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Background: I’m a 20 year old female with PCOS. Highest weight I’ve ever been at, even with rigorous diet and exercise. My BMI is 40.7 or 42 depending on who measures my height. I have not been diagnosed with hypertension or diabetes so I don’t qualify for surgery, yet. I go for diabetes testing next week and I’m certain I will be diagnosed with it based on family history of diabetes and PCOS. With that diagnosis I would qualify for surgery through my insurance. My doctor gave me two choices: medication weight loss or the gastric sleeve surgery. I don’t know which one to pick and I’m terrified of having to make a choice. I’m scared of medication because I know I cant stay on the meds forever and when I come off the meds I could gain it back. I’m scared of surgery because I think its a big change at the age of 20.

Side note: I’m in nursing school(AKA no time for anything), my family does not support me, but my boyfriend does. I currently don’t make my own meals but I could.

I really need help and opinions or even stories of young people getting the surgery!!

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Why don’t you qualify? I thought a BMI 40 or over was the benchmark. I qualified by 1 pound.

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4 minutes ago, Cheeseburgh said:

Why don’t you qualify? I thought a BMI 40 or over was the benchmark. I qualified by 1 pound.

My insurance says BMI of >35 and >40 has to have a complication diagnosis. BMI of 50 is when there doesn’t have to be a complication :(

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The sooner you do it, the sooner you can live your life. My sister had rny when she was 22, an ex gf had a sleeve at 28. I just did the sleeve at 34. We are all doing fine.

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I’m 40 years old and have struggled with my weight since I was 8 years old. I just had my sleeve surgery on March 3rd. I wish I would have done this years ago.

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3 hours ago, Casey1234 said:

My insurance says BMI of >35 and >40 has to have a complication diagnosis. BMI of 50 is when there doesn’t have to be a complication :(

Damn, that is crazy. I hope you get good guidance from your Dr.

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I'm 32, but have struggled with my weight my whole life and I honestly wish I'd done this ten years ago! I know I've only lost 99 pounds right now, but I already feel sooooo much better than before the weight loss, not only about myself, but physically as well. My BMI was 62 when I started and it's 46 right now (admittedly still high, but hey, I only had surgery 8 weeks ago lol). Just go over your options and go with your gut!

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Posted (edited)

Do you want to spend the rest of your life getting bigger? Wait until you are 50 BMI (with probably more co-morbidities) to qualify? I think most people will say the earlier you do it, the better. You are young so don't wait for 20 years letting things pass you by that you couldn't do because of your weight. Get the surgery. Compared to all other weight loss methods, cutting out part of your stomach will "reset" your body - metabolism gets boosted, most people with diabetes no longer have it within weeks (sometimes days) of having the surgery, and for many women, the PCOS issue also gets resolved. There are a lot of medical journal articles about this, easily found on the internet - and I imagine, since you are at nursing school, you probably have even more resources to access that support these claims. Another benefit to your youth is that your skin is still pretty elastic and will probably bounce back a lot better than those of us who are older and are already dealing with sagging skin, not just because of the weight. ;-)

If you haven't already seen her videos, Clusie L has a ton of great videos explaining her process of getting through gastric sleeve surgery, food, plastic surgery, etc. I know she has multiple videos explaining why she got it and her struggles trying to get her family on board while she was still a teenager, but I can't find it at the moment. However, this video is a good substitute, geared towards teens, but maybe it will help you in making a decision.

Edit: my first surgery (sleeve) was done at 42, I just had a revision (45). I wish I had done this 10 years ago when my weight really started ballooning up beyond Obese (class 1) into 2, then 3, then beyond.

Edited by biginjapan

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I am also 20 and have PCOS as well as family history of hypertension and diabetes. I was never diagnosed with any of them besides PCOS but I know having the sleeve was the right choice for me. Last summer, I went through the entire process for the sleeve and was denied the first time for not having a high enough BMI. This time, I was approved by insurance and it was the best decision.

I can definitely relate to your fears about it being a big decision at 20. Even though I just had the surgery last week I can say with confidence that I am so much happier and know that I’m on the path to a healthier lifestyle. I am so glad I had the opportunity to do this for myself now and be able to do get a tool like this when I am young. Being in college, I know it won’t be easy but I definitely know that it was right! Good luck - you’ll definitely make the choice that’s right for you :)

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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, Casey1234 said:

Side note: I’m in nursing school(AKA no time for anything), my family does not support me, but my boyfriend does. I currently don’t make my own meals but I could.

As an RN I can tell you the stresses, terrible working hours and conditions in nursing are why so many nurses are obese or morbidly obese. Top that with common sugar addiction - coworkers bringing in tons of sweets to share with all the nurses and staff to get through the 12+ hour shifts.

Having gastric sleeve surgery (at 58) was the absolute best decision of my life and my health has improved tremendously. I wish I'd been able to do it years ago. Going into the nursing profession already at BMI 40 is a time bomb. Please take care of your weight and health now, whatever you decide. In addition, you'll be on your feet for most of those 12+ hours which wrecks havoc with the knee joints if we weigh too much. Knee surgery is no joke.

I'm not trying to scare you, just letting you know the reality of the nursing profession. Whichever treatment option you decide on is up to you - just know I'm thrilled with my gastric sleeve It will take lifelong diligence with diet and weight monitoring to keep the weight from coming back but it's been a great tool helping me lose the weight and regaining my life and health. Good luck!

One thing I almost forgot to mention: Be aware that post-surgery your calorie intake will be very low but will increase gradually once on solid foods. I had trouble remembering things when on 600-700 calories a day - my brain wasn't getting what it needed to be "up to speed." It's only now that I'm averaging 900-1100 per day that I seem to be back to normal. Prepare for a temporary challenge with studying and test-taking if it affects you the same way. Will you have a summer break? Maybe do it then. Nursing school is intense and challenging, needing all our brain power to succeed.

Edited by RobertaMSN

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Thank you all so much! I think this is definitely going to help me make my decision, which I'm hoping is the sleeve. Now just to work on my family's biases! ❤️

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I did bypass at 35.

I wish I did it at 25...

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On 3/20/2020 at 12:13 PM, Casey1234 said:

Thank you all so much! I think this is definitely going to help me make my decision, which I'm hoping is the sleeve. Now just to work on my family's biases! ❤️

Casey, here’s the thing with family and friends....F them. But not in a bad, angry way. Everyone you allow to know you’re making this decision is going to give you their uneducated, ignorant opinion. Stick to your guns as it were. I did not keep my surgery a secret. I was so excited about it I told my family, friends and close Co-workers. I got an earful. I let them say their peace for a moment and stood my ground! Thank you for your concern but I’m doing the research and this is my body and my choice. We’ve all heard it those of us that told others. Good luck on your journey to health and happiness!

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Im 26 and Im exactly one month post op. It's the best decision I ever made hand down & I wish I would have done it at 20 instead. I tried everything from diets and excercise to medication... and you're right, when the medication is over you gain the weight back and then some. Medication is not a long term tool and you're damaging other parts of your body in the process (like your liver). Surgery is a tool that works for you long term. Weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for yourself!

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