Weight Loss Surgery - Much To Think About




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Rhapsodysia
02-07-2011, 02:06 AM
I haven't been on here in a bit, anywho...

Seems my dad told his girlfriend about my weight loss goals. She happens to be a nurse. She also happens to have had weight loss surgery a couple of years ago, I guess she used to be about my size. She brought up the idea of me getting gastric bypass like she did, and wants to talk to me about it and seriously consider it. It was brought up last week by my dad, and he seems to think it would be in my best interest, especially while I'm still on his insurance.

I just don't know...

The idea of surgery scares the crud out of me.
The possibility of infection scares me (a friend's dad had that happen).
I don't want to feel like I'm giving up on myself.

On the other hand...

It means faster weight loss (usually at least)
It's possible I could start going off medication slowly, it's my meds that cause me to be drowsy and feel hungry all the time.
Insurance would pay for the majority of it
It'll cut my risk of diabetes since I'll have to make a lifestyle change (my dad has it, so I'm at risk)

I've seen many people who have had it, and they're all success stories, they've all told me that it's worth every penny. I had a coworker before who had it, and she actually suggested I do it, she showed me before and after photos, and it was truly amazing, you'd never guess that she used to be obese.

I'm aware that you have to lose a certain amount of weight before the surgery, I've heard anywhere from 10 - 20 pounds, to let the doctors know that you're serious about making a change and that it won't be a waste of a surgery.

I don't know if the pros outweigh the cons, I guess it just depends on what's more important to me. I talked to my best friend about it. He's seen me struggle with diet and exercise for years. He's fairly knowledgeable too, he ran me through all of the pros and why it may be a better idea for me to have weight loss surgery. And if my dad thinks it'd be in my best interest, I'd trust his judgement, as he's seen me struggle over the years too. It wasn't something he'd suggest lightly to me, he's the type who would rather achieve something through working for it.

I know ultimately it comes down to me, but I guess I'm just looking for some insight or some encouragement either way.

I suppose I should do some research of my own, then talk to my dad's girlfriend about it and go from there since there's nowhere else to start.


jillybean720
02-07-2011, 08:23 AM
If it's something you're truly interested in learning more about, do LOTS of research. I say this first because you only mention "gastric bypass" when there are actually four different procedures that are quite common throughout the US. The gastric bypass scared the crap out of me, but the procedure I ultimately chose alleviated most of my fears/concerns - it all depends on your individual goals, concerns, and lifestyle commitments.

I also say you need to do lots of research because it sounds like you've got some ideas about the process that are not necessarily true for everyone. For example, not everyone is required to lose weight before surgery - that's dependent upon your insurance plan and your chosen surgeon. I had to follow a 6-month medically-supervised diet before my surgery, but I didn't end up with any net weight loss. My surgeon did not require that I lose any weight. Different programs have different requirements. My surgeon also did not require a pre-op diet or cleanse that many surgeons do require.

Don't let anyone else push you or convince you to have surgery if it's not something you really want for yourself right now. I remember at my first full-time job out of college, my boss had had RNY, and she sort of convinced another woman in the office to do the same. She often talked to me about it and preached about how I should do it before it was too late, that sure, I was healthy now, but I should do it before the health problems developed, yadda yadda yadda. It was a huge turn-off for me, and I joked about how if I really wanted to take handful of vitamins with each meal, lose all my hair, and feel miserable from overeating or eating the wrong things, I could do so without surgically altering my anatomy (my favorite comment was to say that if I wanted to be punished for eating the wrong foods, I could just hire a guy to follow me around and punch me in the stomach whenever I ate "bad" foods).

This has to be YOUR decision or else you'll always wonder about the "what ifs."

It became my decision when I was 25 years old.

One last thing I want to note about your post is that you list as a con that you "don't want to feel like I'm giving up on myself." If you think having a procedure that offers you a better chance at weight loss, improved health, and a more normal life is "giving up on yourself," then I don't think you're ready for any form of weight loss surgery. I can tell you I did this to give myself (and my future children) a healthier future, which, IMO, is the OPPOSITE of giving up on myself.

jiffypop
02-07-2011, 09:32 AM
hi Rhapsodysia! Jilly has some very good suggestions for you. Seems to me that, since you're still on your dad's insurance, that you're pretty darn young [heck, just about everyone is young to me!], and that's a good thing.

there's a huge amount of research and decision-making that goes into looking at ANY surgery. with WLS, there are two basic types: restrictive and malabsorption. and with the new techniques and data, there's a lot of 'mixing and matching' going on, with quite good results.

for restrictive, we have lapbands, vertical gastrectomy, and the formation of the RNY-sized pouch (surgical). with the gastrectomy, you get a slightly larger pouch than with the lapband or RNY-sized pouch. with the RNY pouch, you lose your pyloric valve, with the gastrectomy and lapband, you keep your pyloric valve.

for malabsorption, we have the RNY, in which your intestines are cut and reattached farther down, so you get decreased absorption. we also have the duodenal switch, which is just what it says - sections of the intestine are switched. each offers advantages and disadvantages. Jilly is thrilled with her duodenal switch, and i'm happy with my RNY.

some people - insurance willing - start with a restrictive procedure, and if that doesn't work as well as they'd like, they add a malabsorption part to it later. this requires two surgeries, and not all insurance will cover two surgeries.

as for giving up on yourself - no. i disagree here. as jilly said, it's really about doing what's best FOR YOU healthwise. i didn't have surgery because i gave up on myself. i did it to SAVE MY LIFE.

so, do your research, ask LOTS of questions, do more research, and don't make ANY Decision until you KNOW it's the right one FOR YOU. and you can certainly hang out with us here - we won't chase you away!


jillybean720
02-07-2011, 11:41 AM
for malabsorption, we have the RNY, in which your intestines are cut and reattached farther down, so you get decreased absorption. we also have the duodenal switch, which is just what it says - sections of the intestine are switched.
Just a quick point of clarification - with the DS, intestinal sections are not "switched" (though there are experimental procedures out there that do this, such as the ileal transposition). It's actually the same configuration for the intestines as the RNY except that the limb lengths are different - still a Y-shape.

KlassyKid
02-07-2011, 12:06 PM
Hi Rhapsodysia,

I agree with Jillybean and Jiffypop, the ultimate decision is yours and yours alone. Do as much research as you can. It's easy for others to suggest what you should do, its you that has to do it though.

I am also completely freaked out by any surgery but was looking into getting RNY. What tipped the scale for me (no pun intended) was that I had a motorcycle accident and smashed my left leg up pretty bad. I had to drag my 252 pound self around on crutches for months. That was a nightmare since there are steps up to the door of my house. As soon as I was off the crutches I went to India and had my RNY done. I had no insurance and had to pay and I could not be happier. For me it is the best thing I could have done. I have four friends who have had it and two more who are in the process of getting it now.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.

Shelly

Jen
02-12-2011, 11:39 PM
I so agree with what everyone else has said but wanted to add something. I'm 42 and have lived almost my whole life being overweight and it makes me so very, very sad to think that my quality of life would have been so much better if I could have had a healthier lifestyle. Regardless of what you decide to do, have WLS or buckle down to some other method of losing weight do it now! Don't look back 20 years from now and mourn for what could have been. I went for so many years thinking that oh next week, next month, next year that will be my year to lose weight and it has never happened. I don't regret all the things that have happened in my life, I have 2 beautiful amazing kids but in my heart I know that things would have been better if I hadn't been overweight all my life.

missmejeans101
04-05-2011, 10:21 PM
Hey! I am 19 years old and my mom had Gastric Bypass about 4 years ago. There are SERIOUS & BOTH pros/cons to this. My mom LOVEESS food. our whole family does, and she can't eat like a normal person anymore. Trust me, she looks AMAZING but she had to do some reaalll psychological modification before and after her surgery. You have to realize and be ready for all that you are giving up. & PLEASSEEEE!!!!! READ THIS PART!!! if a doctor who is willing to give you the surgery WITHOUT counseling beforehand then DENY.DENY.DENY. Really, not a lot of people understand how much hunger and food impact our mind. It is NEEDED for everyone before any type of weight loss surgery. I am not trying to discourage it for you but just make sure you are 150% ready before you get it done. It is LIFE CHANGING, for the good & bad.

nanj
04-06-2011, 04:36 PM
AMEN Missmejeans101! I'll be sixty years old in June and had a little meltdown and threw myself on the bed a couple of days ago and CRIED because I had eaten something with sugar alcohol in it and messed my britches. I was mad because I can't eat "NORMAL" anymore, everything gives me gas, I'd like not to have to monitor everything that goes into my mouth and hear everything that comes out of my body, stop feeling guilty if I do screw up..... Blah, blah, blah! Talk about mental! THEN, I stopped being a baby, got up, put on my skinny jeans and got down on the floor and played with my 9 month old baby! Couldn't do that at over 300 pounds! I fight food everyday! Probably always will! So Rhaps, read, READ, daer, everything you can and listen to what people have to tell you. It is a life-long adjustment, but for me oh so worth it. I'm going on four years out and I'm dealing with stuff now that I didn't have to deal with at the beginning. But I'm ALIVE and living and can't say I was doing much of that being morbidly obese!

onmyway35
04-09-2011, 12:25 AM
I decided last year to take control of my life and I couldn't get my head into the altering of my body so I chose the Lapband. It is just a tool like anything, but it has changed my life. Ya I would have lost weight faster with other weight loss surgeries, but in 14 months I am down 70 pounds and I am only 10 pounds from a "healthy BMI weight". If I want children, then they take the fluid out of the band and it is back to being able to eat what I want when I want. The big change for me is I eat smaller portions and the food I use to eat and then was hungry an hour later now keeps me full on less food for 3-4 hours. It has been life changing but only in the best way for me. Unfortunately for me in Canada they considered this to be cosmetic, I only would have qualifed for Gastric ByPass which I wasn't prepared to do. I am now hearing OHIP is covering the procedure but there is a long wait list. Good luck with your decision. But for sure do it while your young. I wish I had done it 10 years ago.