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Gastric bypass - experiences?

(28 Posts)
Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 10:44:21

I'm going to see a consultant & dietician at my local hospital to talk about being considered for a gastric bypass. I need to lose at least 10 stone & despite years of trying I've finally admitted that I can't do it alone. Has anyone had / about to have a bypass, what are the main things I need to know?

AmIatwat Mon 24-Feb-14 12:41:00

Please don't even consider it. I take it you are not bedridden or anything?
Just because you've failed up to now, don't give up. Get all the help you can,join WW, do structured exercise every day, walk a dog get your family involved anything.
I know three people who've had this op;
1. Late 30's about 5 stone overweight and paid privately. At 45 she looks ancient , cannot eat a proper meal, has to take supplements for the rest of her life.

2. Her son 22, about the same overweight, it broke my heart when I found out, a young man who will never have a normal life.

3. Massivly overweight lady who has been both anorexic and obese ( 30+ stone) She had it done because she would have died soon without it. She tells me that had there been an alternative she would have never had the operation as she cant even consume a cup of tea in less than an hour and if she manages to drink it she has to forfeit her tiny meal.

I might add that all the above have mental health issues.

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 13:11:00

Did they have the MH issues before the op?
I know 2 people who've had it done, they've both lost around 10 stone & are very happy with the result. They do have to take supplements every day but I'm ok with that.
I'm not bedridden, and I know I'm not physically incapable of weight loss but I've tried, I've tried for more than 20 years. And I'm just not able to do it on my own.
Thank you so much for replying, I agree that it's a huge step, no one wants to be permanently changed & the thought of the actual op terrifies me but I'm so tired of being like this.

AmIatwat Mon 24-Feb-14 13:20:40

Yes, all 3 had issues before the op and not just their eating disorder.
Look, you've failed before but it doesn't mean you'll fail again. If you lost 2 lb a week, easy for a very overweight person, you'd have lost a whopping 6 stone in a year and still be able to enjoy your food and all the benefits good nutrition brings. You can have a 12 week free membership to WW ( extended for another 12 weeks subject to losing sufficient weigh) See your doctor for a referral.
I promise you won't feel starving as points are calculated on your weight/height lifestyle etc and you will have lots of support.

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 13:27:12

Again, thank you for replying. I've tried WW before, lost 5 stone on it over about 18 months. I've also tried Orlistat, Atkins, Lighterlife, and many many other diets, eating plans, lifestyle changes etc. it's just too much.

I say I need to lose 10 stone, realistically it's probably more like 13-15 stone. And the thought of that just seems insurmountable. I just don't have the willpower to keep at it long enough to make a difference.

I know an operation isn't the easy option but I really feel it's the only thing left for me now. I'm 41, I've been fat forever. I'm just totally fed up with it.

gamerchick Mon 24-Feb-14 13:38:36

I think if you have the means to pay for it then crack on anybodys entitled to any op they want if they fork out for it.. don't forget about the cost to taking off the loose skin afterwards.

These operations don't fix whats inside your head.. and there have been many cases of people who can't overcome their brains and turn stuff to liquid so they can get their fix. How do you know that your willpower won't let you down again and turn into ways to get the things you're no longer able to eat?

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 13:48:19

I've heard about people doing that. Liquidising their dinner! I just cannot imagine being that desperate!
I'm starting a low-carb thing because, well, it can't hurt & if I do get accepted then you have to shrink your liver, and my liver is playing up at the moment anyway. So hopefully that'll shift a few kilos. But I know it won't be enough. I need that boost, the fact that I won't be physically able to eat a load of crap appeals to me.
I know the idea of completely changing my ability to eat for life is scary, and I am scared, terrified, but I'm also just absolutely fed up with the way I am now. I need help.

AmIatwat Mon 24-Feb-14 14:09:26

You need to sort out your food addiction first. Ask you GP to refer you for therapy, you might be able to have a better understanding of why you overeat and how to overcome it.
If you have the op you'll certainly lose weight, but will you like the side effects? You will suffer from malnutrition and this will effect your bones and many vital organs, Your future is in your hands, you don't have an incurable disease, you have a curable addiction. It won't get better overnight but it is not insurmountable.

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 14:16:27

You're right, it is a food addiction. Part of the pre-op care is seeing a psychologist. My first appointment is tomorrow, with the dietician, I'm still wondering whether to go ahead, I suppose I'll have more idea tomorrow, there is no point having an op if my head still craves food, I know that needs sorting. But it's just so hard. People say losing weight is easy, eat less, move more. If only it were so simple. (Cue loads of people saying "it is that simple!) smile

missnevermind Mon 24-Feb-14 14:29:02

Germgirl I am seeing the dietician and the psychologist at the moment and I will find out on Thursday whether or not I have been approved for gastric bypass.
I need to lose about 15 stone. I want it done.
I have been trying for years with and without help and I honestly feel this is it now.

Don't go and expect the operation to be done by the end of the week. There will be lots of hoops to jump through and you have to prove yourself.
But sometimes we need to do these things. You need to do what is best for you. Not your next door neighbour's dog, or your cousin's friends nephew.

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 14:32:55

Missnevermind.
I could have written that! I feel exactly the same, I know it's not an easy fix & I don't expect to just passively lose weight. But like you, I've had enough, I've admitted to myself that I need help & this seems like the help I need.
I know they expect a certain amount of weight loss etc before the op, what did you have to do? (We're going to Vegas in May, that could seriously derail things!)
Thank you for replying, I hope you get your approval & everything goes well.

AmIatwat Mon 24-Feb-14 14:36:13

What about gastric banding? is it an option?

missnevermind Mon 24-Feb-14 14:38:30

I was told they do not do gastric banding as a first action any more. Much better results and value for money are given with gastric bypass now.

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 14:41:26

Amiatwat. (Btw, no, I don't think you are). Been there, done that. I had it done in Belgium (half the price of the uk) in 2006. It never worked, it was either too tight & I'd vomit after drinking water, or too loose & it was like it wasn't there. There was very little post-op (or pre-op) care & after a year and a half of schlepping up to Harley St every 3 weeks & paying £80 a time to have the band tightened & loosened, both the surgeon & I decided to just loosen the band right off & leave it at that.
I should never have had it done. I lost around 1 stone (and £6000) hmm

missnevermind Mon 24-Feb-14 14:42:04

Germgirl. I have been told not to diet!
But I do weigh exactly the same now as I did 12 months ago And to them this now proves I am in control of my food intake.

I think if I am approved for the operation then the dieting will start from here.

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 14:44:32

missnevermind, ahh, ok. I was wondering about the timescale & order of things, I'll have more idea tomorrow I suppose. Well, good luck. Let me know how you get on smile

specialsubject Mon 24-Feb-14 14:45:12

the basic science of weight loss IS that simple - but it isn't that simple to do or no-one would be fat!

do you know why you put the weight back on again? (yes, I know it was eating more than you use but what is the background to that?)

you need to change the way you eat for life whatever you do, but you CAN lose weight without a destructive operation.

please don't do this.

AmIatwat Mon 24-Feb-14 14:45:26

I think it's all about lining the surgeon's pockets myself. It's the same with a lot of op's. Designer vaginas are popular on the NHS and a friend ( theatre nurse) said most of the women and young girls have very normal looking labia.
I would look at long term therapy, a one off session is a legal requirement to satisfy criteria for op. It won't really help you with your on going battle. By the way a colleague of mine was over thirty stone and at about 45 decided after years of failed attempts to lose weight she'd ret one more time. She succeeded, I saw her recently and had to do a double take. Was amazed to hear she didn't need any skin removing but said she was more than a tad wrinkly.

HerdyHerdwick Mon 24-Feb-14 14:48:40

OP, while I'm not going to try to persuade you either way, just want to share what I learned when researching this.

A lot of people who've had various types of WLS are still food addicted afterwards. Yes, the weight comes off, but some time afterwards (it seems to be about 2 years), they realise the desire to eat is still there in the brain. The surgery doesn't take that away.
This is recognised by clinicians as something that can ultimately sabotage all the effects of WLS.
So if you suspect you have a food addiction, please do some research about this and make sure you have all the knowledge you need before going ahead with surgery. I'm glad to read you'll be seeing a psychologist before any decisions are made.

Good luck. I totally understand where you're coming from having tried every diet, food plan, intuitive eating you name it. It's taken me 35 years since developing an ED aged 17, although I'm finally making progress, so I really do feel for you.

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 14:49:17

Why do I eat? Boredom, to make me feel better after a bad day, as a 'treat, as a reward, because I just love food! Because I love cooking, habit. Many many reasons.
I know that needs to change, but it's not easy is it? It's an addiction, and I never thought I was an addictive person (don't drink much, don't smoke, think drugs are a waste of time).
I need a crutch, a tool to make it impossible for me to overeat.
I know surgery is a massive step & could be destructive, but being the way I am is destructive, I ache, I'm tired, I hate people looking at me, I'm ashamed of myself. And I don't want that any more. I've tried & tried & tried to go it alone. And I can't.

HerdyHerdwick Mon 24-Feb-14 14:50:04

sorry, where I wrote "the desire to eat" I should have written "the desire to OVEReat" big difference in context for which I apologise !

AmIatwat Mon 24-Feb-14 14:53:00

You could try learning to love yourself more.

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 14:55:24

Amiatwat, I'm seeing an NHS surgeon, I can't afford to go private! I know that maybe I shouldn't take money from the NHS but if I don't lose weight the NHS will end up paying a lot for my treatment for various weight-related illnesses.
HH, I have read that too, and I just don't know if it would apply, you'd hope, after 2 years of getting smaller that the desire to keep on getting smaller, or at least to stay smaller would outweigh the desire to overeat again, but I just don't know. I want to see a psychologist before I make any decisions.
It's probably a good thing really that I couldn't afford to go private, otherwise I'd have had it done by now, maybe with little post op care & then I'd be in the same boat as I was with my band op.

Germgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 14:56:43

Amiatwat. I wish I could, wish I could love myself the way my DH loves me, but I can't. I like myself a LOT more than I did 3 years ago (used to have severe depression) but I can't love myself. Not looking like this.

Katsand Mon 24-Feb-14 18:17:45

Hi germ girl.
I'm from Sweden but am living in uk. In Sweden it seem to be very common now a day to have the op. Three people in my immediate family has had it done and lost a lot of weight. I think that the Swedish research proved that higher percentage managed to stay slim on gastric bypass compared to other diets. Obviously you will hear story's of people putting on weight after but that's not the majority. Good luck :-)

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