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Surgery for someone with no health issues



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Hi everyone!

I'm strongly considering gastric bypass and have done consultations with 3 surgeons. One told me I qualified for the surgery and approved me and suggested the bypass. Another said surgery was an option and recommended the sleeve. The third said that medically I could qualify but he didn't recommend surgery for me as other than obesity I have no other co-morbidities.

I'm 36, female, 6'1, 410 pounds. My BMI is 54 and has been around this high for at least a decade. I'm one of those "lucky" fat people who don't store fat close to internal organs and so I haven't developed significant health issues. My BP is normal, no diabetes, heart disease high cholesterol, etc. I've managed to have a pretty active lifestyle despite my weight and have been a competitive powerlifter for years.

I want to get the surgery because I'm aware that just because I'm "healthy" now that doesn't mean I will be 5 or 10 years from now. I would also like to do things like fit into airplane seats with ease and not worry about whether I will fit into a chair or break a bed frame. I want to be able to go skydiving and bungee jumping and things I've never been able to do as a big person. I've tried to lose weight before and always gained back whatever I lose.

Has anyone been in a similar position? I was honestly quite surprised by the reaction I got as doctors have been telling me to lose weight for years. Now when I say I do want to do that it's like well maybe don't lose weight this way. My gut feeling is to go forward with the surgery anyway as I want to lose weight for my own reasons but I would love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation.

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yes. I was 373 lbs at 5'6" with no health issues other than arthritis (and being super morbidly obese). Even though I had no major issues at the time, I knew they were probably just around the corner, and I worried that I wouldn't see my 60th birthday without doing something drastic about my weight. How many people do you see over age 60 or 70 who are super morbidly obese? Not many. Plus I was tired of just existing - I wanted my life back again.

I really don't understand that 3rd surgeon you went to. Weighing that much is a huge risk to your health.

as far as surgeons #1 and #2, both are good surgeries. In general, if you have GERD, most surgeons recommend that you go with bypass. If you don't, it' pretty much comes down to personal preference. You'll find people who have had good success with both.

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I totally agree with Catwoman (as usual). Just because you have no health issues now doesn't mean you won't later on. A BMI of 54 is not a borderline number, and it's better to deal with your obesity before you start experiencing problems. As you said, you will be able to have a more active lifestyle if you can get to a normal weight. I'm also sure your weight is causing undue stress on your joints, and the sooner you can relieve that they better. I say go with your instinct and have the surgery.

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I was always very active ........ until my joints gave out. I have arthritis in both hips, my back, and one knee, since I've already had a knee replacement. Don't wait until your joints are ruined. You never get them back, and although a replacement is great, it is never like your own joint. I was overweight/obese for 50 years. I only wish I had not waited so long to have surgery. I have my active life back now, and have resolved all my co-morbidities, however I can't reverse the cartilage loss and damage to my joints.

Obesity will catch you, sooner or later. I went a long time before I started having the creeping BP, lipids, and borderline glucose. That's called Metabolic Syndrome and sooner or later it will find you. That then develops into diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and a bunch of prescription medications. sleep apnea is another big one. I didn't even know I had it until I had a sleep study and found that my apnea was actually very severe. I was on a cpap machine for a year (wonderful thing, that machine - really!) until I lost the weight and now I don't need it at all.

Get the weight off now! If you are ready to make the dietary and lifestyle changes, do it while you are still young and healthy. You will also have less loose skin if you have it done sooner than later.

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Thanks everybody. I'm going forward with it. I'm thinking about it as doing it for future me.

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Just because you don't have health issues now doesn't mean the excess weight is harming you and will cause health issues later. I'd go ahead with it. Obesity is a medical condition all of itself and doesn't need comorbidities to require surgical intervention.

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Everyone's said pretty much what I would be thinking. I can't even fathom a Dr saying they don't recommend the surgery for someone who will be hitting 40 in four years with a lifetime fighting obesity. Many co-morbidities don't show up until after age 45-50 and then it's too late (take it from one who knows). That a Dr would say that is just too much.

The type of surgery is completely up to you and are Dr. Many people find the highest risks determining their surgery is heart conditions (ruling out bypass) and, more commonly, heartburn or gerd (giving more importance to the after-effect risk in the sleeve) but that is between you and what your medical professional determine.

I did have gerd stage 3 which kind of made it almost a no-brainer and I am very happy with my decision as the surgery took care of almost all of my very serious and [one] life-threatening co-morbidity that didn't show up until a couple years ago (age 48). I was very scared to have the surgery but knew it could mean life-threatening problems in the next 5 years, so I did it and am very, very happy with having my life back.

You should be fine under insurance with just your bmi-no other co-morbidities are necessary to qualify. It's a very big decision but you are correct in the instinct that you can have a much better life and healthier future with either surgery.

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On 11/19/2020 at 1:53 PM, LaoDaBeirut said:

I'm strongly considering gastric bypass and have done consultations with 3 surgeons. One told me I qualified for the surgery and approved me and suggested the bypass. Another said surgery was an option and recommended the sleeve. The third said that medically I could qualify but he didn't recommend surgery for me as other than obesity I have no other co-morbidities.

If I were you I would listen to the first surgeon. Honestly BMI being above 40 by itself is qualification for gastric bypass surgery. The fact that it's a lifelong struggle is another factor. I fought like hell to have surgery because even though I have lifelong chronic illness and disability I didn't have enough of what they considered comorbidities to qualify for surgery under my insurance, except for my BMI. I almost didn't think it would happen but I was desperate for the tool of surgery to get my weight under control.

Im pretty sure you have the answer you need already, I just wanted to say- don't let any doctor discourage you from going forward with your journey because you know in your heart you are on the right path.

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On 11/19/2020 at 1:53 PM, LaoDaBeirut said:

Hi everyone!

I'm strongly considering gastric bypass and have done consultations with 3 surgeons. One told me I qualified for the surgery and approved me and suggested the bypass. Another said surgery was an option and recommended the sleeve. The third said that medically I could qualify but he didn't recommend surgery for me as other than obesity I have no other co-morbidities.

I'm 36, female, 6'1, 410 pounds. My BMI is 54 and has been around this high for at least a decade. I'm one of those "lucky" fat people who don't store fat close to internal organs and so I haven't developed significant health issues. My BP is normal, no diabetes, heart disease high cholesterol, etc. I've managed to have a pretty active lifestyle despite my weight and have been a competitive powerlifter for years.

I want to get the surgery because I'm aware that just because I'm "healthy" now that doesn't mean I will be 5 or 10 years from now. I would also like to do things like fit into airplane seats with ease and not worry about whether I will fit into a chair or break a bed frame. I want to be able to go skydiving and bungee jumping and things I've never been able to do as a big person. I've tried to lose weight before and always gained back whatever I lose.

Has anyone been in a similar position? I was honestly quite surprised by the reaction I got as doctors have been telling me to lose weight for years. Now when I say I do want to do that it's like well maybe don't lose weight this way. My gut feeling is to go forward with the surgery anyway as I want to lose weight for my own reasons but I would love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation.

I am in a similar situation! I am 36, have slowly been creeping up in weight through life and I have finally had it having a BMI of 42. However, I knew, and I’m finding out as I do the initial work ups, that I don’t have any other health issues. I don’t take any meds and don’t have any other problems other than my weight. However, that is the reason that I want to have the sleeve done. I’m otherwise healthy now, but if I continue on this path it won’t last forever. And I’ve learned over the years that I am just not successful at losing the weight by myself over time. The yo-yo dieting and losing/regain is going to cause major problems over time!
It’s unfortunate that the surgeons questioned the validity of you requesting this surgery, but you should just know that you know yourself and your needs best and you should stick with your instincts. Unless someone outright tells you that you shouldn’t because it’s unsafe or something, advocate for yourself!

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