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Bariatric Weight Loss Major Turning Point Decision



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With battling weight most of my life 10 years ago I got a lap band put in. I am now 57 years old, 15 years ago I was diagnosed with type two diabetes At the time my Lap Band was put in my weight was 230 pounds. That might not sound like a lot of weight but for a male 5’8 it was a lot for me. In addition to having type two diabetes I have also had two neck surgeries and three back surgeries over the years. The Lap Band gave me significant weight loss. I got down from 230 to 160-165. I also lowered my Metformin from 1000 mg to 500 mg. I lost approximately 70 pounds of weight and maintained this weight for about nine years. To say that it was an easy road for me would be lying, I was constantly having the band loosened tightened loose and tightened like being on a roller coaster. I had problems with the Lap Band being so tight that I was having major acid reflux problems. In addition to that I had some small ulcers around my esophagus next to my Lap Band. Last year I decided I had enough of this and had a lot of Fluid taken out of my band. The major acid reflex went away immediately however, I still have some ongoing minor constant heartburn and a small cough because the Lap Band is still in place but a lot of the fluid has been taken out. Because of that removal of fluid I have gained back for the first time in 10 years 35 pounds. Now I am back up to taking the same amount of diabetic medicine Metformin 1000 mg because of the 35 pound weight gain. The bariatric center in Los Angeles is recommending that I conceivably switch to a Bypass Surgery and not a Sleeve. This decision is not completely final yet, and the decision towards leaning towards a Bypass Surgery rather than a Sleeve because of the acid reflex problems I’ve had for so many years which only really developed soon after getting the Lap Band 10 years ago. My next surgery would be involved removing the Lap Band and switching to a Bypass Surgery all at the same time in one surgery. As in all surgeries there are risk concerns for changing the body anatomy, however regarding the Bypass Surgery my new understanding is the body does not absorb as many Vitamins and nutrients as it would from a Sleeve Surgery and there is a potential for Hair loss and dumping and other potential complications? Any advice or opinions from anyone that has been down this same kind of road would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time and concern. Hopefully one day I can help someone else.

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I had the sleeve in 8/2017. I now have erosive esophagitis Grade D from the acid issues and revised to Bypass 2 months ago. I would say if you already have had acid issues then you dont want that sleeve. You can lose hair with VSG too and you are suppose to take Vitamins with both surgeries. I have not lost hair yet but I do dump on sugar and heavy carbs. I have been told that it doesnt mean I will always be a dumper. I can also have a sm amount of sugar after a meal and be just fine. I cant eat dry Cereal of any kind or biscuit and gravy in the mornings. We all are different though and technically are not suppose to be eating those things anyways. I am in maintenance and eat what I want as long as my body lets me, lol. Good luck.

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Hair loss is very common with both surgeries. It has nothing to do with the type of surgery, it has to do with the trauma that surgery causes to the body. It's actually a risk with ANY major surgery - not just weight loss surgeries (although I'm guessing you see it more often with WLS, though, since we're taking in so few calories the first few months after surgery). At any rate, it's no more common with bypass than it is with the sleeve. Most WLS patients experience it. The good news is, for most of us, we're the only ones who notice, and also, it's almost always temporary.

Vitamin deficiency is rare as long as you keep on top of your Vitamins. You'll have to take vitamins with either surgery.

dumping - only 30% of us dump (I never have). And it can be controlled by limiting or avoiding sugar.

if you have reflux, bypass is the way to go. Bypass often improves if not outright cures it. Sleeve has been known to make it worse (it doesn't happen to everyone - or even most - but it's a significant enough minority that most surgeons will steer you toward bypass if you've had reflux issues)

yes, there are more complications with bypass, but to be honest, they're actually not very common with either surgery. Most of us sail through with none - or only very minor issues that are usually "fixable".

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50 minutes ago, Hope to Resolve said:

With battling weight most of my life 10 years ago I got a lap band put in. I am now 57 years old, 15 years ago I was diagnosed with type two diabetes At the time my Lap Band was put in my weight was 230 pounds. That might not sound like a lot of weight but for a male 5’8 it was a lot for me. In addition to having type two diabetes I have also had two neck surgeries and three back surgeries over the years. The Lap Band gave me significant weight loss. I got down from 230 to 160-165. I also lowered my Metformin from 1000 mg to 500 mg. I lost approximately 70 pounds of weight and maintained this weight for about nine years. To say that it was an easy road for me would be lying, I was constantly having the band loosened tightened loose and tightened like being on a roller coaster. I had problems with the Lap Band being so tight that I was having major acid reflux problems. In addition to that I had some small ulcers around my esophagus next to my Lap Band. Last year I decided I had enough of this and had a lot of Fluid taken out of my band. The major acid reflex went away immediately however, I still have some ongoing minor constant heartburn and a small cough because the Lap Band is still in place but a lot of the Fluid has been taken out. Because of that removal of fluid I have gained back for the first time in 10 years 35 pounds. Now I am back up to taking the same amount of diabetic medicine Metformin 1000 mg because of the 35 pound weight gain. The bariatric center in Los Angeles is recommending that I conceivably switch to a Bypass Surgery and not a Sleeve. This decision is not completely final yet, and the decision towards leaning towards a Bypass Surgery rather than a Sleeve because of the acid reflex problems I’ve had for so many years which only really developed soon after getting the Lap Band 10 years ago. My next surgery would be involved removing the Lap Band and switching to a Bypass Surgery all at the same time in one surgery. As in all surgeries there are risk concerns for changing the body anatomy, however regarding the Bypass Surgery my new understanding is the body does not absorb as many Vitamins and nutrients as it would from a Sleeve Surgery and there is a potential for Hair loss and dumping and other potential complications? Any advice or opinions from anyone that has been down this same kind of road would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time and concern. Hopefully one day I can help someone else.

Well I've not had band but I did have RNY bypass and all my blood work have been fine.

My hair issue wasn't loss of hair just that it grows slower.

Dumping only happens if you eat like junk food which we shouldn't anyways..

My weight loss has been amazing and even surprised myself...

No complications here but I am only 9.5 months post OP.

Maintaining well

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3 hours ago, Tracyringo said:

I had the sleeve in 8/2017. I now have erosive esophagitis Grade D from the acid issues and revised to Bypass 2 months ago. I would say if you already have had acid issues then you dont want that sleeve. You can lose hair with VSG too and you are suppose to take Vitamins with both surgeries. I have not lost hair yet but I do dump on sugar and heavy carbs. I have been told that it doesnt mean I will always be a dumper. I can also have a sm amount of sugar after a meal and be just fine. I cant eat dry Cereal of any kind or biscuit and gravy in the mornings. We all are different though and technically are not suppose to be eating those things anyways. I am in maintenance and eat what I want as long as my body lets me, lol. Good luck.

Thank you for your reply. I need to find out about the what foods are Okay to eat and not Okay for a bypass.

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3 hours ago, catwoman7 said:

Hair loss is very common with both surgeries. It has nothing to do with the type of surgery, it has to do with the trauma that surgery causes to the body. It's actually a risk with ANY major surgery - not just weight loss surgeries (although I'm guessing you see it more often with WLS, though, since we're taking in so few calories the first few months after surgery). At any rate, it's no more common with bypass than it is with the sleeve. Most WLS patients experience it. The good news is, for most of us, we're the only ones who notice, and also, it's almost always temporary.

Vitamin deficiency is rare as long as you keep on top of your Vitamins. You'll have to take Vitamins with either surgery.

dumping - only 30% of us dump (I never have). And it can be controlled by limiting or avoiding sugar.

if you have reflux, bypass is the way to go. Bypass often improves if not outright cures it. Sleeve has been known to make it worse (it doesn't happen to everyone - or even most - but it's a significant enough minority that most surgeons will steer you toward bypass if you've had reflux issues)

yes, there are more complications with bypass, but to be honest, they're actually not very common with either surgery. Most of us sail through with none - or only very minor issues that are usually "fixable".

Thank you for your quick reply. Did you start out with a Band and switch to a bypass? Congrats on you Huge weight loss!

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3 hours ago, New&Improved said:

Well I've not had band but I did have RNY bypass and all my blood work have been fine.

My hair issue wasn't loss of hair just that it grows slower.

Dumping only happens if you eat like junk food which we shouldn't anyways..

My weight loss has been amazing and even surprised myself...

No complications here but I am only 9.5 months post OP.

Maintaining well

Thank you for your reply.

Congrats on the Huge weight loss.

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9 minutes ago, Hope to Resolve said:

Thank you for your quick reply. Did you start out with a Band and switch to a bypass? Congrats on you Huge weight loss!

no - I just had bypass. I didn't have it until five years ago, and the band was already going out of favor then (sleeve has largely replaced it). I went with the bypass since I had GERD prior to surgery, to my surgeon recommended we do that instead of the sleeve. I've been really happy with it.

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1 minute ago, catwoman7 said:

no - I just had bypass. I didn't have it until five years ago, and the band was already going out of favor then (sleeve has largely replaced it). I went with the bypass since I had GERD prior to surgery, to my surgeon recommended we do that instead of the sleeve. I've been really happy with it.

Can I please ask you about the issue related to the Bypass in terms of lack of Vitamins and minerals? Is it true that your body gets less vitamins and minerals with a Bypass?

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Posted (edited)

9 minutes ago, Hope to Resolve said:

Can I please ask you about the issue related to the Bypass in terms of lack of Vitamins and minerals? Is it true that your body gets less Vitamins and minerals with a Bypass?

yes - that is true. That's why you have to take vitamins for the rest of your life. But you'll have to do it with the sleeve as well. My clinic has the bypass patients and the sleeve patients on the same Vitamin regimen.

as long as you keep on top of your vitamins, deficiencies are rare.

Edited by catwoman7

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34 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

yes - that is true. That's why you have to take Vitamins for the rest of your life. But you'll have to do it with the sleeve as well. My clinic has the bypass patients and the sleeve patients on the same Vitamin regimen.

as long as you keep on top of your vitamins, deficiencies are rare.

Thank you for your quick reply. I am already taking them in large amounts. I thought that most Vitamins should come from real food. I do not understand when they say that if you switch to a Bypass your body looses Vitamins with real food.

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8 minutes ago, Hope to Resolve said:

Thank you for your quick reply. I am already taking them in large amounts. I thought that most Vitamins should come from real food. I do not understand when they say that if you switch to a Bypass your body looses Vitamins with real food.

the first foot or so of your small intestine is bypassed. That's the area where certain Vitamins are absorbed by the body - whether from food or Vitamin pills. So we have to take vitamin pills (which give you much larger doses than you could get from food) to make up for that.

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2 hours ago, Hope to Resolve said:

you can eat anything that you can tolerate and like @catwoman7 said not everyone dumps with bypass.

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