Weight Loss Surgery - Horror Stories?

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1 of our fat people
01-16-2003, 11:57 PM
Hi guys!

I am researching lap rny. In my research, I have run across things that I've never heard of. Also, I read about vertical banded gastroplasty and duodenal switch. Does anyone know anything about these?

Anyway, my concern is this... I saw this one website totally against wls. The website was just full of all the reasons why gastric bypass is horrible... you have surgery and then slowly starve yourself. The website said that there is no data to support the surgery or life expectancy after 10 years. Now this website was apparently done by a woman named Sue who despises the very thought of WLS and those who have it! So,I don't really know how reliable the info really is!
Does anyone know anything about this?

I know that Debkay had complications, but is now fine. Do you have horror stories? Please help. I am so confused!


01-17-2003, 12:56 AM
patty..what's the url?? i'd LOVE to go see it... as for horror stories, well, there are some, of course. people have died during and shortly after the surgery. this is a procedure that's performed on very high surgical risk patients. and there's risk with any surgery.

there's a woman in my program who is confined to a wheelchair. she didn't take her vitamins, and developed permanent nerve damage. she's 28 years old.

my boss's cousin died on the table.

this is NOT a decision to be made lightly. and that's why there are several key things you MUST watch out for and you MUST do afterwards:

pick a surgeon who's a member of the american society for bariatric surgery.

make sure he's done quite a few.

try to get into an active obesity program or obesity center.

if the doctor doesn't require clearance from cardiology, pulmonology, psychology, and preop dietician/nutritional counseling,k FIND SOMEONE ELSE. you ahve to be in as good health as possible, inside and out.

you MUST have a support group of some sort. this is a help, but there really should be a more formal setup. or at least a network you know you can count on.

you must be committed to a lifetime of changed habits.

and this applies to all forms of wls.

there are a couple of duodenal switch folks hanging around here, and they've posted some excellent discussions. one of my friends had it, and she had lots of complications, although most of us strongly suspect that much of it was self-induced. it is a specialty operation that accounts for about 10 percent of all wls surgery. it also carries a high risk of vitamin deficiencies, so you still ahve to take them.

a friend's uncle had this done in south dakota. twice. and he's back up to 700 pounds. it IS possible to out-eat this.

do your research, patty. it's a decision only YOU can make. but remember: there are tens of thousands of us who are doing just fine. but there are risks.

01-17-2003, 01:44 AM
One thing you have to remember is that with ANY surgery there will always be risks.

There's no easy answer to this because YES...there will always be a horror story.

One of the reasons I chose the lap-band over the RNY was because of this. The death rate is hugely lower, but still there.
I heard of one person dying during the FDA trials I believe, because an inexperienced laproscopic doctor pierced her stomach.

I had a complication with my surgery. The lap-band procedure I had was supposed to last only an hour (or less) I ended up on the table for 3 hours because after the surgery when they were closing me up one of the docs noticed I had developed a 'bleeder' and it took them 2 hours to fix it. Granted I didn't find this out til I came out of recovery, but still, scary thought because you never know what's gonna happen.

Follow Jiffy's wealth of advice. She knows what she's talking about.
Think of it this way: Eventually you will need surgery of some sort along the way if you don't get the weight off.

As for the 10 year thing, I have heard that too, and that comes from those RNY'ers adn DS'ers who don't watch their protein and vitamin intake. You need to make up for the malabsorbtion of your intestines.

Any surgery comes with risks, but then again, so does staying morbidly obese. (Why do you think they call it MORBID???) Weigh the pros and cons, and I know you will make a good choice for your situation.

01-17-2003, 08:37 AM
Patty I can't add alot to what the two very wise women before me posted.

I can tell you I have heard of Sue, I think the last name is Widmark, or something like that. Yes, she is very, very against surgery. You will also find that NAAFA is against surgery, which I don't understand.

Jiff is right, one of the most important things you can do is pick your surgeon. I thought I had done all the right things when picking mine, and to this day we don't know why I had the initial leak, was it his fault? Or something out of his or any surgeon's control. I do know that, his not coming to see me once while I spent over 6 weeks in ICU makes me question my decision of a surgeon.

Do your research, as I'm sure you are doing, and make the right choice for you.


1 of our fat people
01-17-2003, 01:53 PM
Hello again.

What is NAAFA? National Association of American Fat As-es? Ha Ha! Seriously, what is it? Who is Sue? Is she fat? I'm going to look for the url... I found it on a yahoo search for gastric bypass horror stories. I have mostly found people who are tremendously happy that they've had surgery and I wanted to see the other side of that picture.

Thanks girls!

01-17-2003, 02:10 PM
Hey Patty, NAAFA is, National Association for Advancing Fat Acceptance or something close to that.

I have heard Sue Widmark called Sue Widea**. From what I know, she is just someone who believes no one should be allowed to have gastric by-pass surgery, for any reason. Who died and left her in charge, I don't know.


1 of our fat people
01-17-2003, 02:17 PM
Here is the url that I first found sue on.


while I was looking for it to give you guys, I ran a search on her name... omg... that woman is an authority on everything...

Actually, I think I like National Association for American Fat A**es better myself!


01-17-2003, 06:41 PM
When I went to my first support group meeting, there was a couple of post ops who had had really unhappy postop experiences. BUT the overwhelming attitude was that they would do it again. I met up with some of them and talked to them about their experiences and was fully prepared to meet those challenges, if they happened to me, head on. Their positive attitude is what convinced me. They were all glad they had done it, even one who had trouble holding anything down for weeks after her surgery (including her own saliva) and was in and out of the hospital for the good part of a month.

I don't think you can undergo something like this without that kind of knowledge and commitment.

On the other hand, some of the "horror stories" have "reasons" behind them. Often really large people, people with previous major health problems or some undiscovered thing will struggle with this. Sometimes physicians are not discriminating enough on who they operate. My surgeon will cancel at the drop of a hat or decline someone as a candidate if they do not fit a certain profile. I wanted someone discrimminating like that.

RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH. It's your life and your decision.

Good luck!

01-17-2003, 07:14 PM
wow!!!! what specious arguments sue came up with!!! and she mixed up all different kinds of WLS, including those that are no longer done, adn those that are experimental..

and what person among us DOESN'T follow some sort of eating plan???

oh, if i get started, i'll NEVER get to leave work!!!!

1 of our fat people
01-17-2003, 09:03 PM
New chick,

The actual people that I have had conversations with are very positive about their surgeries and outcomes despite the complications they might have suffered. I looked on the internet today for a support group in my area ... to no avail... when I called the surgeon's office for info on that he was already gone for the day... heavy sigh.

I think that I need to attend a support group before surgery...when I find one!

So, you don't think Sue has all of her info correct? That is one thing that I am concerned with by researching on the net. I assume that I should just go with above board sites like obesityhelp.com and sites like that. But it is so addictive to read other people's success stories!

Thanks to all for your comments and advice...

One more thing... my husband is very closed lipped about all of this. At first he was adamantly against it. When my PCP whole heartedly supported the idea, he changed his attitude a bit... he adopted a "we'll see" attitude. However, he doesn't seem at all interested in learning about the surgery. I did make him watch the show about Al Roker with me. Today, the story about "Chrisite" was on Discovery Health and I tried to get him to watch it with me... to no avail. My sister has pressed him and all he'll say is "I don't know."

I know that he will support me, and I know that he just doesn't like to hear about medical procedures and things like that. However, does this seem like avoidance or unacceptance or anything important? How did your hubby's react?


01-24-2003, 07:46 AM
This has nothing to do with WLS but it is about Sue she is one CRAZY B*tch. She has a Yahoo group about wls so I joined to lurk to check it out. She started on this rampage about children with birth defects and how they should be treated, basically if the treatment kills them it is ok as long as they get "fixed". The woman is nuts. I responded to her because I have a son with spina bifida, (who is perfect) I was trying to say that these children do not know that they are different that they adjust to their world because they have no choice, and that they can be happy even if they are not "fixed". Her response was so bizarre I never went back. It was not even worth responding to.

She also says that people with WLS do not live past the 10 years post op mark.

She is nuts, I would not believe anything on her site.


01-24-2003, 12:12 PM
I have a daughter born with spina bifida!!

- her giggle lights up my world -


1 of our fat people
01-24-2003, 01:09 PM
Almost every negative site that I have seen about WLS is connected to her in SOME way... she must think that she has innate knowledge of everything in the world! She needs to get a life!


01-24-2003, 10:09 PM
Leanna - How old is your daughter?

My name is Amber, i'm 23...and I was also born with Spina Bifida...if you have any questions...feel free to email me privately

On the Subject of WSL
I think that you should think about it LONG and hard...my mom had the surgery in Dec of 98...lost approximately 60lbs...and is now back to where she started at before the surgery...

Just think about it, and use it as a last resort, not a quick fix...try eating right and exercising before hand...it may take years to take of the weight...BUT ask yourself this...how long did it take you to put that weight on??