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Potential Gastric Sleeve Poll



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Posted (edited)

Greeting 🙂 I am new to this forum and have alot of questions I suppose as many of you probably did when you were just starting out. I am morbidly obese (I hate that description even tho its true) it just sounds awful and degrading. Anyway, I have had a weight problem for years. I just never addressed it I guess, well now is the time to do that.

My questions Id like to pose is:

how many people who have had the gastric sleeve have experienced long term complications from it and how long has it been post op? And what were they?

Did the benefits far outweigh the complications in your opinion?

If you had it to do all over again would you elect to have the sleeve or would you have picked gastric bypass instead?

Being a gastric sleeve patient what would you say to me knowing that I am 52 yrs old and have a BMI of 58. What sort of things would you suggest or tell me about gastric sleeve surgery? (tid bit of information about me. I have no known illnesses or problems outside of obesity. I am borderline high blood pressure but not on any medication. I am borderline type 2 diabetes no medications but have blood sugars between 130-155 usually)

Your thoughts, answers to questions, and opinions would be much appreciated because I have not scheduled to see anyone yet about bariatric surgery but I am hoping to soon.

Edited by Crisscat

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3 hours ago, Crisscat said:

Greeting 🙂 I am new to this forum and have alot of questions I suppose as many of you probably did when you were just starting out. I am morbidly obese (I hate that description even tho its true) it just sounds awful and degrading. Anyway, I have had a weight problem for years. I just never addressed it I guess, well now is the time to do that.

My questions Id like to pose is:

how many people who have had the gastric sleeve have experienced long term complications from it and how long has it been post op? And what were they?

Did the benefits far outweigh the complications in your opinion?

If you had it to do all over again would you elect to have the sleeve or would you have picked gastric bypass instead?

Being a gastric sleeve patient what would you say to me knowing that I am 52 yrs old and have a BMI of 58. What sort of things would you suggest or tell me about gastric sleeve surgery? (tid bit of information about me. I have no known illnesses or problems outside of obesity. I am borderline high blood pressure but not on any medication. I am borderline type 2 diabetes no medications but have blood sugars between 130-155 usually)

Your thoughts, answers to questions, and opinions would be much appreciated because I have not scheduled to see anyone yet about bariatric surgery but I am hoping to soon.

Technically I didn't have the gastric sleeve surgery as I had the Loop DS/ SADI-S/SIPS surgery instead, BUT my surgery INVOLVES a gastric sleeve stomach. It just has the added intestinal bypass bit. I don't know if that counts for what you want to know though lol. But I'll answer anyway about my own WLS experience.

I'm 15 months out. I had only one complication. That complication? I developed a wheat allergy. Any surgery with the malabsorption bit has something like a 3% chance of developing either a wheat allergy or Celiac Disease. I just happened to be one of the unlucky ones, but the bright side of it is that it keeps me on track because I can't eat 95% of the foods I used to love now due to the allergy lol. If I had to do it all over again I'd either stick with the surgery I chose or go with the old fashioned DS (but only because I really hate constipation issues and with the old DS you have the opposite problem, which is a problem in itself I guess lol).

I was told the best WLS options to help with diabetes or pre-diabetes are ones that have malabsorption. And those are the ones that involve the intestinal bit (this was what my surgeon told me, btw because diabetes runs in my family). Those surgeries are Gastric Bypass, Duodenal Switch (DS), or Loop Duodenal Switch (SADI-S/SIPS). When I first went in for my surgery consult in May 2019 in which I'd had my mind set on the Gastric Sleeve I was told that since I had a BMI above 50 (it was almost 61 at the time) I was in the highest class of obesity and classified as 'super morbidly obese' (I cried). They recommended the DS or Loop DS to me because statistically they have the highest weight loss percentage and because I'm partially disabled (due to back injuries and osteoarthritis) I needed to really rely on average statistics (if you're not disabled and can exercise and follow your surgical and dieting guidelines then you can by all means surpass the average so don't get stuck on statistics if you don't have those issues). However, I also bounced around with whether I wanted that or Gastric Bypass due to potential GERD issues with the Loop DS because of the sleeved stomach (my gastroenterologist wanted me to do the GB lol while the surgeon was pushing for the DS or Loop DS). I ended up choosing the Loop DS after months of going back and forth between that and the Gastric Bypass. I had high blood pressure before my surgery and because mine is genetic (literally my sister is the only adult in our family who doesn't have it) I still have it. I was TOLD if my high blood pressure is genetic then the surgery likely wouldn't help it. It did improve it though. I used to take my BP meds every other day, but now I take them every three days and my blood pressure has been perfect with that.

In the end the choice of what surgery you choose is very much your own. Do your research. Weigh the pro's and con's. Ask the surgeon questions. If you actually go to the office and SEE people (damn Covid may make it so you don't see people) ask if they've had surgery and ask them about their experiences (I did). Just choose whatever surgery you feel comfortable with. Every surgery has their ups and downs and everyone's experience is different.

Also, congrats on the start of your journey and I wish you the best! You can do it!

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bypass patient here. Really the main complication you have to consider with the sleeve is potential GERD - it happens to about 30% of sleeve patients. There are other potential complications, of course, but other than GERD, they're pretty rare. And IMHO, the benefit of losing a massive amount of weight outweighs almost any potential complication. Being super morbidly obese (and I started there, too) is a serious co-morbidity on its own...

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I'm about 8 months out from getting sleeved. Like you I was generally pretty healthy aside from my weight. For me the surgery went smoothly as did recovery. I had almost no complaints or issues. I do occasionally get reflux, but its usually when I choose to eat something too close to bedtime so I generally try to avoid that. The only other issue really is that sometimes Vitamins on an empty stomach make me feel nausea. But really that's about it. I don't have any foods that give me problems or anything else really. I've been pretty lucky. Given my experience I would definitely do the sleeve again.

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I started out with a 49 BMI, and I got the sleeve. I’m six months out and I just hit a BMI of 29. No complications whatsoever, but I also was very healthy prior to surgery. My only comorbidity was being super obese. I love that I feel the “same” for lack of a better description. I still have the cast Iron stomach I used to have (just a lot less of it) and basically the only change has been my hunger doesn’t control my life anymore.

Part of my reason for picking the sleeve was that I wanted the surgery with fewer long term complications- if something was going to happen I wanted it to happen right away so I wouldn’t worry about it. With that said, complications in either surgery are very low. I don’t think either one is the wrong choice. If I had it to do over again I wouldn’t change a thing.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks so much for responding. I appreciate you taking the time to tell me your stories.

What was the final straw for you to finally make that move to go to a surgeon?

Did something happen or were you just fed up with being overweight and just decided to go through with it?

I guess I just have reservations about doing it. I know a few people who had the gastric bypass.

One is gaining his weight back 3 yrs in and the other a female seems to have put alittle bit of her weight back but she has had ALOT of Hair loss. She also had skin removal not long after her weight loss. Both seem deficient in Vitamins etc.

I just dont want to go through all this and ultimately end up gaining it back. Id like to think that I could say on target and make a change in my eating habits and the types of food I eat but seeing others starting to put the weight back on makes me second guess doing it.

Edited by Crisscat

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15 minutes ago, Crisscat said:

I guess I just have reservations about doing it. I know a few people who had the gastric bypass.

One is gaining his weight back 3 yrs in and the other a female seems to have put alittle bit of her weight back but she has had ALOT of Hair loss. She also had skin removal not long after her weight loss. Both seem deficient in Vitamins etc.

I just dont want to go through all this and ultimately end up gaining it back. Id like to think that I could say on target and make a change in my eating habits and the types of food I eat but seeing others starting to put the weight back on makes me second guess doing it.

regain can happen with any surgery, even the most powerful of all, the DS (duodenal switch). Losing the weight and keeping it off takes a lot of commitment - for life. People who say you're taking the easy way out are dead wrong. This takes A LOT of work.

Hair loss is very common with all weight loss surgeries. the good thing is, it's temporary. It grows back. And a majority of us don't lose enough for others to notice (although WE notice it, of course...). A few people don't lose any hair at all. To many of us who are long past that stage, the hair loss was a small price to pay for the benefits we got from the weight loss.

Vitamin deficiency can happen in bypass patients if they don't keep on top of their Vitamins. You will have to take vitamins for life regardless of surgery, but the consequences for slacking off are more severe for bypass patients than sleeve patients. However, if you're diligent about taking your vitamins, vitamin deficiencies are pretty rare, even in bypass patients

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it sounds like you need to do more reading and research. Spend some time on this forum - there's a lot of good info here and a ton of people who've had the various surgeries. Also, there are a lot of books out on weight loss surgery (WLS). One that comes to mind is "Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies" - I haven't personally read that one, but a lot of patients claim they really liked it and got a lot of out of it.

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See my post on My sleeve experience - it’s long and detailed. The pluses - weight loss to goal, no Vitamin deficiencies. The negs - GERD!!!

Do it again? Tough to answer, because it’s been 15 years and I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have it. Dead? Massive Stroke? Or maybe a healthy, but fat 51 year old? Who knows? Lol.

Quality of life is severely diminished with GERD, but my friends have had the bypass, and that’s a tough road too. My advice? If your happy, healthy, but fat - don’t do anything. Wear beautiful clothes, don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh, enjoy your friends and your life!

If you’re suffering and the future is looking bleak, grill your doctor about GERD and find a surgeon that understands it and mitigates the risks. See my post for all the right questions!

I’d do the sleeve, but find the right surgeon. The ones who’ve been doing for over 20 years are the best - they know some tricks to avoid GERD, and they test you for GERD before surgery. If your surgeon doesn’t mention GERD or downplays it - RUN!

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My final straw was realizing that I just kept gaining and gaining and I was too fat to enjoy my life. I couldn’t play with my kids, I was afraid to meet new people and see that look of judgement. I was exhausted and felt like I was moving a mountain every move I made. I was always worried about not fitting in chairs, I wouldn’t be able to fly in a plane, walk a mile, forget it. I felt trapped in a prison that i had made myself.

If you’re happy where you are, this surgery might not be for you. I wasn’t happy and I was getting more miserable every year.

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Posted (edited)

On 5/12/2021 at 5:07 PM, Crisscat said:

Thanks so much for responding. I appreciate you taking the time to tell me your stories.

What was the final straw for you to finally make that move to go to a surgeon?

Did something happen or were you just fed up with being overweight and just decided to go through with it?

I guess I just have reservations about doing it. I know a few people who had the gastric bypass.

One is gaining his weight back 3 yrs in and the other a female seems to have put alittle bit of her weight back but she has had ALOT of Hair loss. She also had skin removal not long after her weight loss. Both seem deficient in Vitamins etc.

I just dont want to go through all this and ultimately end up gaining it back. Id like to think that I could say on target and make a change in my eating habits and the types of food I eat but seeing others starting to put the weight back on makes me second guess doing it.

I've been battling my weight since I was 6 years old. I've been big for as far back as I can remember. I did just about every diet there was and not a single one worked. Eventually I just gave up. I had looked briefly into WLS in my 20's but I didn't think I'd be able to change my eating habits so drastically. I didn't think I had that kind of willpower. Plus, potential complications scared me and the permanence scared me. So I stopped looking into it.

When I was 21 in May of 2009 my eldest niece was born. I was still in pretty good health despite being over 300 pounds. So I didn't really have the determination to go through with WLS. However, when her sister was born in February 2019 my health was very bad. I was 389 pounds, I have two permanent back injuries (one caused by my osteoarthritis), high blood pressure, tachycardia, hypothyroidism, the aforementioned osteoarthritis, I was pre-diabetic, have EoE (an autoimmune disorder), and I'd had brain surgery in May 2017 for my trigeminal neuralgia. When I held my new niece I was hit with the realization that if something didn't change, if I didn't find a way to get myself healthier and lose weight, then I likely wouldn't be around to watch her grow up. I cried, because watching my eldest niece grow up has been my greatest joy. It broke my heart that I may not be around to watch her sister grow up.

That made things more real for me, I suppose. It pushed me into making that change and taking it seriously. I was referred to a bariatric surgeon and had to do a 6 months of monitored weigh-in's per my insurance. I didn't actually have to LOSE weight. I was just told not to GAIN weight. But, I took the initiative to try and make myself as successful as possible by using that time to prepare myself for a new way of eating. I used the first month to cut out seconds and cut my portion sizes down. The second month I cut out soda. The third month I cut out rice. The fourth month I cut out Pasta. The fifth month I cut out bread. The six month I cut out potatoes and Beans. The last two months before my surgery (they were overscheduled and pushed me back) I just maintained that diet and on my surgery date I was 321 pounds, meaning I'd lost 68 pounds on my own. I'm still very proud of myself for that.

For me, the final push was my family. My family is my strength. They are what pulled me through the absolute worst time in my life (August 2016-May2017 when I had a 10 month TN flare that led to my brain surgery) when I KNOW I would have given up without them.

Since my weight loss surgery? I have a new niece (from my brother and his wife) and my first and only nephew (from my sister and her husband). Now that I've lost over 200 pounds I don't worry so much that I won't be there to watch them grow up. And when I see my 2 year old niece light up when she see's me I know I made the right choice, the best choice, to have this surgery because now I get to watch her and her brother grow up just like I've got to watch her 12 year old sister grow up and just as I'll get to see her cousins grow up.

Everyone has a different reason for why they do this. Sometimes it's for family, like myself. And sometimes it's personal. Every person who goes through this has a different journey, different experiences, and a different story to tell. And I wish you the very best on your own journey.

Edited by NovaLuna
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