Weight Loss Surgery - Considering surgery




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30and300
12-12-2009, 02:38 AM
Hiya folks,

I'm 29 years old and 306 lbs, I'm 5'3" and I also have gallbladder problems, depression/anxiety, serious back issues, and chronic fatique and heavy snoring (not quite apnea yet). I have, thankfully, low BP and no diabetes or other issues that I'm aware of. But it runs in my family, which includes many morbidly obese relatives.

My big 30 year old birthday is next week, and I thought to myself.. it's time. I tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, etc, been dieting since I was 14. It's time to do something serious. My gallbladder issues are quite severe and I hope it will help too.

Now, my Insurance will cover my surgery if I am approved by my provider and classified as morbidly obese, which I am at BMI 54.1. I was originally considering this option when I weighed 270 about 3 years ago, and I was approved, but I freaked out at the 1% chance of death and said I'd try WW again. So I expect I will be approved for surgery again now that I've explored that option thoroughly and ended up weighing more. =/

Anyway, I have a lot of research to do. I don't know the difference really between all the types of WLS, but my consultation will be in January or February. There's quite a line for the surgery here so I have no idea how long it will take to get me in there. I understand there is some sort of pre-op diet that lasts a while, so I have to learn about that too.

I don't know how much I will post here, I'm kinda nervous about the whole situation. 1% is still really scary, but.... I can't live like this anymore, so, I'm coming to terms with that.

Anyway, love to meet you all, and thanks for having such a nice forum here.


CLCSC145
12-12-2009, 11:00 AM
:welcome3:

I haven't had surgery, but I wanted to say welcome to 3FC! You will find lots of great support here from people who've had and not had surgery. Since you've got some time before your consultation, why not spend it just watching your calorie intake, eating healthy foods, and keeping it at a reasonable level? It's a skill you'll need regardless of what you decide to do and trust me, a few months of taking good care of yourself can make a world of difference in how you feel physically and mentally.

Good luck and hope you post often so everyone can get to know you better!

jiffypop
12-12-2009, 11:14 AM
Hi 30! glad to see you! The kind of surgery often depends on what's available in your area. Gastric bypass is considered the gold standard, and it's available just about everywhere. Adjustable gastric banding is also available just about everywhere, but not all insurance policies cover it for some reason.

there's also vertical sleeve gastroplexy, which most surgeons do, and duodenal switch, which has very good results, but not as readily available. If you decide to go the duodenal switch route, be sure that you can get good aftercare in your area.

There are a few other choices that are in clinical trials. We even have two ladies around here who are having gastric balloons! One is in Canada, and the other in the UK [her surgery will be in Prague]. I don't think this option is widely available in the US just yet.

glad you joined us! we're looking forward to getting to know you.

Have you gone to a local information meeting? does your local hospital offer support groups? if they do, it's a good idea to visit them [yes, they'll let you in - don't worry!]


bargoo
12-12-2009, 11:38 AM
Welcome and good luck. I have not had surgery but recommend that you get all the facts before making a decision.

jiffypop
12-12-2009, 11:56 AM
just to give you the newest data - this latest report states that mortality has dropped to 0.3%. But remember, what counts is YOUR surgeon's data.

http://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/OurServices/WeightandWellnessCenter/default/090730NEJM_BarSurgStudy.pdf

Leenie
12-12-2009, 01:22 PM
Welcome and Good Luck !!! :hug:

jillybean720
12-12-2009, 06:04 PM
Jiffy already said both things I was going to say - but I'm gonna repeat them anyway! :p

First, that 1% statistic is a bit outdated, and it's really irrelevant, anyway. What you need to focus on more is your chosen SURGEON'S mortality rate. That 1% includes not only the great, highly-skilled and experienced surgeons, but also the, umm not-so-great :o

Second, make sure you thoroughly research ALL your options for WLS. If you are going to a surgeon that does not perform all the different procedures (as most do not perform the DS and many do not perform the VSG), it is quite unlikely you will get accurate information about all the procedures from them. Do your own independent research to find the surgery YOU want since you are the only person in this world who knows yourself the best!

30and300
12-13-2009, 09:27 AM
Wow, thanks for the warm welcome and all the helpful info & links! I really do have a lot to research. I have no idea what a balloon or a pouch is, I have a lot to learn. =)

I don't know what's available yet, I think that will be covered in January when I meet the doctor & get more info. They are supposed to send me a packet this week too. Supposedly the University of Iowa Hospital is pretty good with this surgery, I'm not sure what my surgeon's mortality rate is, but I will definitely look into it!

You're right though, I know my info is definitely outdated. My aunt had the surgery in Florida in, I think, 2001... and they told her 1% plus severe complications are common, I know that has improved though.

I'm still on basically a low fat/low cal diet in the meantime, though I have had issues with nausea due to gall bladder, so it's been really hard to find my trigger foods... so far, there is a slight pattern but it's not very clear. It's really frustrating, but the good news is that the new nausea meds do seem to help. =)

Well, I really do appreciate the kind welcome. You guys seem very nice, and I'm glad I stumbled across this forum. I hope to talk to you all again - I will likely be asking rather basic questions here & there, and hopefully by the time I have surgery (if that is what I decide), you guys will know me better too. =)

worthylady
12-14-2009, 11:06 PM
Welcome aboard, you will find a lot of helpful information on this site. The ladies are awesome. I would suggest visiting sites like bariatric edge and obesity help to learn more about the procedures available to you. Also, what helped me decide was sitting and observing different surgeons support groups because it helped me hear the true after story about surgery and the docs. After meetings I would visit with the patients and ask questions. You can search for surgeons that have been recognized by the Center for Bariatric Excellence.

Leenie
12-15-2009, 09:16 AM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!


.

:bday2you::bday2you::bday2you::bday2you::bday2you: :bday2you::bday2you::bday2you::bday2you::bday2you: :bday2you::bday2you::bday2you::bday2you::bday2you:


,

missangelaks
12-15-2009, 11:23 AM
:welcome:

I'm glad you found this forum and I'm glad I did too!! It's been a great source of info and support!

The key to any of the WLS (I had the GPB in Feb. 2008) is knowledge! research, research, research!

Good luck honey!

Angela

30and300
12-20-2009, 03:06 PM
Oh my gosh Leenie that's so sweet, thank you! =)

And thank you both Angela and Worthylady, You guys seem like a great bunch, I'm glad I found this forum. I'm still researching, just got my packet from the hospital today, so trying to find out more about the surgeries that they offer.

jillybean720
12-21-2009, 08:06 AM
Oh my gosh Leenie that's so sweet, thank you! =)

And thank you both Angela and Worthylady, You guys seem like a great bunch, I'm glad I found this forum. I'm still researching, just got my packet from the hospital today, so trying to find out more about the surgeries that they offer.
Don't limit yourself to just what one hospital offers - changing facilities, changing surgeons, or even traveling for surgery are not typically difficult. Make sure you get what YOU want, not what someone else has limited your options to.

30and300
12-23-2009, 02:38 AM
That's a good point Jill. =) Hmm, I probably should figure out which surgery I want first... I have some good options in hospital choices due to my insurance, but I have a time limit since my insurance ends when I graduate from school (~August). I'll be in the DC area in summer, so I should probably check out the hospitals here while I'm visiting for the holidays, see if I can figure out what they offer.

30and300
12-23-2009, 02:58 AM
One more thing - does anyone have any links with information for these procedures? I've been bouncing from site to site, read all the stickies in this forum, etc, but still have tons of questions.

jillybean720
12-23-2009, 09:04 AM
That's a good point Jill. =) Hmm, I probably should figure out which surgery I want first... I have some good options in hospital choices due to my insurance, but I have a time limit since my insurance ends when I graduate from school (~August). I'll be in the DC area in summer, so I should probably check out the hospitals here while I'm visiting for the holidays, see if I can figure out what they offer.
Oh cool - I LIVE in the DC area! I can tell you the band and RNY are easy to come by just about anywhere. The VSG is readily available in the DC area as well. The DS is available in northern Virginia, but that particular surgeon in out-of-network for ALL DSes he performs no matter what insurance you have, so it ends up being about $5-8k out of pocket.

For research, I recommend going to a site such as PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/)) for actual studies and results on each procedure. I would also recommend having a consultation with a surgeon who performs ALL the procedures so you have a better chance at getting accurate info on each (even if that's not the surgeon you end up having for your surgery, it's okay to consult with multiple). So, maybe one time while you're in the DC area, you can consult with Dr. Elariny (the one in northern VA) even though you might get surgery elsewhere.

If you want, let me know when else you'll be around DC, and I can get a group of WLS patients together for you to meet and ask questions - we're always looking for an excuse to get together for lunch or dinner!

jiffypop
12-23-2009, 09:19 AM
another good resource is the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery www.asbs.org

this is the organization that has set up the surgical accreditation and centers of excellence program

30and300
12-24-2009, 02:54 AM
Well, hmm, did some browsing around on those sites between last minute gift shopping & family arriving... but it's sort of overwhelming there, honestly. So, I read up on the ones that I am aware of (RNY, Lapband & Vertical Sleeve, I haven't looked into the malabsortive stuff yet, so no idea about those.)

So far I have to say that the Lapband is most appealing right now because of the short time in the hospital and the ability to adjust it later, plus from what I read, it has fewer side effects. (I don't mean to start any wars over these procedures or anything like that, just repeating what I've read :) )

Oh and a side thing. So I was talking to friends and family about the whole idea of surgery. I had a few different reactions:

Some were very supportive and agreed that it would be great for me.

One relative said, "Surgery just makes you eat an ounce only. Why can't you just do that without surgery?" (etc) I was like... "dude, can YOU do that? Every day...?" That was kinda hurtful imo.

A few other relatives said they will support me even if they don't support my decision, and I guess that's ok.

In the end, I am doing what I need to do. They don't have to live in my body and be in pain all the time, and I think this will help me in addition to sticking with Weight Watchers. BTW do other people do WW (not points wise but going to meetings & eating healthy etc) while adjusting to life with surgery? I like the meetings at WW, or just being held accountable every week, and i still learn good stuff from them, emotionally, etc.

Sorry, kind of long... maybe I should have made a new thread. =P

jillybean720
12-24-2009, 09:33 AM
Well, hmm, did some browsing around on those sites between last minute gift shopping & family arriving... but it's sort of overwhelming there, honestly. So, I read up on the ones that I am aware of (RNY, Lapband & Vertical Sleeve, I haven't looked into the malabsortive stuff yet, so no idea about those.)
psst...the RNY includes some malabsorption.

missangelaks
12-24-2009, 02:15 PM
My RYN didn't bypass as much of the small intestine as DS would have. Making a bit safer concerning the complications due to malabsorption. Read about "bypassing" part of both surgeries. It's the reason we have to focus on eating proteins and take extra vitamins and minerals for life. It also seems to be the key factor on relieving symptoms of Diabetes. They are doing some extensive research in that direction. I walked out of the hospital after my RNY without the need for my diabetes meds. And Jill, from her experience and research, will be the first to tell you that DS has a higher rate of recovery numbers for diabetes then any other surgery.

It’s worth looking into!

Angela

jiffypop
12-24-2009, 09:26 PM
yes, DS is has better numbers with the diabetes - like 85% or more. but the number of people whose diabetes resolves with RNY is more than 70%. there's a lot of other STUFF that has to go into the decision.

as for your relative who said 'just eat like you've already had the surgery' - that person just doesn't understand. don't spend any time trying to discuss it with him/her.

30and300
12-24-2009, 10:13 PM
That's great for Diabetics, thankfully I do not have diabetes or high blood pressure at all. It has surprised my doctor that I have "such good blood work" when it comes to that. My main problems are the gallbladder and back pain (which may be connected to the gallbladder issues). I just want to be able to move around well again without all the back issues.

Yeah Jiffypop - you're right, she doesn't understand. I think she is worried that if i lose my weight, she will be the "only fat person" in the family. I don't mean that in a cruel way, but that's my perception of the situation, tbh.

blakkDuchess
12-26-2009, 03:21 PM
:hug:

You have found the right place for WLS musings! Do your research, talk to people who have had WLS, learn the pros, cons, ups & downs. But always keep in mind (whatever you may decide) YOU are worth it! You deserve to be happy & healthy.

Oh yes... and have a very happy birthday!!!

:celebrate:

30and300
12-26-2009, 10:06 PM
Thank you blakkDuchess!! =)

*stefani*
12-27-2009, 10:58 AM
Welcome to the board :) If I can be of any help please let me know.

Dawn

bloodroses
12-29-2009, 11:56 PM
welcome to the board and with whatever board you chose will not regert this one bit i had the vertical sleeve over 4 months ago and would do it again and again. there are some days when i think i may nee the ds to kepp me at goal or get me clsoer but i'm down 80 pounds and just 93 more to go. anyway good luck sweetie!

xoxo,
nikki