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Weight Loss Surgery If you've had it, or are considering it, share your discussions here

How did you make your decision?

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Old 04-12-2015, 08:09 AM   #1
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Default How did you make your decision?

Hello everyone,

First post...

I'm thinking about pursuing gastric sleeve surgery. However I'm so on the fence. I'm tired of failing at weight loss. I tend to reach around 30 lbs of weight loss then I fall off the wagon, over and over again. It's exhausting mentally and emotionally.

After each failure I get into analysis paralysis researching why this keeps happening. Why are some people successful with diet and exercise and others are not? I know there's many variables at play...hormones, habits, behaviors, etc. I can't seem to pinpoint what my issues are and how to address them. One thing I know is I have an addiction to sweets and just like any other addiction I can stay away for a while then give in. I have an emotional attachment with sweets, they make me feel better. A friend of mine had similar issues and she said her cravings for sweets went away after surgery.

Both of my parents are large. Growing up I remember watching my father go through weight loss battles. At his heaviest he was 450 and successfully lost over 100 lbs multiple times and ended up putting it back on. The only thing he didn't try but contemplated was weight loss surgery. I regularly wonder how things could have been different for him if he had the surgery.

How did you make your decision to have surgery? What was the evaluation process like? Why do potential candidates need to have a psychiatric evaluation? What are they trying to find out?

Are you happy with your decision? Any advice you can provide?

Thank you
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:48 PM   #2
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I think my decision might have been different than most people's but here goes...

My mom had VSG in July of 2013. She went through all the required seminars and classes and appointments, had her surgery and was really successful. I started looking at my own life and my own goals. I was 25 when I started looking into surgery in Sept. of 2013, 285lbs, with PCOS and pre-diabetic to boot. I was planning on getting married in October 2014 and we knew we wanted to start looking into kids soon afterwards. I'm in a same-sex relationship, which meant automatic fertility treatments. Realistically, there was no point in looking at spending $700/moth for fertility intervention if I wasn't at a healthy weight to carry a child. VSG offered so much in terms of helping me get my weight down, helping me keep the weight off, helping me be healthier for fertility treatments and helping me live a life more suited to someone in their mid-twenties (although I will say I only realized how awful i felt after i lost weight)

I have Kaiser, which typically is pretty rigid in their screening process. I did a 3 hour "getting to know surgery" class, a 3 hour "you've made it this far, lets review and talk about life post-op" class, a 1 hour "remember your life will change forever class" with a one-on-one meeting with the surgeon who gave me a weight loss goal... 2 meetings with a nutritionist, 1 psych evaluation, an EGK and a pre-surgery "you're sure you want to do this" appointment after I met my goal weight. It was also highly suggested (read: almost required) that I attend the sponsored weight loss surgery support group once a month.

My psych evaluation was pretty straight forward: did I understand that this was merely a tool not an easy answer. Did I understand that my issues in my life would remain after I lost weight? Did I understand that my relationships with close friends, my partner and food would change after surgery? etc. etc. Basically: do you understand that this will both change and not change your life?

I' 10 months out at this point and I would make this choice over again if I could, earlier if possible. My life has changed, my diet has changed and my relationship with food has changed. But I'm much healthier, happier and for the first time, have hope that my weight won't be this overwhelming battle for the rest of my life. Something I have to monitor, control and plan for? For sure. But something I can actually maintain and handle? There is hope for that.

As for advice-- listen to your doctor. Trust the process. Take in every bit of information you can. Take your vitamins, take your vitamins, take your vitamins.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:46 AM   #3
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Leesee, First of all, You asked how we made our decision for WLS? For me, it was after decades of failure trying to reach and remain at a healthy weight on my own. I had hit rock bottom, emotionally, and knew this was the only option left for me.

Duckyyellowfeet described my presurgery steps, too. My insurance required a six-month pre-surgery program. At the time, I dreaded the wait, but I am so glad I had that time with the staff at the clinic. The psychiatrist spent many hours with each patient finding out why we overeat, and basically worked with our brains to help us remain successful with our weight loss.
You mentioned sweets - I personally had an aversion to sweets after surgery, and that lasted for a few months. Now, I have sweets once in a while, but a small portion is satisfying. The VSG is one of the best things I've ever done for myself in my whole life.

Please let us know if you have more questions, and what you decide.
We care.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:12 PM   #4
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Default Just had sleeve 2 week ago

I am happy I did it! The reason I decided on the sleeve, not the band is because I know at least four different people that have had the Lap band and are struggling. All of them have gained about 1/2 of what they previously lost. Where as the people that I found that had the sleeve done where doing much better. Personal reason? I was 383 pounds, age 51 and felt if I didn't make a change I might not see my 55 or maybe even my 52 birthday, I was having difficulties with breathing, not being able to walk much, diabetes and many other health problems. Plus I have one child, my daughter. I could see myself if not dying soon, then becoming a burden on her.
It has been 2 week today since I had my surgery, and I am already feeling better. Starting with my 2 week pre-op diet I have lost 31 pounds. I am already breathing better, I can walk farther. I have had no side effects so far.
Oh and I have been able to greatly reduce the medications I was taking.
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:38 PM   #5
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I finally made the decision after I had lost and regained large amounts of weight 3 x. Each time I regained the weigh, I added even ore weight. The last time...I just gave up...on dieting...on me...on ever having a life outside of my couch, my TV and my food. I really hated myself for being so weak. My health was rapidly deteriorating. My blood pressure was beginning to climb, my hypoglycemia was on the verge of turning into type 2 diabetes, I developed sleep apnea. I could barely climb a flight of stairs. I even had to lay down and rest after a shower! I was gaining more weight every week and waiting to die.
At my Physical in February, I asked my doctor what she thought about weight loss surgery. She thought I was a great fit and encouraged me to go to the seminar. My counselor and a friend at work who had the surgery 10 years ago was equally encouraging. So I went to the seminar and I haven't looked back since. I have been busily getting all my insurance requirements and doctor visits out of the way and am scheduled for Gastric bypass on May 7th. Both of the doctors that I spoke with said they recommend the bypass first and the sleeve if you can't have the bypass for whatever reason. Both no longer do lap bands due to the complications and lesser weight loss results.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:42 PM   #6
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Alysia, wonderful news! Please keep us up-to-date on your progress.

Djay, your surgery date is right around the corner! I am so happy that you have made this decision for yourself, and wish you the very best. This will be the beginning of a new life for you.

Please join us in the "Touching Base – WLS chat" thread.
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:13 AM   #7
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Weight Loss Facts:


Low Fat Foods DON'T WORK.

You cannot lose weight using Low Fat Diets. Low fat foods have been popular for more than 15 years, but yet our society is getting more overweight as each year passes. This fact alone should tell you that eating a purely low fat menu is not the answer to losing weight.

Low Calorie Diets DON'T WORK.

You won't lose weight using a Low Calorie Dieting Plan either. In fact, eating low calories is the worst thing that you can do to your body, since that will only slow down your body's fat burning engine and ruin all chances of losing weight (low calorie diets may allow a few pounds of weight loss for the first few days, but then after that all weight loss comes to a halt --- known as a dieting plateau). You can never get slim by starving yourself.

Low Carb Plans DON'T WORK.

You'll probably find it extremely difficult to get slim using a Low Carb Dieting Plan. Low carb diets have recently become popular over the last couple years, but the problem with low carb menus is that they are too strict and TOO HARD TO FOLLOW for average people. Low carb menus tend to rob your body of too much energy (carbohydrates) and make it nearly impossible to remain on the program for very long. This is why so many dieters find it difficult to follow a strict low carbohydrate menu.

What about Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig Dieting Plans?

Weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers (and Jenny Craig) usually involve slower dieting progress over a longer period of time, since such programs generally promise only 2-3 pounds of weight loss per week. Also, programs such as Jenny Craig usually involve buying special meals and/or dietary supplements during the initial phases of the program. While some people may like these types of dietary programs, we prefer a dieting plan which focuses on faster weight loss, such as the Accelerated Fat Burning Program shown below...
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