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Why is weight loss surgery so taboo on this thread.?

(12 Posts)
Marilynsbigsister Mon 01-Aug-16 22:39:34

My sister had weight-loss surgery today. She is 58 BMI of 38.9 , has sleep apnea caused by obesity. She has spent 3 yrs at weight watchers, lost 3 stone in first 18 months but completely stalled. 8 yrs ago she lost 6 stone and put back on 8. She has been skinny all her life until about 12 years ago where a course of steroids seem to have 'Kickstarter her appetite into over drive.

Hobbies were fell walking and sailing, none of which she can do now. Her knees are shot and her self esteem so poor, she doesn't go out socially at all. Her weight gain is so huge, (7 stone) she is convinced people will whisper. She has gone from active vivacious attractive woman, to a static blob (her own words) who doesn't move because it hurts ! she has a loving DH and dcs who really just love her for her and want her to be happy. So have supported this decision.
So she has jumped through all the hoops and seen the psychologist and today is the day. She is out of surgery and feeling 'fine'.

So my reason for posting is this. Why, on a huge forum like MN is their barely any mention of WLS. and when someone does post, there are no replies ? There are God knows how many people on list for Bariatric surgery at the moment, 85 % are women, so why no mention on here of their experiences.? Almost every diet ever invented is discussed here (some of them far more scientifically questionable than WLS) and NICE recognise Bariatric surgery as the most effective long term sustainable weight-loss method available at this moment. (I know it doesn't work for all but it is hugely effective for most) and the results aren't all about looking better, the loss achieved brings people out of the 'likely to have a stroke/heart attack/get cancer' range.. So why not discuss it ?

ToxicLadybird Tue 02-Aug-16 19:36:33

I live in Sweden where it is easily available. It was offered to me the first time I saw the GP. I turned it down because I felt that it's dealing with the symptom not the cause and would make me feel worse. I'm glad I did because since then I've met loads of people who've had it. All of them had fantastic results at first but long term have put on everything they lost. I've not yet met anyone who has maintained the weight loss.

Marilynsbigsister Wed 03-Aug-16 02:28:47

That's interesting but not my experience. My dsis had the opportunity to attend a big support group meeting of many pre and post surgery people at the large NHS hospital Bariatric surgery unit where her op was done. I went with her for support as her DH was unable to go.

There were about 40 people there. Some had had surgery almost ten years ago. Only 1 I spoke to had gained any weight at all after the initial loss. Without doubt the most substantial loss was attributed to people who have had the bypass. More problems associated to people having the band which seems increasingly unpopular on NHS. No one, without exception regretted their decision as all felt the weight loss they had achieved had massively improved their quality of life.

Even more interestingly, that despite the NHS waiting list being full to over flowing with women waiting for op and the many thousand who have had it, I have received only 1 reply. Does MN really have some form 'collective refusal' for discussing this subject ? Very strange.

MsKite Wed 03-Aug-16 03:53:56

Well we'll consider ourselves suitably told off then wink
I hope your sister benefits from the surgery and does t have any problems.
I completely understand and sympathise with te feeling of being out of control and unable to stop eating. I've considered weight loss surgery myself but have lost weight with diet/exercise/eating different stuff. I'd still like to lose more though!! I suppose I would also like to avoid major surgery which is what out me off, and I'm glad now that I didn't have it done because I have lost several stone without it. I think it should be considered as a last resort.
All the "evidence" that's been mentioned on this thread is anecdotal so if I was considering it id be looking into what the long-term outcomes were in some proper studies. I also found out about publication bias the other day so I'm very sceptical of everything now.
Also I think maybe it's something that people want to keep private, even on mn sorbet might be why you haven't had many replies. Or maybe it's that your op has quite a telling off kind of tone and people just didn't want to w have with you? I don't know, obviously.

ThomasHardyPerennial Wed 03-Aug-16 15:57:23

From what I have read elsewhere on the internet, and looking at the statistics for the UK, weightloss surgery is still quite rare here. Add the simple fact that not everyone waiting for surgery etc is a member of mumsnet, and I don't think it is that unusual not to have many replies on wls threads.

I think you are over-thinking/reading too much in to it OP, and jumping to unfair conclusions.

Lots of luck to your sister!

Marilynsbigsister Thu 04-Aug-16 08:08:58

Thank you for the replies. Really apologise if I sound like I was 'telling everyone off' I didn't mean it to come across that way. I really meant it to come across as genuinely perplexed at the lack of discussion on MN about what is a not uncommon procedure.

I think it is fantastic that people are able to lose huge amounts of weight, and more importantly sustain that weight loss, simply by diet and exercise. It requires a huge amount of will and determination and is admirable. I do however believe that some people, for whatever reason, simply do not have that incredible determination and having tried everything else should be supported in the decision to have surgery.
In any other situation, a patient can go to their doctor and having diagnosed a life-limiting problem, which can be resolved with surgery, the GP would not hesitate in referring. I also think that the negativity linked to Bariatric surgery seems to be linked to the wrong perception that it is a 'cop out' for those unwilling to diet, rather than the absolute last resort for those facing an early death due to morbid obesity and its related medical complications. I don't believe many people would 'choose' major abdominal surgery unless faced with an early death.
As for studies/outcomes/long term sustainability. There are numerous studies some of which are of course skewed by vested interest funding the research but NICE do not recommend surgery as an appropriate pathway in obesity management without a huge amount of research to back it up. Our NHS budget is simply too precious. -Imperial college London has amongst the most extensive studies.

uggmum Thu 04-Aug-16 08:17:42

I have 4 friends who have had wls (gastric bypasses).

3 have done really well. All have lost a significant amount of weight.

One has lost 12 stone, one 13 stone, the other 9 stone. 2 have loose skin.
Their lives are utterly transformed and its been really positive.

The 4th friend hasn't done so well.. But she has complications and couldn't eat at all after the op. Had 2 more ops to resolve it and although she lost a lot of weight she has gained a lot of weight recently.

I don't know why people are so judgemental of surgery as a solution but if the majority of posters walked in the shoes of my friends then their view may be different.

Marilynsbigsister Thu 04-Aug-16 08:54:06

Hi Uggmum, thanks so much for the response. It's exactly what I am after. I am of course extremely anxious for my dsis and really just trying to find people with experience, or know of people who have experienced gastric bypass surgery.

Dsis is particularly concerned about loose skin. - (in fact I think it was her only worry as by the time she finally got to surgery her life as a morbidly obese person had become so limited,that she was actually looking forward to it ). You say of the three who have lost significant amounts of weight, two have loose skin and one doesn't. Do you know what has made the difference ? Simply age, and therefore more elastic skin, ? We're the two with loose skin a lot more obese than the other ? Weight resistance/muscle building exercise or just plain good luck ?

Btw, she is coming home this morning and feeling 'great' which is a huge relief.

uggmum Fri 05-Aug-16 06:44:54

The friend without loose skin is male. The others are female.

He is also younger and he went to the gym everyday (after his physical recovery from the op). He swam and did toning exercises. Our health authority provides free gym membership for people post surgery

In our area there is a support group that they all went to and one of them has gone on to be a patient support volunteer for others who are having the op.

The weeks post surgery can be tough. Hope your Sister recovers well

QOD Fri 05-Aug-16 06:49:58

I only look at 'active' so never saw your post

I had a bypass 5 yrs ago. Lost 8 regained 1 stone
Don't admit to it publicly due to negative responses or comments when people see it in the press

4 of us at work have had it now, I started it grin

Marilynsbigsister Fri 05-Aug-16 20:05:55

Thanks guys. Especially Quod. How was the recovery ? Do you get 'dumping syndrome' . Do you have loose skin ( sisters greatest fear ) she has already signed up with personal trainer - did this prior to op in anticipation.

How have your colleagues faired. Has it (as she hopes it will) change your lives and given you new vvvvooom ?

QOD Fri 05-Aug-16 20:11:16

Well I now run, 2 half
Marathons to date. Boot camp and all sorts

Buying clothes cos I like them
Not just cos they fit
I have a rotten apron and bingo wings but meh

2 of the girls at work are
Similar, 1 has complications where she's lost too much weight and is severely malnourished
Eats sweets m shit all day and doesn't dump

Friend 1 doesn't dump but eats tiny portions
Friend 2 dumps on a chocolate bar (but as she says it means she eats one, not a multipack)
I dump on all sorts. Regularly. But I welcome it
Friend 4 the underweight one does
Dump sometimes but usually after her 2nd Krispy Kreme donut for example

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