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Success with gastric sleeve starting with lower BMI?



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Hi all,

I have my first appointment with a surgeon next week and I am looking at the option of a gastric sleeve.

I've been up and down HUGE amounts all my life. Was an extremely obese teenager, a decent weight in my early twenties which was maintained through excessive exercise/occasional vomiting/diet pills and a severely restricted diet. However, I ended up slowly gaining and I hit over 100kg after each of my children were born. On and off I took diet pills/tried intermittant fasting/exercised manically etc to go up and down throughout my 30's and early 40's.

I maintained 66 - 68kgs for about three years but was ALWAYS hungry. During the Covid lockdowns last year (I'm based in Melbourne , Australia) I gained 15 kilos. Over summer, I lost five, but have now put them back on plus another 7-8 kg. My weight is currently 91kg (I'm 165cm) and I'm tired and really depressed. I can't even look at myself in the mirror and I'm dreading going back to work. I feel as though I don't have it in me for another huge weight loss, without some type of surgery, as I've struggled with multiple family and financial issues over the past 2 years and am at a really low ebb.

My goal weight is actually 60kg, but I only reached this weight in my early twenties when I was doing 15 hours exercise a week.

Anyway, I'd love to hear from other people who have experienced a similar predicament. How bad was the sleeve recovery? What about reflux? Has it made a difference to your appetite? Would you recommend it? I just love the idea of my life not revolving around self hatred and guilt and obsession with food.

Thank you in advance!

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Well let me tell you, my start weight was 100kg, i am now 10 weeks po and 82kg but it has been a nightmare I would love to tell you it was a breeze and I know some people who did breeze through it. I still get slight pain when i eat. I think more about food and drinking more than i ever did before to the point it drives me nuts. I had reflux before surgery that my surgeon insisted would get better at this point it hasnt i wake every morning with a horrid taste in my mouth.and take double the amount of meds than i did pre surgery. I feel hungry but dont feel like eating.for me I wish i had have gone down a different path for weightloss. What i have given up to do this hasnt been worth it for me in the way i now have to eat and drink. it also effected my mental health terribly.you really need to consider lots of things and what they tell you you need to do after surgery like dont drink 30 mins each side of eating chew your food to a paste then swallow, no carbonated drinks, you dont really comprehend until after surgery. Make sure you get plenty of councilling prior and go with a surgical team that offers lots of after care if you chose to go ahead. It is hard and many people are glad they did it and i hope one day i am like that but atm i wouldnt recommend surgery if a weightloss of under 30kg is what you are aiming for.

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My situation is a bit different than Sleeversk. I am 5 months PO. I have lost 70lbs and feel great! I do have a slight uptick in heartburn, which is maintained with meds. Things he says are true like chewing your food well and giving up carbonated drinks. If I eat too fast, I do know it. It takes a bit for it to go down. I just get moving and it usually solves itself. There is still a feeling of hunger as has been mentioned, but a small amount of food takes it away. I would recommend the surgery. At 10weeks PO , I may have been struggling a bit more, but you have to hang in there. Be kind to yourself and remember that a weight in your early twenties may not be realistic today. Hoping you get the answers you are looking for....good luck.

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I did not have heartburn prior to surgery and I still don’t. I didn’t have much pain with recovery at all and I can eat anything I ate before surgery at this point (I am 6 months out). I have lost 55 pounds. I am about 20 from goal (17 from normal BMI) and I have stalled for a month. I am hoping I haven’t put myself into maintenance cause I can see myself easily cutting my calories further but I would still consider the surgery a success if the loss stopped there as long as I can maintain it. I am currently in a size medium/ large and I haven’t been able to maintain this size in years. I am hopeful I am just stalled and the loss will pick up but like I said. I couldn’t do this on my own. I am so glad I did the surgery.

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10 hours ago, Mandy2021 said:

66 - 68

10 hours ago, Mandy2021 said:

Anyway, I'd love to hear from other people who have experienced a similar predicament. How bad was the sleeve recovery? What about reflux? Has it made a difference to your appetite? Would you recommend it? I just love the idea of my life not revolving around self hatred and guilt and obsession with food.

Thank you in advance!

No problem with sleeve recovery. A few days of gas (took GasX which helped tremendously), sore stomach feeling like you did a zillion sit-ups, and sleepiness is what I remember of that surgery. My mistake was that I had reflux before VSG, hence my reflux got much worse and I had to get a recent revision because of it. That side affect wasn't well known when I got my VSG like it is now. My sleeve was done by a conservative surgeon who made the pouch 10 ounces which is much bigger than most but it still affected my appetite and definitely affected how much I could eat at one sitting. One cup of food was always my max throughout the years. I recommend all WLS once you find which one suits your needs. They are a great tool. I always feel blessed that I had the option.

Edited by Tomo

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No issues at all with sleeve recovery. I am 12 days post-op.

As Tomo said above, I had two or three days of really dismal gas (my poor fiancé!) and ate Gas-X/simethicone like it was candy. My stomach was sore but not painful, I was able to change positions immediately and could sleep on my side (though the first night I had to turn in several smaller turns).

I did not have GERD before it and have only had 2-3 occurrences of it since, all of which were related to Gatorade Zero, which I've since deleted from my life. I am still on liquid diet (3 weeks liquid, 3 weeks purée/soft food) so we will see if that changes afterwards.

My heavy weight was 178 kg, I started looking into VSG when I had got down to 170.5 kg, had surgery when I was 162 kg, and as of this morning (I weighed just for you!) I am 151 kg. (I am 183 cm tall.)

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I'm two weeks out. I had a fair amount of pain the first few days home from the hospital (Like having done a zillion sit ups as someone else said). It made it hard to sit up from lying down, and walking was painful as my stomach hurt when it "jiggled". Today is my last day on liquids and I'm having no issues getting my fluids or Protein in. I'm hungry, but less in the last two days (maybe because I'm finally back at work and have things to focus on?). I had lost about 23 kg prior to surgery and I've lost about 5kg since surgery. I'm 160cm and 41 years old. When I woke up in the hospital I had a bit of gerd, and now I'm taking omeprazole (always prescribed by my clinic for one month after surgery). Having GERD after sleeve is a big concern for me, as I occasionally had reflux prior to surgery if I overate. I had to have a tooth removed a week after surgery (unrelated) and it's much more uncomfortable than the surgery at this point. Yesterday I went for a 3.2 km walk, and I was basically at my old (slow) speed. I was a bit more tired than I would have been prior to surgery, but it was also after my first day back at work.

I think you need to consider your past unhealthy eating issues and work with a therapist to determine if this is a good idea for you. While I had had some vomiting and overexercising in my past, that was in my teenage years and very minimal. Many people do not get to their "goal" weight with surgery and if that will trigger unhealthy behaviors for you, that's something to consider.

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Thank you so much to everyone for taking time to share your experiences!!! Those personal stories have told me much more than the 'official' surgeon's information!

it is good to hear that you can eat most foods but in much smaller portions. What about drinking wine? Is that possible? I enjoy a couple of glasses when entertaining or eating out but am concerned about the lack of nutrition/ effect on my appetite. Whenever I have 1 or 2 wines, I crave sugar and carbs about an hour later.

I have another question ; did you tell most people about the sleeve? Or only close family and friends? Why or why not? What was the response?

I'm tossing up what to do.

I'm pretty sure a friend of mine, who lost about 40 kilos quite quickly, and has kept it off even during the long covid lockdowns, has had some type of WLS. She eats very little (tiny serves) but told me she lost it all by sticking to 900 calories a day. I'm pleased for her but feel a hurt that she has not confided in me as we have both struggled with our weight throughout our friendship. However, I respect that for personal reasons she has chosen to keep it private.

I'm not sure what I would do!

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I am not a wine drinker so I can’t help you there but I chose to tell some friends and family but everyone else I just say that I am eating low carb, Protein first, smaller portions and exercising, etc. everything except the surgery part.

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9 hours ago, Mandy2021 said:

Thank you so much to everyone for taking time to share your experiences!!! Those personal stories have told me much more than the 'official' surgeon's information!

it is good to hear that you can eat most foods but in much smaller portions. What about drinking wine? Is that possible? I enjoy a couple of glasses when entertaining or eating out but am concerned about the lack of nutrition/ effect on my appetite. Whenever I have 1 or 2 wines, I crave sugar and carbs about an hour later.

I have another question ; did you tell most people about the sleeve? Or only close family and friends? Why or why not? What was the response?

I'm tossing up what to do.

I'm pretty sure a friend of mine, who lost about 40 kilos quite quickly, and has kept it off even during the long covid lockdowns, has had some type of WLS. She eats very little (tiny serves) but told me she lost it all by sticking to 900 calories a day. I'm pleased for her but feel a hurt that she has not confided in me as we have both struggled with our weight throughout our friendship. However, I respect that for personal reasons she has chosen to keep it private.

I'm not sure what I would do!

I also do not drink alcohol (I can't stand the taste), but I would be very careful with it from what I've seen on here and on other groups for several reasons: you can get drunk very quickly, especially at first. Alcohol gets absorbed very quickly and your blood alcohol can quickly go over the limit for driving and then for being just drunk to the point where you can't really function. And as you said, you're taking in empty calories and setting yourself up for eating other junky food. Plus there's a risk for cross-addiction. Some people become addicted to alcohol the way they had issues with food before surgery. It's not super common, but it definitely happens. That's not to say you should never drink, but maybe keep it to one small serve occasionally.

I personally have told everyone in my life about my surgery. I just can't lie easily and if people see me losing weight, I knew I'd never be able to lie or even omit the surgery part. Plus, I was so excited to finally be doing it. I was not embarrassed. I felt like I was finally taking control of my life. The reaction I got was extremely positive except for one person I barely knew (I posted on Facebook). She has a whole "fat positive" view of life and has also had some sort of weight loss procedure that did not go well.

I can't say whether you should or should not have the surgery, but I think maybe you should discuss with a bariatric trained therapist to talk about your concerns. Good luck in your decision!

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On 9/26/2021 at 2:20 AM, Mandy2021 said:

I feel as though I don't have it in me for another huge weight loss, without some type of surgery, as I've struggled with multiple family and financial issues over the past 2 years and am at a really low ebb.

I understand that low ebb feeling. I have lost all motivation to restart a new diet program because I know in the end it's the same things I was doing before and it just didn't work. I also tried really strict Keto and exercised a ton, like ran 4K every day, biked to work, lifted super heavy weights for a woman. I also did fasting and actually enjoyed it but it just didn't stick when life got mixed up with my routine. I just can't go through it again with that fear of failure.

I need something much more permanent and long-term. A tool I could fall back on when life gets too stressful. Maybe the sleeve will be like a hard stop to overeating and provide a real-time reminder that overeating does not feel good.

I hope your appointment with the surgeon goes well! I also have a consultation on October 19th. I'm not sure yet if it will be me trying to convince her or her trying to convince me lol I have a lot of concerns about reflux and want to avoid any revision surgeries. Do you have a set of questions to ask the surgeon?

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I understand that low ebb feeling. I have lost all motivation to restart a new diet program because I know in the end it's the same things I was doing before and it just didn't work. I also tried really strict Keto and exercised a ton, like ran 4K every day, biked to work, lifted super heavy weights for a woman. I also did fasting and actually enjoyed it but it just didn't stick when life got mixed up with my routine. I just can't go through it again with that fear of failure.
I need something much more permanent and long-term. A tool I could fall back on when life gets too stressful. Maybe the sleeve will be like a hard stop to overeating and provide a real-time reminder that overeating does not feel good.
I hope your appointment with the surgeon goes well! I also have a consultation on October 19th. I'm not sure yet if it will be me trying to convince her or her trying to convince me lol I have a lot of concerns about reflux and want to avoid any revision surgeries. Do you have a set of questions to ask the surgeon?
I was like you. I started with a BMI just barely over 35, had tried Keto, crossfit 6x a week, intermittent fasting. I dropped weight, but it was impossible for me to stay consistent. I am a month out from sleeve surgery and have lost a little over 30 lbs. Even in this month alone, there would have been several times when I would have fallen off a diet due to "life" but the sleeve has kept me on track. I'm slowly but surely detoxing from food, and eating for nutrition rather than comfort. It's proving to be a very useful tool.

Sent from my SM-N976V using BariatricPal mobile app

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