Weight Loss Surgery - How did you decide?

View Full Version : How did you decide?

01-15-2003, 10:22 AM
I'm just starting to consider WLS. I'm 33 and have been obese (at last 80 lbs over weight) for 13 years and more than 100 lbs overweight for 7 years. I've tried WW, Nutrisystem, Phentermine, you name it ....

I weigh 278 lbs., 55% body fat and a BMI of 44.8. At the moment I am in excellent health - even considering my weight.

But I don't want to wait until I'm suffering from several different health issues to start thinking about the surgery....

The thing is - I'm scared to even think about it for too long. One hears so many horror stories and any Internet research just brings up one horrible experience after another.

How did you decide to go for it? What was your breaking point?

Where should I look for solid information and not just personal experience accounts?

Thanks a million!

Top Wt.: 298 Current: 278 Goal: 150

01-15-2003, 02:35 PM
My breaking point was nearly a year ago when I made the same new years resolution I make every year, and by June had failed miserably.

Then My in-laws sent pics of their visit in October, and that was the last straw.
At 262 pounds I knew something had to give.
I had looked into WLS since Jan 2002, but dh wouldn't let me get the RNY because it was a drastic last step (rerouting intestines, etc) Our insurance also wouldn't pay...so I was self pay. I needed something that fit both, but there wasn't anything around and I thought I was doomed to be 'chunk-girl' for the rest of my life.

October came around and I happened upon lap-band surgery. (Sharon Osborne mentioned she had one in an interview with Barbara Walters) Researched it for 3 hours or more every night for MONTHS. Talked to dh, he was thrilled because it's not a last resort type of surgery. Talked to a number of docs, decided to go out of the country (more experienced docs, lower price). And in Dec. got the Adjustable Gastric Band placed in my stomach.

I have a personal website with my journal you can head to... http://www.nwtechdesign.com/Amy it has a lot of my info on there.

I don't think there is one select better surgery for anyone...I think WLS is individual and needs to be evaluated for individual needs.
I had no co-morbidities (diabetes, highblood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea, etc.) I was just FAT! ! !
I am so proud of the brave ones who step in for surgery, admitting that they need that help. I don't care if it's RNY, DS, or Lap-Band, all I care is that someone took the step to make a huge change in their life and admit they can't do this on their own.

Obesityhelp.com is a great site for info. I don't post there on the boards as I don't like them, but you will find lots of surgeon info there. Everyone reports on their surgery, hospital, insurance etc. It's a good resource place if you are looking into any kind of weightloss surgery. That is where I found my doctor for the Lap-Band surgery that I had.

I wish you great rewards on your journey into WLS...

01-15-2003, 05:26 PM
For me it was the sad endless cycle of the past five years. Working my butt off for MONTHS to lose 10-20 lbs and then if I was sick or stressed or had to go out of town and miss the gym or have normal meals for a few days in a row, I would gain it back in a matter of days. For me, it was, like Carnie Wilson says "spirit crushing". I just got sick of working that hard with no payoff. I kept losing the same 10-20 lbs over and over again. I am 8 days post op and I know in my heart of hearts that I did the right thing. I couldn't go on that rollercoaster ride ANYMORE. I was becoming seriously depressed. For me it ws this or jump off the roof.

1 of our fat people
01-15-2003, 11:29 PM
Hi Carole,

I tried to reply to you earlier and had technical difficulty. So, if my earlier reply somehow surfaces, please disregard!

Anyway, I am like you in many ways. I am 32 years old. I have been overweight all my life. I now weigh 285 and have an appt with a bariatric surgeon next month.

I want to get surgery to end this horrid cycle of losing, gaining, eating, not eating, binging, etc. I want to be able to do all the things that my kids want to do. We like to camp, and I know I could keep up with them better if I lose weight.

There are so many things that I'm afraid of because of my weight...
1. I'm a teacher, every year at the beginning of school, the whole county has a meeting at an area high school. I always worry for days if I will fit in the high school sized desks.
2. I won't even attempt to ride a plane, thus limiting my travel potential.
3. I am afraid to go to an amusement park because I might not fit on the rides.
4. I can't walk down the aisle of a school bus on field trips without turning from side to side to accomodate my hips.
5. I can't buy clothes that are pretty and in every store.
6. Sometimes I can't hardly fit in a booth in a restaurant.
7. I don't like people to buy me gifts of clothing because it probably won't fit.

I could go on and on. I'm sure you probably have some of the same reasons. Mainly, I want to build my life around something more important than food. I want to be active with my kids and more importantly, be HERE for my kids.

If you keep praying and thinking and researching, you'll come to the right decision.


1 of our fat people
01-15-2003, 11:31 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention...

Last summer we bought a brand new camper. ON our FIRST trip, I stepped up on the bed and fell right through... hurt myself... wouldn't have happened if I didn't weigh so darn much!

Very embarrassing!!!!


01-16-2003, 01:08 AM
not an exaggeration. i couldn't walk, couldn't breathe, couldn't work. basically bedridden. it was this or certain death within a year or two. and a miserable existence. but other things also came into play, like the fact that it's possible to keep the weight off if i follow the rules. like i would eventually be able to eat anything i wanted, in very small amounts. and like THIS WOULD WORK!!!!!

i had an appt for an initial consultation with the surgeon on august 15, 2001. but i had to call to cancel it. i was admitted to the hospital on august 13 for a 5-week stay, followed by 3 weeks in a nursing home learning how to walk again. my lungs could not support my weight [500 pounds], and i was on oxygen.

when i was released from this unfortunate incarceration, i had to reschedule the surgeon appt, and finally saw him in november 2001. he didn'[t want to do the surgery because he said i was too sick. too high risk. and then he practically dared me to change his mind.

i lost 97 pounds between september 2001 and january 2002 because my sleep apnea was corrected, and, as a smart doc put it, i finally had a metabolism.

surgery was january 29, 2002, and i've lost 165 pounds since then, and a total of 262 since september 2001. i've been extremely lucky to have gotten a second chance.

01-16-2003, 09:34 AM
I had just had it!!!!!!!!! I was tired of the whole yo-yo thing. It never failed, every diet I tried worked for a while than I would gain it all back plus more.

It was August 31, 2001 when I found out another band Mom (my daughter is in the HS marching band) had undergone wls.

I found her and in the middle of walking out of the stadium with hundreds of people walling around us, she told me about her surgery.

I of course had heard of the surgery, but I never in a million years thought I could get my insurance company to pay for it.

I started researching right then and there. Had my first doctor's appt on Oct 25th 2001 and surgery on Jan 14th 2002.

I was a diabetic with high blood pressure, horrible knee pain and I just knew withouth the surgery I would never live to see my grandchildren born.

I am no longer considered diabetic, my blood pressure is under control and it is a rare day when my knees hurt.

I just wanted to add, Carole when I was your age I was the same way........overweight but healthy. When I hit 40 boy-oh-boy did things change. I think you are very wise to look into this before your weight causes you to develop obesity related poroblems.

Also Carole, I am one of the horror stories with complications. Jiff's real life sister peachie said it best. "The surgery saved Jiff's life and almost killed me." But it didn't, I'm here and glad I did it.


01-16-2003, 11:31 AM
Thank you everyone for your answers!

I'm still in the researching process and haven't yet reached the point where staying obese is more frightening than the surgery - but if/when I reach that point I certainly want to be knowledgeable about my options!

I'm taking the year 2003 to do my research and start making some lifestyle modifications that will either a) help me loose weight or b) prepare me for life after surgery.

I'm going to start a medically supervised diet (since my insurance co. requires I do one for 6 months first anyway), make some serious modifications to the kinds of foods I eat (moving to a more naturalistic and holistic approach to my health by cutting out the crappy food I eat now) and hiring a personal trainer.

If at the end of the year I am still obese - then surgery will be the way I go and hopefully the lifesytle modifications I'm making now will enable me to be a better "surgical risk" and ease some of the transition to post-operative life!

Thank you all again for your answers!!

I admire you all so very much for taking this huge step!

I hope you don't mind if I "lurk" and occassionally ask the "stupid" questions!

Blessings to all,


01-16-2003, 11:58 AM
carole... we'd be CRUSHED if you didn't hang out with us!!! after all, we know what it's like! and we know and understand the frustrations that come with trying to lose weight - and keep it off - the 'recommended' way.

take all the time you need to make up your mind. i took 2 years!!!!

01-16-2003, 12:58 PM
I think, when I'm in the mood to be realistic I know that the year I'm giving myself is to develop some good habits now so that when I do have the surgery I'm one step ahead of the game!

I also am hoping that by improving my health now I'll have a better surgical risk factor and hopefully recovery won't be as bad as it could be.

I also need 6 months of supervised dieting and my husband needs time to get a grip on this ... he's a bit worried that I'm even considering it and would like for me to take some time before I go the surgical route.

I don't think that he truly "gets it" but if he needs a year to adjust to the idea - then I'll give it to him. But I'm not going to just sit around and get fatter while he's adjusting to the idea either! :lol:

01-16-2003, 02:03 PM
I'm much like everyong else. I was always large, tried several times to lose weight and would gain it back, plus 10 or 20. I have diabetes, hypertension, asthma, SLE and generally feel like crap. I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!!

I also have a husband who's not too enthused about this whole thing. I've given him stuff to read, but he's still scared. He has vowed his support and that's all I need.

I think you have a good plan giving yourself a year. If you can get yourself into shape (and keep it) you'd be ahead of the game. Good luck.