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Hi Everyone,

I recently set my gastric sleeve surgery date for September 10th. I have been trying to do as much research as possible. Luckily I stumbled upon this page and I have read about all kind of complications that were never brought to my attention by my surgeon or his staff. I am starting to have some serious second thoughts. I would appreciate any and all insight as to was the procedure worth it? Do you regret it? Do you feel like your life has improved? Has it declined? Am I over thinking this? What should I be aware of? Should I try to loose the 100lbs the old fashion way?

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What exactly are you having second thoughts about?

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The pain for upwards of month after, not being able to tolerate food or foods that I enjoy, diarrhea, vomiting, heartburn, no alcohol for 6 months to a year, no nsaids, potential gallstones, hernia , Hair loss to name a few.

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Posted (edited)

Well, I can help you with some of that. Though everyone is different there isn't usually pain for upwards of a month. I am 2 weeks post op and doing pretty much everything I normally due and even sleep on my stomach. Unless you have GERD or already have reflux most people don't just experience heartburn unless they do something to cause it and most Drs. will prescribe an acid reducer for at least the first month. Now, the food part I would suggest seeking some therapy if that is a major concern to you. You have to make the decision if changing your eating habits, Hair loss (which may or may not happen and if it does hair grows back) NSAIDs etc. if all of those things outweigh the desire to lose weight and be healthy then the surgery is not for you. But, right now it seems you are dwelling on a lot of possibilities that might not even occur.

Edited by LisaMarrie

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Having questions & concerns before surgery is very common. It is frustrating though when your surgeon &/or medical team don’t prepare you about what happens after or what could happen. So in answer to the things you’re second guessing: (sorry long response)

Most pain post surgery is gone in 4-5 days & a lot of that is gas pain from when they inflate your abdomen to visualise the surgical field.

Yes, there may be some foods you can’t tolerate especially in the first couple of months after surgery. Some occurs because your sense of taste &/or smell temporarily changes & some foods taste or smell terrible. Your tummy can also be pretty sensitive. Something you eat one day without issue can cause side effects (diarrhoea, nausea, foamier, discomfort, etc.) tomorrow. Just drop that food for a week or two then try again. Most people can eat anything but do so carefully & watch portion sizes. Honestly, I do still have issues with potatoes, Pasta, bread & rice - they sit heavily in my tummy - no loss there though. Char grilled foods are too dry for me & oily fish or fatty foods also are a no go but they were before surgery - stirred up my too acid tummy. Again no loss.

I used to have a large glass of wine every night sometimes followed by a scotch. When I was losing I’d have a glass about once a month but I’d nurse it for hours. Now I still only have a drink about once a month. I don’t really miss it & I don’t enjoy it as much. At a lower weight, the alcohol may hit you more quickly & you will register a higher blood alcohol content. Also addiction swapping is real. Swapping your food addiction for alcohol, or something else is something to be aware of.

Gerd is a possible side effect of sleeve surgery. I had some reflux before surgery I still have it now - it manifests differently though but is easily managed with medication. Many obese people already have or develop gerd or gerd symptoms like heartburn anyway due to poor diet &/or excessive eating.

My surgeon allows me to have the odd nsaid - once a month or two. Regular use of nsaids can cause inflammation of the stomach. Post surgery we gave a much smaller stomach so the damage to our tummy lining caused by the nsaids is amplified.

Gallstones form as a result of high cholesterol, losing large amounts of weight, menopause or having high bilirubin levels. I had my gall removed 2 months ago. I had one stone which could have formed because of the weight loss, menopause or from my high bilirubin levels. My cholesterol was always ok. Many obese people have high cholesterol so would already have or would form gall stones at some time anyway. Many obese people already have or would develop hernias because of the weight they’re carrying putting stress in their bodies. Many have their gall removed &/or hernias repaired during their weight loss surgery. Some didn’t even realise they had the problems before all the pre surgery medical tests.

The shock of the surgery & reduced diet causes your natural Hair loss cycle to accelerate. (It happens after many surgeries, pregnancy, menopause, periods of excessive stress, etc.) Your natural regrowth cycle is unchanged so new hair is regrowing as you’re losing more quickly. The hair loss tends to slow to normal rates after 3 or 4 months. I cut my hair shorter so the new growth would reach full length more quickly. You can’t stop it or slow it. It will happen in its own time (those who claim supplements & treatments helped have no idea because they don’t know when their hair would have stopped shedding anyway). You wouldn’t know almost half my hair fell out now - it’s as thick & as healthy as it was before.

Yes, some people do experience complications or take longer to get through the initial side effects. But all surgeries have the potential for complications. Sleeve surgery is pretty low risk in comparison.

I guess, in summary most of your concerns are temporary, short term side effects or are things you may have developed anyway if you didn’t lose your weight.

Is the surgery worth it? Yes! Yes! Hell yes! I didn’t have any comorbidities before surgery but they were very close by now there’s an extremely low to no chance of ever developing them. The balls of my feet used to ache & my stamina wasn’t great. Feet are pain free & stamina is improved. The oddest thing is now I sometimes have difficulty finding clothes to fit me because I’m too small. 😆 Rather have that problem then being too big to find nice clothes.

Good luck whatever you chose to do.

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Posted (edited)

For me, the surgery wasn't worth it. I believe it is the reason that I ended up with a hiatal hernia (I didn't have one before the surgery) and I have some moderate GERD problems since the surgery (though my GERD is not as severe as the GERD that some unlucky people end up with after the sleeve). Looking back on it now, I wish I would have just avoided any bariatric surgery at all, but if I were still going to get surgery, I personally think that the gastric bypass would have been a better way to go actually. I chose the sleeve because I was scared of the bypass and didn't want to take the risks of the bypass, but the bypass at least is the "tried and true" method that has stood the test of time over decades. The sleeve has a pretty significant risk of ending up with severe GERD, and if you get severe GERD, many doctors will tell you to get a bypass to fix the GERD. Then you end up going through ANOTHER surgery, which is riskier than just getting the bypass to start.

Edited by SleevedK

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Good on you for being prepared and doing your research! I am 7 months post op and almost 100lb down. I have had oesophageal dysmotility post up which causes me pain with quite a bit after eating and I did suffer from Hair loss and nausea for a while. All the cons aside for me it has been totally worth it and life changing. My health has drastically improved and my food obsession is also improving! I personally would suggest psychology post op to deal with the food issues but I would absolutely do it all again :)

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Absolutely worth it for me. My only regret (and you’ll hear this here often) is not doing this sooner. My highest known weight was 286. Today I’m 140.2. My life has changed so much for the better. I’m happy, healthy, and fit. Off all meds and my CPAP. I can hike, bike, kayak, dance with no pain. I can go on any ride at an amusement park, fit comfortably in airplane seats, and walk in to any store and buy clothes that fit and are in style. I had very little post op pain, and progressed my diet as expected. I can now eat anything, but in much smaller quantities. I’d say I follow the 80/20 rule, probably more like 90/10 of mostly healthy foods that I love with the occasional treats. Best of luck to you as you make your decision!

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I’ll echo kristie, minimal pain post surgery, I feel MUCH better, GERD (it was mild pre surgery) actually went away, I can eat/drink almost anything I did pre surgery in much smaller portions, lots of Hair loss going into month 4 or so but you could never really tell and back to normal now, and OH the joy of buying normal clothes!

totally worth the lifestyle changes. After about 2-3 months I didn’t feel like I was missing anything except the extra pounds I was lugging around for years.

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I've also been wondering if the VSG is worth it, or if I should just buckle down and "diet" again. I've met with the surgeon and am on the schedule for all the pre-op insurance requirements, with hopefully surgery in October. I met with my PCP yesterday who was very supportive of the surgery. I bought the book, "Ultimate Gastric Sleeve Success" by Dr. Duc Vuong, and found it to be a great easy read - I highly recommend it. I think I'm much more confident in my decision to have surgery now.

Sent from my SM-N976V using BariatricPal mobile app

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, ColieCallwell said:

if I should just buckle down and "diet" again.

How has that worked out in the past? For me, I was good at dieting. The problem is that after I lost 30 lbs, I'd be content with the progress I had made and always gained it back when I got lazy and or didn't get the same results.

13 hours ago, Cocomoves said:

I would appreciate any and all insight as to was the procedure worth it? Do you regret it? Do you feel like your life has improved? Has it declined? Am I over thinking this? What should I be aware of? Should I try to loose the 100lbs the old fashion way?

Do I regret it? No way

Do I feel like my life has improved? Absolutely. I'm 100 lbs lighter and am a completely different person. I'm in the best shape of my adult life (aside from a brief time in college). I am more active, have learned some new skills and am doing things that I put off for years. I have more energy and feel better. I got rid of my CPAP, a bunch of meds, and don't hurt all the time. I can fit in an airplane seat, don't worry about breaking chairs, and can fit in normal-sized clothes. I can't think of a single down side.

Are you overthinking it? I can't speak for you, but probably. This is a big decision that only you can make- when you are ready. Of course, your medical history and particular situation is unique to you, so talk to your doctor and follow his/her advice.

What should you be aware of? take it slow and steady and expect it to take time to get where you want to be. Also, there is more of a social stigma to doing surgery than you might think, so be careful about how much you want to share, or at least be prepared for some negative reaction from those that don't understand.

Your relationship with food may change. I can only speak for me, but mealtime was the highlight of my day and the center of my universe was cooking and eating and preparing for the next time I got to eat. Now, it's "meh". I eat when I need to, but don't really think about it much. I still like to eat, but in much smaller amounts and I'm more concerned about good quality food that I can tolerate well, vs. food in large amounts. Also, my tastes have changed (may have been a result of getting COVID, though) and I don't like a lot of the things I used to crave.

Be prepared to spend less on food, but much, much more on clothes and running shoes. If this goes well, you'll need to replace your entire wardrobe. Ease into it at first, only buying the minimal things you need to get by, as you will move through sizes quickly.

This is how I feel most days:

Edited by billho

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The pain for upwards of month after, not being able to tolerate food or foods that I enjoy, diarrhea, vomiting, heartburn, no alcohol for 6 months to a year, no nsaids, potential gallstones, hernia , Hair loss to name a few.

*I had very little pain.

*I tolerate nearly everything. popcorn, meat, sugar, grease, pretty much everything. I can eat every single thing I've ever been able to eat.

*diarrhea, vomiting, heartburn. Have had no problems with any of these. Have not experienced any nausea since surgery, no heartburn.

*No alcohol. I'm not a drinker, but tried a sip of something about two months out and regretted it...it burned. After six months, I think I had a few sips of margarita with no issues... and found that a few sips was all it took...wow! I have a handful of drinks a year, but could notice a big difference in my tolerance.

*No NSAIDS for a year for sure. My doctor lets me take a small amount now to treat Migraines. I take them with an antacid, and never more than a couple of doses per month.

*gallstones...I'd already had my gallbladder out.

*hernia....was very glad to find and fix mine, and it wasn't caused by the surgery. Improved my quality of life drastically.

*hair loss....I lost a massive amount of hair, but it grew back super thick...and CURLY. Had straighter hair before. No clue why it's curly now? Maybe the Vitamins? Love my hair more now than before surgery. Hair loss is temporary and there are all sorts of strategies for covering thin hair for a few months while it grows back. (Mine was thin, but I didn't need to hide it)

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Such thoughtful insights from previous posters! I am a cautious person, so even though my doctors were recommending the surgery, the overall pros had to be more than the overall cons. I chose a surgeon who may be the most highly respected in my city. I trusted that the results would be as good as they could be. The prospect of getting acid reflux was the only hangup, and I figured that taking acid reflux meds the rest of my life possibly, was better than being obese forever. I trusted the research that weight loss surgery is the only intervention that stands the test of time for most people.

I am only a few months out, but I have lost when I consider to be an incredible amount of weight. I did have complications with nausea and vomiting for the first two months, but was able to get through it, and then almost back to normal now. The pain was excruciating for the first few days, but it would have been better if I actually received medicine (short-staffed hospital… talk with your hospital ahead of time to find out what to do if no one is answering the call button).

Nowadays, I am rarely hungry as long as I eat on time. The few times I have found myself emotionally eating, the restriction kicks in, and it is a physical reminder to stop eating. No GERD. I think this will work long-term. I would do it again.

Good luck in whatever you decide!

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For me absolutely wort it ! I just had my 6 week post op exam and I'm happy. I'm down 40lbs , my BMI is under 40 . I'm off my blood pressure medication and half of my diabetes medication. Can't wait to see what the next 6 weeks brings. For me there was no pain. I never took one pain pill. Worse part for me was the first week trying to get fluids down and the gas ! But as of right now it's the best decision I've probably ever made in my life.

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On 07/20/2021 at 15:31, blackpowder72 said:



For me absolutely wort it ! I just had my 6 week post op exam and I'm happy. I'm down 40lbs , my BMI is under 40 . I'm off my blood pressure medication and half of my diabetes medication. Can't wait to see what the next 6 weeks brings. For me there was no pain. I never took one pain pill. Worse part for me was the first week trying to get fluids down and the gas ! But as of right now it's the best decision I've probably ever made in my life.


That’s great! Sounds like you are doing well! 😊

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