Bariatric / Weight Loss Surgery Community
Can't decide to have surgery or not
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to bariatric surgery for weight loss (including gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery, etc) complications, finding a surgeon, whether it is right for you, nutrition, recovery, risk, and pre- and post-op issues.

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Can't decide to have surgery or not

Hi everyone, I'm really at a crossroads and am having trouble deciding if I should have weight loss surgery or not.  I'm currently about 200lbs overweight and so ashamed.  I'm currently having severe back pain, and severe fatigue (dr has ruled out any other serious illness) I have difficulty walking and all the other obese problems.  He's diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome but has hinted it's likely because of the weight.  In the search to diagnosis the severe fatigue I've seen an internist, who took one look at me and strongly suggested the gastric sleeve where they remove 85% of your stomach.  I also have a pituitary tumour where I see an endocrinologist, she and her group of residents strongly told me not to consider any kind of weight loss surgery as its too risky and full of problems and they see lots is such surgical patients.  For several years I've been thinking of Lapband surgery, but I'm in Canada where it's not covered by our medical care (or if it is there is a 8-10 yr wait and that's only for a referral you're not garaunteed to be chosen for surgery).  It's also not covered by personal insurance.  In other words if I want it done I have to pay for it myself.  My province just recently began to offer this surgery for paying customers (many provinces do offer it and I've done a price comparison and its cheapest to stay in my province).  After a 250$ consultation which can be scheduled within a month, I was told the surgery could be scheduled for 1-2 mos later.  Quite a difference than 8 years!  Anyway the surgery is 10,000$.  Although I'm strongly considering it, I find my family dr is quite ambilivant about it.  Doesn't offer any advice about have it or don't have it, even after I told him of the differing opinions of the specialists.  He just tells me to eat less and exercise (like I've never heard or tried that before...gee!).  My family is appalled that I would even consider surgery at all and paying for it (it would take most of my savings), well that's just ridulous to them.  Friends try to be supportive but I don't think they really understand, one is obese but doesn't have the health problems I do.  
I'm really at a loss at what to do....any advice or words of wisdom?
20 Comments Post a Comment
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1449821_tn?1348529447
Really only you can decide, I am in the prossess of having the sleeve keeping my fingers crossed it will be in Dec,  but you cant listen to your family or friends, it is a personal thing and as long as the dr's clear you and you want to do it to improve your health and your life then do it,  but if you have any doubts in your mind then dont do it,   you have to listen to your self and what do you feel will be best for you,

Make sure you research the Dr's who do the surgery and who would be best for you, good luck.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Why did you choose the sleeve over other weight loss surgeries?
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1449821_tn?1348529447
I didnt want a foriegn object in my body,didnt want to have to keep going back for fills,  and the sleeve tends to have a faster weight lose that I have noticed, I know alot of people that have done the lapband and did great on, it but I just felt the sleeve was better for me
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Avatar_f_tn
I wish I could have a choice of drs but there are only 2 in my province that do them and i dont get to choose who does it.  Anything out of province requires me to bring someone with me (as you don't stay in hospital overnight and they won't let you go to a hotel unattended) and if I did that I'd have to pay the travel for a friend to go.  With the travel and hotel costs it works out to a lot more, and subsequent costs for follow-up it would be almost double.  
I understand there is a better long term outlook for the sleeve (I was told its a slower weight loss, but it's easier to keep it off).  I was concerned about the removal and that its not reversible if you have issues.  At least with the Lapband you can have it removed if necessary.  Wow, big decision.  Wen is your surgery?
Thanks for help.  
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1449821_tn?1348529447
O man, yeah w/my insurance we have a lot to pick from,   well if its the same sleeve as here in the states I have watched people that have had both and the sleeve people lose faster,  

yes that is true but they dont like to remove the band unless they have to,  wow see for the lapband here its not an overnight stay but for the sleeve its a 1 night stay at the hospital so they can make sure everything went ok,.  

all I can say is go w/your gut what do you feel will be the best for you and anytime you need to talk send me a msg I am here to listen and I can tell you how mine goes once I have it done,  I dont know when that is yet I am finishing up on all my testings and they will then send it off to my insurance company then I have to wait 15-30 days for them to approve it,  but it will be mid to end of Dec some time
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Avatar_m_tn
Do whatever it takes to feel good about you and yourself, you can keep your money and be unhappy, or be broke but looking good and feeling good, is there really a option for you. Except what others expect of you youll get no where, Embrace what you can be and love yourself more.
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2217169_tn?1371487322
I was comtemplating the same thing a few years ago, I live in Canada, I went ahead with the Gastric Bypass, I have lost 200 pounds, and recently, Dec 13 2012 in fact had another surgery to remove the excess skin of my stomach from the weight loss, i had no problems from any of my surgery, and if you think it's right for you then you should do it, what does your dr think? I know some people can't eat certain things, as for me, i can pretty much eat anything except steak... i cant digest it, and if i eat too fast i'm sick, so you learn new lifelong eating habbits, good ones!!  I'd say keep doing your research, i did for over a year before i decided 100% to go ahead with it.......... good luck on your journey!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Did you have your surgery in Canada? If so long did you have to wait? If out of Canada where did you end up going? I've seen prices for gastric bypass in Mexico and its like 12000 compared to the sleeve which is about 6500... Why is bypass so much more?  Glad everything is working well for you!  My doc doesn't understand weight problems and is ambivalent about surgery not supportive at all.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you...what you said makes sense...
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey, chelan3 - I have a pituitary tumor too, and am considering bariatric surgery! Have you had any surgeries/radiation for the tumor? I have, and now have so little gland left that it's non-functioning so I take a steroid for it (prednisone). I've also had lifelong migraines and take meds for that, one of which features a side effect the prednisone does: Weight gain. And prednisone makes you hungry, too! Double whammy. I've gained a lot of weight over the years and now am thinking about bariatric surgery. But, my big question is ... since I'll still go on taking those 2 drugs, won't the problem remain (weight gain)? I was surprised that my endocrinologist actually said he'd recommend the surgery for me; I'm confused. Have you come to any conclusions/done anything since posting your question last year? Hope to hear more from you.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi all if you have tried everything there is one more solution i just read in an article that a female lost almost 60pounds in 6month without exercise .she regularly had every day aloe Vera juice which helped her get into shape.
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Avatar_m_tn
if you want to reduce your weight go consult a two to three Weight Loss Surgeon who will guide you and tell you more.select the best doctor .
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5669823_tn?1372184672
I agree with this. I had mine 8/17/10 I am very happy with it and would do it again. I have lost 111 lbs. and have only slowed due to a completely separate health issue.
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Avatar_m_tn
Had gastric bypass 4 years agoand haven't been well since.  Lost 180# but could have done it safer with diet/excercise.  Don't do the surgery, it's a money maker only.
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Avatar_m_tn
But sleeve is safer then total bypass which results in intentional malabsorbtion and malnutrtion to lose weight.  Keep sucking in those vitamins regardless and make protien your friend.
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Avatar_m_tn
I totally agree that weight loss surgery is the last option, and its quiet risky also, it’s very rare that everyone would get success in this operation. Sometimes it happens that you had done the surgery, you will stay fit also but it will show the side effect after one year and it can bring to death even. I would like to say that just try to do workout, after this you can use any medication for an year. Never decide to do surgery at first attempt.

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Avatar_f_tn
I had gastric bypass in August 2001. It was the best decision of my entire life. I was 26 years old and 334 pounds (5 ft 9). I actually walked nearly 3 miles a day, but I was/am still an emotional eater. I had tried Jenny, Weight Watchers, PhenFen, everything it seemed.

I stepped onto the scale on Christmas Day and had lost exactly 100 pounds, approximately 13 weeks after surgery. I had quite a bit of trouble with acid reflux. I'm on a proton pump inhibitor to this day. Right now, 12 years later,I can't eat corn, broccoli, beef or poultry. Recently, I became lactose intolerant, but that's genetic.

By Summer 2002, 9 months after surgery, I was down to a comfortable 155 pounds and a size 8. Minimal extra skin. I kept the weight off almost easily until an emergency back surgery in 2009. But even now, I'm 190ish, a size 14/16 and still much more comfortable than ever before at over 300 pounds. I don't even have to try anymore. I love this size/weight. I'm healthy with low blood pressure, etc. and still work out consistently. As a Manhattan resident, I also walk miles a day, all over the place. The size of my stomach still keeps me from overeating in any substantial way, and as long as I respect that and don't stretch my stomach, I'm confident it will remain that way for the rest of my life.

One MAJOR KEY in this is not to stretch your stomach. I still counsel peers, fellow overweight individuals who have had WLS or are thinking about it. The many who try to test their stomachs after this surgery, and therefore vomit almost continuously, will absolutely not succeed, ever. That is not what this surgery is about. The more you overeat and vomit, the more you will stretch your stomach. 100%, the surgery will not work for you (gastric bypass specifically). That is the #1 issue I see in failed gastric bypass surgeries...patient error. I hate to vomit, always have. I'm a grown adult and still cry when I get the stomach flu. I think that really helped me succeed with this surgery. I avoided overeating like the Plague. I took advantage of exactly what a gastric bypass is meant to do...drastically control the amount one can eat in one sitting.

Now, I can eat quite a bit more than ever before, but I don't...because I've had many years now to retrain myself. That is truly the long-term key. It will always come down to lifestyle above all else, in the long run. Would I do this surgery again? Yes. Absolutely. Nothing else worked for me... But surgery certainly won't work for everyone. You CAN "eat your way through" any weight loss surgery, all of them. You have to really, really want to become healthy (not just thin, healthy) for any WLS to work for you in the long run.

One last thing. 22 months after my surgery, in June 2003, I ran my first full marathon. Crossing that finish line, 26.2 miles later, and realizing that less than two years before, I had been so depressed and unhealthy that I had truly wanted to die...there is no better feeling in the world.  I haven't had anything come close to that feeling of strength and power, personal pride and pure joy. That one moment made everything I had gone through  totally worth it.

It's a Personal, private choice people. No one can make it for you. Every single person I knew was petrified and/or angry when I announced I was having this surgery. Many argued with me. My mother nearly stopped speaking to me beforehand. No one agreed with me, neither family members nor friends...not one person. But I trusted my instincts, trusted my gut. And guess what? They were wrong. Again, it worked well for me, but it's a personal thing. It may not work for you. Do your research. Go on WLS forums and read, read, read. Blessings to each of you on your journey!
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Avatar_f_tn
I had gastric bypass surgery November 30, 2005.  It was the best decision I could have made for myself.  At my highest weight I was 286 lbs.  I currently weigh 115 lbs.  Of course there is some items of food that I can't eat like corn because of the type of surgery I had and I can't take NSAIDS like Motrin.  I also have hypoglycemia now, but if given the chance to make the choice again I would still say yes because the benefits for me outweigh the downfalls.  I have normal cholesterol, low blood pressure, and less strain on my body.  I wish you luck in making your decision.  I hope you find a bariatric doctor who is right for your situation. Take care.
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Avatar_f_tn
LAST UP DATE:
Last 07/14/2013 at 5:30 am I try to go to the restroom and I pass out my. My  blood pressure was 55 with 35 and my sugar was in 40.  My husband called 911 and I was in the hospital for 4 days and they did all kind of test on me and the final result was that all my problems are consequences of the gastric bypass, Even I take vitamins, my shakes, Calcium, Vitamin D3, B1. All the instructions they give to you before at the surgery and after the surgery.


The following information was write before July 14 2013.
My name is Maria I’m going to tell you what I’m going through as a result of the parascopy, gastro bi-pass or bariatric surgery (reduction of the stomach) that I had in 2003.

I has my stomach surgery in September 2003 weighed 200 pounds, my high is 5'2 feet, I have difficult  to lose weight easily, within 4 weeks after the surgery I had dropped only 15 pounds and had hardly eaten anything. I was under liquid diet, gelatin and nothing more, after 15 days the surgeon put me in a soft diet purees, and beans, lentils, mush potatoes and soft stuff.

Within 4 weeks I try to eat a fried egg and lettuce salad, I almost dying It stuck in my esophagus and couldn’t pass it (eat it); for 3 years I was eating and throwing up for no reason, could be rice, a Tostitos or chips at the end for anything, when I least expected and anywhere, anything could be stuck in my trough, I was like a anorexic and bulimic person but not wanting to be so.

My husband was very disappointed with me, because he never wanted that I got the stomach surgery, because the complications that could have in the future and which at the time that I got my surgery, this procedure started becoming popular (bariatric surgery). But we “women” wants’ to look good and this prototype that the skinny girl looks more beautiful I did it (I still think the same way).

For nearly 3 years I had in weighing 135 pounds, and clothes size 8, but almost always after I eat I had that to go to the bathroom to throwing up, after this episodes I try to hide my sickness but when I coming out of the bathroom trying to disguise what I had, only my husband realized what I was going thorough.

After a while I have not had more throwing up problems, I was able to pass the food, but then started the suddenly low sugar and high sugar episodes, health problems of suddenly low and high blood pressure without apparent reason. And of course I gain weight now my weight is 180 pounds.

I went to the doctor many times and explained my case and blood tests only show than my average of insulin in the 3 last months is under (46).
I am very frustrate because my body asking me for sugar to compensate the low sugar in my system, I was eating something sweet or bread and rice, for that I've gaining weight.

Because an article of the Mayo Clinic I learned that is the contrary, I must not eat sweet or white carbohydrates because after 2 hours low my sugar more. Now I’m weighing 176 pounds.
and
I have not found reports of suddenly variations in blood pressure as happened to me, I can go form 175 with 110 blood pressure to lower my pressure till 75 with 35 I was feeling like lifeless, my husband gave me a lot of coffee and still in the hospital my blood pressure was 80 to 40 as I already explain, I have not found reports of this blood pressure changes on the internet.

I would like my case published on the internet to be know what people like me are going through and also to communicate with people like me with the same symptoms of the disease and can be able to exchange information.
Plus if this is published and will help as information for another people thinking to have the gastro bi-pass or bariatric surgery, may know that the operation of the stomach is not a final solution and it brings you consequences who will risk your life, I've been in the hospital in emergency at least five times after my operation, and the reason I have had to stay in the hospital , has always been by my blood pressure or my sugar, not for the reason that had gone to the hospital (pneumonia , asthma, broken arm) just other reasons that have nothing to do with sugar or blood pressure.
Please publish my case so that other people read to take an important decision, which will have consequences for your lifetime and can bring consequences of life or death.

I found this information in the Internet I hope this will be helpful for someone
From Mayo clinic web page  
NIPHS
Mayo Clinic doctors have recognized and reported on a seemingly rare but serious complication following gastric bypass called non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemia syndrome (NIPHS) or post-bariatric surgery hypoglycemia. After a person eats, this condition can result in very low blood sugar levels that lead to severe neurologic symptoms, including visual disturbances, confusion and (rarely) seizures.
Mayo Clinic doctors have evaluated and treated several patients with NIPHS. When medical and diet therapies do not work, surgical removal of part of the pancreas has resulted in marked improvement of symptoms for most patients. If the symptoms described above occur, patients should notify their physician immediately. Until this condition is controlled, patients should avoid driving motorized vehicles or performing tasks that could affect the safety of those around them.


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Avatar_f_tn
Hi everyone, well I did it!  In Jan 2014 I went to Mexico and had the gastric sleeve done!  I was on a diet for 2 months prior to surgery and it's been 2 months since my surgery and in those four months I've lost 75 lbs!! It's funny the 2 months prior was really tough but since surgery the only thing that's. Been tough is eating enough GOOD food.  My appetite is next to nothing, it's all about getting top notch "fuel" so I can function.  I can't believe that my back doesn't hurt constantly like it used too and I can breathe better too!  I've very happy I made this decision.  My family wasn't happy but they are glad to see me starting to look healthy!  I used to get stuck after losing 30 lbs then I'd gain it all back and more.  So far so good and I'd do it again.  Just make sure if you're going to  Mexico to research which dr is right for you.  
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