I Want Bariatric Surgery
I want bariatric surgery, I think. I’ve just about given up trying to lose weight on my own. My BMI is not high enough to qualify for bariatric surgery but because I have high cholesterol I still qualify for the procedure. I met with my doctor last week and he’s not completely against it.
I know a few people who have had bariatric surgery, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure which reduces the size of your stomach, surgically, to a small pouch. All of the people I know who had it lost a lot of weight in a short period of time – nearly 100 pounds in 4 months!
This sounded wonderful last week when I noticed I gained weight from all my work swimming and dieting. I know it is likely the weight gain is muscle and muscle will help me lose weight but seeing the scale go in the wrong direction was completely deflating. So, I started doing some research.
The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure is the most popular bypass surgery. It’s more invasive than the lap band version but the results are faster and more reliable. Bypass surgery is a good way to lose weight, much better than dieting alone. Of those who have bypass surgery 93% will keep the weight off. Of those who lose weight by diet and exercise alone only 20% will keep the weight off. That piece of data is enough to give anyone who wants to lose weight pause. Even if I manage to lose weight on my own (and I have several times before) the odds are slim that I will keep it off.
Drawbacks to Weight Loss Surgery
There are, however, drawbacks to weight loss surgery. For one we don’t know what the long term effects are on bariatric surgery, we just haven’t been doing them long enough to see how people do with the procedure as they age. Other drawbacks to surgery include:
1. You can’t eat what you want. If you eat the wrong foods you’ll be sick.
2. You can’t drink liquids while eating a meal, you have to wait to take in any water.
3. It’s easy to overeat. Since your stomach is so small it’s really easy to overeat. The feeling of being over full is so distressing that most people don’t make the mistake too often.
4. You must take multi vitamins.
5. A high protein diet is optimal which can be difficult for vegetarians.
6. You have to give up carbonated beverages.
Those are just some of the drawbacks to weight loss surgery. I’m sure there are others but those are the ones the people I’ve talked to with mentioned. Losing a lot of weight fast can also have it’s own drawback and that is excess skin. Many people who have bariatric surgery will also have a skin removal surgery after they’ve lost most of their weight. This is a cosmetic procedure so many insurance companies will not cover it.
I don’t know what I am going to do. For the moment my doctor wants me to take a sleep test. During my consult with him he asked if I was sleeping well. Um…no. I’m a mom, I have pets, I haven’t slept through the night in 20 years. According to my Fitbit I wake up at least 12 times a night. Sadly, some of those times I snack, which obviously isn’t conducive to weight loss. I want to lose weight but I don’t want to feel sick and I want to be able to eat more than a few tablespoons of food, at least on the holidays. As I type that I see how silly of an excuse that is for not having the surgery.
This is something I will continue considering. I’m not as gung-ho as I was last week but only because I haven’t given up the hope that I can lose it on my own. Knowing the odds of me keeping it off keep me considering bariatric surgery. I don’t want to be fat for the rest of my life. I want feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. I want to enjoy buying clothing and I want to have a life again.