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Sleeve_Me_Alone

Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Posts posted by Sleeve_Me_Alone


  1. It is so, so important to remember that stalls are a completely normal, expected part of WLS. Nobody loses weight at a set pace the ENITRE time and then magically just stop when they reach goal. Weight loss is not linear - it is an up and down, start and stop, stall and restart process. So you need to make peace with the fact that you will not lose weight every week, when you do lose weight it will be variable, and that all of this is normal and healthy.

    That being said, a true stall is usually considered 3+ weeks, although this definition varies amongst doctors/dietitians. Regardless, a week or two with no movement, or even a slight gain, is NOT a stall. Most people's weight fluctuates 5ish pounds day over day - meaning you may weight 2lbs more today than you did yesterday and in reality, didn't actually gain any weight. I would suggest not weighing everyday. Its not helpful or healthy and can actually lead to some really unhealthy habits. Pick a set day each week to weigh - I weight on Tuesdays because I had surgery on a Tuesday so I'm tracking week over week from my surgery day. Also, take measurements and pictures. While you may (often) not see the scale move, your body WILL be changing. Keeping tangible data helps remind you that there is still progress and gives your brain concrete evidence. Lastly, you just need to give it time and trust the process. WLS is not magic, it takes time and consistency. This isn't just another diet we can give up on, this is the rest of our lives. Hang in there, you are exactly where you are meant to be.


  2. Yes, its very likely you caused some strain that is resulting in pain. I would imagine, after that much work, you'd be sore regardless of surgery. But as you stated, there are no red flags, so you're probably fine.

    Post-op constipation is VERY common; its almost unavoidable in those early days. As others have said, Fiber and Water are your best friends. I use a Prebiotic fiber called Just Better Fiber - you can get it from their website or on Amazon. It has been a game changer for me. I was using colace before that, and it only worked partially. Miralax is another option, as it BeniFiber or any other similar supplement. Definitely get on something though, before it becomes a serious problem. And have hope, it doesn't last forever!


  3. I had surgery Tuesday and was back to work Monday. I also work from home at a very idle desk job. By then I had very little pain or discomfort, but I was extremely tired. I had to take frequent breaks to rest, and took a nap after work every single day for at least the first week, maybe even a little longer. If your schedule/work load allows for a good bit of flexibility where you can step away and rest when needed, then you should be fine to go back pretty quickly. But if you have to keep a more rigid schedule, I would suggest taking a few extra days. And, as others have mentioned, those first few weeks getting in your fluids and Protein will be a full time job, so make sure you have the mental capacity to focus on that.


  4. I am still losing, but already have a good bit of lose skin/squish. I will tell you without reservation, that I would rather have a little extra skin jiggle than be fat and miserable and unhealthy and on the fast track to early death. Do I wish things were super toned and tight? Sure, don't we all? But the reality is, I've carried around over 100lbs of extra weight my entire adult life, I'm not ever going to have the body of a person who was always thin. But what I do have is my life back, a healthy relationship with food, a body that I've learned to love and be grateful for, and YEARS of my life given back. For me, the skin is a reminder of how far I've come and what I've done for myself as an act of love.

    I would suggest to anyone considering surgery, that they focus on their mental and emotional health first and foremost. You have to be in a good place INSIDE before you are ready to make the OUTSIDE changes. Truly, this is a life long journey and you will only be as successful as you're willing to be, which starts with the head work. I think having done a ton of therapy and getting myself into a good headspace before surgery is what has allowed me to accept the less desirable parts of the process and not get hung up.


  5. I had VSG in Tijuana, Mx. at HospitalBC with Dr. Illan, so I can only speak to my own personal experience. I did about 200 hours of research before my surgery and based on that research, finances, and other personal considerations, decided to go the Medical Tourism route and have been very happy with that decision.

    These hospitals ONLY do bariatric surgeries and are geared towards medical tourists. They run a VERY well oiled machine from intake to discharge. The process was so smooth, I was completely confident going alone. The surgeon I chose is highly accredited, has done thousands of WLS procedures, has relationships and mentorships with some of the most well known US bariatric surgeons for continuing ed, is board certified, etc. He is just as qualified, if not more so, than many of the bariatric surgeons in my area.

    The reality is, there are amazing surgeons in the US and just as many in Mexico and other places. Conversely, there are terrible surgeons here and everywhere else. There are pros and cons to each, and every person has different needs. Ultimately it boils down to doing your research, finding a surgeon you trust, and a program that fits your needs.

    Regarding your questions above:

    1 - No, it was a combination of finances, timeline, convenience, and other factors.

    2 - No, I did not get an option. My surgeon uses a 32 as his standard and will only deviate when appropriate for the patient.

    3 - I met with my PCP before I went and she was extremely supportive. She does all my post-op labs, checked my incisions, offered dietary support, etc. She now recommends my surgeon to other patients who are interested in going out of country for the procedure.

    4 - The hospital I chose was staffed with additional medical personnel in case of emergencies, but that really wasn't a consideration for me. The instance/risk of major complications DURING surgery is essentially nil.

    5 - Complications aren't usually the result of a surgical mistake, so there is generally nothing for the surgeon to "fix" they typically are just the result of a person's own body's healing. For instance, a stricture is one of the most common (though still extremely rare) post-op complications, and they are almost never a direct result of surgical error. They just happen.

    6 - My hospital offers lifetime nutritional support, which is great. That being said, I HIGHLY recommend some serious counseling before & after to deal with the emotional/mental work that has to be done. I was really well informed pre-op but still felt like the extra support would be critical, and it was. I would also suggest ongoing community support - either here, or something like BariNation (which I LOVE), or a local support group. I am a card carrying, people hating, highly independent introvert and have still found community support to be vital to my success.

    7 - I wish I had known how ridiculously kind and accommodating the staff would be. I went alone and really kept to myself, but the one time I needed the staff they were incredibly responsive and very kind. In hindsight, I wish I had been more engaged.

    *going out of order* 9 - It takes time. Most people will NOT be able to hit their Protein and Water goals right away. It took me probably 3 months before I was able to get there consistently. It just takes a crap ton of work. I keep water handy at ALL times, and drink, drink, drink like its my job. I was never advised to drink warm water or to adjust my intake in any way. Just drink, all the time.

    8 - I am going to say this as gently and with as much love as I possibly can - This is not your journey and you would serve your wife best by keeping your opinions to yourself. Unless you have lived in her brain and her body, you cannot understand what she is going through, what is driving her behaviors, or what toll it is taking on her mental health. I can guarantee you, she feels plenty of shame already and doesn't need you second guessing her ability to be successful. The best thing you can do is research, report back, support her, and shut up. My husband is thin and has the metabolism of a hummingbird. He has never struggled with his weight and as such has no frame of reference and no ability to understand. He recognized this early on, and has thus deferred to me on every diet, every fast, every medication, and ultimately my decision to have surgery. His unconditional support, free of opinions and judgment, was the kindest gift he ever gave to me. I know you love her, and you clearly want her to succeed. But the baggage you are forcing her to drag around is entirely unhelpful. A much more valuable way to help would be to help her find a therapist so she can do the work that would set her up for success long term.


  6. 10000000% common and normal. Weight will fluctuate, stall, plateau, and do all sorts of other things. I'm 9 months out and it has NOT been linear. The most important thing to do is just stay the course and follow your plan. You don't need to exercise 5 hours a day, do a pouch reset, bulk up on laxatives, or any of that crap. You just need time and consistency. Hang in there, I know its frustrating but you're right where you should be!


  7. 1 minute ago, Candigrl1 said:

    Yes, I was given something similar, however guess what it contained? Mostly seafood. They restrict chicken, pork and beef until 4 months out. I did try an egg. My pouch no longer likes them. So I'm kind of stuck.

    4 months for meat seems extremely long. Most folks are on a completely normal diet by then. I generally will always say "follow your plan" but if you are really struggling perhaps you could try some VERY tender meat - like crockpot cooked chicken, so that its super moist and soft? Tofu and hummus might also be good options. I was not able to eat anything more than my Protein for the first several months - so I get the struggle. I think around month 4 I was able to consistently add in veggies. Though I did often do Soups like broccoli cheese, beef stew, etc. and just chewed the life out of them, which allowed for a little more variety and some added Fiber.

    @bariatric.meal.prep on IG has a new cookbook out that has recipes for all stages, as well as a wealth of info on her page. @theguacwarddietitian also has a ton of options/suggestions. If you aren't getting support from your clinics dietitian, maybe your PCP can give you a referral to someone else?


  8. I am in the US, but I chose to travel to Mexico for my surgery. Medical Tourism all over the world is VERY common and if you do your research and choose a reputable facility with fully qualified surgeons, your outcome will likely be identical to having the procedure done in your home country. There are good and bad surgeons anywhere, so ultimately, WHERE you do it is far less relevant than WHO you do it with. It sounds like you are well informed and have made a decision based on the sum of your knowledge.


  9. First of all, take a deep breath. This is incredibly hard work and you are doing a great job.

    Statistically speaking, people who are obese and have been for a significant period of time, only have about a 5% success rate of losing the weight and keeping it off long term. The reality is, obesity is an incredibly hard thing to overcome, and for most of us, surgery is the tool we need to succeed. That, in addition to counseling to heal my relationship with food and my body, has been absolutely life changing.

    It sounds like you have done your homework about medications, surgery, and other treatments. You've come to a soundly investigated decision based on what is best for YOU. You are doing the mental and emotional work to set yourself up for long term success and wellbeing.

    As for those around you who are naysayers - they do not live in your mind or body and have no right to opine on either. Frankly, folks who have never lived through a life of obesity and disordered eating simply cannot understand it or truly empathize. My husband is the MOST supportive human on the planet and has been my biggest cheerleader through every diet, exercise program, and finally surgery. Truly, he is a gift to me. BUT, he is rail thin and always has been. He openly acknowledges that he cannot understand a life with obesity and because he can't, he has trusted me to make the right decisions for myself and supports me unconditionally without reservation or opinion. If the people in your life cannot see their own bias and acknowledge that they cannot support you without their own opinions clouding things, then maybe they should not be allowed the space to speak into your life. You can love them, but they don't deserve the right to give you their opinions.

    Only you can decide what is right for you and it sounds like you already have. Trust that. You got this.


  10. I had idiopathic tachycardia (meaning my heart rate was unusually high for no known reason) for years prior to WLS. My average resting heart rate, was between 90-100bpm, and very often even higher than that. I'm now 8 months post-op and my heart rate has slowly come down to about 70bpm. Similarly, my doctor is not at all concerned and seems to think its an indicator of improved health, so I honestly don't worry about it too much. If you start to have odd symptoms (lethargy, dizziness, shortness of breath, or anything else unexplainable) definitely check in with your Dr again.


  11. 1 minute ago, lizonaplane said:

    I agree with all of this. Except that I never lost my hunger. I have a calorie "goal" but I usually would go over it and not get upset or restrict myself. It's just that you have to put some number in MyFitnessPal. I've had a lot of different types of disordered eating.

    Yep, I totally get it. I've been using Baritastic just because its what my surgeon recommended and its nice that you can pick and choose goals - I have a Protein goal but nothing else. Its definitely not as comprehensive as MFP, but for me its enough to get the job done. The hunger thing is hit or miss. I completely lost it the first 6 months and now I feel it somedays more than others, somedays not at all. I can't seem to find any rhyme or reason to it, but because its so unreliable, I still rely heavily on eating on a schedule, hitting my Fluid and protein, etc.

    Maybe try moving more towards intuitive eating/not tracking for a month and compare your results? Take lots of notes - how do you feel, how is your hunger, how are you sleeping, any other symptoms or changes, and so on.... then reevaluate and go from there? It never hurts to try!


  12. Congrats and welcome! I also had surgery in Mexico (9/21/21) and had a wonderful experience! As others have said - trust the process - don't compare your journey to others - give yourself LOTS of grace and patience. All very valid, valuable pieces of advice. I would also add, find some community! Either here, or if your surgeon has a group of some kind, or some other place (I'm a member of BariNation and freaking LOVE it). Finding a support system is SO important. This is a life long process, you will be a bariatric patient for the rest of your life, so preparing your heart, mind, and body are really important. If you aren't already, maybe consider getting into some counseling to help with the mental & emotional pieces as well. It can be overwhelming at first, but YOU GOT THIS!


  13. Personally, I cannot eat intuitively. At least not yet. First of all, I still don't always feel "hunger" (8 months post-VSG) and secondly, I know that I have some disordered/emotional eating habits that still need some work. My hope is that over time, tracking combined with surgery will get me there. But for now, I track everything I eat as a way of holding myself accountable. I don't have a calorie goal or limit, and I never restrict myself from eating based on the numbers, but it helps me be mindful and thoughtful about what I'm eating and how much. It also helps me make better food choices to be aware of how much Protein I've had or when I might be lacking. I agree with others, that I had surgery to be able to live and not diet the rest of my life, but I also understand that I have a SUPER unhealthy relationship with food that will take time and effort to heal. For me for right now, tracking is one of the tools I'm using to help heal that relationship, but I'm hopeful it won't be necessary forever.


  14. collagen is not a complete Protein, meaning it does not have all of the essential amino acids. Additionally, the amino acid profile makes it great for hair, skin, nail, and joint heal, but not at all beneficial for lean muscle mass. Most dietitians recommend that collagen NOT be counted towards your daily protein intake. By all means keep using it, I do everyday! But know that it is a dietary supplement and not a protein source.

    Plain protein supplements generally will NOT have Vitamins because they are just that, PROTEIN. They are made for one thing, and that is to provide a supplementary source of protein. Some pre-made shakes do have added vitamins and minerals, which is great, but most bariatric patients will need to keep taking a Multivitamin for the rest of their lives to care for potential deficiencies. A Vitamin that meets the ASMBS recommendations should care for any vitamins & minerals you need, and anything you get from your Protein Shakes is a bonus!


  15. I had surgery in in Sept. 2021 and have started to have hunger come back. I'm really having to focus on eating regularly, listening to my body, and fight of the urge to graze/binge. This is the work of WLS; the surgery itself only does so much. But what you are feeling is completely normal and nothing to be afraid of. Just time to roll up your sleeves and keep doing the work!


  16. pre-op diets vary WILDLY from surgeon to surgeon. There is no "gold standard" so each program has their own. Ans mentioned above, the primary goal is simply to shrink the liver to get it out of the way. But if necessary, they can use a tool to hold the liver up and out of the way, so its really not usually a make or break issue. If you are very concerned, you could move to a low carb, high Protein, lower calorie diet a few days ahead of time, but its probably not necessary. Your surgeon has their own requirements for a reason and if you trust them, you can trust their requirements.


  17. Clothing sizing has absolutely changed over the years. I am roughly the same weight now as I was in high school, but definitely NOT the same size. Additionally the size I'm wearing now fits completely different than it did the last time I was this size! I try really hard not to get too caught up in sizes. They are so arbitrary! It can be a little bit of a mind game.


  18. I had VSG in Tijuana, Mx. at HospitalBC with Dr. Illan, so I can only speak to my own personal experience, not Dr. Corzo. I did about 200 hours of research before my surgery and based on that research, finances, and other personal considerations, decided to go the Medical Tourism route and have been very happy with that decision.

    These hospitals ONLY do bariatric surgeries and are geared towards medical tourists. They run a VERY well oiled machine from intake to discharge. The process was so smooth, I was completely confident going alone. The surgeon I chose is highly accredited, has done thousands of WLS procedures, has relationships and mentorships with some of the most well known US bariatric surgeons for continuing ed, is board certified, etc. He is just as qualified, if not more so, than many of the bariatric surgeons in my area.

    The reality is, there are amazing surgeons in the US and just as many in Mexico and other places. Conversely, there are terrible surgeons here and everywhere else. There are pros and cons to each, and every person has different needs. Ultimately it boils down to doing your research, finding a surgeon you trust, and a program that fits your needs.


  19. I had VSG in Tijuana, Mx. I did about 200 hours of research before my surgery and based on that research, finances, and other personal considerations, decided to go the Medical Tourism route and have been very happy with that decision. I had my surgery at HospitalBC with Dr. Illan.

    The insurance piece was definitely a factor for me. I have consulted 3x with US surgeons in the past. And all the appointments and hoop jumping eventually caused me to lose hope and I bailed. The months and months of appointments and paperwork is exhausting and extremely frustrating! That being said, I have employer sponsored healthcare, not Tricare, so I can't speak to the experience with them, only my own. From first contact to surgery, was almost exactly 3 months. It would have been shorter, but I had some schedule considerations I had to work around. With my insurance it would have been 9+ months.

    These hospitals ONLY do bariatric surgeries and are geared towards medical tourists. They run a VERY well oiled machine from intake to discharge. The process was so smooth, I was completely confident going alone. The surgeon I chose is highly accredited, has done thousands of WLS procedures, has relationships and mentorships with some of the most well known US bariatric surgeons for continuing ed, is board certified, etc. He is just as qualified, if not more so, than many of the bariatric surgeons in my area.

    The reality is, there are amazing surgeons in the US and just as many in Mexico and other places. Conversely, there are terrible surgeons here and everywhere else. There are pros and cons to each, and every person has different needs. Ultimately it boils down to doing your research, finding a surgeon you trust, and a program that fits your needs.


  20. Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome is a thing. Likely has nothing to do with your surgery, just your use. It often starts with nausea and grows into recurrent vomiting. Mode of delivery doesn't matter, the only thing that resolves it is cutting it out. If you go a week without and the nausea resolves, you'll have your answer.


  21. I'm just about 8 months post-op and I've just started to notice a "hungry" feeling starting to return. Until now, I didn't ever really feel physical hunger until it was too late and I would get dizzy, nauseated, and very weak if I went too long without eating. It didn't take me long to realize I needed to eat on a schedule, as I couldn't trust my body to tell me when to eat anymore! But, I absolutely had head hunger, and still do. There are times I WANT to eat, or I WANT to feel being "full" again. But therapy and LOTS of internal work has helped me manage that. I'm not perfect by any means, but I have learned to listen to those feelings, sit with them, and work through them instead of giving in and seeking food for comfort.

    Some people lose the hunger feelings, some don't. What's most important is that you learn to listen to your body, fuel it well, and learn to eat in a way that honors your journey and aligns to your goals. If you find that you want to eat just to eat, eat more than you can comfortably, etc. then definitely look into some counseling or other strategies for learning how to manage emotional eating, etc. The surgery is just a tool, it can't do the head work or you!

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