Weight Loss Surgery - Need some emotional support- considering bariatric surgery - also what alternatives?

08-31-2013, 04:24 PM
Hi guys,

I am feeling a bit down - researching all this. I feel at a wits end. No diet ever works. But partially cause I can't stick to it. Will I magically be able to stick to it with surgery? That part I don't understand.

I also have crappy insurance and fear I can't afford the surgery. Before surgery, what other things am I supposed to be trying or should I try? My doctor suggested phentermine. any other thoughts?

I think I'd really like the surgery - but I am scared. I guess I just need to research morea nd learn more.

08-31-2013, 08:57 PM
There is no magic in weight loss surgery and you will have a strict diet to follow for a long period of time. You have to come to grips with why you overeat or eat the wrong things if you have surgery, the same as if you don't. The ladies here are very helpful and you get a lot of help. But there is no magic bullet.

08-31-2013, 09:48 PM
mandy - there are LOTS of issues that go into making the decision to have surgery. When i was looking into it, one of the things that struck me was that i'd ALWAYS have to follow certain rules for eating. But after I thought about it [for a LONG tme] i realized something: I didn't know a single person who didn't follow a pile of rules for eating. some might count calories, others watch carbs, some ate low glycemic carbs, higher protein, whatever.

my eating rules would be different than most people's but they would still be rules. and in many ways, that made the decision easier for me. the flip side, of course, is that with the surgery, i couldn't hold much in my tiny tummy, and it forces me to deal with the emotional eating.

sucks big time [and notice that i did NOT use the past tense! it STILL sucks!]

Have you talked with your doc about this?

09-01-2013, 09:51 AM
No, you will not magically be able to stick with the diet after surgery. You will still have to make the right choices, and that will include taking all the vitamins and getting the proper follow-up care. I worry that if you don't have the best insurance, that affording the supplementation (that insurance does not usually cover) and regular blood tests, could be quite problematic. For the first two years, most people have to get extensive blood tests (think 14 vials of blood) every six months to make sure you are getting enough supplementation. This can run into the thousands of dollars. You don't want to ignore this, as you could have potentially life-threatening deficiencies spring up if you are not watching these areas.

However, the RNY's tiny pouch does put a limit on the amount you can eat at one sitting and some people have adverse reactions to too many carbs, sugar, and/or fat. For example, pasta, rice, and ice cream were all foods I completely over-indulged in prior to surgery. Now, I can't eat them at all without extreme pain and usually vomiting. Further, while the malabsorption of the RNY ends by 2 years out, there seems to be some consensus that the malabsorption of fats continues indefinitely (which means you don't absorb as many calories from the fat that you eat). And my hunger level is definitely not as extreme as it was pre-op. Now, while I get hungry, it isn't the type of hunger that makes me want to eat the house down.

I am at the point where I am dieting just like I was before. I've encountered some regain and I have to watch every morsel I eat, just like pre-surgery. Make no mistake, it isn't "easy" and you will always have the health monitoring of nutrients, which you didn't have to worry about pre-surgery. This is why so many people recommend counseling. You will lose weight at first; it is a given. However, after that honeymoon period, if you didn't address the reasons why you overeat, the surgery doesn't prevent you from regain.

As for your question as to what you should try before surgery, I think we would need more information. Most post-ops need to follow a high protein/low carb diet. Have you tried that way of eating? Were you successful with it?

09-01-2013, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the advice and support everyone. I just feel frustrated - but I don't think surgery is the answer for me yet. I have tried high protein/low carb- a ctually the only thing that works when i stick to it. I think maybe I should probably just get back in therapy.

09-01-2013, 09:49 PM
I've got several friends who had WLS. Two have done well thus far. One is still struggling with illness/deficiencies etc more than 2 years later. One gained most of her weight back. One passed away because of complications of the WLS. It's NOT the "easy way out" like some people think/say. In fact, IMO it's the hardest way out of obesity.

09-02-2013, 02:38 PM
I definitely didn't think it was the easy way out. If it was the easy way out - I would have signed up 5 years ago. To me, its a last resort given the risks etc. I would rather not get there. .. I want to first try everything else. I know that it requires a TON of work afterwards - and I guess I recognize that even if I had the surgery, I probably wouldn't be ready for the work afterwards and need to figure other things out first.

09-03-2013, 10:00 AM
Mandy - unless your weight is causing you huge physical problems [like being bedridden or confined to a wheelchair or some other horrific problems], please don't rush into this decision.

And, as every surgeon will tell you, they are SURGEONS, not psychiatrists. They operate on our digestive tracts, not our brains [and when they say that, i often wonder if we should all be running to neurosurgeons! :)]. They can't do anything about our emotional issues.

From your posts, it sounds like you're very aware of what's going on with yourself, and you're right to take a huge deep breath and take your time.

09-03-2013, 12:17 PM
Hi mandypandy,

I think no matter what you decide you need to be in the right frame of mind to do it, and if that means therapy then I think that's the important first step that you need to take.

WLS is a huge step to take on such shaky ground, and just in this thread it's clear it's not the easy way out that some people seem to think. I also don't think it's a case of exhausting all the other options, it should be as the only answer to a life or death situation, because with the risks I think anything less is too much to risk.

I myself am on phentermine and it's the second time round for me. It worked last time and then I put the weight back on. But, this time I am learning from my mistakes and I'm much more motivated (and I've been much more successful) because I am in the right place emotionally and personally. The phentermine actually worked better last time - it isn't a magic pill either, it just suppresses your appetite so you eat less and gives you the energy to do more exercise. This time I persevered with it but I've been taking a supplement too and the two together have been working so well for me. BUT, I have to work really hard too, and that's what's different I think, I'm taking the responsibility to exercise every day and learn about what I should be eating and why.

You need to be able to take the step you decide on with clarity and assurance, and that means more thinking and more talking with professionals.

Good luck with whatever you decide, I will be thinking of you