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Heavily considering balloon...but is it worth it? Why not just get a tummy tuck and/or lipo?



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Hi all, I'm new to this forum so here's a brief introduction...I'm a female, 5-9", current weight 210, 43 years old. I'm interested in losing about 35 pounds total. I carry most of my weight in my hips and thighs, with some back fat and a slight hang to my stomach fat. My BMI is 31. I had a consult for the Orbera yesterday and I'm seriously considering doing this after the holidays (mainly because of time off concerns). I have read a lot of this forum and the information provided by the doctor.

I think this is the jump start that I need to get me going. I can maintain weight loss pretty well, but I haven't been disciplined enough to do what it takes to take the weight off and keep it off. I've lost the same 10 pounds multiple times. Lol! I had been tall and skinny until the children came and they are now 22, 12, and 10 years old, so I can no longer blame them for the weight gain.

I have considered vaso-lipo and Tummy Tuck to get rid of this middle fat. That being gone will make me feel a ton better. But I also want overall weight reduction. For the price of the Orbera, I could get a tummy tuck in my area. So i'm weighing whether or not the Orbera is worth the cost, especially as a weight loss tool.

Has anyone else considering cosmetic surgery? If so, what made you opt for the Orbera?

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With a BMI of 31, I would just get flank Lipo and a Tummy Tuck if needed.

The ballon and how they use it in the US is a waste. At least with lipo, you won't gain fat back in the areas you had lipo.

Also look into a ketogenic diet, if you have never tried it, it might work for you.

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@@OutsideMatchInside Thanks. That's where I am currently, considering a cosmetic procedure instead. I just don't want to invest in the Orbera and it not work for me like I need it to then wish I had just had a Tummy Tuck.

As you said, at least with Lipo, those fat cells are gone. That would be oh so wonderful for my flanks and saddle bags. I think i'll get a consultation about surgery first, then decide.

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I am getting Reshape balloon out tomorrow. I have lost 46 pounds. I am very pleased with my results.

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@DHurd35: The two are really unrelated ... and I can say that with some level of authority because I have had both. :-)

The balloon is a weight loss tool. A Tummy Tuck removes excess skin (and some fat), and it tightens the underlying muscles. I had the latter done after losing over 100 pounds because I had excess skin that needed to be removed. While I did lose a few pounds in the process, I never considered it a weight loss surgery.

I had the balloon for six months and lost almost 50 pounds during that time, despite extensive travel and a number of special events. I have continued to lose weight since the balloon was removed. So despite what @OutsideMatchInside said, the balloon and how it's used in the US is not a waste. But the balloon alone is not the answer - it requires changing your eating, exercise and other lifestyle habits in order for it to be successful. The balloon can help you - not fix you. Can you gain weight after the balloon? Sure. Fortunately I have not. BUT you can also gain weight after a tummy tuck ... and after suffering from a major injury, I did. Hence the reason I got the balloon.

Furthermore, results for both procedures vary greatly depending on the individual. Some people have more success than others. Some wish they had never done it at all. For that reason, neither decision should be made lightly. I highly recommend doing your homework and meeting with more than one doctor before deciding how to proceed.

That's all a long way of saying that I would consider these two procedures separately. If you need to lose weight then you might want to consider the balloon. But you might not - it's not for everyone. You could also try more traditional means of weight loss, and save your money for the tummy tuck once you achieve your weight loss goals. Because the more you lose, the looser your skin and muscles will be. In any case, I caution you not to consider either procedure as a magic bullet. They are just the beginning and more work will be required on your part to achieve AND maintain optimal results.

I hope that helps. Best wishes to you, whichever direction you may go!

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@@Wayward Traveler Hello, thanks for the response! I've read just about all of your journey. Glad that things are going so well for you.

As for my issue, I definitely understand that the Orbera is an aid to weight loss and requires a lifestyle change, and is not a magic pill, which is why I think it would work well for me. I have made several lifestyle changes that have helped me to minimize weight gain now , but the weight is already here. I just need to do something that will help me to get a good start so that I can put into practice the things that I know work for me.

Regarding a tummy tuck/lipo, since most of my weight is hips, butt, and thighs, and a little around the middle, I figured a Tummy Tuck and/or Lipo would at least get rid of the little pouch and make me feel a whole lot better. As for the bottom half, I walk and work out so firming up those areas are the least of my worries right now. Overall, I do need to lose weight, but with me being tall, I carry it pretty decently. I know that these two things are very different, but financially, I need to decide which investment is most beneficial to me.

My main concern was whether a tool like Orbera was worth the cost versus just going ahead and getting it cut off. Lol!

I'm thinking that things like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig and all the other diet plans are much cheaper as tools to weight loss. I am not saying that Orbera is the same, by any means, but, a flatter tummy and less love handles is the end result that I would like to achieve and I could be on my way to that with either option.

Back to Orbera...one thing that gives me reserve about is the fear of the side effects. The nurse compared it to morning sickness, which I had very badly during my last pregnancy. I can handle that. But I'm a nurse so I'm concerned with the recovery period and how I might handle that when I go back to work. It would be hard to care for patients with weakness and nausea. How did you feel when you returned to work?

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Feeling better about your appearance will make traditional dieting easier. The balloon does not seem like a good thing if it causes nausea. My plastic surgeon wants patients at a weight where they never intend to gain or lose more than ten pounds.

Following an Atkins diet to get the weight down quickly and then scheduling surgery before regain, might be a great strategy.

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I am just about to go through an abdominal-lastly, breast lift and augmentation. I have a lot of loose hanging skin and I am under my goal with a normal BMI.

I have researched the heck out of plastics over the last 2 years and from what I understand you will not loose a lot of weight. You will lose inches and of course your tummy will be nice and tight.

After childbirth it is difficult to get rid of the tummy, they just don't bounce back. If you are confident in your ability to keep the weight off, is it possible to drop some weight on your own before the Tummy Tuck?

That would likely give you the best outcome. That is the route i would take vs. paying for the balloon.

If you follow a high Protein, lower carb well balanced diet along with exercise...you should be able to drop some of that weight.

Just my two cents.

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@@DHurd35 - I was nauseous for 2-3 days (I threw up late the night of the procedure and twice the morning after). I had the procedure on a Wed and was back to work on Mon, and I was fine (I actually got out and about a bit the weekend in-between). Once I was back on solid (probably even semi-soft) foods, I felt pretty much back to normal ... Protein goes a long way to preventing weakness. :-) So for me it was very manageable and totally worth it for a couple of days of discomfort.

However please note that it is different for everyone. I know people who were not nauseous and never threw up, and others who were sick (almost) the entire time. There was even someone at my doctor's office who got so dehydrated that (s)he went into kidney failure and had the balloon removed early! So while I fared well, you may not ... and you may do even better (someone else here lost 77 pounds!). That's the challenge - there's no way to know.

Both the gastric balloon and plastic surgery are very personal decisions. I'm glad that I did both, but neither was a cake walk. Plastic surgery has its own recovery challenges, and mine went a bit sideways. My draining would not stop so my stomach ended up distended. It's still much improved with the excess skin gone and and muscles tied, but it's not perfect and really requires a follow up procedure. So both have their pros and cons ... and both have risks. You need to do what's best for you and to accept that you might have challenges along the way, regardless of what you do.

Whatever you may decide, I wish you the best of luck and an uneventful journey. :-)

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Hello there, here is my testimony. I had the balloon placed July 26, 2016. I am now half way into the six month period with the balloon. The first 3 days was aweful! Almost constant vomiting until I finally started using the patch for nausea. The first 8 weeks or so I had a lot of cramping. Had to watch and learn what my body needed. Some days I had to lay down and massage my belly due to cramps. I never regretted the procedure.

I am now half through and actually don't feel the balloon much any more. I have learned to put on my fit bit every day and have a goal of 10,000 steps a day. If I accomplish these steps each day I lose weight, period. With the help from the balloon and daily steps, which can be tough some days, I hope to lose the weight I had hoped. I have lost 23 lbs so far and life is good. Nothing and I do mean nothing, feels better then being able to put pants on and have them so loose! :) would I do it again? Yes!! I have three months to go :)

And thanks again to @waywardtraveler. You have helped me more then you know!

Sent from my iPad using the BariatricPal App

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Hello there, here is my testimony. I had the balloon placed July 26, 2016. I am now half way into the six month period with the balloon. The first 3 days was aweful! Almost constant vomiting until I finally started using the patch for nausea. The first 8 weeks or so I had a lot of cramping. Had to watch and learn what my body needed. Some days I had to lay down and massage my belly due to cramps. I never regretted the procedure.

I am now half through and actually don't feel the balloon much any more. I have learned to put on my fit bit every day and have a goal of 10,000 steps a day. If I accomplish these steps each day I lose weight, period. With the help from the balloon and daily steps, which can be tough some days, I hope to lose the weight I had hoped. I have lost 23 lbs so far and life is good. Nothing and I do mean nothing, feels better then being able to put pants on and have them so loose! :) would I do it again? Yes!! I have three months to go :)

And thanks again to @waywardtraveler. You have helped me more then you know!

Sent from my iPad using the BariatricPal App

I'm so happy to hear that you're doing well!! Congratulations on your weight loss - how exciting! More importantly, congratulations on what sounds like a new lifestyle - you're certainly making healthier, sustainable choices. Good for you - you should be proud!!

Yes, those first few days are awful (and mine were rough with the patch - I can't imagine them without), but thankfully it gets better for most folks. I'm sorry about the cramping. I am thankful that I didn't have that, but it sounds like a lot of people do. :-/

I'm so happy that my words have been helpful. That's really the only reason I post here - I'm hoping to provide others with the info that I was so desperately seeking before I got the balloon. I will do my best to continue to provide that kind of support.

As far as life after the balloon, I'm still doing well and continue to lose. I'm now down to my lowest in 4-5 years. I've eased up on myself so I'm not losing as quickly, but I am still losing (just not as quickly) and enjoying life at the same time. :-) So all is well.

Thanks for sharing your story. Best of luck to you with your continued success! Cheers!! :-)

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

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