I live in NH and went through a 3 month nutrition and meeting process for the band in MA , the Dr scheduled the appointment for surgery. and the councilor went over his head and cancelled me out , because I am caring for a chronically ill child. then if I died on the table who would care for my son...I was very angry at the time but now I have to say it was about 5 years ago and although I am still needing to loose weight . I am happy I never had the surgery.
You must do what works for you. But remember this surgery is a tool that will aide you in the process not the end all be all. You can easily gain weight back if you don't carefully watch your intake. There's no easy way, no quick fix. It takes work! I started at 265 and I lost 110lbs on my own no surgery no health centers, educate yourself first and then make your own judgement call. Good luck to you!!
You will still need to watch what you eat and eat healthy with bariatric surgery. As others have said, you can have that surgery and still gain weight once your body acclimates to your eating....the stomach stretches. The best success is learning to deal with a healthy way of eating and portion control
Educate, educate, educate yourself. You will only be more empowered by this. I myself have had a gastric sleeve 8/26/13 and am down 87 lbs. However, I had comorbid medical issues which led me that direction with the help of a wonderful primary and surgery team. If your primary isn't involved he should be!!
Only you can ultimately know what is best for you. WLS can be a wonderful tool but you must be willing to make the changes necessary to succeed with it. It is not an easy decision but can be a life changing tool with the help of physicians and following your diet. I do believe in the end it will extend my life and add quality to it. I wish you all the best with your journey!!
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3,318 1/15/14 4:41 A
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Weight Loss Surgery is an individual choice.
I had my RNY on 4/10/12 and have lost more than half of my total body weight pre-op. I work very hard to maintain my weight loss.
My best advice is to do your research. Hit up a support group meeting or two (most bariatric centers have these meetings) and talk to others who have had the surgery.
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306 1/14/14 1:44 P
I think knowing your history is helpful. Have you been heavy your entire life or just since you've been in a chair? Is this a high weight for you or a weight you were at before you were in a chair? How tall are you? You are talking about a serious surgery which may cause you to lose weight but you may gain other health issues from the surgery. I would say if you do not have major health conditions that can be life threatening and only getting off the weight will help them then first try to take the weight off yourself or have lap band that can be removed if you have problems from it.
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6,531 1/14/14 1:16 P
I've never had those issues, so I do not want to make suggestions. However, I do l wish you success in whatever path you choose.
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411 1/14/14 1:09 P
You stated you have been referred to a Bariatric Surgery Center. There are many types of bariatric surgery. Most people assume it is gastric bypass. But there are other types such as lap band and gastric sleeve. I had the sleeve gastrectomy in 2010.
It was a decision I had to make for myself and in fact, I paid for it out of pocket. My particular surgery is fairly simple. They made my stomach smaller. That's it. No rerouting of anything. No foreign bodies in my body.
I would suggest you explore all the types of surgery whether it's lap band, the sleeve or bypass and determine which one is the best for you if any.
Was my surgery a walk in the park, not really but I didn't have any complications because I had a good surgeon who was very experienced in the procedure I had. It does require lifestyle changes but I will say that not being able to eat as much quantity has made a difference for me.
I have gained back some of the weight I lost but that is because I fell off the wagon and began eating things not as healthy as they should have been.
Whatever you ultimately decide to do, please consider the effect on no just you, but your family. I have a friend who had a wls, but she seemed not to consider her youngest, most sensitive son. The new lifestyle was quite a bit of adjustment and she was ill for the first few months. Her son became so overwhelmed with worry that they had to repeatedly take him to the ER with chest pains. At the time he was 9 or 10. She never considered how anyone else might be affected. I never would have believed it was possible if she hadn't told me herself.
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4,685 1/14/14 11:22 A
I know several people who have had various weight loss surgeries. Some are successful, some are not.
as previous posters have said, it won't 'fix' the mental aspects of being overweight; if you are an emotional eater, you will still be an emotional eater after the surgery.
WLS is NOT a quick fix. It's hard work. You have to make changes and stick with it for the rest of your life. You are not allowed to eat as much, so you have to 'spend' your calorie budget very wisely. And it's SURGERY. There are possible complications. Each individual has to weigh the pros and cons for themselves.
watch a few episodes of My 600 lb. Life. Great series. They followed the individuals for several years. Some were successful, some were not.
I went thur the classes and talked to people who had the surgery I seriously thought about this surgery. Decided against it just for the fact I don't like to b put to sleep. At times I wish I would of went thru with it But what ever u decide good luck. :)
Lots of great comments here. I haven't had surgery and although I have considered it myself, I have opted against it probably out of stubbornness. To me, all that I see is that people lose weight because they cannot eat as much (aka they take in less calories). Maybe I'm wrong on that, but I don't think so. For me, I know that I have it in me....buried deep down inside....to eat less on my own without pills, shakes, or surgery. Again, for me, my weight issues are head issues, so no surgery on my stomach will change that. If they ever invent a mental lap-band, I'm in!!
That being said, we are all individuals and only you know what's best for you and what works for your lifestyle. Just remember that surgery is just one of many tools in a dieter's tool box.
Keep us posted.
Edited by: ILUVFALL at: 1/14/2014 (12:23)
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1,031 1/14/14 10:33 A
I think few people really comprehend the need for a full lifestyle change when it comes to our eating habits, or eating for the wrong reasons, that have led us to be overweight, whether we are surgery candidates, or not. This is the biggest reason so many people do not lose weight and keep it off. They tell themselves "this one time won't hurt" but then they keep saying that time after time, and of course it causes weight gain over time.
So whether or not you opt for surgery, it is extremely important, if you really want to lose weight and keep it off, that you start to face the idea you will need new coping mechanisms, perhaps new forms of enjoyment, hobbies and interests. These interests can be as simple as needle point or watching TV but you have to be able to do them, enjoy doing them, and do them without feeling the need to "munch" while doing them.
As far as the surgery, have you considered lap band or something that might be reversible if need be? My sister in law had bariatric surgery over ten years ago. I don't believe she ever learned to cope with life in any other way than overeating. At one point it seemed she was close to gaining all the weight. But then she had some kind of psychological disaster combined with depression and it seems she is not eating enough, not getting enough nutrients (because many of the nutrients are not absorbed after this surgery which removes part of your intestine permanently) and she was told the surgery was partially responsible for her current problems (she has had seizures and is now so weak that she is wheel-chair bound). So she thought she could get the surgery reversed!
I was shocked when she told me this. She and my brother were both surprised when they inquired about this and "learned" the surgery is not reversible! I love my brother and sister in law, but how could they have gone through this major surgery and somehow missed the clause telling them it was not reversible (because I know they were told).
Your very first words state, "I have been referred." This means to me that your healthcare team has set you upon this path. Was it an optionable one, meaning they want you to find SOME way to shed some pounds? or was it a specific referral for the surgery? The first thing you must do is partner and cooperate with your specialists, and they with you. I would first speak with someone in that office as to what their actual intent was.
Meantime, as you can see, there are opinions you can tap here which might help you make a decision if you were given an option.
I am also wheelchair (powerchair)-disabled. A previous poster expressed concern as to how you were going to exercise to follow through with your weight loss goal... and I have to dispute that. Exercise has not been shown in any respectable study to be advantageous to weight loss. We are, indeed, admonished that way. But it doesn't bear out. I've lost the pounds I have with NO exercise whatsoever. I'm still losing. That said, exercise certainly has value to your health. It improves your emotional and mental outlook as well. It tones your muscles - although, frustratingly enough, it can cause an increase in body weight, because muscle weighs more than fat. But that's not a bad thing. Just don't discard the idea of regular weight-loss dieting because you can't exercise and assume it's not possible. It most certainly IS possible.
As to the surgery itself... I also considered it at the beginning of my efforts. I decided against it for several reasons, some of which have already been mentioned in this thread, but I'll reiterate from my own perspective. Surgery is a *tool*. It can produce rapid and dramatic weight loss. This may be a good thing, especially in cases where that loss is critical to life and health. I was grossly overweight, but I don't feel I was in the category of "critical", even so. Any surgical (invasive) procedure has possible complications. Anesthesia for an obese individual is a major factor. Since this surgery is performed in a bariatric environment, they will have the skills to monitor and address that... however, "things" can happen regardless of best care. There can be complications after the surgery, too - not common, but you can't simply rule them out. After surgery, your body is naturally going to mount its healing resources. This can include adhesions or aggressive tissue repair which might possibly affect future health in the area. As another poster mentioned, and as you have probably already seen from the packet you received, your preparation for the surgery includes adopting a specific dietary plan. This is not a temporary thing. It's a lifestyle change; one you will be expected to follow from the outset, through the surgical period, and forever thereafter. Yes, it may modify a bit once you've completed the procedure and move into maintenance. But the fact remains that you're still going to have to make big changes in how you relate to food. If you don't, you'll have spent plenty of money, effort, and discomfort for nothing - because you WILL gain that weight back, and possibly more, if you abandon the new nutritional regime. There are plenty of studies backing that up. If you're going to make those changes, why not simply adopt the diet? Or, at least, try it (diligently!) for an honest trial? Do it as you would if you'd had the surgery. If you can't do it without the surgery, chances are you aren't going to do it with the surgery, either.
Those are my reasons for opting against surgery in my own case. You have to weigh all your options, whatever was given to you. I believe your best info right now is going to come from deeper questioning of your medical team. Then, if you are left with the choice of how to accomplish a goal from several standpoints, weigh the options based upon what others can offer you in the way of opinion. We all have opinions - but they relate to our own conditions and experience, and may not be appropriate in your case.
Be brutally honest with yourself about what you WILL do in relation to this big life change. Not what you'd *like* to do, or what wonderful result you *could* have if you do x-y-z.
I encourage you in whatever decision you come to. Your life will certainly be greatly improved if you can remove some obstacles. I'll have you in my thoughts! Please come back and let us know what you decided to do.
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18,132 1/14/14 7:12 A
I agree you have to do what is best for you. If you choose the surgery, know the risks and what you must do to make it successful. If you choose to diet, be mindful that patience is the most important thing you need to remember. Good luck with whatever you choose!
I don't know where you live but I have a friend who had a Gastric Bypass in Celebration, Florida by Dr. Kim and if you look up his credentials you will find that he teaches all over the world. My friend. lost 150 lbs. with her surgery and looks fantastic and she says other than changing the way she has to eat and drink which to her is a minor thing she has no regrets.
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1,841 1/13/14 10:09 P
I would spend some time researching this before making any kind of decision. Go to the bariatric center's informational meeting. Go to a couple of support group meetings. Talk with people who have had the surgery. Ideally, talk with others in wheelchairs who have had the surgery. Check out some of the bariatric web sites. Also, there are a couple of bariatric groups on this site.
I know people who have done really well after the surgery, no complications, kept the weight off and are so much healthier then pre surgery and I know a few people who have gained the weight back and are back where they started.
A recent article I read in a medical journal listed the complication rate (all types) at 6%. Deaths were less than 1%. I don't remember what the success rate was for weight loss but it is considered a cure for Type 2 diabetes. Check out the New England Journal of Medicine and other on line medical journals.
I think the most important thing is to have the psychiatric counseling that should be offered with any reputable program and if you decide to have the surgery, have it at a Bariatric Center of Excellence. That rating is only given to very reputable programs with excellent outcomes.
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3,938 1/13/14 9:57 P
I've had a few friends who have been very happy with the results of their surgery and a couple who have not been successful long term. Those who have been successful in the long term have exercised regularly to build muscle and maintain their weight loss. Remember, when you lose weight, you lose muscle as well as fat -- and you need to exercise to build/re-build that muscle. Are you prepared to exercise regularly and stay on the special diet for the long-term? Can you do that?
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2,953 1/13/14 9:04 P
If your back issue has no resolution ie. making you mobile, then what will you do to keep the weight off if you cannot exercise? It is your decision but best to think long term down the road. This surgery is no walk in the park and the complications from your back injury (hindering exercise now) may be too much to overcome.
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5,376 1/13/14 8:50 P
From people I know, who have had the full bariactic surgery, they make you go on a diet before the surgery, to see if you can even handle being and staying on a diet.......so, that might be the thing to do, see if you can diet and stick to it and lose. Because if you can't, you will gain back the weight lost with the surgery. The surgery center also should have a list of former clients that you can talk to, to see how many of them were able to keep the weight off after losing it, if they don't give you some people to talk to, there is something fishy going on. Every one of the gals I know who had the full weight loss surgery, has gained back the weight, that's 5 ladies, aged from 28 to 63. Check out the former clients.
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3,293 1/13/14 8:50 P
I'm not sure that other people's opinions matter much here. You have to do what is going to work for you and what is comfortable for you.
If it were me, I would probably focus on trying to resolve/improve the medical issues first. Have you tried physical therapy or other treatments for your back issues?
I, personally, would never have chosen bariatric surgery because I know from experience that surgery is not a walk in the park. I know lots of people who have had these surgeries and none of them has kept the weight off in the long term. It seems like the easy way out, but maybe it really is not most of the time.
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1 1/13/14 8:41 P
I've recently been referred to a Bariatric weight loss center and their new patient packet is full of information regarding different types of surgical procedures. I'm in my early thirties and currently weight 265 and i'm basically immobile due to disability related to back/nerve injuries received during childbirth. I stay in a wheelchair 90+ percent of the time and occasionally walk a super short distance with assistance and a cane/rollator. My question is at 265 if you were me would you opt for bariatric surgery or choose to lose the weight through dieting? I''m not receiving much support from my extended family or friends and would like some unbiased opinions. Thank you in advance.
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