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Would you recommend surgery for young people? LONG, sorry



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Hello everyone,

I'm 23, don't have any co-morbidities, and scheduled for surgery July 28. Blood pressure 122/78, lab work is good, endoscopy/cardiology etc were good. My BMI is 40.16 as of this morning. Thus, I barely qualified for the surgery. I'm currently on my preop liquid diet , day 6, down 8-10 lbs. As I've been on the liquid diet, I've started to have doubts. No one but my partner and sister know I'm doing this surgery, my parents do not know. I just wonder if the change I'm making to my body at such a young age is worth it and if should just try to lose weight by myself. I have done it before. Some of the side effects some people experience that I've read: GERD/gallbladder removal etc, seem daunting since I have always been/felt very healthy, have had no major surgeries, I don't even have allergies, nor do I smoke or drink. Introducing such a change to my body feels very scary. However, the opportunity to finally become who I want to be within the span of 1-2 years is promising. I don't want to pass this opportunity up but I'm scared of complications. All this being said, would any of you have done this surgery when you were 23?

Thank you,

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I WISH I had done this surgery when I was 23! I was probably about the same size as you at that age (just turned 30) with no health issues either. I've always struggled with my weight and have gone up and down with diets too many times to count. Nothing stuck for me. I realized this year that I needed to do something to make it stick before I developed any major health issues related to my weight (my BP was elevated and had fatty liver but everything else was ok). If you are confident that you can do it on your own and be able to stick with it then the surgery may not be for you! I know that, for a long time, I was confident I would do it on my own but I just couldn't. I think you know yourself best! Trust your gut! The surgery did come with pain and major life changes but it is 1000% the best thing I've done for myself. All this to say, trust yourself to make the right choice for you! This site really helped me when I was making the decision!

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8 minutes ago, Allie Still said:

I WISH I had done this surgery when I was 23! I was probably about the same size as you at that age (just turned 30) with no health issues either. I've always struggled with my weight and have gone up and down with diets too many times to count. Nothing stuck for me. I realized this year that I needed to do something to make it stick before I developed any major health issues related to my weight (my BP was elevated and had fatty liver but everything else was ok). If you are confident that you can do it on your own and be able to stick with it then the surgery may not be for you! I know that, for a long time, I was confident I would do it on my own but I just couldn't. I think you know yourself best! Trust your gut! The surgery did come with pain and major life changes but it is 1000% the best thing I've done for myself. All this to say, trust yourself to make the right choice for you! This site really helped me when I was making the decision!

thank you so much for your response, the consensus seems to be that people wish they'd done it earlier, I'm glad you got the surgery and are feeling good about it! I'm going to go ahead and go on with the surgery because I believe I was led to this path for a reason. ❤️

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I absolutely wish I had done this surgery when I was younger. For me the weight gain was medication induced and I was not overweight at 23 but at 28 or 30…I wish I had done it then. You can get the weight off BEFORE it has a chance to take a huge Toll on your joints and wreak havoc on the rest of your body. And Huge bonus is your skin is more likely to bounce back on its own. If you are truly ready to make the commitments to change at this point In your life I say go for it.

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Hello I’m 27 going on 28 and wish I had this surgery at your age! The only huge thing you want to think about is if you want kids anytime soon. That’s one thing my doctor was repeating to me fortunately I dont want kids. Since were going through the same process let me know if you want to chat anytime!

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I've had tremendous success with my RNY at 43 with a BMI in the 80s. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

At 43 I could look at my future and know it was going to be painful and short. I had to weigh that future against the possible outcomes of WLS: losing weight, doing things, living the dream... to dying on the table, severe life changing complications. I've known people at both extremes and in between. For me, then, it was a no brainer.

But, 20 years earlier? When my future was looking good. Weight was a problem, but I could still go and enjoy life, do things, go places.

I'm not convinced rolling the dice at 23 would have made sense for me. I could easily have lost what I had. Again, I knew people that did. Odds are it wouldn't happen to me. But, the odds have messed with me before, I almost died from a tonsillectomy when I was 4.

So, I'd have to think about it hard.

Good luck,

Tek

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Great question. I, too, would’ve done it earlier if I had the chance. To be able to create a healthier lifestyle at a younger time is something I wish I had been more aware of instead of always telling myself, “I have time” or “I’m still young.” I applaud you and wish I had been more self-aware at your age to even consider this.

Now you get decades in front of you of being healthy, strong, AND young! I also think the mental strength you will build should bleed into other aspects of your life. What an opportunity I wish I had 16 years ago (currently 39).

Best of luck, lady!

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I totally would have done this surgery in my 20’s had it existed. The gallbladder, can cause issues regardless of if you have surgery or not. I had mine removed when I was 27 & at my highest weight, that thing is evil. I had to be admitted to hospital twice just to control the pain before surgery was finally done to remove it.

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Hmmm....I don't know. "Earlier" is a relative term. I'm 56 and had surgery 7 months ago. Yes, I wish I had it earlier than that. I think I would have been ready in my early 40's. At 23, honestly, I would not have been ready to make the long-term changes that are required if the surgery is going to be successful. At 23, I was struggling with my weight but not to the extent that it would eventually become. Plus, I was not ready to accept that the long-term health consequences would indeed catch up with me.

How long have you been in preparation for surgery? If you are not involved in a thorough program that provides education and preparation for what life after surgery will be like, you may want to consider delaying your surgery. If you've taken your time with preparation and feel fully ready, then you're just experiencing nervousness like most of us did prior to surgery.

Good luck in your decision.

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I had surgery in my 50s and wish I'd done it earlier so I wouldn't have spent most of my life morbidly obese.

gallbladder - as someone else said, some people have gallbladder issues and need it removed even if they DON'T have weight loss surgery - and I honestly don't know how many people who've had WLS end up needing their gall bladders removed. Some - but I don't think it's a majority. Years ago many surgeons used to take people's gallbladders out as part of the WLS, but they don't do that anymore because a lot of patients never end up having gallbladder issues.

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At 23 and just 40 BMI, I'd seriously question whether it makes sense purely from a health perspective. Also, quite a few people are successful with diet and exercise changes in that situation.

That said, if the social consequences are extreme (as I'd imagine they are at that age), I could understand somebody deciding that the surgery was the right choice for them.

[I lost my gall bladder a few years ago, long before my surgery. Got sent home from the emergency room three times with extreme pain and was told it was heart burn each time. The fourth time they decided I needed an emergency cholecystectomy, and operated immediately. When, I recently visited the emergency room due to bright orange drainage from my main gastric bypass incision (turned out not to be something to worry about) and they asked me for feedback, I was sure to remind them about repeatedly missing my exploding gall bladder.]

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5 hours ago, victhemystic said:

I'm 23, don't have any co-morbidities

I'm 27 -- much higher starting BMI than you (57), but also didn't have co-morbidities. That's one of the big reasons I wanted to do it right now, to get this under control before any of that started.

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4 hours ago, solman said:

At 23 and just 40 BMI, I'd seriously question whether it makes sense purely from a health perspective. Also, quite a few people are successful with diet and exercise changes in that situation.

That said, if the social consequences are extreme (as I'd imagine they are at that age), I could understand somebody deciding that the surgery was the right choice for them.

[I lost my gall bladder a few years ago, long before my surgery. Got sent home from the emergency room three times with extreme pain and was told it was heart burn each time. The fourth time they decided I needed an emergency cholecystectomy, and operated immediately. When, I recently visited the emergency room due to bright orange drainage from my main gastric bypass incision (turned out not to be something to worry about) and they asked me for feedback, I was sure to remind them about repeatedly missing my exploding gall bladder.]

This is what I was thinking barely qualifying for surgery and with no comorbidities is it worth the surgical risk to do it now? At 23 you're still possibly going out with friends for food and drinks are you mentally prepared for the restrictions the surgery will bring? Also, as someone else said you will have to postpone having kids. I would like to know what are your reasons for wanting to do it now if you barely qualify?

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I would say for you don't commit to the surgery YET. I wish I would have done something about my weight sooner. However I think I did surgery at the right time. I had to work out the emotional issues I had and process childhood abuse first to understand why I ate. I didn't do that until I was past 30. Once I did that I was in a better space to get surgery.

What I wish I would have done way sooner would have been sought therapy and worked with a dietitian back when my weight was still lower. If you haven't done other serious interventions to lose weight, then maybe surgery is right.

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I absolutely would have considered it earlier if I knew it was a real option for me (but I definitely wouldn’t have done it before I had children)

11 hours ago, victhemystic said:

Hello everyone,

I'm 23, don't have any co-morbidities, and scheduled for surgery July 28. Blood pressure 122/78, lab work is good, endoscopy/cardiology etc were good. My BMI is 40.16 as of this morning. Thus, I barely qualified for the surgery. I'm currently on my preop liquid diet , day 6, down 8-10 lbs. As I've been on the liquid diet, I've started to have doubts. No one but my partner and sister know I'm doing this surgery, my parents do not know. I just wonder if the change I'm making to my body at such a young age is worth it and if should just try to lose weight by myself. I have done it before. Some of the side effects some people experience that I've read: GERD/gallbladder removal etc, seem daunting since I have always been/felt very healthy, have had no major surgeries, I don't even have allergies, nor do I smoke or drink. Introducing such a change to my body feels very scary. However, the opportunity to finally become who I want to be within the span of 1-2 years is promising. I don't want to pass this opportunity up but I'm scared of complications. All this being said, would any of you have done this surgery when you were 23?

Thank you,

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