Weight Loss Surgery - Older-ish people having WLS

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04-07-2014, 10:57 AM
This is not in regards to me, but to my mother.

My mother is 52. She's been overweight pretty much her entire life. As it tends to be, the older she gets the more health troubles she has. She currently has moderately high BP, cholesterol, and her blood sugar is a bit borderline. She fails on any diet she tries, always has. She has no willpower at all.

She is approximately 5'10 and 270ish. She should probably lose about 110lbs.

She has mentioned having WLS a few times. She says she is scared to do it though because we had a friend who died because of it. I'm scared for her to do it too for the same reason. She's also afraid of loose skin, her hair falling out, regain, and long term complications etc. (Things we've seen in other WLS friends. So far we know 6 people who've had it done.)

I don't know if I should encourage her to do it or not. I know she wants to lose weight and feel better. Some of our friends were really successful and happy about the surgery. Others have continual problems, and of course the one passed away. One regained it all.

I don't want to lose my mother. I feel like it's a rock and a hard place. I fear she'll end up diabetic and sick with high BP etc. One way or the other she's got trouble.

Can anyone offer any advice? I feel like WLS is the only way she'll succeed at losing weight. She has literally been fat since she was a baby. (Her parents loved her with food.) Over the years she has tried every diet pretty much, and failed them all. But I'm too afraid to encourage her to have WLS when she mentions it.

04-07-2014, 12:23 PM
My own personal experience is that if this is something she wants to do then she should do it. yes there is risk in anything. The odds are against her for sure if she doesn't do something to lose weight. Quality of life will almost always get worse. If she does have surgery the odds are good that she will lose some weight, she probably won't lose all of it but she might and if she is compliant with the new way of eating and exercises then her quality of life will improve. There are going to be not great things like loose skin but to me that is worth it to have a longer and better life. The odds of dying because of the surgery are low. At my clinic they have never had a fatality due to the surgery itself (like dying during the surgery or immediately afterwards) and I've not heard of anyone dying from complications. It's a risk definitely but that's life, there is risk in getting out bed every morning but we do it anyway.

04-07-2014, 01:42 PM
Hi im rosey,I had gastric bypass surgery when I was 60. It saved my life. I also was on bp,colesteral,dieuretics,and diabetes meds. I had the surg,2 weeks later I was off my diabetes meds,and needed less of my other meds. the surg is a tool and u still have to follow a diet,high protein lo carb,but your portions are really restricted. I lost 137# kept it off for 3 yrs and this fall I had a tummy tuck and they took 32# of skin from my lower stomach.I still have loose skin on my upper arms and my legs but im ok with that. Im maintaining now,exercize by swimming at the pool 3 x a week, and can eat about 1 cup of food at a meal. one of the draw backs of this surg is I cannot tolerate sugar,its like a laxative for me but not everyone has this problem after the surg,also even tho I cant eat much at a time I can graze all day long and have to be careful I don't.I no longer take any meds for diabetes, and my a1c and sugar levels are norlmal. Im glad I had this done,it improved my life and feel great. the surg was easy,the plastic surgery altho painful was so worth it. would I do it again absoulutely. But it is just a tool and if you are not dedicated to follow the diet restrictions you will regain. My insurance paid for it. most ins require 6 months of dr checks once a month to try and loose the reg way,also medical tests to see if you are healthy enuff and a psychological visit . befor you can get approved for the surg. there are many types of weight loss surg, I had the rny one.my advice is do a lot of research. im now 65 and so glad I had this done.. you are agood daughter to worry about your mom but it is her decision. its not an easy fix its takes work and dedication for the rest of your life. I had a great support team.. hope this helps,feel free to ask any questions u might have. good luck rosey
PS the one reason I forgot to mention that prompted by decision to have the surg was my health,my back gave out,had surg to fix it which wouldn't heal,left my legs paralyzed,caught mersa,spent 5 months in hosp and rehab came home ina wheel chair,becuz I was in a wheelchair I gained 70# over what I all ready weighed which made a whole new set of health problems,im happy to say that even tho im handicapped I can now walk with a walker and am healthy and happy. if your mom is having health issues , the gastric bypass would be a good option befor what happened to me could happen to her.. im so glad I had it done..

04-08-2014, 12:00 PM
Thanks Rosey

04-08-2014, 03:21 PM
MauiKai, I am age 60 and had the vertical sleeve gastrectomy 3 months ago. Best thing I ever did for myself!! I've had zero complications.

Rosey gave you lots of good info. I will add that since your mom has mentioned it a few times, the first step would be to research the hospital and surgeons in her area who specialize in bariatrics. Then, attend a free information meeting with her to see what you both think. Remind her that the procedures have come a long way since they first began. Also, make a call to her insurance company to see if they cover bariatric surgery.

Let us know if she decides to pursue this. We care!!

04-10-2014, 10:23 AM
Olderish? at 52??? baby - them's fighting words! I had my surgery in 2002, at age 48.

your mom needs to do her homework and decide if she's ready to make all the changes she needs so that she can be successful. There's absolutley nothing about her age that strikes her from consideration. But she does need to get all the fact and discuss them.

she can always come and ask us a bunch of Qs - if that'll help take some of the pressure off you as well

04-10-2014, 02:48 PM
She doesn't have internet or I'd have her come here herself.

04-20-2014, 01:22 AM
I had my surgery at 59. I have had several complications but none life threatening and have lost nearly 165 pounds in 8 months. I think it is really important for your mom to research her options. if I knew then what I know now I might have had a different surgery but I still would have had a WLS

05-02-2014, 10:09 AM
I have had one friend and one family member in their 50s have gastric bypass and both have been much healthier and happier since.

05-14-2014, 07:30 PM
I had my surgery at 51 and it was the best decision I ever made. I don't know whether your mom would be a good candidate or not, but if she would be otherwise, her age cerainly shouldn't stand in her way.

06-10-2014, 02:02 PM
I just had surgery at 62, with no problems whatsoever.
WLS is safer than crossing the street. There are lots of steps to go through before the surgeon will operate, because he wants to ensure success.
That being said, WLS is not for everyone. Perhaps you and your mother should go to an Orientation Meeting to learn more.
If your mother feels WLS is for her, she will pursue it. If she doesn't, then you have to accept that as her right.

07-03-2014, 12:06 PM
I am am 60 years old and will be having a revision surgery soon. I'm afraid also and there are a lot of others I know that feel the same way. I have diabetes, HBP, and high cholesterol. I still have to educate myself on having RNY surgery but I know that it's needed to cure or at least to slow down the progression of these issues. Your mom is young and we all are afraid.
good Luck!

07-03-2014, 12:09 PM
Sorry many Hospitals refuse to do this surgery on anyone past 63.