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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 19th, 2009
    NY State
    Weight Loss Surgery - Anyone have experience with this?
    Hi All
    I am posting to see if anyone has personal experience with, or know someone who has had, weight loss surgery?
    My stepdad had weight loss surgery because he was severly overweight, had diabetes and many other complications.
    After the surgery, he lost much weight, but made absolutely NO changes to the types of foods he ate or how he viewed food.
    It has been about a year and a half, and each time i see him, he gets heavier and heavier.
    He comes to our house for a visit, and eats the cookies, chips etc, anything he can get his hands on, and is eating almost constantly.
    To me, the weight loss surgery is a waste.
    Another way for the medical community to make money off a needless surgery.
    It the patient is going to gain the weight back in 2 years time, to me, seems they are no better off.
    What do you all think?

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    New York
    Behaviour modification as well as other psycological measures to treat other underlying issues (like addiction) need to be implemented for long term results. The surgury usually creates more problems than it fixes and never solves the real problems.

    It's really a band aid for a bullet wound - there is much more that needs addressing and attention.
    Continued Success,

    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  3. #3
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    My wife had weight-loss surgery in August. She has lost more than 60 pounds since then. You can see her weight-loss-surgery blog at (no affiliate links there).

    There are several different types of gastric-bypass or "bariatric" surgery, and each has different complication rates and success rates. As with any type of surgery, there are people who fail to benefit because they choose not to take advantage of the opportunity, and there are others who initially benefit but then regain weight because they resume old behaviors. Of course, it's always possible to "eat around" the restrictions. But even among those who are diligent and successful in losing weight, the human body adjusts (for example, after surgery that includes removal of part of the intenstine, the body actually adjusts and grows more food-intake cilia in the remaining intestine), so lifestyle changes remain crucial.

    Weight loss requires lifestyle changes. Period. While most bariatric surgery forces changes in behavior (by limiting the intake of food and often creating very negative consequences for dietary lapses), we humans can easily find ways to "work around" those restrictions. I believe that one of the single most important factors in success from weight-loss surgery is continued involvement in an in-person support group that includes others who have had surgery or are considering it. (There are also some online support groups, which serve to augment in-person meetings; I think my wife links to one in her blog.)

    I saw on the news yesterday that obese people now outnumber those who are merely 'overweight.' This is a huge cultural problem. There is no quick or easy solution (and believe me, weight loss surgery is absolutely not "the easy way," as some people sometimes claim).

    Weight-loss surgery is no different than other surgeries: it is a technique that provides a benefit; it is not the solution.

    My dad had coronary-bypass surgery when he was 44 years old. After recovering from that surgery, my dad lost weight and six months later, he was probably in better condition than he'd been since his 20's. Nine years later, in 1990, after he died (at age 53) of a heart attack, I opened his refrigerator and cupboards and found many of the "worst" foods (fatty meats, eggs, milk, high-fat candy), and very little that was especially healthy. (My dad's five older siblings are all still alive, 18 years later.)

    If my dad hadn't had coronary-bypass surgery at 44, my dad probably would have died before he was 50. By initially losing weight (and hopefully changing his lifestyle, however briefly), your stepdad has probably also extended his life by having the surgery, even if he makes choices that negate the benefit.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador beachcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 11th, 2006
    Myrtle Beach SC
    I've assisted on many Laparoscopic Banding procedures and I can tell you what I've learned talking with our bariatric surgeon.

    -Any "weight loss" surgery should be only be one of the steps to losing weight. Not the only step. Meaning, as Mark stated, a change in lifestyle. This usually includes diet changes, increase in physical activity and the the main change that must take place, is the mental mind set of wanting to lose weight. This change in mind set is shown when the patient starts and continues along the diet and exercise route. The surgeon I work with requires patients to undergo diet counseling, regular visits to a dietician, and devise and follow an exercise routine. Family members involved with care of the patient also must acknowledge and understand their roles and attend certain parts of the pre-op counseling.

    The thought is that the patient has not only invested money into the surgery but also has learned the "hows, whys, and wherefores", and has made the psychological changes needed to succeed.

    Bariatric surgical safety and technology has increased 10 fold since the first time I helped on a "stomach stapling" back in 1992. Most procedures can be done laparoscopically, thereby reducing post-op pain significantly and increasing potential recovery time. The surgeon I work with, can do 3 to 4 "lap bandings" in his 6 hour block time.

    Mind body and soul must be 100% for "weight loss" surgery to be successful and that success is measured in years not in weeks or month.

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