Sleeve vs. old fashion way

I am looking at getting gastric surgery. I would really like to know what are the perks and downs of it and would you do it again or just change your habits and workout. I am at my heaviest point.


  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    OP: Since you asked about just changing habits and exercise please read this:

  • TrulyBlessedToo
    TrulyBlessedToo Posts: 9 Member
    I have no idea what all you have tried in the past. Finding a nutritionally sound food plan that you can live with is the key. I know Keto is not for me ... I love my fruits! You can lose all of your excess weight on any plan but you must continue to monitor what you eat when you are on maintenance or you will not maintain. You will gain if you go back to your old eating habits.
  • 51caTlaDy
    51caTlaDy Posts: 18 Member
    Best wishes for making the right choice for you.
  • Lillymoo01
    Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,868 Member
    I know someone that had it done. She had a hell of a time with recovery, which required two emergency surgeries and a tummy tuck. She was in so much pain for so long. 2 years later and she is almost back to the size she was before the surgery. I think she will say that it wasn't worth it.
  • Allgaun
    Allgaun Posts: 221 Member
    My brother had the surgery about 10 years ago. He was over 350 lbs, 5'11" when he started, now he's about 200.

    He has kept the weight off but he has completely changed his life. He works out several times a week now, swims daily. Eats less at meals and starts each day with protein powder in his DD iced coffee. He doesn't drink, but he never has.

    It's not easy, it takes a lot of discipline to maintain, just like any diet. It's a quicker way to drop weight but it isn't a permanent solution if you don't do the work.
  • Diatonic12
    Diatonic12 Posts: 32,344 Member
    This is a very touchy subject. When you drop it like it's hot there's loose skin to contend with and more surgeries. I'm going out on a limb here but if you have the true grit to edge your way down slowly while exercising, working with medical professionals that can give you new cognitive skills...try that first. Surgery can always, always wait. So much of this stuff is mental and surgery doesn't fix that. Surgery doesn't prevent rebound weight gain with friends. Surgery doesn't solve food addictions or disordered eating. Surgery is not easy or without consequences. It's quick. You start out with a medicine cup, eating 2 oz. of food at a time. You drop it like it's hot and lessen risks of T2 diabetes but those advantages diminish if you should rebound. It's the head that needs a complete workover. Start there and work from the head down. Surgery really can wait, it ain't easy.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,281 Member
    I fully support WLS for people like those on "My 600 Pound Life", as for them losing weight fast can literally save their life.

    For you, I don't have enough info to comment. How much weight do you need to lose?

    There are people here who have lost hundreds of pounds without surgery, and others for whom it was indeed the right choice.
  • LyndaBSS
    LyndaBSS Posts: 6,972 Member
    If it were my choice, I would always choose natural over surgery every time.

    As mentioned above, you're going to be forced to learn portion control anyway. Why not do it in a perfectly safe manner that also builds your self esteem.

    Take advantage of the enormous body of knowledge in this community. Best wishes on your journey. ❤
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    edited July 2019
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I fully support WLS for people like those on "My 600 Pound Life", as for them losing weight fast can literally save their life.

    For you, I don't have enough info to comment. How much weight do you need to lose?

    There are people here who have lost hundreds of pounds without surgery, and others for whom it was indeed the right choice.

    Being super obese can be a contributing factor to a life ending illness but needing surgery should still be on a case by case basis. Carrying extra weight just increases risk but does not make anything certain right this minute or even 2 years from now. Despite my own previous super obese status I have enjoyed relatively good health throughout. Not perfect health but nothing that would not be uncommon for a man my age at any weight. One of the casualties of my weight is my right knee which will likely need replacing and I wouldn't be shocked if the left one follows suit but these can wait for a little longer and certainly nothing worth getting a WLS over.

    Now had this effort not paid off for me I wouldn't be shocked if in the next 5 years I would have had an extremely serious or even fatal medical problem. It just wasn't imminent so I have the choice to lose weight my own way.

    I will admit when I started I did feel like it was life or death but it was because I had not been to a doctor in awhile and I assumed the worst. I was pretty aggressive the first 2 months, not VLCD, but aggressive. I tapered off and started losing weight using the 1 percent rule as a guide but always choosing to lose under the max allowed which I call be moderately aggressive.
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,074 Member
    amyepdx wrote: »
    Now it’s being discovered that many people following surgery trade the food “addiction” for alcohol or drugs. That is what happened to my cousin. Not only did she never get to her goal weight, she’s gained back what she lost and more and drinks heavily which she never did before. She is now 64 and has decided to just “give up” trying to lose weight and exercise which makes me so sad.
    To compare (I hope not to sound too righteous or anything), I lost 98 over the course of 2 1/2 years counting calories and increasing my activity significantly. I’m on my 4th year and even though I also haven’t yet made it to my goal weight and am currently about 15 lbs regained, I am not giving up. I still log 80% of the time, I still track my weight, etc. otherwise, by now, I would have probably gained back every pound like I have in the past. I’m 60, I ran an 8K in April, I’m up to 6.3 mph on the treadmill, I walk everywhere I can. Oh, and I drink much less than I used to because of the calories.
    I contemplated surgery at my 267 lb highest, but once I realized (like others have said) that I would still have to change my way of eating forever, I decided to try to fix my whole self. That is definitely still a work in progress - but I’m not giving up!

    I don't know if that's true for everyone, but that was definitely true for my sister-in-law, who had the full bypass surgery done about 3 years ago. She was drinking pretty heavily up until she got pregnant last year. I'm really hoping for her sake that the year + that she has gone without alcohol while pregnant and nursing will keep her from going back to it later. She also, said to say, has really become obsessed with her body image too, since she had the surgery. She was stressed about the weight gain from the pregnancy, and she's very hyper-sensitive about the flabby skin. She's quit losing weight now, and isn't happy about that; however, she has also strayed from the dietary lifestyle taught by the nutritionist and doesn't want to exercise, so I still don't know if she will be able to maintain the loss. She opted for surgery because she wanted a quick fix for the weight and because she couldn't stick to a diet. What saddens me is that during the trial period before when the bariatric surgeon put her on a restricted calorie diet to prove she could maintain the diet after surgery, she failed to stick to it, but the surgeon went ahead with the surgery anyway.

    My brother had it done about 2 years ago and he, I think, will be a success story for it. However, as said before, its a complete and total lifestyle change, especially when you get the full bypass. He will have to take supplements for the rest of his life because of the type of surgery he had. He's very active, and was even before, and he enjoys working out, so the surgery for him made it easier for him to be active as he wanted to be. He has side effects. He has to watch what he eats; some things still bother him. And I personally don't think he looks healthy over all, either, but it may also be because he's burning the candle at both ends, so to speak. He has had bought after bought with kidney stones since the surgery, and was told it was a result from the surgery because he cannot drink enough fluid to help keep his kidneys flushed properly. This might not be a problem for everyone, but it is for him because our family has a predisposition toward getting them anyway, and he had already had them before the surgery, but they grew worse afterward. Oh, and while he did not pick up drinking, he has taken up smoking again.

    My cousin had the sleeve done last year. Her loss wasn't nearly to the extent that my brother and sister-in-law had, and she had stalled out now. I have also seen that after her stomach healed, she has slowly gone back to eating the way she did before, and has regained weight since the surgery; in fact, she said her surgeon is now talking of going back in and putting in a lap band for her. She told me that she wishes now she hadn't had the surgery done.

    So my take on this is: don't listen to just one side of the story and don't just listen to all the success stories that the surgery center will trot out. Take time to thoroughly educate yourself on the surgery and talk to people who have had it done - and not the ones who had it done in the last 2 years, but find folks who had it done 5 or more years ago who can help you see the long term consequences of the surgery. Speak to those who succeeded in keeping the weight off and what they learned, and talk to those who gained it back. Don't make this decision lightly; this is something that you can't take back or reverse once its done - you will have to live with it for the rest of your life.

    I am reserved on the surgery myself. I don't like how its being pushed as a panacea by the medical community (I've experienced and heard of many doctors who want to push it as the end all be all solution and even tell people they'll never lose weight if they don't get it done). But I do understand that there are cases where it is a godsend for people and that it can help people regain their health. But its the weight loss itself that did that; not the surgery. And for each benefit of the surgery there is a risk or complication as well. I personally think that if you can possibly lose the weight by any other means, use those instead, that its easier on your body long term if you can lose the weight slowly and steadily. In either case, as everyone else has said, the only way you will be successful long term is if you can learn a completely new life style and build a new relationship with food, learn to cope with the mental and emotional aspects of eating too much, and build the strength needed to maintain a new eating pattern and be successful in the battle with your own will. Without that, surgery won't be successful any more than any other diet.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,765 Member
    edited July 2019
    There are a bunch of downsides to the surgery, most of which have been addressed above. I would like to add that both people I know who had bariatric surgery had life threatening complications, and one of them regained the weight. However, if you are diabetic, the roux en y, not the sleeve, often reverses diabetes, for reasons which are not well understood. And if you are morbidly obese and have failed to lose weight multiple times, the surgery can be life saving.

    The downsides to losing weight by reducing calorie intake and working out are that it has zero downsides. None. It will not potentially kill you, it doesn’t cost thousands or require a long recovery, it won’t leave you unable to absorb vitamins or eat family meals at holidays forever, and if you don’t like it, you can stop at any time.

    I have lost 125 lbs, from morbidly obese to midway through normal BMI, and maintained now for a year and a half. Despite what news articles have been saying recently, this is not impossible and people like me do exist. Lots of them are on this site.

    All you have to do is first be willing to be honest, and then live your life completely differently from the way you are living it now for the rest of your life. If you are dishonest, you will not lose weight. Your body knows how much you ate whether you log it accurately or not. One study which tracked and observed obese people who claimed not to be able to lose weight on low calorie diets found that they logged, on average, only one third of the actual calories they consumed. That doesn’t work. But logging accurately and eating within an appropriate calorie limit to create a deficit does work, and it works surprisingly quickly. I lost 100 lbs from morbidly obese to the top end of normal weight in one year. Compared to a whole lifetime, that is nothing.

    If you decide you are “done dieting,” you will regain the weight. You have to learn not to diet, but to eat the correct amount of food for your body. There will never be a time or place where it is appropriate for you to live the same way that made you become morbidly obese, because you should never have been eating that many calories for the amount of activity you were doing in the first place.

    The upsides of losing weight naturally are endless. If you add regular exercise to your routine, you will become strong and healthy. You will gain new hobbies, and you will be physically able to do things like walk all day while touring a new city, or chase a child, or run with a dog, or dance all night at a party. Clothes will look good on you again.