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

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:58 PM   #1  
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Default Planning to do gastricbypass, need some support?

Hi everyone! Name's Zella. I am 250 lbs, 47 BMI, I am 5'0. I have tried loosing weight over and over again since I was 10. I did lose 100 lbs 2 yrs ago but gained 150 back!!! I also did liposuction, so I am not unfamiliar to surgeries (even though it is cosmetic surgery)

I need some support or some stories from other people who did WLS, gastric bypass, lap bands etc. Just a girl trying to find out more. I am afraid of going under the knife but I need this because I have no choice anymore.

Thank you in advance for the support.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:48 PM   #2  
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Hi Zella, I'm Mary. I'm not quite two years out of gastric bypass.
I struggled with obesity my entire life. All time high of 315. Pre-surgery 262, I'm now 197. I want to lose another 30. I am grateful for my surgical tool but it is no cake walk. I had been successful losing weight presurgery but had no success with maintenance. I see it as a fight for my life because I'm worth it!
PS i had diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and all have resolved...and I've become a runner!

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:47 AM   #3  
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Hi Zella, I'm Mary. I'm not quite two years out of gastric bypass.
I struggled with obesity my entire life. All time high of 315. Pre-surgery 262, I'm now 197. I want to lose another 30. I am grateful for my surgical tool but it is no cake walk. I had been successful losing weight presurgery but had no success with maintenance. I see it as a fight for my life because I'm worth it!
PS i had diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and all have resolved...and I've become a runner!
Hi Mary!

Wow congratulations on the weightloss AND the diabetes and such resolved. Was it resolved after your surgery?

I am most afraid of the pain and complications associated with having this surgery. Thank you so much for this!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:27 AM   #4  
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Zella, do you have any comorbidities or other health issues? That might help you narrow down which surgery is right for you. There are four: lapband, VSG, RNY, and the DS. Many surgeons do not practice the DS and so will not tell you about it, but you should also research it, as it has very, very good statistics for long-term maintenance.

If you suffer from GERD, the VSG may not be a good choice. If you have any inflammation issues, RNY may not be appropriate as you can not take NSAIDS (for life). The recent statistics for the lapband in terms of complication rates are not comforting; many people think it is the least invasive, but recognize it too can cause permanent complications. The DS (and the RNY to a lesser degree) require diligence in terms of supplementation and labs, so if your insurance does not cover those costs, it can be costly for the patient.

As for pain, that seems pretty subjective. I had very, very little pain. In fact, I almost felt I never was operated on and never took any of the pain medicine prescribed. But then you read stories of people who find recovery very painful. I'm sure the differences are a combination of both personal pain tolerance levels and surgical expertise.

My first suggestion would be to contact your insurance company (assuming you have one) to see what is covered and what they require you to do prior. Most require a six month physician monitored weight-loss program, which gives you more time to research and consider the different surgeries.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:39 AM   #5  
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Zella, do you have any comorbidities or other health issues? That might help you narrow down which surgery is right for you. There are four: lapband, VSG, RNY, and the DS. Many surgeons do not practice the DS and so will not tell you about it, but you should also research it, as it has very, very good statistics for long-term maintenance.

If you suffer from GERD, the VSG may not be a good choice. If you have any inflammation issues, RNY may not be appropriate as you can not take NSAIDS (for life). The recent statistics for the lapband in terms of complication rates are not comforting; many people think it is the least invasive, but recognize it too can cause permanent complications. The DS (and the RNY to a lesser degree) require diligence in terms of supplementation and labs, so if your insurance does not cover those costs, it can be costly for the patient.

As for pain, that seems pretty subjective. I had very, very little pain. In fact, I almost felt I never was operated on and never took any of the pain medicine prescribed. But then you read stories of people who find recovery very painful. I'm sure the differences are a combination of both personal pain tolerance levels and surgical expertise.

My first suggestion would be to contact your insurance company (assuming you have one) to see what is covered and what they require you to do prior. Most require a six month physician monitored weight-loss program, which gives you more time to research and consider the different surgeries.
Hi Zeitgeist!

Well as of now I only have diabetes but other symptoms are creeping up on me. As for insurance, I am actually planning to get it in my home country. I do have health insurance here but that only kicks in end of the year when I start working here full time, the health insurance is solid (but I will def. double triple check it for maintenance purposes)

I have heard of the first three, but not the fourth, DS, I will look into that.

Thank you for your help! Yes being in pain is subjective I had 2 rounds of lipo done and wasn't in pain much while my friends def. had some pain issues.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:02 AM   #6  
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first of all, if your surgeon is a good one - and in the US most surgeons have to be affiliated with a Center of Excellence, which has certain requirements for both the surgeon and the hospital [we can debat whether this designation has any real meaning, but at least it sets a floor for qualifications] - you will have pain management, and the chances of complications are reduced.

You MUST be aware of the complications associated with each surgery - I'd be lying if i said it was risk-free. But don't let them scare you away without weighing the possible benefits and talking with your surgeon [and finding out what his complication rate is, and how many patients he's lost and why].

Lapband is a good choice for some folks but not for others. You'll have to be prepared to see your surgeon fairly regularly for adjustments. anything that has a malabsorption component [DS, RNY] has vitamin deficiencies that go along with it.

If i read your post right, you're considering having the surgery done in another country and then moving to the US? is that right? if so, you'll need ongoing care. If you're planning to move here fairly soon after the surgery, try to arrange to have a surgeon in the US follow you BEFORE you have the surgery - many surgeons don't want to touch someone else's 'art' right after it happens.

but they can't deny you care if there's a big space, like a year, between surgery and coming to them. just something to watch out for...
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:36 PM   #7  
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One of my biggest worries about the surgery is gaining weight back anyway. I know several people who have had the surgery and it worked... for a while. They lost a lot of weight. But because they never changed their eating habits, the weight crept back up. Not all of it, mind you. But a lot. The reason why this worried me is that I am a compulsive over-eater. I don't just eat because I'm hungry. I eat out of habit, boredom... because there is good tasting food around.... etc. If I had the surgery, I'm sure it would work for a while. I was afraid that I would still continue to eat even beyond the point of being full and/or go back and eat more later when I wasn't at full. Unless I changed my mindset and the way I approach eating food, I know that I would gradually test my limits and eat more and more until I stretched my stomach to accommodate a larger amount of food. I wouldn't TRY to do that...but if I succumbed to my bad habits, it would be inevitable.

I think one of the things to keep in mind is that while WLS can be a life-saver, it may not be a magic-bullet, cure all that will end your weight issues forever. You will still need to change your eating habits. Ultimately, that realization is what caused me to see if I can lose the weight -- and keep it off -- on my own first, before trying the WLS. So far so good. I hope I made the right choice. I guess only time will tell.

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Old 01-12-2013, 01:37 AM   #8  
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first of all, if your surgeon is a good one - and in the US most surgeons have to be affiliated with a Center of Excellence, which has certain requirements for both the surgeon and the hospital [we can debat whether this designation has any real meaning, but at least it sets a floor for qualifications] - you will have pain management, and the chances of complications are reduced.

You MUST be aware of the complications associated with each surgery - I'd be lying if i said it was risk-free. But don't let them scare you away without weighing the possible benefits and talking with your surgeon [and finding out what his complication rate is, and how many patients he's lost and why].

Lapband is a good choice for some folks but not for others. You'll have to be prepared to see your surgeon fairly regularly for adjustments. anything that has a malabsorption component [DS, RNY] has vitamin deficiencies that go along with it.

If i read your post right, you're considering having the surgery done in another country and then moving to the US? is that right? if so, you'll need ongoing care. If you're planning to move here fairly soon after the surgery, try to arrange to have a surgeon in the US follow you BEFORE you have the surgery - many surgeons don't want to touch someone else's 'art' right after it happens.

but they can't deny you care if there's a big space, like a year, between surgery and coming to them. just something to watch out for...
HI Jiffypop! Thank you for the reply and information! And yes, I am doing it in my home country but they have a list of doctors here for maintenance because a lot of people apparently go to that hospital from all over the world to do their surgeries so they have connections here in the US too.

I am planning to go with the Lap sleeve gastrenomy. Additionally my doctor said I am young, I can run/exercise etc so it should help me more.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:41 AM   #9  
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One of my biggest worries about the surgery is gaining weight back anyway. I know several people who have had the surgery and it worked... for a while. They lost a lot of weight. But because they never changed their eating habits, the weight crept back up. Not all of it, mind you. But a lot. The reason why this worried me is that I am a compulsive over-eater. I don't just eat because I'm hungry. I eat out of habit, boredom... because there is good tasting food around.... etc. If I had the surgery, I'm sure it would work for a while. I was afraid that I would still continue to eat even beyond the point of being full and/or go back and eat more later when I wasn't at full. Unless I changed my mindset and the way I approach eating food, I know that I would gradually test my limits and eat more and more until I stretched my stomach to accommodate a larger amount of food. I wouldn't TRY to do that...but if I succumbed to my bad habits, it would be inevitable.

I think one of the things to keep in mind is that while WLS can be a life-saver, it may not be a magic-bullet, cure all that will end your weight issues forever. You will still need to change your eating habits. Ultimately, that realization is what caused me to see if I can lose the weight -- and keep it off -- on my own first, before trying the WLS. So far so good. I hope I made the right choice. I guess only time will tell.
Hi! I am a huge compulsive eater too! I am so bad. I would eat and eat eventhough I feel like stopping I can't. It's just routine. I've done so much lost so much but gained it back probably 5 times over. For me, I have done so much for weight loss it works for a few months then not. So for me, it is time for some intervention.

Good luck! If it's working for you keep going!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:51 PM   #10  
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Hi Zella! I just went to see my surgeon today. I originally wanted the sleeve, but she feels that GB will put my diabetes into remission, so I'm going with that. I have been dieting since age 7. She said, you're a pro dieter! Yes, and I know a LOT about nutrition. But it doesn't work, does it? No, it doesn't. She said, as soon as you stop drinking your protein drinks, the weight comes right back on, doesn't it? Yes, because I can't drink diet drinks only, forever, I'm hungry! That's why I made my decision. Those hunger hormones get cut out, and the connection to the pancreas for insulin production changes - so most have diabetes remission.

I don't want my diabetes to progress...that is scarier than anything for me. Best wishes to you!
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