Monday, January 24, 2011

Bone to pick.

Okay, this may go against everything you may believe in - but I have a bone to pick with the Bariatric Surgeons.... STOP DOING THESE PROCEDURES UNLESS THESE PEOPLE ARE SERIOUSLY STUCK TO A BED.

There, I feel so much better.

Look, I get it - it is hard to lose weight. It is hard to exercise when you have bad knees, ankles, toes, backs, etc... but it is not impossible.

I recently met someone (that will remain nameless - and is actually a public figure in Florida) who had bariatric surgery. She went on and on about how much weight she was losing, how her bp was back to normal - etc. I knew her before the surgery. She might have weighed a little over 200, no more than that. Perhaps a size 20 at best. This is overweight, but not an extreme amount - so extreme as to have 1/2 of your stomach removed.

Here is one of my biggest pet peeves - taking the easy way out. HATE IT. Do the damn work. Walk. Slowly if you have to. Make some healthier choices. You CAN do it. You just have 500 excuses not to.

Hell, I know. I can come up with 500 reasons not to exercise or make healthier choices. What does it boil down to? Good old fashioned laziness.

If you have bad knees - what is the physical therapist going to tell you to do? If you have bad ankles - what do they suggest?

That's right - movement. In a pool if you must - but movement.

The only way I would think that bariatric surgery is okay is if you physically could not move (as in 600 + pounds, and all you can do is lay on a bed) and your life is in danger.

Other than that. No WAY, Jose.

Here is why:
As with any major surgery, gastric bypass has risks such as bleeding, infection and reactions to the anesthesia. Possible complications of gastric bypass surgery include:

Vitamin and mineral deficiency



Bleeding stomach ulcer

Hernia at the incision site

Intolerance to certain foods

Kidney stones

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Possible rare, but serious risks specific to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery include:

Death. The risk varies depending on age, general health and other medical conditions. Talk to your doctor about the level of risk gastric bypass surgery may pose for you.

Blood clots in the legs. Blood clots in the legs are more likely to occur in very overweight people. Blood clots can be dangerous. In some cases, they travel to the lungs and lodge in the lungs' arteries as a pulmonary embolism — a serious condition that damages lung tissue and can lead to death. Walking and using leg wraps that apply pressure can help reduce this risk of blood clots in the legs.

Leaking at one of the staple lines in the stomach. This severe complication can be treated with antibiotics. Most cases heal with time. Sometimes, the leak can be serious enough to require emergency surgery.

Pneumonia. Excess weight places extra stress on the chest cavity and lungs, creating an increased risk of developing pneumonia after the surgery.

Narrowing of the opening between the stomach and small intestine. This rare complication may require either an outpatient procedure to pass a tube through your mouth to widen (dilate) the narrowed opening or corrective surgery that could require a brief hospital stay.

Dumping syndrome. Gastric bypass can also cause dumping syndrome, a condition where stomach contents move too quickly through the small intestine causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and sweating.

***source - the Mayo Clinic

Seriously - why risk?

I am sure some of you have strong feelings on the subject. Maybe you have gone through the surgery. I am sure you had very good reasons. But knowing that I met someone, who literally talked a doctor into writing a letter to an insurance company and after 5 years - it finally was approved. ... hmmm.. I just don't agree with it. At all.



shannon said...

I totally agree. I know a few people who have had this procedure; one needed it, possibly two. The third and most recent: absolutely not. She was nowhere close to being clinically obese, but she wanted to be "bikini-ready by summer", and that's why she did it. For real. I'm still a little sickened by it. Doctors really shouldn't make it so easy, imo.

Heather said...

I can completely understand what you are talking about...I am a size 16-18 and have hovered there for the last 20 years. I have always carried my weight in my tush and thighs... but I am also 5'11"...anyway, my mother is an ICU nurse has been for 30+ years, her joints are shot...concrete floors and 12-15 hour shifts for 30+ years...she is incredibly intelligent. She had this surgery years ago, can't quite figure an exact time but they just started doing them. Her surgery did help her lose the weight she needed, but shes a mess in other ways. They took out too much, she doesn't absorb nutrients, she has to have iron transfusions, but she is skinny. And the messed up part? Wait for it.... she still encourages me to have this surgery! I would love to look like Megan Fox, but truth be told even skin and bones I would be twice her I will be happy with who I am. And if I was considering a surgery to fix my weight I would rather have an allover liposuction than the bariatric surgery! (And I know how messd up liposuction is...I have seen the nasty real time how they do it movies...achhh..) Anyway, with intelligent people like my mother who are also in healthcare liking the quick fix I don't see an end anytime soon. Oh and just like liposuction you can still get fat again...I suppose its work to do it but I have seen it more than a few times.

Sorry...didn't mean to go on and on! LOL

Robin said...

I follow a wonderful weight loss blog on here. So much about weight loss is in the brain. It is a mental battle. In the blog I follow, she just brought up Carny Wilson. I do believe she had the surgery. Well, that worked for a while. But, so much about being obese has to do with mental issues. And those don't get solved with a gastric bypass. They get bypassed. So, she wasn't comforting herself with food anymore. She then became an alcoholic. When that became apparent as a problem she went through AA. When the alcohol got taken away, she went back to her first love: food. She is... wait for it... overweight again. Even with the gastric bypass. She didn't do the mental work. Isn't doing the physical work. She has issues that she needs to solve so that she doesn't need oral comfort. When she gets there, she will be ready to tackle her weight problems. This is a brain game for so many people. Sometimes it is just a brain game to make yourself do it. Fitting it in. Sometimes there are things in your head that you have to "beat" before you can beat the weight. The gastric bypass doesn't actually fix anything. And all of those risks are way too risky for someone who is just going to gain it back down the road. Do the work people. You will thank yourself for it. Was that more than you asked for? Yeah, I thought so.

TV's Take said...

Agreed. Because the surgery is just a surgery so many gain the weight back. Working out is hard but worth it.

Nicole said...

Heather - I hear ya. Actually - I am only 5'2 and I am hovering in that area - BIG difference.

I just think it is too dangerous.

The whole thing came up today, as I was talking to this person - and yes, she suggested I do it. I thought - are you kidding me??? There is nothing wrong with me - except good old fashioned laziness.


Okay.. wait for it.. I am sure someone disagrees out there. ;-)

Peggy K said...

Well, it won't be me to disagree!!! And to top it off, there are many, many times that once they have the surgery, they go back to the same bad habits in eating, so it won't do them any good. Too many times the surgery is done before the patient is psychologically ready for it. I'm on your side all the way, Nicole!!

Kathy said...

I have a friend who had the surgery and she's been a mess since. She's had the flu, her immune system is shot, etc. This woman's had so many infections/pneumonia/etc and she has two small kids to take care of!

I train 4x a week with a trainer and walk my dog 6x a week for MILES... and I'll never be tiny. Besides, Southern women are supposed to be "well rounded", right? I'm following that path. :)

Mama Hen said...

I have to tell you that I love watching Biggerst Loser! They talk about "doing the work" and have proven time after time that it is the best and only way! You are right about someone just about 200 pounds going that route is dangerous and not necessary. I have 40 pounds to lose and I have been getting my butt to the gym as much as I can. It is not easy, but I am doing the work as you say! Have a great night my friend!

Mama Hen

SharleneT said...

The saddest thing is that the weight comes back... but,they don't think it will happen to them... and a friend of mine who had it has been sick almost the entire winter (I hadn't thought of that until the above poster mentioned it)... Can't seem to get past one cold or infection before she gets another... don't do it... Don't even have to say it, I know you won't...

becca said...

wel said bravo to you

Bossy Betty said...

I've never known anyone who has had this procedure. It is really a drastic and scary move!

Jazzie Casas said...

The decision to have a cosmetic plastic surgery is extremely personal and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Your plastic surgeon and his/ or her staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks and potential complications.

Elle said...

I'm with ya, sister!!! My mom had surgery about three years ago. She has never been the same. She lost so much weight so quickly that she started to look like a skeleton--she was way more attractive when she was over 100 pounds overweight.

She's pretty much been sick every since then. She recently "had" to quit her job due to the fact that she's now on 24 hour IV therapy as they try to figure out what's wrong with her and how to get her body to retain even the tiniest bit of nutrients from her food.

Of course, she never changed her eating habits even though she was supposed to, so that doesn't help either.

These surgeries are ridiculously risky, and in my opinion, are just NOT worth it. (Except in extreme cases like you mentioned--someone who can't even get out of bed or whatever.)


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