WLS has become the new big "beauty" surgery. I heard
on Oprah last week that it's tripled in popularity and is frequently a
graduation present people are giving their kids, along with breast
implants. I nearly fainted!
I understand that some people are choosing to have the
surgery as an elective to KEEP from becoming fat? Is that what our
society has become? A radical risky life threatening surgery to
PREVENT getting fat? That's insane! And, I've heard there are people
who are less than 100 lb overweight opting for this "permanent"
WILL ANYONE WAKE UP AND LISTEN TO ME?
I had WLS (RNY) in September 1998.
WLS is being advertised shamelessly on television today
as the "Permanent Weight Loss"' solution, and one commercial for lap
band even says that it will "control your hunger" forever.
That's just such a lie.
I watch those commercials and I wonder how they get
away with saying those things? It should be stopped. The only
thing permanent about WLS are the side effects. Please be aware
I am listing the side effects I have
experienced, and approximately how many years "out" of the surgery I
was when they started.
Since I had WLS I now have permanent anemia. (5
yrs) It will never go away. Even taking Iron supplements, it's
difficult to regulate and has put me in an emergency room twice in
the last three years alone.
I now also suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (4
yrs) I have days where I'm so weak and tired I can't get out of
bed. Many days I can get out of bed, but I'm dragging so much I feel
like I've got the flu.
I have osteoarthritis, (9 yrs) which has settled
in my lower lumbar spine and neck. I've tried chiropractic
treatments, accupressure massage, and the physical therapy ordered by
my doctor. I hurt and ache daily.
I suffer from chronic migraines.
(1 yr) I need a narcotic pain medicine daily for the headaches and
the osteoarthritis in my neck. (7 yr)
My immunity is gone. My resistance to colds and
flu has completely disappeared. I catch everything. I'm always sick.
(4 yr) I was rarely sick before.
Did I say I have no stamina? I'm a nurse. I use
to be able to get up at 5 am, go to work, and do a double 12 hour
shift. Not long after WLS I found that I couldn't survive one 8 hour
shift (4 yr) and I recently had to stop working altogether (9 yr).
I'm completely exhausted at the end of every day. Going out for an
evening with my husband is a challenge.
I suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. (1 yr)
I daily suffer from flatulence, stomach cramping and often experience
loose bowel movements and diarrhea with no control.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (7 yr). I
now have poor vision which has been so greatly affected that I
need to wear glasses (6 yr). I started with 20/20 vision.
I regained all the weight back:
240 lb before the surgery
128 lb 14 months after the surgery
150 lb 2 years after the surgery
170 lb 4 years after the surgery
205 lb 5 years after the surgery
224 lb 7 years after the surgery
235 lb 9 years after the surgery.
A "permanent solution" ? Oh really? Do you still
In conclusion: Although I admit the
surgery facilitated my initial weight loss, I had to gain it all back
to realize that the responsibility for my weight, in the end, was
up to me. And, It wasn't even the surgery that made me loose the
weight. Starvation, as a result of the surgery, is what
made me lose the weight.
Anybody can lose weight
if they starve themselves.
This surgery is a STARVATION diet. I'd be
standing in the shower with clumps of hair falling out. I felt like
one of my cancer patients. It did fill in again, but it's not as
strong now, and it's not as shiny.
Is this what you really want? Think it over. Then
think it over again.
Now I have started to lose the weight I had
regained. By myself. I'm not complaining. In fact I'm one of the
lucky one's. The side effects I have, and regaining the weight,
that's mild stuff compared to what some people go through.
Oh, yes, I know what you're thinking. Yes. There is
reversal. It's terribly painful and much more serious than the
initial surgery. I have thought about it. But realize to reverse the
surgery they must open you up and go through a lot of scar tissue.
It's a serious surgery, much more so than the initial surgery, and
more life threatening.
Oh, and of the two people who had surgery at the same
time I did; One didn't loose anything. One lost part of his weight
and gained it back within two years.
I'm not saying there aren't people in such a "do it or
die" situation that they really do need it RNY or a Lap Band.
Someone who must drop a massive amount of weight immediately or they
will die, for example. For those people, it's worth it. But how many
of you reading this and thinking about WLS fit into that category?
It's not a magic bullet. Trust me.
My husband and I have a good friend, a cop, who had
this surgery two years ago this July. I tried to talk him out of it.
But the lure of a "quick fix" is too appealing to overcome. He did
loose weight, and claims he's having no side effects at all. I don't
believe it, I know better. I also know I can't talk anyone out of
doing this who is determined to. I'm just asking you who may be
considering it. STOP. THINK. PLEASE.
LB (RN) of LA