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Laonie

Was having the sleeve procedure worth it in the end for you?

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Hi everyone,  I’ve been reading posts on this forum for a while, whilst trying to pluck up the courage to proceed with a sleeve.  I had an initial consultation with my surgeon back in June but after reading all of his info & paperwork, reading lots of posts on this site and others and doing some research of my own, I struggled.   There is, by necessity of course, so much negativity out there.   I’ve read reams about non-responders, risks and complications, regrets, eventual weight gain, side effects,  intolerances, anxiety, reflux, hair loss (my worst fear), grotesquely loose skin, vomiting if you eat one single teaspoon too much, dumping syndrome, agonizing death...even starting to dislike COFFEE!!!!...and I simply wasn’t certain if the negatives truly outweighed the positives.     

But then, in the midst of my dithering, I was thrown a curve ball in the form of a diagnosis of very severe obstructive sleep apnoea.   My doctor told I’m lucky to be alive and the sleeve is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity.    Apparently the internal structure of my neck naturally lends itself to OSA which my system coped with ‘pre-baby’ because I was very slim.  When my metabolism went haywire in pregnancy, and never reset, the OSA kicked in with a vengeance and created a vicious cycle because people with OSA this severe virtually never succeed in losing weight unassisted (due to the associated physical exhaustion, brain fog, carb cravings etc) and the ever-increasing weight means the OSA keeps getting worse, and so on.    

My doctors theory is if you treat the OSA with CPAP (I'm doing that now with mixed results) and the weight with a sleeve, they will start to support each other in much the same way as they previously worked against each other.  

I just have one question (well,  several actually, but you know what I mean)   Forgetting my situation, did having a sleeve turn out for the best for you?   Are you actually healthier and happier?  Does it feel good to fit into plane seats and  run up stairs and buy clothes because you genuinely like them, not just because they’re large enough to cover you?    In spite of all the difficult stuff, would you do it again?   

I’m not a whiner, I’m a fairly stoic, tenacious person.  I know I have to do this and once it’s upon me I’ll give it 110%.   I’m just trying to find some mental balance and right now I still feel overwhelmed by the plethora of ‘bad bits’.

Thanks very much.  

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Hi Laonie

Here's a little about me and my results...

I was a naturally athletic build - tall, long and lean - until I hit the age of around 35.  I weighed around 80ish kg at 177cm tall, then ballooned to 118kg.  I felt like I required a pilot vehicle to get me around.  My back blew out, and I required surgery.  The surgeon nearly didn't operate due to my weight.

Fast forward to 2017, age 48 and 118kg.  I had tried all sorts of diets, shakes, pills and drugs.  The duromine was the only truly successful method but not sustainable and a bitch on my health.  I was putting my heart at risk to reduce weight - is was very counterproductive.  A close family member had been through both banding and then the sleeve, and she had done well.  I decided to bite the bullet and, via my superannuation, go the sleeve in November 2017.

It wasn't a walk in the park, but it was successful.  

Some of the things that have changed for me are my food tastes are definitely different.  I no longer enjoy red wine, but love bubbles - used to hate bubbles and would kill for a shiraz! I can't consume the vast quantities that I could before so making a conscious choice on good foods.  Weird things like,  I can no longer eat canned tuna and, fast food commercials nearly make me vomit.  One of the frustrating things is I can no longer guzzle water after a work out.  This is still a couple of mouthfuls - wait - go again.  

I went into surgery at 118kg, size 22 clothing.  12 months later I am 77kg, size 12-14 clothing.  I have more energy, nicer clothes, no longer feel uncomfortable just sitting, the stress on my joints and back have significantly reduced, cut down on my grocery bill (!), and am more confident in front of a camera instead of behind it - too many years missing out on family photos because of how disgusted I was with the way I looked.

Having the sleeve definitely was great for me, and YES, I would do it again!!

Best of luck.

 

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Hi Laonie, 

Here’s my story. 

15 months ago I had 123kgs on a teeny tiny 5’2” frame and was a size 20-22.

I had high blood pressure, PCOS and was pre diabetic. I had issues with knees and could barely get through the day without my legs aching. Everything was an effort and I was always exhausted.

So I signed up for the surgery, followed the surgeon’s orders to the letter and cried on the way to the hospital (I was scared). 

But it was the best decision I ever made. I followed the instructions of my surgeon 100% and got amazing results because of that. At the 12 month mark I had lost 55kgs and was a size 10. I love clothes shopping and dressing up. I have heaps more energy and my medical issues are a thing of the past now. I’m happier and healthier then I ever remember being and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who was thinking about it. It has honestly changed my life. 

 

 

 

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Thanks so much for your story Fattofit.   I’m a shortie, only 154cm.   My normal weight between the ages of 15-31 was 49kg-52kg.  I had my son when I was 32 and it all went to heck from there.    I don’t know my exact weight right now but without doubt I am twice that; I’d say 103-105kg.   Before gaining weight I had always been active purely for the joy of it.  I loved horse riding (which is far more physical than most people realise) and I was a member of a very competitive dragon boat racing team.   Sadly, neither of these sports are fattie-friendly.   I still owned horses after gaining the weight but I was too uncomfortable & embarrassed to ride and I literally wouldn’t have fitted into a Dragon Boat seat!   I saw a dietician right through my pregnancy but when I began to gain weight it was uncontrollable, even though my diet was perfect.   She was as mystified as I was.    I lost 10kgs when my husband left me for a much thinner model, but that was because I don’t eat (at all)  when I’m stressed.   Naturally, the weight came back as soon as life evened out.   I’ve never been a junk food addict, but I’m a keen cook and foodie and I too love my red wine!   It’ll be interesting to see how my tastes change.  I’ve been assured you don’t lose your cerebral interest in food which is good because I’d hate to not want to create.   I have a very left brained job so cooking is very much my outlet.  I love balancing flavours and creating beautiful, interesting food.  Hopefully that’ll stand me in good stead when I have to get imaginative with liquids and mush J    Aside from the OSA, I have a lot of trouble with my hands and feet swelling, zero tolerance to heat, lower back issues and delayed onset of menopause.   I’m very much hoping weight loss will help with some or all of that.   I’d love to feel OK standing in front of a camera, too!  If you tried to find a picture of me taken at any time over the past 15 years, you’d need to be up for a challenge.   You’ve inspired me because you have obviously done an amazing job.   I’m so glad the process has worked for you and that you’re happy.  

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Oh Mandy, that's amazing!   Well done!   Pre weight loss, you sounded like I feel.   Given you're a similar height to me with approx the same amount to lose, how did you fare with loose skin?  

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3 hours ago, Laonie said:

Thanks so much for your story Fattofit.   I’m a shortie, only 154cm.   My normal weight between the ages of 15-31 was 49kg-52kg.  I had my son when I was 32 and it all went to heck from there.    I don’t know my exact weight right now but without doubt I am twice that; I’d say 103-105kg.   Before gaining weight I had always been active purely for the joy of it.  I loved horse riding (which is far more physical than most people realise) and I was a member of a very competitive dragon boat racing team.   Sadly, neither of these sports are fattie-friendly.   I still owned horses after gaining the weight but I was too uncomfortable & embarrassed to ride and I literally wouldn’t have fitted into a Dragon Boat seat!   I saw a dietician right through my pregnancy but when I began to gain weight it was uncontrollable, even though my diet was perfect.   She was as mystified as I was.    I lost 10kgs when my husband left me for a much thinner model, but that was because I don’t eat (at all)  when I’m stressed.   Naturally, the weight came back as soon as life evened out.   I’ve never been a junk food addict, but I’m a keen cook and foodie and I too love my red wine!   It’ll be interesting to see how my tastes change.  I’ve been assured you don’t lose your cerebral interest in food which is good because I’d hate to not want to create.   I have a very left brained job so cooking is very much my outlet.  I love balancing flavours and creating beautiful, interesting food.  Hopefully that’ll stand me in good stead when I have to get imaginative with liquids and mush J    Aside from the OSA, I have a lot of trouble with my hands and feet swelling, zero tolerance to heat, lower back issues and delayed onset of menopause.   I’m very much hoping weight loss will help with some or all of that.   I’d love to feel OK standing in front of a camera, too!  If you tried to find a picture of me taken at any time over the past 15 years, you’d need to be up for a challenge.   You’ve inspired me because you have obviously done an amazing job.   I’m so glad the process has worked for you and that you’re happy.  

Hello fellow "Duck Disease"  (bum closer to the ground) member!  I am shorter than you lol!   A stunning - stretch myself -  153.5 cm lol!  Between the ages of 15-31 (1978- 1994) I probably went from about 45 kg to about 57 kg.   At my all time heaviest I weighed 82.5 kg - a BMI of 35.X  I THOUGHT that I was "doing the right thing" i.e.high carb low fat diet.  I have no regrets having had a gastric sleeve surgery.

Re cooking - I am much more focused on creating and cooking healthy home cooked food using basic ingredients now that I am post-gastric sleeve than I was prior.   I follow a LCHF  (Low Carb Healthy Fat) WOE (Way of Eating) .

I have friends here in WA who are into competitive Dragon Boat Racing, so can relate  :).

Re loose skin?  I had had many years of my poor skin being stretched etc until it couldn't  bounce back anymore  (maybe you'd like to check out my blog on Plastic Reconstructive Surgery? *Note* graphic pics are included.)  I would DESPERATELY like to get get my thighs done - they "tsunami" around when I am fast walking.  

I have NO regrets about having a Gastric Sleeve done.  Nor do I have any regrets about having reconstructive surgery after.

All the best!

:)

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Hi. While I had sips surgery not sleeve I hope you don't mind me posting about the benefits of the weight loss. 

I can have fun at the park with my kids eg go down the slide, etc. 

I can go swimming instead of making excuses not to go. 

I can walk into my favourite shop Ice Design and fit a Medium or Large in most things unless the style is too tight for my curves or belly. 

I am a 12 - 14 now and I love clothes shopping. 

I can go running. 

Outings are no longer painful for me from just walking eg the zoo. 

Yes I have excess skin which I hate as well as a hanging fat roll on one thigh. I am having plastic surgery in 2 stages once I get to goal weight. Also when people look at me in public or catch my eye I no longer feel self conscious like they're looking at me with disgust. I actually had a young man catch my eye and smile. I couldn't believe it. Not to mention my blood results were great whereas pre surgery my cholesterol was high as was fasting insulin and fasting blood sugar. My surgeon told me I was headed for type 2. 

Hope this helps. Yes there's risks and negatives but for me the positives outweigh any negatives. What do I hate the most? Being hungry from not getting a lunch break then around 2pm when I get home wanting lunch AND coffee but having to choose. Not meant to eat and drink but even if it was recommended it's either one or the other. A coffee will fill my tummy and leave no room for lunch. The new portion sizes will become the norm for you. Most things still taste the same but for me the majority of the time steak tastes rubbish. It's a head disappointment because my head says it's craving a steak then it doesn't taste good. I can live without steak tasting good though. 

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7 hours ago, Laonie said:

Oh Mandy, that's amazing!   Well done!   Pre weight loss, you sounded like I feel.   Given you're a similar height to me with approx the same amount to lose, how did you fare with loose skin?  

I actually didn’t end up with too much loose skin to be honest. 

Yes, I am planning a bit of surgery to fix certain areas i’m not 100% happy with but none of it is as bad as I thought it was going to be and I reckon my pregnancy is probably just as much to blame as my weight loss. 

 

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The truth is yes it is ugly, its not easy. But being over weight was harder. It really is that simple.

I got it done at 24 im over 3 years down, i have reflux now, i go to the toilet all the time, i can't drink and eat, not the you should but i dont even get the choice which doesnt seem hard but it really is.

I was always a sick child/person, so i was always vomitting this was my normal, so even though i do, for me its a continuation of my norm, my body as soon as something feels yucky up it comes. So i am lucky and never had the pain of the over eating, but i have had the digestive, bloating, intergestion pain. 

Not gonna lie my skin is AWFUL, i really refrain from wearing short sleeves, but when i was 70kg heavier i didn't wear short sleeves anyway, at least now i can go on a trip overseas walk 20,000 steps and its nothing, its a long day but my shins/ankles dont start killing me after 100m. i will get surgery one day, however not my priority considering i want kids and my boy will change again. You live with being fat you live with excess skin.

Its your life and you have to be willing to live with your choice. Its not going to fix everything i still look at myself as massive, buy a size 14 dress online get it in the mail and go argh shit im not going to fit into that, and then i do.

Do whats best for you and goodluck.

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Hi, I got a RNY bypass rather than a sleeve- for a few reasons, but the main one was reflux.  I used to have terrible reflux- wake in the night and almost vomit- level reflux- and the RNY bypass has better stats on this than sleeve. I’ve not had a single moment of burn since May. 

Like everyone I’d done all the diets.  My doc suggested surgery a while ago, after yet another unsuccessful bout of Duromine.  I dismissed the idea. Fast forward another year and I was heavier than ever. PCOS. Pre diabetic. Aching back. Exhausted all the time. I was becoming a hermit and didn’t even realise it. 

Anyway, I had the surgery. Yeah, parts of it suck. I’m 6months in and am only 10-13kgs away from my ‘stretch’ goal weight (I’m 175 tall, so aiming to weigh 75-78kgs. I’m 88kgs today and I started at 135kgs).

yeah, I’ve got some wobbly skin. Yes, my hair has fallen out. But hair will grow back, the shedding is not forever. And I’m sure when it comes back it will be better and healthier than ever!

yes I sometimes feel sick- and that sucks, but is it really any different to the times when I would eat myself into oblivion?

yes, my food tastes and preferences have changed. But whatevs, I can survive without eating bread and heavy carbs and veggies. 

So yes, there are sucky bits. But the positives: like having energy again! Fitting into normal clothing, not worrying about load limits on furniture, being able to walk all day and be fine, being able to climb a flight of stairs and not be knackered at the end have ALL been worth it. 

I go out more, I know I’m more fun to be around, and while I have never really felt like people shunned me for my weight, I’m not embarrassed about it anymore. 

So yeah. Best decision I’ve ever made. 

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19 hours ago, youngbelle said:

The truth is yes it is ugly, its not easy. But being over weight was harder. It really is that simple.

I got it done at 24 im over 3 years down, i have reflux now, i go to the toilet all the time, i can't drink and eat, not the you should but i dont even get the choice which doesnt seem hard but it really is.

I was always a sick child/person, so i was always vomitting this was my normal, so even though i do, for me its a continuation of my norm, my body as soon as something feels yucky up it comes. So i am lucky and never had the pain of the over eating, but i have had the digestive, bloating, intergestion pain.

Just wondering - have you ever looked into  a low FODMAP diet and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

And - if you have ever been pregnant  - "pelvic congestion syndrome"?

I have a sleeved friend/buddy who has gone to hell with reflux.  Turns out that she had a problem PRE-SLEEVE  with reflux .  She had a basic repair  of a hiatus hernia when she had her sleeve done Jan 2015, and has recently had to have done a more extensive repair.  She also has severely increased reflux with foods in the night shade family.   This - "night shade family" may be worth while you investigating.

Also, just wondering if you have been checked out for a hiatus hernia?  Maybe a barium swallow right now could be a good idea?

What you are going through, IMHO , is not "normal" post sleeve-gastrectomy.

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Don't really think the sleeve is normal for anyone we are all different.

I clearly noted that i had issues before hand. Don't really think you can say reflux isnt normal when its one of the main side affects of sleeve.

 

 

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Hi everyone.    Thanks so much for the replies. 

Bonganlicious, i was SO interested to read your reply.  I read the 'May Sleevers' post from end to end and followed your every comment with great interest.   You've done so well!!!  I was hoping Back2Normal would provide an update because they seemed quite dispirited about the process, but everyone else seemed to be very happy.    

Denzel -  It's amazing to have experienced people like you on this forum who are so dedicated to assisting others.   Thanks heaps for the reply and I'll check out your BLOG for sure.  I know I'll be desperate to have my arms done before anything else.  Even as a size 6, I always had size 12 upper arms.  They were toned, but still very disproportionate.  Once of the my first ever 'bad body image' memories is of my grandmother telling me (with love, and sincerely) that she adored my 'beautiful fat arms'.  I have always HATED them.  Even my wedding dress had sleeves.  I'll relish the scars.     

Zaruse.  I'm so glad to hear that the hair grows back!!!!   I don't know why but I assumed the thinning was permanent.  May I ask, how much of your hair did you lose? 

YoungBelle.  That doesn't sound like fun at all!   I have never suffered from digestive issues or intolerances of any kind so I suppose I'd better keep my fingers crossed that I stay that way.  Overall, I suspect you're right.  I'm sure whatever happens to my body and my eating habits after the surgery won't haunt me the way that being fat has done.   It really has dominated every aspect of my life for the past 19 years. 

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I'm sorry i dont think you should praise someone who has literally said i need help.

I am here to help anyone who wants any question answered, but telling me im not normal. isnt fair when sleeves are so new.

as well as me adding i have been forever sick since i can remember.

i wanted to stay on this forum to help others but comments that i received telling me what i should do. yeah IT WASNT HELPFUL, YOU DONT KNOW MORE THAN I DO ABOUT ME.

I TRIED TO SAY YES IT IS UGLY BUT IT WAS WORTH I IT. 

TELLING ME IM NOT NORMAL WHEN I ALREADY SAID i GREW UP WITH THAT. is why people dont stick around. 

my normal i promise wont be your normal, however i it worth it of course it is.

telling someone who is 3 years out what they should do, when i already have tests one to me is NOT OK.

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To be honest Laonie I’m not at the stage yet to know for sure all the hair DOES grow back (I had my bypass in May this year). However my surgeon said it seems to be a side effect of the massive changes in you body (they don’t know for sure why, but similar to pregnancy related hair loss).

so anecdotally, once the body stabslises it should come back the way it was before.

personally, I’ve lost at least half, maybe more of my hair. It has always been crazy thick, now it is average to thin. I don’t think most people can tell, but I can. 

Small price to pay. 

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Youngbelle,  So sorry!   I'm not entirely sure what I said to offend you but I certainly didn't mean to.  

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The sleeve has absolutely been worth it for me.

 

I had my 3 year post op appointment with my bariatric surgeon the other day and took the opportunity to reflect on my journey so far. I absolutely would NOT have lost my excess weight without this operation - I have lost 50kg 3 times during my life, every time I vowed that I'd never regain, never get fat again. Ha! Despite every effort, I regained every single time. The last time was the worst, I'd lost 40kg of the 60kg I needed to lose (because of course, every time I lost weight I put MORE back on) but the losses came to a screaming halt. I was exhausted, hungry all the time and accumulating health conditions and gaining weight rapidly. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and Hashimoto's within weeks of each other.

 

My sleeve was a reset, a chance to live my life without the constant physical hunger I always had. I still have mental hunger but that's easy to recognise and deal with, mostly. I no longer  take blood pressure medication and my fitness has improved remarkably. I'm facing some further health issues at the moment, my most recent blood results show I'm iron deficient when I have never had a problem with it before. I suspect either Coeliac disease or some other issue with my gut (autoimmune thyroiditis is associated with a higher risk of other immune modulated diseases). This would have happened anyway, but not being 140kg makes it so much easier to deal with if only because GPs no longer look at my weight as the answer to all my problems and investigate them more fully.

 

I am thankful every day for my sleeve, because I have no doubts whatsoever that by now I'd be 160kg (consistent with the extra 20kg I'd regain on top of my previous high weight), sick and facing a shortened life. Bariatric surgery in Australia is safe, with a risk profile close to a cholecystectomy - about 1% mortality. Compared to the complication rates associated with obesity of about 60-80%, that was a risk I was willing and eager to take.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide.

 

 

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Hi, I'm having a sleeve tomorrow but will respond in relation to WLS in general as the principals still apply.

My story is I was always "big" but not clinically obese. I'm 5ft 10 and spent my teens at about 84kg, a miserable existence in the 80's.  I couldnt wear jeans, was teased mercilessly and generally suffered all the indiginities people talk about.  I thinned out a bit in my 20's but ballooned after preganancies, ending up at 113 kg when i was banded in 2005.  

My experience is this: its a tool.  I was compliant, I followed the advice, I took up running and I was extremely successful.  Then I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2010 and unfilled my band as requested for surgery. It wasnt a problem for a long while in fact I got down to 59 kg but eventually as I got better I began to gain and started to fill my band again. However my band was never the same and I continued to gain. I sat at about 78kg for the past four years, which is OK for a 5ft 10 woman of 50ish.  Then I began to have reflux etc and eventually my band slipped completely and was removed exactly 1 year ago today.

Even despite all of that, I would do it all again in a hearbeat. Well, as I said, I am, but the sleeve has since proven to be a better surgery than the band and my view is I cant have it buggered up by stupid colorectal surgeons insisting I unfill it, should I get sick again!  

But oh boy, once you've gone down this path, you need your tool forever. I've gained 28kg in six months without makign a beeline for McDonalds, scarfing KFC or eating crap. I simply eat normal person volume of a very healthy diet and that has been enough to skyrocket my weight.  Your metabolism adjusts to eating very little and you can never ever eat normally again and maintain your new weight. But I dont care. I accepted that years ago and cannot wait to get on with things tomorrow and back to my interrupted life.

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