Weight Loss Surgery - I need a basic education

View Full Version : I need a basic education

12-19-2005, 07:04 PM
I'm a WW leader (after losing 60 lbs). Occasionally, I'll get a member who has had various types of WLS. Does the surgery do more than physically restrict the amount of food a person can eat? Does it change appetite, for example? I'm wondering if someone had an outside force control all their food if it would have the same effect. I'd like to understand the benefits a little more.

12-19-2005, 08:38 PM
I think its GREAT you're checking this out Weightogo! When my surgeries failed I was still looking for some way out of the Weight Loss Jungle and I always thought WW had important tools. The problem was making it work while factoring food restrictions among other things. This is a wonderful way for you to support your members.

12-19-2005, 08:42 PM
For a half-assed explaination here you go:

I'm not sure what you mean by "if someone had an outside force control all their food would it have the same effect." But I'll try to answer some of your questions. There are various types of weight loss surgery. The lap bands are strictly restriction. They control the amount of food that you can take in at anyone time.

The most common surgery I believe is the R&Y gastric bypass. This involves cutting the stomach to form a small pouch which restricts your food intake. This surgery also restricts the amount of calories that you absorb, which is good. But you also do not absorb all of the nutrients that you once did, which can be bad. That is why people who have this surgery have to take vitamin supplements for the rest of their lives.

I had the R&Y, and so far, I'm very glad I did. I'm always going to have a weird relationship with food. It's important to get the support you need no matter what kind of weight loss program you're in. I'm glad I've found another resource on these boards.

12-19-2005, 09:17 PM
Thanks-That was just a weird way of me trying to ask if surgery simply limited intake the same as if a person didn't have unlimited access to food-jail, for example. That sounds totally bizarre-nevermind! :o OK, so it sounds like primarily restriction.

Thanks for the online resource. Sometimes when I listen to people talk about weight issues, it just strikes me as so sad. KWIM? I really hope there is a "magic pill" one day. Being overweight causes so much sadness.

I feel fortunate that I stopped myself at 60 lbs. over. I have no idea why that was my cut off and not 100 lbs. over or 200 lbs. over. It is an individual struggle for so many people.

12-20-2005, 10:49 AM
ummm. dianne - it's great that you're asking these questions. many people turn to WW after their surgery to help them, and it does help, mostly for the self-control and accountability.

there are several different types of surgery, but they fall into two major catetories: restrictive only, and restrictive plus malabsorption.

the lapband is restrictive only. so, people who have that can eat only small amounts at a time.

the gastric bypass and duodenal switch are restrictive plus malabsorption. we don't absorb all the calories [i've heard it's about a 30% deficit, but that might not be accurate], and we certainly don't absorb all the nutrients we need. that's why we need to pay particular attention to supplements and a diet that has more protein than carbs. that doesn't mean carb-free, by the way. but high quality carbs rather than crunchy snacks or white bread or other junk.

i'm sure your members appreciate the effort you're putting into this...

12-20-2005, 03:52 PM
Thanks everybody. I've got it now. Best of luck to everyone in conquering obesity.

01-02-2006, 09:07 PM
What I tell people about my experience with WLS is that, in a nutshell, the surgery fixed my stomach but NOT my head! I still struggle as much with food issues as I did before (sometmes even moreso when I have to deal with 'I WANT TO EAT' and I cant get in the amount I 'need' to 'satisfy' that urge).

If I choose to eat the wrong things, I can still gain weight (Im fighting now to re-lose 20 lbs I gained while on extended recovery from a later surgery).

For me, it will ALWAYS be a matter of me having to be accountable for and to myself. I've heard it said - WLS is a 'tool' not a cure. How true!