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The Not So Rosy Side of WLS

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Old 01-08-2009, 08:41 AM   #1
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Default The Not So Rosy Side of WLS

It always irks me a little about people that don't know a darn thing about WLS talking about it being the easy way out and then point out all of the people who have failed at WLS. So, in light of that here are some of the CONS of WLS for me: All of you "oldies" feel free to add your Cons. I don't want people to say that they went into their surgeries not knowing what was possibly going to happen.

1. I have to take supplements the rest of my life
2. I can't eat bread, spaghetti gives me problems and chicken is.....stupid
3. I'm suppose to drink tons of water
4. I have a hernia, of course I'd already had two others repaired before this
surgery.
5. I can have complications down the road: internal hernias, strictures, vitamin deficiencies, bowel complications, adhesions, kidney stones, on and on..
6. Saggy skin with skin disruption problems, odors, rashes, etc.
7. I still have a tendency to eat too fast and will foam and throw up on occasion.
8. I can't eat too much sugar; overload carbs, and too much fats give me the diarrhea and I can dump from the sugars going directly in my bowel and I will get sweaty, dizzy, nauseated, and of course diarrhea.
9. I have to eat pretty regular small meals because I now have a problem with low blood sugars and will be fuzzy, lethargic and weird.
10. I have to exercise regularly.
11. I'm terrible aware that I could easily gain my weight back and that gives me angst!
12. I'm having to deal with psychological problems about food and that deals with psychological problems in my life that cause me to turn to food.
13. The coldness is unbelievable at times, and my fingers go dead and can't even blow my own nose until I get them warmed back up.

There are problem more if I had the time to sit and dwell on them. But.....I don't have to sit because I can get up and move around without pain. I've been on a diet my whole adult life, without success, and nothing above is any different then it was before, EXCEPT, I'm in that light at the end of the tunnel. I'm ALIVE and will gladly do what I'm suppose to do to be able to be active, a participant in life, a giver to my family and community, not depend on others to tie my shoes, bend to get something I've dropped, go into the store and get me a motorized cart so that I can shop, have my poor DH go to the basement and do my laundry, go up the stairs on two legs instead of crawling up them like a dog. No longer have to depend on medications so that I can get out of bed in the morning to set on the couch all day. I can sleep more than an hour at a time without pain that made me cry and want to bang my head against the wall. I can walk to the mailbox without the use of a cane and shortness of breath. And oh so much more. Life is short and then you die, but baby, WLS has given me a chance to go out kicking!
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:05 AM   #2
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Amen Sister!
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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nanj,

Some of those "cons" to the surgery deter me from even thinking about getting the surgery.

Before you got the surgery, did you realize how many negative things would occur post-op? Just curious...

For me, the side effects seem to be worse than my personal condition and I think if I got the surgery I would be getting myself into trouble so, I think I'm going to stick to good old fashioned exercise and diet. I mean, I have about 100lbs to lose. I can do it, I think.

Sorry for the rant, just wanted to put my two cents in there.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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It's about knowing what to expect. . .WLS is the best thing I ever did for myself. But it was My choice and I saw the good the bad and the really ugly beforehand.
I was getting to the point where I couldn't move at all. That was scary. and no type of food is worth being a prisoner in your own body.

That being said many people think WLS is a magic bullet. . .it's not and its not for ppl to lazy to do it the "old fashioned way"
Everyone has to make the choice that is right for them
good luck Erica
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:44 AM   #5
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Erica: I knew every one of the cons could happen before I had my WLS. I had researched it for two years and thinking that if I just did this one more time or tried this that I could start losing weight and maintain. People die from the WLS and I knew this going in. But, I was dying also, but just in a slower more painful manner than a WLS kill. These cons don't happen to me everyday or even every week. My dear, do what is right for you. My hat is off to anyone who can lose weight by a plan and maintain that weight loss. I'm thrilled for anyone who can do it. But, when you get to the place I was at and there are so many like me, then you have to give it the WLS shot. WLS is not for everyone. I was such a mess when I came to this site, mad at myself for not being able to do it on my own, not wanting to give up my best friend, food, if I had WLS, on and on. I just wish that I had done it earlier and saved my joints and body from all the wreckage from obesity. Good luck!
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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Thank you Nanj. I am not considering it, but a lot of my acquaintances are considering it when they are very capable to do the diet and exercise. They think it's a magic bullet where you can just do it and then go about your merry way. I am going to direct them to this thread!
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:59 PM   #7
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Sadly, many doctors also have this attitude. I've researched weight loss surgeries and determined that for me, the risks outweight the benefits (at this time). Last year, I visited a rheumatologist who was new to the area (the waiting list for rheumies in this town is usually a year or more), and in the first appointment he had me nearly convinced that wls was not only my only option, but that the risks I was worried about weren't really a concern.

Later, when my husband asked what information, the doctor gave had changed my mind, I realized that there wasn't any, I'd been drug along by HIS enthusiasm and dismissal of the risks. He didn't tell me that my estimation of the risks was incorrect, he just told me that he was not concerned with the risks (well, who cares what risks HE is willing to take with my life).

I already have a predisposition toward vitamin and mineral deficiency, despite a balanced diet and a multivitamin - I have inflammatory and autoimmune disease, possibly of the connective tissue (which would make even the lapband dangerous).

It was amazing to me that I found a charismatic doctor so persuasive as to completely bypass my logic circuits on the matter.

I do believe that weight loss surgery needs to be an option for people willing to accept the risks (providing they are truly made aware of the risks). It also should be covered by insurances, although I think less drastic measures should also be covered. I've known several folks in our area who resorted to wls because their insuranced covers it, when their first preference was to enter our hospital's intensive weight management program (a year to 18 months of behavior and diet therapy with a gym membership and regular sessions with a personal trainer, certified dietician, and the physician heading the program ).

Regardless, wls has to be a method of last resort, because the normal consequences (not just the extreme risks) are pretty severe. Regardless, whether a person is considering wls or not, anyone who thinks wls is the "easy way" doesn't know enough about wls.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:02 PM   #8
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Erica, there are also multiple weight loss surgery procedures. These may be possible side effects (and I say "possible" because not all people even with the same surgery have the same side effects) for the gastric bypass, but a couple of them could happen even without the surgery (feeling cold, loose skin, etc.), and some of them don't happen with other procedures.

But also, note that in the last paragraph of her post, she talks about how HAPPY and healthy she is!

Edit: I have mixed feelings on the topic of WLS being "the easy way out." No, surgery is not easy. But I really do think it is the easier way to lose weight. And what's wrong with that? It is perfectly normal to want things to be easier. We drive cars, use remotes for the tv, use microwaves, etc., because they make life EASIER. WLS is often referred to as a "tool," yet I don't see other people being pestered for using, say, a power drill instead of a manual screwdriver. It is not some sort of moral or personality flaw to want something that makes our lives easier, ESPECIALLY when it comes to our health. Just my opinion
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:56 PM   #9
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Tools are designed for making our lives easier, that is the point. Yes WLS is a tool and we choose how we use it but the main thing is it is like a push start when on a swing, after you get the push you still have to pump your legs. Tools are only as good as the person who uses them and knowlage always helps
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:25 PM   #10
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Please don't anyone get me wrong. Would I do the surgery again? IN A HEART BEAT!!!!!
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanj View Post
Please don't anyone get me wrong. Would I do the surgery again? IN A HEART BEAT!!!!!
My grandma had her surgery 35 years ago and she says the same thing, she has managed to keep off over 100 pounds and stays around 180 to 190. She diets and works out 3 days a week and is pretty active for any age much less being over 80.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:11 PM   #12
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I am glad to see you list the cons of the surgery. I knew most of them going into the surgery but I have discovered a few more since having it. However, the expected results far out weigh my inability to fit in a movie theater chair, possibly need a seat belt extender on a airplane, or have my foot doctor tell me my arches are falling because they can't handle my weight. This lifestyle is one to reckon with but it is anything but easy.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:34 AM   #13
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My brother had WLS in dec and almost died. His kidneys are still not working on their own. He still has drainage tubes coming out of his stomach. He was doing great and then infection set in and with in 24 hours he was septic and blew up like a balloon. He knew the risk but never expected them to happen to him. He has already lost over 70 pounds and is to weak to even get out of bed. He has a long road ahead of him. Yes he is losing weight but its not an easy way or a quick fix. He had horrible back problems and had tried dieting and wasnt able to lose weigh and saw this as his chance at life again.I dont think its a magic pill ..it almost costed him his life! I know a lady who had it and has done great with it. Guess she is lucky!!
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:50 AM   #14
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WLS is an individual decision. I have experienced most of the cons listed but I'll tell you this. I'll take them any day over the cons of obesity. I can accomplish more in a day now than I could accomplish in a month before I had surgery. And I can do things I never could have done before. And I can do it with no pain. I, too, knew the risks. I knew I could die. But I also knew it was my only hope. I'm grateful every morning I can put on socks and tie shoes. I can take a shower and not have to sit down and rest before I put on my clothes. Simple little things that folks take for granted are such a joy to me. Yes, there are negatives. But they are so small in comparison I hardly notice them any more. Yes, I do know my sagging skin is not pretty but I look darn good in my clothes !!
I have a friend who chose not to have surgery after she had been approved and ready to go. I supported her in that decision. However, it did amaze me that one of her reasons was she didn't want sagging skin. I can't help but wonder if she thinks the rolls of fat are pretty. I do think she made the right decision for her for other reasons.
The cons do need to be addressed so everyone can make an informed decision. Thank you Nancy for doing that.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:58 AM   #15
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dgramie, I'm sorry to hear that about your brother. That is why it's so important that people know the risks going in. These things can happen. My heart goes out to him and I hope and pray he will soon be better.
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