I have just had weight loss surgery - AMA
Summerbreezer · 29/03/2021 10:59
I have just had a gastric sleeve (as in, yesterday). Starting weight 21 stone.
I know some people are considering this and have lots of questions. So please - AMA!
Houseofvelour · 03/04/2021 15:32
How has recovery been this first week? Are you allowed any solids or only fluids?
ChittyChittyBoomBoom · 03/04/2021 15:38
How long was the process from first consultation to your operation? Did you have to have any counselling? How long is your recovery expected to take, as in back to work?
Hope you’re comfortable x
Everythingmagnolia · 03/04/2021 15:42
I'm interested in this. How did you go about it? Private or NHS?
Did you have counselling?
How are you feeling?
Summerbreezer · 07/04/2021 14:41
Apologies all, been busy for a few days!
houseofvelour - Recovery for the first week was pretty easy. I was on painkillers for 3 days, but have not taken any since then. I am on a liquid diet for the first two weeks (different diet plans vary). The hardest thing is getting in the fluids and 60g of protein a day.
During the liquid stage, you generally have to do this through adding protein powder to soups and things, which is not the best. This is definitely the thing I have found hardest.
ChittyChittyBoomBoom I booked the operation in early January for the end of March, and I could have had it sooner if I had wanted it. If you go private, you can basically get it instanteously. The NHS pathway is a lot of more rigourous: you have to prove you can lose weight by making dietary changes and go through a number of tiers. Waiting times in some NHS areas is now up to four years.
Whilst my decision was fast, I did a lot of research very quickly and it dispelled a lot of my preconceptions. The fact is, for the obese, WLS is the most effective treatment we have - not for losing weight, but keeping it off in the long term. Like many people, I am very good at losing weight then piling it back on again. If I were to lose the weight without surgery, my chances of keeping it off long term are less than 5%. With the surgery, my chances are 80 - 85%.
Ultimately, it is a tool - you still have to do the work. Other people have described it as finally having the right tool, having struggled for many years on their own. I think there is still a huge misconception that this is a magic bullet - it is not. Sadly it is a surgery on your stomach, not your head!
I went through a company (rather than direct to the surgeon) so I have a dietician, counsellor, personal trainer and nurse all a phone call away for five years. I have also been recieving psychological therapy for my binge eating disorder for a year - and only when that condition was managed did I consider the surgery. Your head hunger remains, even if your physical hunger does not. I still have a lot of work to do and will continue working with my therapist alongside my weightloss. However - the studies show that many people who are binge eaters before surgery lose the desire to binge afterwards - they don't really know why that is.
Recovery varies, but is much shorter than you might think. Most people are back on their feet within a couple of days. I went back to work yesterday (a week and 2 days post op). I am a little tired, but otherwise perfectly fine. You cannot do heavy lifting for 6 weeks, so it would depend on your job I suppose. I have lost 16 pounds since surgery, so am feeling lighter and healthier already!
Everythingmagnolia I went private - the NHS waiting times, as I said above, are long and will only get longer with covid. However, some people may need that time to get their head in the game.
I am feeling brilliant - I think, for me, it is the right decision. I am on a couple of large FB groups for UK WLS, and you will only very rarely hear of someone say they regret it. For most people it is life changing and they say they wish they had done it sooner. If you are interested, I would recommend joining them as they are a mine of information.
I am worried about the changes to my life - but I will still be able to eat and drink what my family and friends do (including alcohol) just in smaller portions.
DixieFlatline · 07/04/2021 14:45
What are your plans/concerns as far as loose skin after losing the weight? I don’t know the specifics of how big you need to have been before it’s likely to become an issue.
Summerbreezer · 07/04/2021 14:47
DixieFlatline - it is a bit of a concern. Clearly loose skin is better than being obese, but far from ideal! I suspect I will see where I am at when I get to my ideal weight, and if necessary, have surgery on it.
Summerbreezer · 07/04/2021 14:50
£10250 for the sleeve. I got a bank loan.
If you go straight to the surgeon, you are looking at more like £8k.
If you go abroad (which many people do and have good experiences, but that wasn't right for me) you are looking at £3k.
DarlingWithoutYou · 19/04/2021 12:14
how are you feeling now, @Summerbreezer? I really want a sleeve but my friend who had one two years ago is constantly feeling ill, being a bit sick after eating etc and it's put me right off.
Summerbreezer · 19/04/2021 13:23
I am feeling fantastic, thank you! Some people do have complications, but I would say (from looking at FB groups etc) that your friends experience is rare. Some people vomit the night after surgery, but not everyone (I didn't).
I have had 2 x waves of nausea lasting about 30 seconds since surgery, have not vomited and not felt sick since. Will let you know when I move onto hard food like toast etc - but so far, so good.
It's definitely weird feeling totally full after 6 teaspoons of food!
DarlingWithoutYou · 20/04/2021 11:57
Thanks for replying, great to hear you're doing well. I'll try and find a Facebook group.
It would be life changing for me but I'd hate to never be able to enjoy food ever again, like my friend.
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