I was 53 when I had the surgery. The surgery itself went extremely smoothly, no leaks or complications of any kind. I did have severe GERD pre-VSG and it continued and actually got worse post surgery. GERD is pretty common with the VSG. About a year after my surgery, I developed a hiatal hernia, which my surgeon attempted to repair surgically. But the repair didn't work and my GERD continued unabated. Finally, earlier this year, I went to Dr. Cirangle (who was my doctor's partner at the time of my surgery) to see if he had any suggestions. He found that the hiatal hernia had gotten worse, and I had another surgery to take care of it. It was very large and had to be repaired with mesh, but since then, I have almost no GERD at all. I'm off of my twice daily Protonix PPI! Hiatal hernias are very common among the obese, and Dr. Cirangle is finding that it is also somewhat common to develop them post surgery. That's my experience, but the range is all over the place. Most people have some GERD right after surgery, but many find that it goes away as they lose weight. Others need to stay on an antacid or PPI indefinitely. It's really hard to predict, but make sure your doctor is extremely aggressive about fixing any indication of a hiatal hernia.
As to head hunger, well, let's see. The nice thing about the VSG is that ghrelin production is severely curtailed, so physical hunger is lessened. Right after surgery, I wasn't very hungry and really couldn't eat much at all. Plus I was super motivated to stay on my program and get the weight off, so I don't remember head hunger being a huge issue. Now, 5 years later, head hunger is a much bigger problem, especially in the evenings. I have always been a grazer, and that is something I still need to fight. I try to plan for it...eat some veggies or some protein to fill up. My restriction is still very good, about 4 ounces or so of dense protein, and that helps immensely. But the surgery doesn't cure one's bad habits, so it is really important to form some new good habits to combat them!
Hope that answers your questions, and I'm happy to answer any others you may have!
>5 years post VSG. Below Goal.
~110 pounds lost. BMI <22
Starting BMI-38.5, Surgery 08/14/07