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Honest opinions on weight loss surgery

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  • ExistingFishExistingFish Member Posts: 1,109 Member Member Posts: 1,109 Member
    I think that weight loss surgery is an effective tool for people who are significantly overweight and have other complicating factors. I don't think it's a magic bullet or an easy way out.

    My husband was put on weight loss medication when he had sleep apnea because it was more important that he lose weight fast than smart because he needed to for other reasons. I see weight loss surgery as the same thing. It isn't the best, it isn't the smartest. But if your obesity is causing dangerous diabetes and HBP and you can't exercise much due to injury, waiting for diet alone to lower super obese level body fat puts you at too much risk from the other diseases. If that makes sense.

    But I think far too many people see it as the easy way out, that they can just stitch up their stomach and magically the fat will just fall off.
  • AustinRuadhainAustinRuadhain Member Posts: 2,354 Member Member Posts: 2,354 Member
    I have a friend who had WLS, gastric bypass, several years ago. They lost a lot of weight, and gained some of it back, enough to be in the obese category. In addition to still needing to eat carefully, they now have to keep an eye on their health in new ways because of an ongoing set of nutritional deficiencies caused by the gastric bypass surgery. A major symptom of those deficiencies is overwhelming fatigue.

    I'd also check on the mortality rate for a given surgery I was considering.

    Anyway, it looks like a mixed bag to me. That said, if nothing else works, if you have other challenges that are making it an emergency situation, it may be the thing to do.

    I am doing the long, slow diet and exercise method, and am getting there. I was morbidly obese, yes, but it was not an emergency for me (yet). I am happy doing the work this way. Part of how I see it is that I am building new habits that will serve me once I hit that happy number on the scale. It's not like I'll get to go back to how I ate the last several years, once I get there. How I ate the last several years is the actual problem, so there's no going back to that as a norm.
  • OtterluvOtterluv Member Posts: 9,181 Member Member Posts: 9,181 Member
    urloved33 wrote: »
    I'm not opposed to the concept, and I know surgery candidates often have to demonstrate some level of non-surgical weight loss as part of the program.

    That said, I only know two people that have had WLS and both of them re-gained the weight - so, it's not a miracle cure and there still needs to be the same level of discipline to maintain results as those that lose weight without surgery.

    I thought I read that less than 5% keep the weight off...seems like a failing procedure to me.

    No. Only 5% of people who lose by methods other than surgery keep it off. Over 60% of people who have had either gastric bypass or sleeve keep the majority of their weight loss off. These are recent numbers, and easy to find.

    Over the past decade those 2 surgeries have gotten far safer. Many of the early high failure rates were from banding, which is rarely performed anymore.

    edited September 2018
  • Evelyn_GorframEvelyn_Gorfram Member Posts: 706 Member Member Posts: 706 Member

    I have thought about pretending that I want the surgery, though, so I can get approved for the period of medically supervised diet, exercise, and counseling leading up to it. I'd do the stuff, learn and lose as much as I could, and then opt out at the last minute. AFAIK, that's the only way I'll ever get Medicare to help me lose weight.

    This is really an unfortunate indictment of our medical system's attitude towards weight loss, that you would have to pretend to need surgery to get help.
    I've thought about it (and how much it *KITTEN*S ME OFF!), but I'm not doing to actually do it. My parents were into this whole big thing with religion & morality & stuff, and I was raised with a wildly unfortunate sense of honesty that I still can't seem to get over. ;)
    The good news is you can learn and exercise without spending a penny. If you ever want help, please ask. Best of luck to you.
    Thanks so much. <3

    I could certainly use the help of specialized medical professionals, but I might value yours even more. :)

  • elsie6hickmanelsie6hickman Member Posts: 3,863 Member Member Posts: 3,863 Member
    My best friend had gastric sleeve surgery the same week I started my MFP diet. She has lost 28 lbs and I have lost 22 pounds to date. I am consistently losing 2 lbs a week. Her doctors have no follow on program to teach better eating habits. I think that could lead to regaining the weight.
  • urloved33urloved33 Member Posts: 3,361 Member Member Posts: 3,361 Member
    I'm an Executive Recruiter and one search I picked up this year was because (unfortunately) the person that had the job had died from complications of WLS. Years ago, one of the parents on my kids soccer team nearly died as well from WLS. No surgery is easy. When you're morbidly obese, even more risk. I would guess that many don't know the full risk or simply ignore it.

    The thing that gets me is that you usually have to lose weight to qualify. Many times, this is the first time that those considering the surgery have really tried to lose weight using CICO. Once they prove to themselves it can be done that way, why go through with the surgery?

    I lost over 70 lbs and have kept it off without surgery for over 5 years. So it's not like I haven't been obese before myself. [/quotas

    as I understand it choose a doctor who did all of their work in bariatrics...many many doctors don't and then choose bariatrics. NO. get one that did ALL THEIR PREP WORK INTERNSHIPS RESIDENCY etc in bariatrics.
  • katijjaakatijjaa Member Posts: 40 Member Member Posts: 40 Member
    My colleague's father is a popular surgeon and he does bypass surgery as well. She told me that almost all cases regain the weight back in 1-2 years. I personally know one person who only lost in the beginning and then gained all the weight and more. And another girl but she was not obese she was only overweight so most doctors refused her case but she found one and did the surgery and lost weight. And now she still gain weight and then lose and so on like most ppl. To consider the amount of suffering you have to go through after the surgery. I know how desperate one can get and it is not easy to lose especially in the beginning, and you would want something radical and for sure will work. But I really don't think it works unfortunately.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,765 Member Member Posts: 22,765 Member
    Nothing good can really come out of cutting out a portion of your stomach and should only be used as a last-ditch effort after everything has been exhausted.
    I am superobese (BMI = 46); and, at a routine check-up a few years ago, my GP very tactfully addressed my weight, its current impacts on my health, and my risk of future weight-related complications, just as he usually did.

    Then, just as I was about to walk out the door, apropos of absolutely nothing, he asked if I had ever considered weight loss surgery.

    I was shocked at his abruptness, and at the implication that I was really that superobese, but I just said that I hadn't. He said that I would probably be eligible and gave me a brochure.

    So I looked into it. I was really surprised to learn that WLS only works for weight loss when combined with medically supervised diet, exercise, and counseling. I also read up on the surgery itself, its long term success rates, and the potential complications. My intellectual self decided that it seemed like a bad bet.

    What I'll call my visceral self reacted more strongly. I've been overweight since the second grade, and took lots of grief over it from just about everyone in my life. This included my parents, my doctors - this was back in the day when you couldn't get treated for a hangnail with a lecture on your weight - and, worst of all, my schoolmates - this was back in the day when bullying was treated more like a rite of passage than an unacceptable form of behavior. All of this is what lay behind my gut reaction that my doctor wanted to mutilate my innards as a punishment for me being fat.

    I know full well that that is not what he said, and not what he wanted, and not why he wanted it. But I have never been back to that doctor since.

    I have thought about pretending that I want the surgery, though, so I can get approved for the period of medically supervised diet, exercise, and counseling leading up to it. I'd do the stuff, learn and lose as much as I could, and then opt out at the last minute. AFAIK, that's the only way I'll ever get Medicare to help me lose weight.

    I bet there's a way to explore this without violating your sense of honesty. Starting down that road doesn't mean you're 100% committed to it. I've seen many people here say they started the process and decided they could continue without the surgery.

    Also, looks like there are Medicare sponsored weight loss programs that are independent of WLS.

    https://www.healthcompare.com/articles/plans-and-coverage/medicare-coverage-for-diet-exercise-weight-loss

    ...If your doctor evaluates your body mass index (BMI) and determines that your BMI is 30 or higher, Medicare Part B will cover behavioral therapy sessions to help you lose weight. This counseling may be covered if you get it in a primary care setting, such as a physician’s office, where it can be coordinated with your other care. Your physician can help you create a personalized plan to improve your health with diet and exercise.
  • MachafinMachafin Member Posts: 2,974 Member Member Posts: 2,974 Member
    I don't think it is an effective means to weight loss without accompanying it with a lifestyle change. I think that eventually the person will gain back to weight if they continued the same nutritional habits that they had prior to the surgery.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Member Posts: 6,261 Member Member Posts: 6,261 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I don't think it's easy. It sounds hard (and a bit scary) to me. I can understand why people feeling hopeless would take that help too.

    What I find upsetting is that "therapy, nutritional counseling" seems to be available (covered by insurance) or offered (so that people are aware of it as an option) for many people with surgery, but not otherwise, and I think this is probably something that would help a lot of people lose weight even without surgery.

    This is a mentality that is slowly changing. Many firms offer wellness programs which stress education over direct action. The problem is that far too many people think they know this information, but are only educated in misinformation.
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