Has anyone had weight loss surgery?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tinamarie1, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    I have an appointment scheduled for the 24th of this month to meet with my family doctor. I am hoping he will be willing to write me a referral to the surgeon for an evaluation. I have tried so many diets and also just adjusting portions and exercising. My knees hurt so bad just from a walk down the street. I have many other health problems, and feel like I am doomed to have diabetes in the near future...both of my parents have it and my brother.
    I am just wondering if anyone has had the surgery (lap band or gastric bypass), and do you have any insight to share? I know there are good and bad things about it. I really value what people have to say here, and just wondering if some of you could share about it.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I haven't had it, but I work with a lady who has. I think she might have been a pretty extreme situation but it still has been very effective with her. She has arthritus and other health problems so she had no other real option. She seems to do well on her diet, although sometimes she eats certain things and it causes her stomach upset- she still says she feels much better and she definitely seems to exhibit much more self esteem. She seems to be much happier and the only thing I have heard her say that sounded close to a "negative" was that she misses a certain type of sandwich that she used to enjoy but can't eat anymore.
  3. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I had gastric bypass in July 2004 and was near my goal weight within the first 5 months. I have heard others who have had complications or problems however I have experienced none at all and of the many people I speak with who have had the surgery, nor have they. I would do it all over again and have felt blessed with the results, the improvement in many health areas that I was having problems with etc. It isn't an easy decision to make but once made, once READY for the changes it requires in your life, it can truly be a life changing experience. I have maintained my weight loss without struggle and no longer even think about the surgery, I just live a different way now in terms of my relationship with food and it is second nature. I do not feel deprived, I can have "treats" but i know moderation and love the new me. It took time for me to adjust to seeing the new me in the mirror, that was probably the hardest part for me.
    I am Canadian but went to Rochester NY to the best of the best of surgeons, had my surgery laproscopically and my gallbladder out at same time and was walking ON MY OWN around the floor within hours of waking up (slowly but under my own steam). A week later I was walking laps (slowly) at a gym. I lost 15lbs the first 5 days. I remember looking at the scale and falling apart, literally weeping (the ugly type of cry). I could have spent MONTHS dieting and exercising and never lost 15lbs. It was not magic, the surgery. I had to work, I had to adjust my thinking, I had to exercise, I had to become aware of needing to love my body and cherish it and treat it right. It was still the best decision I have ever made.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think success with the surgery can depend on WHY you eat and WHY you can't lose weight other ways.

    We have a friend who had the surgery because the weight was contributing to major back problems. She has had lots and lots of problems. She has to be careful with medications. Time released medications do NOT work, the system passes them rather than keeping them in long enough to release all the medication.

    She also eats as an addiction, not so much to fuel her body. Until she deals with the addictive pattern the docs say she will not have great success. She has been extremely ill, unable to eat, and had much pain from adhesions.

    I have another friend who could not lose weight. She had the surgery same as the other friend. NO problems, lost a lot of weight, even had to go in to have the excess skin removed. She is feeling so much better, had a wonderful experience. She DID go to counselling to help with issues relating to eating, self esteem, and how to face the new "her" and life with the new diet restrictions. Fats seem to cause problems, but she does NOT feel deprived at all.

    I am thinking about it. With the arthritis and fibro itis a scary thing to me. But my weight just does not budge. Eating properly, exercising, things do not help. I problem need to get the thyroid straightened out before I do this though. THe thyroid medications have helped, but I also need to face my food issues first.


  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Well NOW you know what to do with that extra money you are not sending to BBK.

  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I haven't had it myself, but three people (all men) that I work with have ... all three of them were pretty much "extreme cases". We had one man who actually weighed over 650 pounds and still came to work every day! He was so big, they weren't even sure that he'd make it through the surgery, but he would have died for sure without it! He had a rough time and some complications but he ended up doing great! Later on he had two surgeries to remove the excess skin, and now he's like a whole new person. The second was a fairly young man who had gotten dangerously overweight. He had very few problems and got through it fine! He'll never be "little" but his health is no longer in danger.

    The third one I really felt sorry for. He was in his fifties, extremely overweight, and had tried every diet there was and could never lose the weight. Our parking lot is on a big slope and you have to walk uphill to get to the building - he could barely make it and we all worried about him. It was painful just to watch him walk! He desperately wanted the surgery and his doctor agreed that he needed it. It was the *%&#$ INSURANCE COMPANY that kept putting him off! They weren't convinced that he had tried hard enough to diet! It took this poor man three years to get the insurance company to agree to cover his surgery, even though his doctor said that he really needed it! When he finally got the surgery, the weight seemed to just fall off of him! He'll never be "little" either but the difference in him now is amazing. He makes it up that hill just fine now, looks 100% better and he's never out of breathe now like he used to be. But it gets really sticky when you're dealing with insurance companies - seems like they make all the important medical decisions!
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I've been read the riot act by my gastroenterologist who told me I must lose weight - my liver enzymes have been dangerously high, biopsy showed my liver is full of fat and I've got major insulin resistance, right on the edge of diabetes.

    He told me to diet - I said, "How?" I've tried everything, including utter stupidity (aka total starvation for several weeks). Every time, the weight only comes off slowly, and then stops. Then it creeps back up, even while I'm still dieting. When I think about it - I've been on a constant diet for years. Decades? I'm also NOT an emotional eater - if I'm depressed, I STOP eating.

    But he was adamant - I MUST lose weight, to give my liver a chance at shedding its load of lard. Even a few kilos can help, he said.

    He said, "I don't think you're quite overweight enough to think of gastric bypass or lap band yet. Maybe, but we'll try a few other things first."

    He said I should try medication. My choices were Xenical, or Reductil.

    Xenical works by preventing your body from absorbing ANY fat in your diet (which means you suffer from deficiencies in fat soluble vitamins). It also means any fat/oil in your diet comes straight through and out the other end, often as unpleasant leakage. The point of Xenical - the leakage is unpleasant so it trains you to eat a low-fat diet.
    I don't need that training. For years now, I've found that if I eat anything too greasy or oily, I get really sick, with diarrhoea and nausea. I get the same effects, but I don't need Xenical for it.

    So I'm trying Reductil. It does exactly what I need - it stops my body going into "She's starving, we need to conserve energy" mode. As a result, the weight is still coming off.

    Now, because of a number of factors, I need to diet DRASTICALLY. I am eating AS IF I've had gastric bypass. I'm getting in practice now. And that, plus the pills - it's working.

    Oh, and Reductil is also supposed to suppress appetite - yeah, right. I'm doing this on willpower, baby. And lots of brown rice...

    Whenever I get my meal or go to eat anything, I visualise myself as having a tiny stomach. I eat my breakfast (and often other meals) in a one cup capacity dish. I've got to leave room for the spoon, and for it to not look overloaded. A baked dinner - it's served on a bread and butter plate for me. No potatoes AT ALL.

    And so I don't go totally crazy - one small square of 70% cocoa chocolate, every other day. "Hey, there's good stuff in chocolate." But it's got to be GOOD chocolate, not cheap compounded stuff. No soft centres - it's too hard to stop at one.

    And lots of water. I keep 2 litres of chilled filtered water at the ready, try and work my way through it over the day but usually it takes me longer.

    If you're heading for bypass surgery, try practising now. And if you haven't tried those two pills, talk to the doctor. If they can do it for you, it could save you a lot.

    And if not, if bypass is where you choose to go - all the best with it, I hope you sail through it.

  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I've had a few friends try it. For one, it was successful. She lost over 100 pounds and has kept the weight off for five years now. She started exercising and improving her diet pre-surgery. She went to therapy to battle her demons regarding food.

    It was a disaster for the other two. Both of them seemed to think that the surgery was a cureall and didn't do the work that was needed to keep the weight off. They not regained the initial weight they lost over the first six months, but an additional 50 lbs each.

    Right now, I have a morbidly obese friend who is talking about getting the lap band surgery. I don't think it will ultimately work for her. Food is her comfort, her friend, stress-releasor, etc. She is a closet eater. Exercise has never been a part of her vocabulary. From what I can tell, she's in the category of those who think the surgery will do the work for her.

    So, my opinion is that if you're willing to do the work, especially the therapy as to the whys of eating, it can be highly successful. It will peel the pounds off quickly. To keep them off, you really do have to change your lifestyle.

    I wish you the best no matter which route, if any, you go. It is not an easy decision. It is not an easy course. It can be a very successful course that can add years to your life.
  9. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    Marguerite, I have been on Xenical before and it was very difficult. I have IBS anyway, so I am used to having stuff pass right through me. But Xenical gave a whole new meaning to it. I would have to jump up from my desk and run to the bathroom almost immediately. And I wasn't eating high fat foods, it was like grilled chicken.
    I have not heard of the other drug you mentioned. I just looked it up online and it says don't take it if you have high blood pressure, so that knocks that one out. I don't think its approved in the US yet anyway. *sigh* I would love to have another option to having the surgery. I really almost feel like a failure if I have the surgery, like why couldn't I do this on my own?
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It would be unusual for us to have it before the US. Australia's small population makes it far less economical for it to be released here first, as a rule.

    I've been pleasantly surprised at the lack of side effects. I do need to see my GP to get my BiPolar (BP) checked - I saw her about a week after I started it, I'm due back there on Tuesday. I'll make sure she checks my BiPolar (BP).

    I did have raised BiPolar (BP) about six months ago and she was going to put me on blood pressure pills. My BiPolar (BP) had been climbing for a year, finally went up to 170 over 95, and I'm usually 110 over 65. But I don't like taking pills after more pills, so I asked if it could be related to the HRT I was taking. So I went off the HRT (had to wean off slowly) and the BiPolar (BP) began to come back down again.

    Not sure if that's a factor for you to consider? Not HRT necessarily, but any hormonal treatment. Sometimes a change in the Pill can make a difference in BiPolar (BP). Fat in the body is oestrogenic, it could be pushing your hormone levels higher than you really need.

    Your comments about the Xenical - that's one big reason why I didn't want it, either. I don't have IBS (not diagnosed, anyway) but I do have similar problems, especially if I have fat in my diet.

    Talk to the doctor, see if it's an option for you.

    One thing about Reductil - I did find the company is very protective of its product information. I had to check the ingredients list (because of my allergies). The info was almost impossible to get, I had to ring the company and explain why I needed the list of inactive ingredients, and then discuss it with them. A good thing I did - I'm allergic to the artificial colouring they put in the gelatine capsule, so I have to transfer the Reductil into a clear capsule, every morning. But it's possible, and for a wonder I'm having absolutely no problem with it, when I usually have problems with almost EVERYTHING!

    Talk to the doctor. Find out:

    1) if it's available; and

    2) if the risk of taking it (BiPolar (BP)-wise) is greater or less than the risk of surgery.

    Don't blame yourself. There are many reasons why we have problems in this area. Being female puts us behind the weight-loss 8 ball for a start.

    I just had a look online - good news. It IS available in the US, but under the name Meridia.
    Here is a link -

    Maybe, if your doctor thinks it's worth a go, you could try it but monitor BiPolar (BP) to see if it is going to have any effect? You'll have to be guided by the doctor in this, I'm not a doctor and I don't know your full history. But when I looked at the list of possible side effects, it says not everyone has side effects, they're generally only noticed to begin with then they ease off.

    I also had to laugh - they say one of the side effects is loss of appetite. I haven't had that one, either!

    Anyway, good luck, whatever you decide.