I am in the process of scheduling my VSG. I live in Canada but chose to self-pay to avoid my province's ~7 year wait time. I need some advice from those of you with experience as to what I can expect and when would be a good time to have the surgery.
Here's the thing... I've got a big year coming up.
I'm also a teacher, so my schedule is pretty fixed as to when I can fly to Toronto for a week. Basically, my options for surgery would be the end of February or the beginning of July. I would obviously prefer to have the surgery sooner rather than later, but I'm worried with it being rather close to my wedding date, and we are getting married on a cruise.
I would love any opinions or advice. Is getting VSG 4 weeks pre-wedding a horrible idea? Will I be feeling good enough to eat normal foods by then? I'm mostly concerned about making sure my dress will fit and not look ridiculous! Anyone have any personal experiences as to how many sizes you went down in the first month post-op? I want this surgery so bad, but I don't want to make a stupid decision based on emotions. Be blunt with me. :)
For reference: I'm 5'2" and 208 lbs.
4 weeks isn't really enough time to recover in time for your own wedding. What you can eat and how your clothing fits aside ... you'll likely still be in enough pain and be smack in the middle of some major fatigue to cause you to be miserable during an event like this. Now I can't say how your pain will be or how tired you will get ... but when I was at that point of my recovery it still hurt to bend at the waist ... moving from a standing position to a sitting position was painful ... not so bad that I couldn't do it .. but bad enough to not want to do it that much. Also I was sleeping about 14-16 hours a day. This is a natural result of recovering from a major surgery.
Your dress would most likely fit just fine, you will have lost some weight of course .. but not so much that you look bad (well that is if you only lose weight from the surgery itself ... you COULD lose quite a bit from the pre-op diet if you are determined enough) You might not be eating completely normally at the 4 week mark. You might have a more sensitive tummy, that isn't something that can be predicted.
I personally I think you would need at least 6 weeks of recovery time before getting married ... 10 weeks would be even better (in case of minor complications)
If you fall down you just have to get back up.
For me personally I was back to work and mostly normal after two weeks. I was cleared to eat tiny portions of solid food and pain was minimal after the first few weeks. I did have off and on times of being very fatigued and for me I dropped sizes like crazy in the beginning. Now that being said, everyone is different and has different tolerance for pain and varying levels of throwing up after surgery. I know someone who was sick daily for weeks after her surgery but I have never thrown up once. With you starting at a much lower weight then I did it may be that your sizes go down a bit slower but it will likely still affect the way your dress fits by the wedding day. Congratulations and best of luck to you!
Had VSG on 9/28/15
Lost 161 lbs since surgery, LOST 221 lbs overall so far!!
I had to make a similar decision as my husband and I had planned a trip to Scotland last May. My doctor was willing to do the surgery in March, but I chose to wait until June, and I am glad I did. I started the preop diet as soon as I was approved and followed it in Scotland. By preop diet I mean that I was restricted to 1200 calories a day. That stopped me from gaining any weight on the trip ( I lost 7 pounds!) but it also meant that I could enjoy a beer or whiskey if I chose to.
I too went back to work within two weeks of surgery, but I have a desk job and was uncomfortable for another week or so. My opinion is that you should enjoy your wedding and have the surgery after when you can give it your full attention. After the diet you will be eating small portions every hour or two and it can be a demanding schedule.
Beginning of July - you will need to budget for a different dress for brother's wedding or tailoring.
In theory, with beginning to work on lifestyle change prior to surgery, you will also need to budget for tailoring for your wedding dress.
VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Surgeries with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL & brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL & mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)
Age 41 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170
There is no way I'd choose to schedule surgery so close to my wedding.
Complications are rare, but they can happen. Any issues in your recovery would jeopardize your planning, and you'd most certainly have to have your wedding dress altered, and VERY close to the wedding date (like a day or 2 before). And you're talking about being on a cruise, so you'll be out of the country during a period where you may still need to be available to see your doc if there are any issues. I would NOT want to be in the middle of the ocean and develop a complication, even a minor one.
I had zero complications (thank goodness) and at 4 weeks I was just starting to eat almost-normal food. And my doc has one of the most lax diet progressions post-op I've seen. I'm pretty sure most plans don't have you on a full diet until 6-8 weeks. So you'd most likely still be on soft foods only, and in my experience you find all sorts of foods that don't sit well in the early days (it smoothed out for me later on).
You'd be MUCH better off using the time to work on eating habits and such (and you may even lose enough to need a minor dress alteration just with that).
Plan for the July date. You didn't say how late in July your brother's wedding is... but if it's at least a couple of weeks after your surgery date, you'll have a decent chance of feeling well enough to participate. Bridal party dresses are a LOT easier to get altered last minute than a wedding dress, too. But I would make sure your family is aware that any complications may mean a last-minute change in your ability to participate.
I was completely exhausted for a full two months after my surgery; I took a nap every single day after I got home from work. I felt like I'd been hit by a bus. I know others here have experienced similar levels of fatigue.
Additionally, most people take 4 - 6 weeks to be cleared to eat "regular" food; it all depends on the surgeon and his/her plan. Some people are still eating purees at 4 weeks out.
How much weight you'll lose is completely unpredictable; everyone is different based on medical situation and starting BMI. Many people lose a LOT of weight (20 - 30 lb or more) in the first three weeks then experience a slowdown or stall for several weeks. Others actually gain weight during surgery and lose very little at first.
I was pretty tired a month out and feeling the blues as I adjusted to eating so little. Plus I wasn't on solid foods until almost 6 weeks. I would say enjoy your wedding and do it afterwards. The time will fly by and you can get a headstart on making changes to your habits.
Ht: 6' HWEver: 338 StartW: 282.8 SurgeryW: 268.9 GW: 170 CW: 162.4
Pre-Op:-17 M1:-17.8 M2:-12.2 M3:-9 M4:-12 M5:-11 M6:-8.4 M7:-10.2 M8:-11.4 M9:-6.8 M10:-7
Goal reached 11/9/17! (37 weeks, 1 day)
Thanks so much everyone for all of your advice! I have been wanting this surgery so badly that I knew I was on the verge of making an emotional decision instead of the best decision. I think I will move forward with the July date. I was looking at my calendar and Victoria Day long weekend in May might be another option - I would just need to ensure my bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding is able to be altered.
Anyone else have experience as to how many sizes they dropped post surgery and how fast? I know it will be different for everyone, but I would love to have some personal experiences to go off of. I've heard that generally 10 lbs = 1 dress size? Obviously it is subjective, but I'm trying to look realistically at alterations and if they'll be possible or not. If it were my own wedding I would just choose a different dress, but since the bridesmaids are all wearing the same dresses I don't have much of a choice in the matter, and we got them at a retail store a while ago so it is not likely to still be around come summer time!
Thanks again for the help and support! I am so glad I joined this forum. :)
I lost 85 pounds since my surgery on June 7 and I certainly have not gone down 8 sizes! I'd say 4 or 5 sizes in tops/dresses and 4 in pants. Even though the weight is off, there is still a lot of excess skin that kind of flops around and makes clothing tight in weird places. And my weight loss was not the same throughout my body. I lost in my thighs almost immediately but my stomach is still big.