Bariatric surgery anecdotes…
Posted April 28, 2008on:
I know that anecdotes aren’t considered scientific evidence, but within my circle of family and friends there is enough anectdotal evidence that bariatric surgery doesn’t work long term and/or has serious health side effects to convince me that it’s something I do *NOT* want to undergo.
The list of people I know or am related to that have had bariatric surgery for weight loss includes:
- Two aunts
- One cousin
- Three friends
Of the six people I know that have had weight-loss surgery, only ONE has lost significant weight and kept it off for more than a year. O-N-E, my cousin who went from 300 to 180. Neither of my aunts has lost more than 5% of their body weight, one went from 280 to 266, the other went from 320 to 304). One is a year post-surgery and the other is two years post-surgery. I’m not *recommending* dieting by saying this, but 5% of your body weight is a fairly attainable amount to lose by “traditional” diet and exercise methods, without radically altering major bodily organs (I can’t help thinking that disordered eating in the form of a diet HAS to be healthier for someone than high-risk, radically altering surgery, not a very HAES attitude I know, but…). Of the three friends that have had weight-loss surgery, one is two years post-surgery and has “settled in” at approximately 20% of her body weight lost (from 230 lbs to 185), the second friend has settled in at approximately 10% of her body weight lost (from 190 to 171) at one year post-surgery, and the third has settled in at approximately 30% of her body weight lost (from 245 to 171) at about a year and a half post-surgery. The only one of them that has fallen below the “obese” category according to the BullshitMI is my cousin, who has gone from “obese” to “overweight”. ALL of them are still being hounded by their doctors to lose more weight! Every last one of them, despite having taken what is IMNSHO the most *RADICAL* step one can take in an effort to lose weight. *sigh*
- EVERY single one of them still cannot eat more than a few ounces at a time without vomiting.
- Not one of them can eat even a “fun size” candy bar, or any other kind of sweet treat, without vomiting.
- Not one of them can eat pizza, hamburger meat (in ANY form), pork, or anything even remotely spicy without vomiting.
- 4 of the 6 are “surviving” on Ensure and/or SlimFast drinks, the only things they can consistently keep down.
- All of them suffer severe heartburn or acid reflux.
- All of them have chronic diarrhea.
- Two of them have been diagnosed with IBS post-surgery.
- One has been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis post-surgery.
- One is suffering severe depression post-surgery.
- One has severe joint problems that she didn’t have before the surgery.
- One has had serious heart problems post-surgery, that she didn’t have pre-surgery. Her doctor suspects it is due to potassium deficiency.
- The ONLY one that says she would do it again is my cousin.
And yet, the 60 Minutes segment on bariatric surgery last week didn’t mention ONE of these potential side effects. In fact, the segment implied that bariatric surgery has only very minor side effects in most cases.
Please, ANYONE considering bariatric surgery for weight loss, do your own research! Do NOT depend on your doctor to fully inform you of the possible implications of bariatric surgery. Talk to several people that have had the procedure you are considering, preferably people that are more than one year post-surgery. You will probably discover that bariatric surgery isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.