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Weighing the risks vs success



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I hope I won’t be judged harshly here, but I really would appreciate feedback from this group. Several years back I decided against Lasik on my eyes after researching and reading horror stories and regrets people had after their surgeries. Wearing glasses for the rest of my life is not that big of a deal to me but carrying 150+ pounds of excess weight and facing future health risks is. And I want to feel energetic again and do something more with my life than be a couch potato. So maybe I shouldn’t have started reading stories from people who have experienced major issues after getting weight loss surgery. I know the percentage of people with regrets is small, my surgeon is experienced and I came through gall bladder surgery two years ago with flying colors. I’m taking the risk and doing this, but did anyone else pause for a moment pre-surgery and ponder the “what if’s”?

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I had 6 plus months of prep before my surgery so I had a long time to ponder the what if’s! Honestly, it came down to the fact that I felt like I no longer had control of my ability to lose weight and I had to take this step, and it’s a very scary one at that. My biggest suggestions are to research your surgeon and facilities, and also prepare yourself as much as possible with the education aspects outside of what the Bariatric program gives you. In a nurse by trade so I know many of the medical components and complications of surgery in general, but I needed to research more on bariatrics. The risks with VSG are very low. If you have major health issues obviously the % will rise for complications. I am 100% happy that I went through with my surgery although I am only 6 weeks out and did not have any major complications.

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I went back and forth till the very last day wondering if what I was about to do to my body was too extreme and was afraid of complications. I am so glad that I did it. Zero regrets. Except the most common one that I didn’t do it sooner.

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I read all of those horror stories as well, but keep in mind that those kinds of things don't happen very often. The majority of us sail through just fine with no issues.

I think most of us probably had the same thoughts at one time or another - all the "what ifs" and the fears of having some horrible complication. I finally had to stop myself from reading about them. It's good to know that it's a possibility - but you also have to put it in perspective. It's pretty uncommon. I figured I was at a much greater risk being 200 lbs overweight than I was having the surgery. Having some major complication from bariatric surgery could certainly happen, but the risk is pretty small. On the other hand, having a heart attack, developing diabetes, or dying 20 years prematurely was a pretty decent-sized risk (if not a sure thing) if I stayed super morbidly obese.

but of course - you know all this. You said so in your post. Just wanted you to know that yes - I had those thoughts as well. I bet most of us did.

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I am a nurse who started her career in the OR and now works in ER and it was very difficult for me to not see every complication possible happening to me. Ultimately, I have no regrets. Had no complications and have lost 130 pounds. Research the surgeon you choose, their support and details of the program as well as resources. Ask other patients how their experience was with that surgeon. When I went for my consult, the surgeon started in on his VERY low complication rate and well developed plan and I said, you don't have to sell me, I've already done my research on you! Good luck!! I have more energy, get more done, spend time with my family. I'm a better person, mom, wife and nurse. I would it again tomorrow.

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When I was researching WLS I read the success and failure stories with equal interest. I contemplated how I would deal with things going right and things going wrong. I had to make sure I was ready for whatever came.

Once I made my decision, I didn't revisit anything that led to that decision. Second guessing decisions is crazy making. All my focus was on doing what I needed to do to proceed.

Sometimes it seemed like my brain had a mind of it's own and would find myself contemplating my personal nightmare scenarios. At such times distraction became my main tool. At work I would focus more on my work. At home I would play online MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) with my spouse. Very immersive. Better still, distracting.

For the record, none of my personal nightmare scenarios came to pass. I got every post-operative effect I wanted and it all worked out pretty close to my best-case scenario.

Good luck,

Tek

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I actually put off surgery at first because I was so afraid of complications. I ended up going ahead this time because I was insured for bariatric coverage and I knew at least that protected me financially.

I remember looking at myself in the mirror after I had my surgery date scheduled and being like “what the heck are you doing”. But I went forward and I’m glad every day I did.

For me it was reminding myself that risks aren’t only present with action, but also inaction. Sometimes we assume that we are safe if we stick with the status quo but there are medical risks with staying overweight as well. They may not be as obvious as surgical risks but they exist nonetheless.

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I'm an nurse. When I was a new nurse in the late 90s, wls was still fairly new, and I saw people with pretty bad complications and even death. I am also a pretty big worrier and tend to overthink everything. I considered wls for many years but it was never something I thought I would do. I was just too worried about complications. I've never had insurance covered it either and didn't want to pay out of pocket for it. It all changed when I got my gallbladder out in January 2020 and had liver biopsy at the same time. I was diagnosed with NASH and hepatic fibrosis and he recommended wls. He told me it was safer now than having your gallbladder removed, so I researched some more and made the decision to do it. I was still be very scared of complications, but I was also 48 at the time with a 9 year old son I wanted to see grow up. So I had my Loop DS in July 2020 and it was definitely the best decision ever.
I knew realistically my chance of complications was low, and I had none.
I'm almost 10 months out already and down to 244 from 393 and I am so glad I did it.
Any surgery has risks. I had to decide if the benefits of the surgery outweighed the risks for me, and they most certainly did.
I knew if I stayed at that weight I didn't have a chance of living much longer anyway so I was willing to take the chance and do it. I feel great!

Sent from my Nokia 7.2 using BariatricPal mobile app

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