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4 Year Update



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I can't believe it, but it's been 4 years since my VSG. I rarely visit bariatricPal now, but found it enormously useful leading up to my surgery and during post opp. As I contemplated surgery, one of the things that kept me up at night was what would happen way down the road. As a give back to the community (and a little therapy for me) I've committed to posting annual updates. You can see my posts from previous years down below. Feel free to send a PM if you have any questions or comments.

Year 4 Update:

Highlights

  • I often forget that I even had the surgery. This is probably is the biggest positive change from year 3 to 4. Don't get me wrong, when I'm stuffed after eating 4 chicken wings or a half a burger, I know why. But, I'm no longer obsessed with post surgery eating strategies or worried about people wondering what's going on with me. After 4 years, my old friends and family seem to have forgotten that I was the fat guy and my new friends and coworkers never knew me that way. More importantly, I have started to forget about myself as the overweight person.
  • I'm basically a "normal eater" and have no problem with any foods whatsoever. Four years ago, as I contemplated the surgery, stories from newly post opp people scared the daylights out of me. Stuck foods, explosive diarrhea, allergies, blah, blah, blah. I had a tiny bit of that early on, but it dissipated quickly. Now, I can eat whatever I want without issue.
  • The VSG constriction mechanics still work well. I still get full quickly, especially if I sequence Proteins first, veg's second and everything else after that. Yes, I can "eat around the sleeve" but that takes a lot of effort and can backfire. I literally just finished a spaghetti and meatball dinner with my family. I ate two golf ball-sized meat balls and about 4 bites of Pasta and am completely stuffed. It was a salad-plate sized portion. Pre surgery I would have eaten 2 dinner-plate sized portions and still wanted more. When I see big eaters go to town on huge portions, I just look on with amazement.
  • I'm an active person now participating in racquet sports, golf, hiking, skiing, yoga and playing with my kids. I believe these activities would have been impossible, or at least extremely unlikely, without the VSG. Pre surgery, at age 39, I was already bowing out of most physical things. Adding 4 years and whatever weight I would have continued to pile on, things would be much worse. Being able to do fun physical activities vs. waiving from the sidelines is a huge benefit that I can't emphasize enough. Life is significantly better now.
  • I had low to medium heartburn following the surgery and took a daily 20mg of omeprazole to manage it. My heart burn has actually decreased and now I only take omeprozole every 2nd or 3rd day. I don't need any other meds for cholesterol, blood pressure, etc..

Lowlights

  • Weight management is NOT a given. This last year, I put on 10 pounds, which is definitely frustrating. What happened? For me it came down to snacking and drinking alcoholic beverages. VSG doesn't help with either of these bad habits whatsoever. popcorn, chips, candy, nuts, crackers and cocktails all go down just as easy as before. For the first year, eating was such a hassle that I naturally avoided this issue. That "benefit" is gone forever. Now, I have to watch it like everyone else. I weigh 205 today, down from 275 at my high. Had I not had surgery, I believe I would weigh over 300 today. BUT, I want to be 185 and that 20 lbs seems very daunting to loose.
  • Everyone once in a while, I eat too fast or too much and need to throw it up. As soon as I swallow the last ill-advised bite, the physical reactions become obvious -- forehead sweat, runny nose, sneezing and, obviously, a feeling of full stomach / chest. Recognizing the symptoms, I have to make my way to a bathroom and bring up the excess. It's not physically painful or anything, but just a little embarrassing and disappointing to me. This probably occurs once every month or two.

As you can see, highlights far outweigh the lowlights. Overall, I'm thrilled with the results 4 years out. I really struggled with the decision to have surgery and delayed it for several years. At the time, it seemed like I was amputating a leg. I regret stressing out about it so much. Now I reason that I had an enlarged stomach that needed to be "right-sized." That's not medically true, but that's how I feel about what happened. In that context, I had a relatively minor procedure with a HUGE outcome.

I don't think about my VSG often and don't expect to post again until next year. I do want to give back and help others -- like so many on this site helped me. If you have questions or comments -- post publicly or PM me.

Familyguy.

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I can't believe it, but it's been 4 years since my VSG. I rarely visit bariatricPal now, but found it enormously useful leading up to my surgery and during post opp. As I contemplated surgery, one of the things that kept me up at night was what would happen way down the road. As a give back to the community (and a little therapy for me) I've committed to posting annual updates. You can see my posts from previous years down below. Feel free to send a PM if you have any questions or comments.
Year 4 Update:
Highlights
  • I often forget that I even had the surgery. This is probably is the biggest positive change from year 3 to 4. Don't get me wrong, when I'm stuffed after eating 4 chicken wings or a half a burger, I know why. But, I'm no longer obsessed with post surgery eating strategies or worried about people wondering what's going on with me. After 4 years, my old friends and family seem to have forgotten that I was the fat guy and my new friends and coworkers never knew me that way. More importantly, I have started to forget about myself as the overweight person.
  • I'm basically a "normal eater" and have no problem with any foods whatsoever. Four years ago, as I contemplated the surgery, stories from newly post opp people scared the daylights out of me. Stuck foods, explosive diarrhea, allergies, blah, blah, blah. I had a tiny bit of that early on, but it dissipated quickly. Now, I can eat whatever I want without issue.
  • The VSG constriction mechanics still work well. I still get full quickly, especially if I sequence Proteins first, veg's second and everything else after that. Yes, I can "eat around the sleeve" but that takes a lot of effort and can backfire. I literally just finished a spaghetti and meatball dinner with my family. I ate two golf ball-sized meat balls and about 4 bites of Pasta and am completely stuffed. It was a salad-plate sized portion. Pre surgery I would have eaten 2 dinner-plate sized portions and still wanted more. When I see big eaters go to town on huge portions, I just look on with amazement.
  • I'm an active person now participating in racquet sports, golf, hiking, skiing, yoga and playing with my kids. I believe these activities would have been impossible, or at least extremely unlikely, without the VSG. Pre surgery, at age 39, I was already bowing out of most physical things. Adding 4 years and whatever weight I would have continued to pile on, things would be much worse. Being able to do fun physical activities vs. waiving from the sidelines is a huge benefit that I can't emphasize enough. Life is significantly better now.
  • I had low to medium heartburn following the surgery and took a daily 20mg of omeprazole to manage it. My heart burn has actually decreased and now I only take omeprozole every 2nd or 3rd day. I don't need any other meds for cholesterol, blood pressure, etc..
Lowlights
  • Weight management is NOT a given. This last year, I put on 10 pounds, which is definitely frustrating. What happened? For me it came down to snacking and drinking alcoholic beverages. VSG doesn't help with either of these bad habits whatsoever. popcorn, chips, candy, nuts, crackers and cocktails all go down just as easy as before. For the first year, eating was such a hassle that I naturally avoided this issue. That "benefit" is gone forever. Now, I have to watch it like everyone else. I weigh 205 today, down from 275 at my high. Had I not had surgery, I believe I would weigh over 300 today. BUT, I want to be 185 and that 20 lbs seems very daunting to loose.
  • Everyone once in a while, I eat too fast or too much and need to throw it up. As soon as I swallow the last ill-advised bite, the physical reactions become obvious -- forehead sweat, runny nose, sneezing and, obviously, a feeling of full stomach / chest. Recognizing the symptoms, I have to make my way to a bathroom and bring up the excess. It's not physically painful or anything, but just a little embarrassing and disappointing to me. This probably occurs once every month or two.
As you can see, highlights far outweigh the lowlights. Overall, I'm thrilled with the results 4 years out. I really struggled with the decision to have surgery and delayed it for several years. At the time, it seemed like I was amputating a leg. I regret stressing out about it so much. Now I reason that I had an enlarged stomach that needed to be "right-sized." That's not medically true, but that's how I feel about what happened. In that context, I had a relatively minor procedure with a HUGE outcome.
I don't think about my VSG often and don't expect to post again until next year. I do want to give back and help others -- like so many on this site helped me. If you have questions or comments -- post publicly or PM me.
Familyguy.



This was an extremely helpful post for a newbie like me, nine days post-op. Thank you!


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Wonderful post -- love the idea of yearly updates!

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8 hours ago, familyguy said:

I can't believe it, but it's been 4 years since my VSG. I rarely visit bariatricPal now, but found it enormously useful leading up to my surgery and during post opp. As I contemplated surgery, one of the things that kept me up at night was what would happen way down the road. As a give back to the community (and a little therapy for me) I've committed to posting annual updates. You can see my posts from previous years down below. Feel free to send a PM if you have any questions or comments.

Year 4 Update:

Highlights

  • I often forget that I even had the surgery. This is probably is the biggest positive change from year 3 to 4. Don't get me wrong, when I'm stuffed after eating 4 chicken wings or a half a burger, I know why. But, I'm no longer obsessed with post surgery eating strategies or worried about people wondering what's going on with me. After 4 years, my old friends and family seem to have forgotten that I was the fat guy and my new friends and coworkers never knew me that way. More importantly, I have started to forget about myself as the overweight person.
  • I'm basically a "normal eater" and have no problem with any foods whatsoever. Four years ago, as I contemplated the surgery, stories from newly post opp people scared the daylights out of me. Stuck foods, explosive diarrhea, allergies, blah, blah, blah. I had a tiny bit of that early on, but it dissipated quickly. Now, I can eat whatever I want without issue.
  • The VSG constriction mechanics still work well. I still get full quickly, especially if I sequence Proteins first, veg's second and everything else after that. Yes, I can "eat around the sleeve" but that takes a lot of effort and can backfire. I literally just finished a spaghetti and meatball dinner with my family. I ate two golf ball-sized meat balls and about 4 bites of Pasta and am completely stuffed. It was a salad-plate sized portion. Pre surgery I would have eaten 2 dinner-plate sized portions and still wanted more. When I see big eaters go to town on huge portions, I just look on with amazement.
  • I'm an active person now participating in racquet sports, golf, hiking, skiing, yoga and playing with my kids. I believe these activities would have been impossible, or at least extremely unlikely, without the VSG. Pre surgery, at age 39, I was already bowing out of most physical things. Adding 4 years and whatever weight I would have continued to pile on, things would be much worse. Being able to do fun physical activities vs. waiving from the sidelines is a huge benefit that I can't emphasize enough. Life is significantly better now.
  • I had low to medium heartburn following the surgery and took a daily 20mg of omeprazole to manage it. My heart burn has actually decreased and now I only take omeprozole every 2nd or 3rd day. I don't need any other meds for cholesterol, blood pressure, etc..

Lowlights

  • Weight management is NOT a given. This last year, I put on 10 pounds, which is definitely frustrating. What happened? For me it came down to snacking and drinking alcoholic beverages. VSG doesn't help with either of these bad habits whatsoever. popcorn, chips, candy, nuts, crackers and cocktails all go down just as easy as before. For the first year, eating was such a hassle that I naturally avoided this issue. That "benefit" is gone forever. Now, I have to watch it like everyone else. I weigh 205 today, down from 275 at my high. Had I not had surgery, I believe I would weigh over 300 today. BUT, I want to be 185 and that 20 lbs seems very daunting to loose.
  • Everyone once in a while, I eat too fast or too much and need to throw it up. As soon as I swallow the last ill-advised bite, the physical reactions become obvious -- forehead sweat, runny nose, sneezing and, obviously, a feeling of full stomach / chest. Recognizing the symptoms, I have to make my way to a bathroom and bring up the excess. It's not physically painful or anything, but just a little embarrassing and disappointing to me. This probably occurs once every month or two.

As you can see, highlights far outweigh the lowlights. Overall, I'm thrilled with the results 4 years out. I really struggled with the decision to have surgery and delayed it for several years. At the time, it seemed like I was amputating a leg. I regret stressing out about it so much. Now I reason that I had an enlarged stomach that needed to be "right-sized." That's not medically true, but that's how I feel about what happened. In that context, I had a relatively minor procedure with a HUGE outcome.

I don't think about my VSG often and don't expect to post again until next year. I do want to give back and help others -- like so many on this site helped me. If you have questions or comments -- post publicly or PM me.

Familyguy.

I'm hopeful after reading your update. I love hearing from the veterans. I like to know the reality of being years out. What it looks like from a patient's perspective. It''s better then reading the random statistics. Congratulations on year four. See you again year five.

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Congrats to you! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me. And the good news is that you know what you need to do in order to lose the 20lbs!!! Score!

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Thank you for sharing this, I appreciate the honesty and confirmation that the success can last.

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