold it off.

    *shakes head* so very confusing!

    Anyway, I'm with you - bariatric surgery ought to be for the very obese, but they've been lowering the standards for quite some time now. right now, it's if your BMI is over 40 and you have 100 lbs+ extra weight, or your BMI is 35 and over and you have a co-morbidity such as diabetes, sleep apnea, etc.

    My argument, however, is that the BMI is fundamentally flawed. It's too generic in my opinion: so EVERY woman who is 37 years old and 5 ft 8 inches should weigh between 122 and 164 lbs? (my range). I think I'd rather focus on % body fat rather than a generic number on a chart. Especially since science shows that losing even 5% of your starting weight and keeping it off offers health improvements. AND they are also starting to discover that there are folks with a healthy BMI who have too much visceral fat around their organs, which is a health risk - so they look healthy, but they aren't.

    In other words, maybe we should focus on becoming healthy - exercising more, eating a healthier diet, and less on the actual number on a scale?
    amyepdx wrote: »
    You are saying that at only 28 you should take this chance now, but I think it's the opposite. You are so young and the prospect of living 60 years with the consequences of surgically altering your body is what I'd be concerned about.

    that's my concern for my brother. He's 32. I fear greatly on what the long term consequences are going to be. At the same time, the doctor is pushing for him to do it now, because they say the younger you are, the easier the surgery is on your body, the quicker you recover, and the fewer complications you can have. Also, they are pushing him to get fit as possible, to lift weights and focus on his core, as they tell him that will help speed up his recovery time, too.
    Just wanted to mention that I too hit a plateau that lasted three and a half months. I thought I would never lose any more. I am finally losing again. I don't know why our bodies do that but you may just be stuck for a bit. Not trying to discourage you if the surgery is really what you want but you have mentioned not being able to lose any more on your own and wanted to encourage you that you may just have to be patient. BTW the way I got it going again was to go to maintenance calories for a week then back down. I am losing slower now but I am losing. I had been dieting for a year when I stalled.

    I'd say certainly go to the sessions and learn all about the surgery that you can. I can tell you that they will put you on a diet to try to help you lose weight before the surgery.

    and perhaps it is a plateau? Maybe you can change something up to get yourself started again - change a routine? Or perhaps, as the study in copenhagen suggests, maybe you can focus on maintaining where you are at for a year or two, give your body time to adjust and make that your new set point, and then start again? And in the meantime, focus on healthy exercise and diet? Perhaps you could try this for a couple of years and see where it takes you?

    In any case, whichever road you choose, I wish you the best of luck! Either way is not an easy path - and it does take a brave soul to try the surgery route!

  • acorsaut89
    acorsaut89 Posts: 1,147 Member
    My BMI is right on the cusp at 40.3 (I believe it came in at) but I don't have diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure or cholesterol . . . so I don't have any other conditions that can come with being this overweight, yet. And I think the concern is that losing that much weight takes so much willpower and determination - and that I've already lost 75 of it - I will lose steam. And that line of thinking isn't wrong, obviously I've lost steam already as I've gained 25 back this year. I know it's not linear it's just that I gained back 1/4 of what I lost in 6 months . . . it was a stressful 6 months, but still.
  • PaulaWallaDingDong
    PaulaWallaDingDong Posts: 4,640 Member
    acorsaut89 wrote: »
    My BMI is right on the cusp at 40.3 (I believe it came in at) but I don't have diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure or cholesterol . . . so I don't have any other conditions that can come with being this overweight, yet. And I think the concern is that losing that much weight takes so much willpower and determination - and that I've already lost 75 of it - I will lose steam. And that line of thinking isn't wrong, obviously I've lost steam already as I've gained 25 back this year. I know it's not linear it's just that I gained back 1/4 of what I lost in 6 months . . . it was a stressful 6 months, but still.

    You do have to change what you're doing as you go. If you can be more active, go for it, but don't burn yourself out. If the exercise is too much to keep up, you can relax a bit and focus on diet. Your calorie goals have to change as you lose as well.

    What I'm getting at is, if you've lost 75 lbs doing what you're doing now and the loss has stopped, it's because 75 lbs is all you set yourself up to lose. It doesn't have to be daunting or exhausting and you don't have to suffer to get more weight off. You just have to make adjustments.