100 lb. Club - Food for thought...

View Full Version : Food for thought...

08-25-2003, 09:59 PM
I have always said that one of the main reasons that i will not have the gastric bypass surgery is that there is a 1 in 100 risk of dying.

An article I read the other day said "The risk of dying from gastric bypass surgery is about one in 100. the risk of being morbidly obese is higher."

Hmmm...never knew or thought that.

terrific pig
08-25-2003, 10:49 PM
Do you think that quote means that the risk of dying from being morbidly obese is higher than 1 in 10, or that 1 in 10 people are morbidly obese? I've never seriously considered having the surgery. I had kind of a shock, though, when I was talking to my doctor recently about my need to lose weight. She was saying that I wasn't a candidate for diet pills because I take an antidepressant. I jokingly said, "I'm probably not heavy enough to qualify for gastric bypass, right?" and she quickly replied, "Oh, yes you are!" Yikes!


08-25-2003, 11:52 PM
there are many things that go into that calculation. some folks who have the wls are extremely high risk: diabetes, high blood pressure, compromised respiratory systems, bad hearts. others have nothing else going on except being very heavy.

and there's also the skill and experience of the surgeon, as well as the surgical and nursing staff.

and that's STILL no guarantee... i was an extremely high risk patient going into surgery, and i SAILED through it in greatv time with no complications. debkay, a frequent poster on low carb and the wls boards, was considered a relatively low risk candidate, and spent 45 days in ICU plus several weeks in a nursing home. much of the ICU time was spent on a ventilator.

i had an excellent surgeon with an extremely low mortality rate who did the surgery at a hospital with one of the lowest complication rates in the country. debkay will never ever speak to her surgeon again.

so, there's lots to think about here. it's not a simple decision, or a simple statistic.

____ just added: i had to go squirrel around for some comparison statistics, and found that the most often cited one is that it's about the same as the risk of dying from gall bladder surgery. but i'm not convinced. i think wls is a bit riskier.

08-26-2003, 12:17 AM
I'm sorry but I can't agree with weight loss surgery. Low mortality rate??? Any mortality rate is too high for me. Yeah being obese can kill but it's not likely to kill you tommorrow. Also never ever being able to enjoy a normal serving of food is too high a price for me to pay. People do what they have to do but for me I want to lose weight like I try and do everything - naturally.

08-26-2003, 07:29 AM

I agree that it's all about each of us finding what works for us, but I disagree that being obese isn't likely to kill us tomorrow. Being obese puts us at a much greater risk for a heart attack or stroke. My dad died at the age of 45 from a massive heart attack. He hadn't been feeling sick or anything, and he just died 2 days before Christmas. There was never time for the paramedics to help him or anything. I think that being obese absolutley puts us at a greater risk of death.

Jiff, you have done an amazing job and I'm so very proud of you!!

08-26-2003, 07:40 AM
Morbid obesity is a critical condition. When you are that heavy, the choice must be about "how you will lose weight" rather than whether you will lose weight. When weighing the risks, the risk of remaining obese surely needs to be factored in, and factored in using the likelihood of diet failure (which for most approaches is 95%). I do know that at the level of risk I faced at 265, the 22% success rate was more than enough to warrant me using medically-supervised weight-loss, despite its risks. I'd imagine that someone could support surgical options with similar data.

08-26-2003, 07:41 AM
See that's what I mean, I was always thinking why would I do something with such a HIGH mortality rate (like surgery). That quote means that being this obese has a HIGHER mortality rate than having the surgery. So why would I continue to let myself be this way! I didn't mean for this to be against surgery, that quote just kinda slapped me in the face. Saying, being obese isn't healthy is one thing. Saying I have a higher risk than 1 in 100 *POW*.

And I'm sorry, I do think it will kill us tomorrow. I think that's the problem. We go around just fine, thining we'll fix this thing tomorrow, and then we get sick and it's 10 times as hard if it's not too late. And maybe it all depends on where you are. I am in the 300's right now. A far higher risk than somebody even someone 50 lbs lighter.

08-26-2003, 09:26 AM
I'm with you there Sandi - sometimes I think - but I am healthy - sure, I have a hard time walking up stairs. But I am much healthier then the average person. I am hardly ever sick.
or maybe that is the problem. thinking that I'm healthy. They say that heart disease is the silent killer. How do we know how we really are? I went for my physical a month ago and the dr and I did talk about losing weight - but other then that - I was healthy.
Why should I have ice-cream - I can always fix this tomorrow, right? :/ If I broke my leg I would want to fix it right away - but why not the weight loss?


08-26-2003, 09:37 AM
Yes, but I think the whole "obesity kills" thing can also be a real depression-maker, especially when you're looking at having to lose 100+ pounds. It would be so easy to fall into the trap of saying, "oh, well, nothing to be done -- I can't be "healthy" until I lose 170 pounds".

I try to look at it this way. If I'm eating healthy and exercising today, at almost 300 pounds, I'm doing more for my health than I was two months ago when I was eating anything I could catch (potato chips are notoriously slow runners, you know) and sitting on my behind watching it get bigger.

And as we go along this slow weight-loss route, and lose a hefty bunch of pounds, and still are discouraged, we need to be able to fall back on the hope that healthy habits, at whatever weight we are, help protect us from falling into that statistic.

So even though I'm still almost 300 pounds, and morbidly obese, my heart is stronger than it was two months ago. My arteries are clearer than they were two months ago. My muscles are stronger and more flexible than they were two months ago. I have a healthier lifestyle than people I know who are much less heavy. I am a work in progress, NOT a statistic!

terrific pig
08-26-2003, 01:49 PM
In my reply to Sandi's post, I wrote 1 in 10 people would die from having weight loss surgery - I meant to say 1 in 100, which is the statistic Sandi quoted. Sorry for any confusion!
I know what you mean Sandi - carrying around excess weight is definitely dangerous, but it's so easy to let oneself become complacent. Maybe it's because weight creeps on slowly in general. Synger, you're right - keep up the healthy habits--they've got to be helping.


08-26-2003, 02:08 PM
Synger, You are so right! That's it exactly. It's all about getting healthier. I think about that all the time. I'm still a ways away from my goal weight, but I already feel so VERY much healthier.

The thing that really kick started this weight loss for me was having anxiety attacks really bad. I think it was because in my head I KNEW how very unhealthy I was, but I was dealing with it or doing anything about it, I was just ignoring it. I think the anxiety attacks were my way of telling me to get my act together. I rarely have any trouble with them at all since the weight has been coming off.

08-26-2003, 04:36 PM
i have to make a couple of points here. most of you know that i had the surgery and have been phenomenally successful, to an extent that shocks even my doctors. and i'll be the first to tell ANYONE that it's not the right choice for everyone, it's not a quick fix, and i wish with all my heart that it would be possible to lose weight and KEEP IT OFF without the surgery. but for many of us, it's not.

while obesity isn't likely to kill most of us tomorrow, when you're end stage, as i was, it IS likely to kill you tomorrow. i had one, two years max to live at that point. i was bedridden and on oxygen. that's a life???? no thank you.

anything that anyone does to control their eating and to exercise is all to the good no matter what their weight is. as for never enjoying a normal portion of food, well, what exactly IS a normal portion? it's whatever you are comfortable eating, and whatever is on your eating plan.

so, now, 18 months after the surgery, my 'normal' portion is up to 2 eggs for breakfast, 3 oz of protein for lunch, a nice salad with whatever dressing i want, some fruit, 3 oz of protein for dinner with vegs. tiny amounts of carbs, and occasional chocolate. it's not all that different from what everyone else around here is eating. oh, and i have to add the protein shakes, of course.

you have all been tremendous inspirations to me along this journey, and i thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

but as sandi pointed out, there's an element of risk involved, and my only suggestion in making this choice is to do your absolute best to tip the scales [no pun intended!] as far as possible in your favor by being in the best condition possible and by picking an experienced surgeon with support groups and who works at a facility with equally experienced nutritional, psychological, exercise, CVD, and pulmonology support.

08-26-2003, 06:32 PM
Jiffypop - I am new here. How much did you lose after your gbs? This is such a good discussion. My hubby and I don't look at surgery as a solution for us, but I can sure see where many do. It is amazing to me what's possible now to help the morbidly obese - just amazing!

potato chips are notoriously slow runners, you know

Hee hee...So is macaroni and cheese, and so are cookies!

08-26-2003, 07:53 PM
If I broke my leg I would want to fix it right away - but why not the weight loss?

WOW. That is.... really... wow.

08-26-2003, 10:17 PM
It is up to the individual to decide what's best. I don't think we can go by this surgery is going to kill me or this weight is going to kill me. Even skinny people die. Look at the guy on Oprah who lost 500 lbs. He had the surgery and then lost the weight and then died of a heart failure. No matter what way you do it you need to lose it so you can be happy and healthy. I do think about the risk of being fat but the main reason I want it off is so I can feel good and do the things I want.

08-26-2003, 10:24 PM
oh wait. i have a little more to say. even a weight loss of 10% of excess body weight helps decrease the risk of illness assoicated with obesity. so every little bit does indeed help. the trick is to maintain that loss.

some experts advocate losing 10% at a time and then maintaining that weight loss for a few months before losing another 10%. seems sensible to me!!! has anyone tried it???

08-27-2003, 12:58 AM
Well, I've lost the first 20% and still haven't reduced my dang cholesterol, but that's another story, I guess.

I'm just hoping that after almost two weeks of vacation, I've managed to maintain that 20% weight loss. Bet that's not quite what you mean! :)

08-27-2003, 09:04 AM
but it is what i mean, sheila. or more exactly, what the experts say [although who is more expert than we are?????]

any maintenance is good, and if you can survive two weeks of vacation without a gain, that's fabulous!!!!

08-27-2003, 01:18 PM
Now these are just my opinions and I'm not intenting to offend anyone...ok?

I have had a problem with food, lazyiness and self-esteem my whole life. The wonderful thing about losing this weight so slowly (and boy is it ever coming off slowly!!) is that I'm really discovering what my body is and what it can do.. I'm so proud of the abs that are now poking through, the triceps that I can feel under the flab, the kneecaps!!! Oh, my! I didn't even know I had kneecaps! I love that I can listen to what my body wants to eat and give it or deny.. It's my brain and heart.. I just feel like if I got gbs that I wouldn't be learning anything and all of these other byproducts of getting control of my body wouldn't be happening.. Does that make sense or am I rambling??

08-27-2003, 02:03 PM
Athena....that makes absolutely perfect sense!! :)

08-27-2003, 03:41 PM

Not every method works for every person, so of course it makes sense that you're doing what is right for Athena.