"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What would you think?

How do you feel about weight loss surgery?

I got started thinking about this because my hubby is probably facing this. In his case, he has lost large amounts of weight on his own in the past. However, the medicines he has had to take for his diabetes have caused the weight to pile back on. His case is complicated by the fact that there are very few cardio workouts he can do consistently because he has a blown out knee (bad enough to medically retire him from firefighting). In cases like Vic's, the weight loss surgery is not only medically necessary but can be a godsend.

I'm more curious about how you would react if you heard someone had weight loss surgery without all those medical complications. For instance, I know of someone who has a wonky metabolism. While her thyroid levels are within normal levels, they are on the very low end of normal. Her mother was the same way. Both she and her mom ate relatively healthy...not perfect but pretty decently. When both of them hit their late 20s, the started gaining weight and that weight plateaued at with both of them being about a size 22. Now, her mom has type 2 diabetes and has been classified as having hypothyroidism. The extremely low thyroid levels could explain why both women had/have such a hard time losing weight even when they include a heavy exercise regimen. The younger of the two women does not have high blood pressure. She does not have diabetes. However, she is concerned that is she doesn't take off the weight, she will end up with the same diagnosis as her mom. She is currently exercising but not heavily. At one point, she had a gym membership and worked out 4+ times a week for at least an hour. She did a little strength training but mostly did cardio stuff. While she did lose inches, she actually gained weight during this period. If she were to have weight loss surgery, would you think she was lacking in will power or would you think it was a good decision to help guarantee her future health? If someone did lose weight through surgery, do you think they should tell people?

Weigh in (hehe) with your opinions on this please.


Jen said...

my mom had the surgery, she's a new person physically and emotionally, that being said, she still has her health problems that she thought would be lessened by the surgery (and haven't) She's not ashamed to tell people she had it, and it's not the easy way out as many think, she has to work at keeping the weight off still.

~Tammy said...

This surgery, as with anything really, is a very personal decision.

People are going to judge another no matter what is done. Surgery, work out, eat like crazy, starve yourself. A person has to do what is best for them. If for Vic, GI bypass is for him, then it is.

I know you're looking for opinions and I seem as though I'm ranting, I just think each case should be judged individually.

Good luck to you both with whichever way you decide to go with this.

Big hugs!

Beautiful Mess said...

One of my closest friends had it done about 2 months ago. He isn't ashamed of it and I think it's a great tool for people to use. In his case, he has to think completely different then he did before. His whole life changed and is still changing. I think it would be a great opportunity for your husband.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I would think the person had made the best decision for them in order to address a condition. I would be proud of them for taking steps to help themselves.

Kris said...

Was my comment bad? I was saying go for it, but my comment was deleted? Sorry.

Barb said...

My Aunt is having weight loss surgery. I'm worried for her because I'm worried she won't be able to stick to the new lifestyle, b/c she hasn't been able to do that in lots of other areas of her life... (keeping her house clean.. managing her diabetes etc)

But we are very hopeful that it will give her a much needed new lease on life. I don't really judge I think since I can't be in their shoes. The problem I have is when I see reports of people who do it and don't try to help themselves.. like a docu I saw once on this guy who still DEMANDED soda and chips and stuff from his wife and bossed her to do it. Granted.. I'm sure that's the minority.

Justyvonne said...

I had weight loss surgery nearly 8 years ago and it was the best thing I've ever done. It is a personal decision but I wanted to share my experience. I started at 260 and lost 130. Good luck!

NHStitcher said...

My ex-brother in law had it done 3 years ago and lost about 150 lbs. My niece had it done a couple years ago and she is doing great. She did have a couple of problems but she looks fantastic.
I'd say if that is what has to be done, then do what you have to.


MrsSpock said...

I know several people who have had it. While they are happy with their decision, it has not been an easy road. His stomach will be reduced to the size of 30 ml. That is how much can fit into a small plastic medicine cup. The pouch does grow larger eventually, but eating anything too much causes nausea and even vomiting during that first year. He will have to maintain a very strict diet. My hospital's bariatric surgeons have all the patients follow a liquid Optifast diet beforehand, because that it what they will do afterwards.

It is such a huge commitment. A good question to ask himself would be, if he is willing to commit to a lifelong change of his eating habits brought on surgically, can he commit to a lifelong change of diet and exercise now? Would he be willing to give Weight Watchers a good 6 months or meet with a trainer? As someone who is an insulin-dependent diabetic, how will his diabetic control be maintained after this surgery? Is he at higher risk for surgical complications due to poor wound healing because of his glucose control issues? Surgery and illness can lead to hyperglycemia- I've had post-op gastric bypass patients in the ICU who needed an insulin drip because of this. How likely does the surgeon think this would happen with him?

A good question for the surgeon would be what are the rates of mortality (death) and morbidity (serious complications)? There tend to be high rates of bypass related surgeries later on, most often gall bladder removal and ventral hernia repair. These aren't major surgeries, but surgeries nonetheless.

Here's a study: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1421028

I myself would not choose this surgery, but I base my decision on the few patients I have watched die after developing a leak. It's enough to drive me to Weight watchers (6 lbs in the past 4 weeks!)