New - looking for pros/cons of WLS

on 6/21/20 5:05 pm

Hi everyone. Thanks for reading this post, I apologize in advance for the length. I am on the fence on whether I want to pursue WLS. I am very concerned about dumping- I absolutely hate vomiting - will do anything to avoid it. Also concerned about long term effects, especially what could happen when I hit 75+ in age. Malnutrition, osteoporosis, etc is scary... but so is continuing to live in this body. I have been fat since birth, first diet at 5, I have been on the weight loss Roller coaster of loosing/gaining my entire life. Last go was with WW and lost 98 pounds, but ran every day and messed up my knees. Then, went through a series of horrific life events and gained it all back plus 50 pounds. Now I am again in the right mind set to loose again, but would like to know if I should go the WW route again or if WLS is the right answer for my life long battle. I know in both options I will have to change my current behaviors, but again, don't know if the success with WLS outweigh the risks. I have probably 150 pounds to loose. Not diabetic yet, blood pressure fine, but have sleep apnea. Thank you for any advice/personal stories.

on 6/22/20 2:05 am, edited 6/21/20 7:06 pm

You're in the same boat I was for the most part (I had roughly that much weight to lose from my highest point). I'm not going to list every pro and con, just the ones I've found significant thus far after just over 8 months.

Loose skin
Relationships change

More energy
Look better in clothes (they fit me much better)
People randomly talk to me and smile at me more
More confidence
Clearer skin
Significant reduction in the random aches and pains all over
Less time spent in the bathroom on the toilet
Relationships change
I'm less of a pushover
Much better success with dating
My sleep apnea has improved or possibly even went away entirely
Mental health improved

If you want me to address any of these further (and this is definitely not a full list), let me know.

on 6/22/20 4:55 am

Thank you for reading! What type of WLS surgery did you have?

on 6/23/20 5:36 am

I had the sleeve done back in October.

Also I forgot to mention a major pro of having surgery: less sweating! I was an incredibly heavy sweater at all times before surgery. After surgery, I was freezing all the time. That has balanced out now, and I feel I am pretty normal in terms of body temperature now. But I used to run so hot always, and that's been an amazing benefit of surgery I never really considered.

Janet P.
on 6/22/20 4:17 am

I had HBP and life threatening sleep apnea. I had the DS so dumping is not an issue and I am able to maintain my weight loss for the last 17+ years. Long term effects are a major concern for me (I'm 63), but personally, dying was more of a concern. My sleep apnea was completely eliminated plus they even removed my pacemaker (put in because of the sleep apnea). I'm healthy.

Do your research. Understand exactly what will happen to your body depending on which WLS you choose. Learn the different types of surgery and which one will be the best option FOR YOU.

Janet in Leesburg
DS 2/25/03
Hazem Elariny

on 6/22/20 5:01 am

Hi Janet, thanks for replying! Your success is astounding. I have been scouring the web, but am falling short of finding any information/data on the long term effects, especially on those 75+ or older.

on 6/22/20 11:26 am - Nashville, TN
Revision on 03/18/15 with
On June 22, 2020 at 12:01 PM Pacific Time, NtlPst wrote:

Hi Janet, thanks for replying! Your success is astounding. I have been scouring the web, but am falling short of finding any information/data on the long term effects, especially on those 75+ or older.

you aren't going to find stats on ppl 75+ years of age cause weight loss surgery as we know it hasn't been around long enough.

what HAS been around for over 100 years is the partial gastrectomy which the VSG was modeled on.

the partial gastrectomy is done when ther is stomach cancer. The cancerous part of the stomach is removed and the person can eat less so weight loss occurred.

as time went on, it was noticed that these cancer patients lost their appetites, couldn't eat as much, had diabetes reversed and many other disease process were reversed.
someone got really smart and realized this could be a huge surgery to help the morbidly obese and the VSG was born.
I do t think there are any long term effects from wls that aren't a part of normal aging. Very obese ppl have osteoporosis too. The benefits of having had the surgery far far far outweigh the non benefits of not having it.

I had the VSG then went on to convert it the ds. That was 10 years ago. I lost 122# and have maintained the loss. I did not exercise at all and still do t. Exercise is good overall but I don't do organized exercise, my personal choice.

I had type 2 diabetes which went into remission the very day I had surgery and has not returned. My cholesterol is normal despite eating lots of meat and fats.

I have no appetite, which is often normal after the VSG and I never feel hungry at all. I eat by the clock, six small protein forward meals a day.

I try very hard to get in all my vitamins and supplements which is a must.

I personally couldn't see the benefit in wondering "what if". I have to live in the present and make the best decisions for now not when I MIGHT live to 75+ years. What , should I worry about 20 years from now when my life and health are going to hell in a hand basket NOW? I don't think so, not for me.

having wls has been the single best thing I have EVER done for myself.




on 6/22/20 12:30 pm

Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate everyone helping me out. I have found a few recent studies, but I think you are right that the procedures haven't been around long enough for solid data. I just thought that there must be several people who have undergone WLS at the age of 50 and now are in their 70s. I am just trying my hardest to make an informed decision, but it is difficult when not all the data is available.

I have signed up for an information session required to take the first step towards WLS through my local hospital. I am still undecided, but really leaning towards VSG! I have to say this is terrifying and exciting at the same time.

Janet P.
on 6/23/20 5:07 am

I think it also depends on the type of surgery you ultimately end up choosing. I had the DS, so many people are very concerned about malnutrition, malabsorption, etc., including me. More than 17 years post-op I still know I have malabsorption to help maintain my weight loss. If I notice the scale creeping up, I simply reduce my carb intake and the extra pounds generally come off. I also take fistfuls of vitamins daily. I am currently dealing with osteoporosis and have faced iron deficiency anemia on an off for the last 15 years. However, for me personally these risks outweigh the risks of being SMO (I was 340 pounds at my highest and only 5'3"). My sleep apnea was going to kill me eventually. With the DS the commitment to follow the rules for the rest of my life drive me :) I've already seen one friend not follow the DS rules and now her health is failing and she still doesn't really get it - makes me sad.

If you choose a restrictive only surgery (VSG) the risks of malnutrition and malabsorption aren't there, but the statistics for losing and maintaining your weight loss aren't as high.

You have to choose the surgery that best meets YOUR needs.

Janet in Leesburg
DS 2/25/03
Hazem Elariny

White Dove
on 6/22/20 2:48 pm

My sister is a dietitian at a nursing home. She has worked with many patients who have had weight loss surgery. Some are 75+ and some are younger. RNY started in 1993. A 48 year old then would be 75 now.

She says that those patients are more aware of what they are eating and request high protein, low carb meals. They are in better physical shape than if they had remained obese. They are more inclined to do their physical therapy and get themselves back to their homes.

Real life begins where your comfort zone ends

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