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Consequences of Bariatric Surgery

Sure, death is an easily predicted outcome of what some people are calling 'the new lobotomy', but it still saddens me to read about it nonetheless.

Happy Birthday!! | Damned if you do...

TigerHawk310 June 14th, 2010 | Link | I haven't heard the term

I haven't heard the term "the new lobotomy", but I like it. It can go alongside my other preferred term, "stomach amputation" (or perhaps "stomach binding" for the lapband procedure).

vesta44's picture
June 14th, 2010 | Link | We'd have been reading about

We'd have been reading about the high number of deaths long before now if WLSurgeons bothered to do any follow-up on their patients after said patients were discharged from the hospital. But they don't - they send them back to the doctor who referred them for WLS, and those doctors don't know shit about taking care of post-WLS patients. Those referring doctors don't have a fucking clue about what complications their patients are going to be facing, and when their patients come in with complaints, they tell the patients it's all in your head, or it's all your fault, you aren't doing it right. By the time they figure out what's going on, it's too late, and either too much damage has been done to patients' bodies or the patients are dead. But that doesn't stop them from referring more of their patients for this life-altering surgery (it's life-altering all right, and not in a good way, most of the time, been there done that - got the t-shirt/hat/poster/keychain).
It's about time doctors were investigated hwo perform WLS - too bad it's not ALL doctors who perform WLS that are being investigated (if all WLSurgeons had to do follow-up for 3 -5 years on every WLS patient and keep track of every one that died, you can bet that they'd all be under investigation because every one of them would have a mortality rate much higher than the quoted 2%).

WLS - Sorry, not my preferred way of dying. *glares at doctor recommending it*

Kunoichi June 14th, 2010 | Link | Wow - I made the mistake of

Wow - I made the mistake of reading some of the comments. Here's an article about the tragedy of these surgeries, and people are writing in weight loss advice?

What flippin' idiots.

Bree's picture
June 15th, 2010 | Link | It makes your brain want to

It makes your brain want to explode, considering that for many WLS is a last resort when all other weight loss options don't work. People just can't wrap it around their heads that perhaps staying at a stable weight even while high, might be a lot healthier in the first place.

richie79's picture
June 15th, 2010 | Link | There's yet another 'obesity

There's yet another 'obesity expert' (so, no conflict of interest then) cheerleading for the long-term 'cost-effectiveness' of this barbaric, genocidal procedure in today's Mail. Sure, bribing people with cash payouts to lose weight is every bit as ineffective long-term as "diets, pills and behavioural psychotherapy", but then so is WLS, because how many of the 95% of his diabetic patients will still be off the medication in ten years' time? (his 'success' measure of three years out is ridiculously short-termist for something whose side-effects are lifelong and life-changing). For those who survive, pouches stretch, bodies learn to adapt and become more efficient at extracting every last calorie, and in most cases at least some of the weight returns even as the effects of having to run to the bathroom after every meal, taking a smorgasbord of pills every night or regular return visits to the OR for 'revisions' begin to grow old. And all because the powers that be have decided that it's easier and somehow preferable to stigmatise, problematise and pathologise fat people (and justify demanding they conform) than accept everyone's physical differences and move on.

"When people fear the government, there is tyranny; when government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

Bilt4Cmfrt's picture
June 15th, 2010 | Link | For those who survive,

For those who survive, pouches stretch, bodies learn to adapt and become more efficient at extracting every last calorie, and in most cases at least some of the weight returns even as the effects of having to run to the bathroom after every meal, taking a smorgasbord of pills every night or regular return visits to the OR for 'revisions' begin to grow old.

DING-DING-DING!!! For all those wondering if the risk of DEATH is worth it, death isn't the only risk your taking and any favorable results gained may all end up moot; See Above.

Now consider this as well; all of the things that might happen above, and things far more fracked-up than this may also end up stressing all the OTHER major systems in your body and might just cause those systems to break down or fail much sooner.

You want thermodynamics? There's a line from one of my favorite movies that goes something like this-

The candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.

It is ENTIRELY possible that a lot of people who are pushed into getting this surgery could, definitely, have been better off at their pre-surgury weights, without it.

"No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up. . . ."
-Lily Tomlin

strawberry June 15th, 2010 | Link | Kunoichi: Yeah, because

Kunoichi: Yeah, because they hear the term "fat" or "weight-loss", it animates their inner robot, and out pops a diet plan. No thinking required! But seriously, where do they hear an opposing view? For every teeny little article mentioning that WLS or other weight-loss methods might not be panaceas, there are big ads like the one in the NY Daily News that says, LOSE WEIGHT AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT" . Except for a rare few, people don't look at the journal articles on weight loss and say, "You know, these facts don't really support the conclusion.", they watch The Biggest Loser".

B4C and others: Yes there are people - lots of them - who believe that losing weight is worth risking death for. When you hear in the media that some celebrity got rushed to the hospital from some weight-loss method gone awry, you can bet there'll be plenty of people writing in demanding to know the celebrity's weight loss "secret".

Tobysgirl June 19th, 2010 | Link | What outrages me about WLS

What outrages me about WLS is the statement it makes about modern medicine. THIS IS THE BEST SOLUTION YOU COULD COME UP WITH? Oh, I see, it's the MOST PROFITABLE solution you could come up with.

I need to lose 20 more pounds to have some very necessary surgery. The surgeon I found who is experienced at the surgery I need has partners who do bariatric surgery. That is his suggestion for the 20 pounds I need to lose. I was skeptical then I got more skeptical when I heard that you can't even take your vitamins after lap band surgery. And then I thought about the two unnecessary surgeries I had, the first of which messed up my right knee, and the second of which caused the problems I now need surgery for! No more hinky surgeries EVER for me, and certainly not this disastrous, stupid, obscene crap that makes PILES OF MONEY for the surgeons. Time, I think, for some class action lawsuits against these predators.

osxgirl's picture
June 21st, 2010 | Link | Tobysgirl.... is there NO

Tobysgirl.... is there NO way to get the surgery you need without the weight loss? Such as finding a new surgeon? I don't know where you are, so maybe that isn't an option, but really.... if they can do surgery to butcher your insides to "help" you lose weight, then why can't they just do the @#$%#$%&&#@$-ing surgery you NEED in the first place?

You know, I always used to think that doctors were supposed to "do no harm." Silly me. I decided to look it up. That isn't even part of the Hippocratic Oath. There really isn't a single oath all doctors take - it depends on where they go to school. Not all schools necessarily make them take an oath. And even then.... well, I think anymore, they don't really pay much attention to whatever oath they do take... it's just words. Because if they did really try to live up to what they promise to do, I don't think WLS could go on the way it has.

Tobysgirl June 25th, 2010 | Link | Osxgirl, I wish there were!

Osxgirl, I wish there were! I had a small hernia from two abdominal surgeries, then I was in a terrible car accident. My surgeon saw the hernia and wanted to repair it, and I was so traumatized I agreed. The mesh he used was infected, though he obviously didn't know it, and I got very sick. He removed most of it five months later, but didn't take it all, and the remaining infected mesh drains continuously through a sinus opening in my abdomen. I saw three surgeons before I found one who has done this same operation over 50 times (remove mesh, close hernia with a special operation; infected mesh is quite common, there are lawyers who do nothing but mesh claims), and what they're concerned about is one's BMI being below 40 or you may end up with another hernia. My acupuncturist thinks my BMI is below 40 (I am heavily muscled), but with my infection I wouldn't be able to use one of those water tanks that ACCURATELY measures BMI as opposed to guessing BMI based on height and weight.

I have lost 20 pounds over the past 21 months through refusal to get anxious about my weight, just trying to eat normally, and being as active as possible with fibromyalgia. I have just found a new physical therapist who is helping me with my back (damaged by falls from horseback) and I'm back on a recumbent bike, which I love. I just refuse to worry about it, though the infection is most annoying. But I am absolutely determined that nothing will drive me to WLS, which I find horrifying.

DeeLeigh's picture
June 25th, 2010 | Link | My acupuncturist thinks my

My acupuncturist thinks my BMI is below 40 (I am heavily muscled), but with my infection I wouldn't be able to use one of those water tanks that ACCURATELY measures BMI as opposed to guessing BMI based on height and weight.

Just to be picky about definitions, BMI is a weight/height ratio. The correct way to determine it is to divide weight by height squared.

The dunk test determines body fat percentage, which is not the same thing as BMI. Many people think that body fat percentage is more relevant to health than BMI, but I'm not sure it's actually been proven.

lauriebird June 24th, 2010 | Link | Who are those "some people"

Who are those "some people" comparing bariatric surgery to a lobotomy? Anyone outside of fat acceptance circles?

It's a comparison that would be interesting to examine in-depth: deal with medical problems we don't understand and that may not be problems at all by surgically breaking parts of the body.

CarrieP's picture
June 24th, 2010 | Link | I believe I did hear the

I believe I did hear the 'new lobotomy' comment in FA circles, but that doesn't make it any less valid. My friend with the surgery said her doctor promised her that she wouldn't even feel hungry most of the time, to which I say, aren't you supposed to be able to feel hunger to know what your body needs? Breaking that function doesn't make you not need food, it just makes you not aware of it, like those folks who can't feel any pain. It's not good.

wriggle99 June 25th, 2010 | Link | Yeah, definitely

Yeah, definitely lauriebird, here's an example of it's use I just found. Check out his ideas for new surgical treatments;earache-surgical removal of the ear, knee pain-amputation of the leg, mental disorders-removal of the head. Laughing out loud

Apparently that whole area of the midriff-that includes the digestion- has the greatest number and concentration of nerves second only to the brain itself and some people argue that it actually "thinks"-there are peope who say that about other major organs too, especially the heart.

Note, Sandy's also done some related posts.

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