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Gastric Sleeve

Gabbycat

Shiny_Rock
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276
Cardio is def the most important pre-surgery. When I first started after surgery I started with a personal trainer through a physical therapy place. They worked with me to make sure the exercises I was doing were SAFE for me to do. It's obviously not a cheap route but I did it for 3 months to get me going and then I went off on my own.

Well, at my current weight everything is cardio. Doesn't take much to get the heart pumping...
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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Well, at my current weight everything is cardio. Doesn't take much to get the heart pumping...

I completely understand, my resting heart rate used to hover around 95! The tricky part is getting yourself into a cardio zone and staying there. I personally hate running and I now have a Peloton. I find the bike much more forgiving on the joints and I'm more able to do longer periods. My heart rate now is down to 60 (when not pregnant), my DH rests at 45-50!
 

Gabbycat

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I completely understand, my resting heart rate used to hover around 95! The tricky part is getting yourself into a cardio zone and staying there. I personally hate running and I now have a Peloton. I find the bike much more forgiving on the joints and I'm more able to do longer periods. My heart rate now is down to 60 (when not pregnant), my DH rests at 45-50!

I considered a bike, except they hurt my bum so bad. You would think with all the padding back there it wouldn't be an issue, but after 30 minutes it's quite uncomfortable. But I will start working at finding what things I can do. And wow! You and hubby are doing great! 45 is almost getting too slow.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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I considered a bike, except they hurt my bum so bad. You would think with all the padding back there it wouldn't be an issue, but after 30 minutes it's quite uncomfortable. But I will start working at finding what things I can do. And wow! You and hubby are doing great! 45 is almost getting too slow.

You get used to the seat I swear! There's an XXL group for Peloton as well as they can get anyone on that thing comfortably. Yes he is low but he runs over 30 miles a week now and bikes nearly 100 so he's OK :) He's also still quite young (almost 36) so there's no worries.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dr. Chinnappan
Yes he is definitely convenient! And would be in insurance, Thank you!

I did self pay, so I don’t know. Your insurance has to actually cover the surgery. Not all do.

As an update, I am doing well. The nutritionist was right, it took 3 months for my body to settle down and decide to lose.

I’m developing a waist. My rings are spinning, etc. The scale is still in the closet.
Super glad to hear you're having good progress. Developing a waist would be incentive enough for me!!!

@ame Different insurance companies have different thresholds. I believe mine was a BMI over 40 WITH a weight related co-morbidity or a BMI over 50 being enough on its own. My BMI was 54 so I met the requirement with that alone.

I can safely say that binge eating has ended for me!
That's awesome. I don't do a ton of binge eating but I don't seem to have a fullness point.

I believe mine is 35BMI or lower with additional issues. I would be right on the button. I got the packet from one of the centers here but havent done anything.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 29, 2012
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Ok, so an update: I’m suddenly doing well. My nutritionist kept telling me for some people, it could take 3-4 months for weight loss to start. As you know, I wasn’t losing any weight and my doc had no idea why. He NEVER expressed that I was doing anything wrong, but you know I felt so much shame and embarrassment that it must be me and so I really hated going to my appointments.

I felt so much pressure from myself to fix this.

My doc said I must have a sensitive metabolism and that whatever was going on, we would just wait it out knowing that at some point, it would have to stop holding on to the weight and start dropping it.

So that became the plan— just keep on keeping on and wait it out.

I lost 2 pounds officially on my 4th month visit. Roll eyes. But I was thrilled to show something to him.

Keep in mind too, that I don’t think it’s necessarily correct to use the benchmark of weight starting point as weight the day of surgery because you have to fast and empty your stomach the weekend before surgery, so to me, the day of surgery weight is not real.

Month 5 or 5.5 (can’t exactly remember), was like an 8 pound loss.

Now I’m 6th months out and I’m down about 18 pounds. (I still fluctuate badly and if I eat any restaurant food, I will be up 6-8 pounds for a week).

Then my knees blew out, so at my last ortho appr (October 26), I discovered I need 2 new knees. My appointment to seriously discuss surgery and likely get a surgery on the books in on November 24. I am inclined to do them both at the same time for various reasons, including Covid and possible shut down again of non-emergent surgeries.

The PA who does the appointment I attended said for me to lose as much weight as possible in the next month— like as in shoot for a 30 pound loss. :shock: Which is possible for many bariatric patients, but as you know probably not me. Oh and he told me not to exercise because anything I did would make my left knee worse. The right knee is already gone, so it doesn’t hurt as much. I’m in a lot of pain and use an upright walker now.

So I called the dietitian and told her that and she told me to ditch the isagenix shakes (this, I think, turned out to be important) and go to Sam’s and get premier protein shakes and quest bars,

Will post this so I don’t lose it.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
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So since I switched to Premier Protein shakes (so versatile and I add to my coffee in the mornings also) and the quest bars (have to find a flavor you like, but the good news is that they have many flavors) my weight loss has become consistent.

My doc has been “do keto or as lowest carbs as possible” since the start. High protein as well.

The quest bars have 4 net carbs. I also have built bars, which honestly are like eating a candy bar to me— they were highly recommended on the bariatric boards.

Built bars have between 4-6 net carbs, with most as 6 net carbs.

The quest bars are larger and chalkier with between 190-200 calories. The built bars have a thin layer of chocolate and are 130 calories and a lot smaller.

To break it down:

Quest bar:
Net carbs: 4g
Protein 20g
Calories: 190-200
Pretty good for a protein bar. Better than average. The flavors I like are mint chocolate chunk and cookies and creme.

Built bar:
Net carbs:4-6, usually 6
Protein: 17g
Calories: 130
Tastes downright delicious. My favorite flavor by far is strawberry (tastes like a chocolate covered strawberry), salted caramel and brownie.

Premier protein shakes:
Net carbs: 3g
Protein: 30g
Calories: 160
These come in many many flavors, and the ones I like more are chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Ok flavor is cookies and cream.


As for the Isagenix shakes, I do NOT recommend them for bariatric patients. I had been using them for a good 2 years, so I wanted to stick with what I knew and was used to, but I think they have too many carbs and something in it more geared for body building and not weight loss. I don’t know if it’s causation or correlation that when I stopped the isagenix shakes, I started to lose weight.


So that is my update.
 
Last edited:

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Just an update— made 4 weeks Monday. Down 8 pounds total.

it’s definitely going slowly, so I’m going to start tracking intake and walk more.

before surgery, I would have killed for 8 pounds in a month. I can tell I’m losing inches as well. Clothes are loose and when I look at myself in the mirror, I can see.

I’m trying to remember, but also what was happening is that I would be down on my scale (which is 2 pounds less than my doc’s scale) and then I would go weigh in with him and I would be up 6. I’m in menopause but I still believe I have that “one week of the month I gain 6 pounds for no reason) and I think that is the week he was on, so I cancelled him 1.5 weeks ago because I was up again for no reason and I was like “nope, not going to do it.”

Plus, I did gain the week of my birthday but I also had cake, a lot of cake.

So if my weight loss numbers don’t make sense, it’s because I’m telling his numbers, my numbers and a few temp weight gains from special occasion eating and bloating etc.

This experience has been a mind f*ck, which I believe I have mentioned before.

The good news is: when I started tracking BMI (BMI is completely stupid, but it is a data point I can track) which is when I was on heavy steroids for Bell’s palsy and my weight was up anyway, it was
47.7

Now my BMI is 43.7.

It takes forever for the BMI numbers to go down.


I am also convinced at this point that I was metabolically locked up (despite not having diabetes, not having high blood pressure, not having high cholesterols etc... my labs have always been terrific)... and that if I had not had this surgery, I would never have lost weight on my own.

I mean, look at how much trouble I have had with a 4 ounce stomach!!!
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
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Also just wanted to offer - I am 5 yrs post op. I got the surgery after I had hypertension & sleep apnea at 24. Yikes.

I am 6"1, size US 12.

327lbs at my highest
269lbs day of surgery
173lbs lowest weight post op (about 2yrs out) - too skinny, ideal weight is 185lbs
Have now plateaued at 200lbs for about 1.5yrs - COVID sure ain't helpin!

I can now eat about ~8oz in a single meal. I am certain that my stomach has stretched, but nowhere near pre-surgery capacity.

I have also have a full lower belt lipectomy / circumferential body lift in case anyone is curious about it. That was a far more difficult surgery than the sleeve. I am now 3yrs post op.

No regrets about either. The mind f*** @whitewave ...is spot on. It sounds like you are right on track. It is really easy to fixate on lbs lost or gained. I didn't set a goal for myself. Some people lose at different paces so I wouldn't compare to other people or what is typical...as long as there is a downward trend, that is what counts.
 

Gabbycat

Shiny_Rock
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276
@whitewave I hadn't checked in on this thread in a long time, but I'm so glad I came back tonight.

I'm so happy for you that you were able to find what worked best for you! I think a large part of the surgery, from what I keep reading, is finding out more about our bodies and being more in tune. Sounds like you've done just that.

I have one more nutrition appointment, and then I will apply for insurance approval. I think with COVID I will have to wait a while before I get a surgery date. But listening to your story helps keep me motivated. Thanks for the update!

Ps. Did you get knee surgery?
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
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@whitewave I hadn't checked in on this thread in a long time, but I'm so glad I came back tonight.

I'm so happy for you that you were able to find what worked best for you! I think a large part of the surgery, from what I keep reading, is finding out more about our bodies and being more in tune. Sounds like you've done just that.

I have one more nutrition appointment, and then I will apply for insurance approval. I think with COVID I will have to wait a while before I get a surgery date. But listening to your story helps keep me motivated. Thanks for the update!

Ps. Did you get knee surgery?

My double knee replacement is 12/16 so praying electives don’t get shut down. I haven’t weighed or had any more appointments because I’m not ambulatory right now and my left knee is rather swollen (so I’m like great, more water weight).

Meanwhile my stretch marks are itching like crazy, which they only do when they collapse and I have started buying 1x clothes. I’m starting to feel a lot like my old self again.

My eldest keeps telling me to keep a positive outlook because come May, maybe with vaccines the Covid won’t be so bad, I’ll have two new knees that work and will be down some more weight. I guess it will be like coming out of my cocoon.

Good luck to you!
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Also just wanted to offer - I am 5 yrs post op. I got the surgery after I had hypertension & sleep apnea at 24. Yikes.

I am 6"1, size US 12.

327lbs at my highest
269lbs day of surgery
173lbs lowest weight post op (about 2yrs out) - too skinny, ideal weight is 185lbs
Have now plateaued at 200lbs for about 1.5yrs - COVID sure ain't helpin!

I can now eat about ~8oz in a single meal. I am certain that my stomach has stretched, but nowhere near pre-surgery capacity.

I have also have a full lower belt lipectomy / circumferential body lift in case anyone is curious about it. That was a far more difficult surgery than the sleeve. I am now 3yrs post op.

No regrets about either. The mind f*** @whitewave ...is spot on. It sounds like you are right on track. It is really easy to fixate on lbs lost or gained. I didn't set a goal for myself. Some people lose at different paces so I wouldn't compare to other people or what is typical...as long as there is a downward trend, that is what counts.

I’m sorry I’m just seeing this! The belt... yeah that is a basass surgery and I’ll bet you looked fantastic afterwards. I told DH I will have a breast lift with no implants and that is so far the only thing I’m considering. If I end up with an apron, I’ll have to think more on it, because I have read they are super bothersome.

Thanks for chiming in with your experience.
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
1,780
I’m sorry I’m just seeing this! The belt... yeah that is a basass surgery and I’ll bet you looked fantastic afterwards. I told DH I will have a breast lift with no implants and that is so far the only thing I’m considering. If I end up with an apron, I’ll have to think more on it, because I have read they are super bothersome.

Thanks for chiming in with your experience.

No worries! Hope your recovery and weight loss progress is going well! It gets easier with time.

you’ll know when you get there...I wasn’t sure of whether I’d want or need it or not...but it was worth it. Exercise was a challenge and I feel much more comfortable and confident. But it totally varies!
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
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No worries! Hope your recovery and weight loss progress is going well! It gets easier with time.

you’ll know when you get there...I wasn’t sure of whether I’d want or need it or not...but it was worth it. Exercise was a challenge and I feel much more comfortable and confident. But it totally varies!

Right. Plus I think you have to be 2 years our from Wls anyway
 

Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
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@whitewave I'm happy for your update! It's now 4 days since you should have had your knee replacement, I hope all is well!

I had a baby on 12/14, and had my tubes removed so this is the last! Being a pregnant post-sleeve patient was honestly fine. If anyone ever has any questions about that I'm happy to answer. I gained about 20lbs with the pregnancy, so just the "right" amount. No complicating medical issues, I did have a cesarean but that was planned since DS#1 birth was so rough.

My cesarean recovery is going as good as can be. The only thing I have to watch for since having the sleeve is to be careful with NSAID (advil), for recovery pain relief. I'm taking it as sparingly as possible. Right now 400mg after breakfast and another 400mg after dinner, I'll come off it as soon as possible.

@Cerulean oh the apron! I went from 330 to 195 at the lowest (I'm 5'5") and the apron is my only truly bothersome "leftover". Now that I'm done having children I am going to give myself a few years to get into as good as a "shape" (mostly I just want solid muscle back and to be stable) and then it's bye bye to the apron. I would love to hear more about your experience if you don't mind sharing!
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
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@whitewave I'm happy for your update! It's now 4 days since you should have had your knee replacement, I hope all is well!

I had a baby on 12/14, and had my tubes removed so this is the last! Being a pregnant post-sleeve patient was honestly fine. If anyone ever has any questions about that I'm happy to answer. I gained about 20lbs with the pregnancy, so just the "right" amount. No complicating medical issues, I did have a cesarean but that was planned since DS#1 birth was so rough.

My cesarean recovery is going as good as can be. The only thing I have to watch for since having the sleeve is to be careful with NSAID (advil), for recovery pain relief. I'm taking it as sparingly as possible. Right now 400mg after breakfast and another 400mg after dinner, I'll come off it as soon as possible.

@Cerulean oh the apron! I went from 330 to 195 at the lowest (I'm 5'5") and the apron is my only truly bothersome "leftover". Now that I'm done having children I am going to give myself a few years to get into as good as a "shape" (mostly I just want solid muscle back and to be stable) and then it's bye bye to the apron. I would love to hear more about your experience if you don't mind sharing!

Don’t mind at all. It was absolutely worth it. My surgery was “all the way around” which I also think was the right choice - I’d defer to your surgeon, though. I could have been a candidate for just a Tummy tuck, but there is more than you realize down your backside! I researched a ton of surgeons on realself, and even considered traveling, but I’m glad I chose someone local. Now that I know how badly I felt, traveling seems inconceivable but people do it!

Looking at photos was helpful. Definitely choose a surgeon that specializes in this kind of surgery and has done many before. Had I done it all over, I would have done a vertical incision on my belly - as my lower half is perfectly tight, the upper isn’t now.

I won’t sugar coat it - the recovery was very difficult. I took 4 weeks off work total - and I needed all 4. I needed someone there to help me for the first week, and she came back a few days intermittently in the first 2.5 weeks. Get a walker! Get other things to help you move around the house. You will not really be able to do chores whatsoever. For me, I couldn’t even bend down if I dropped something.

lots of sitting around, TV, too much pain killer to read. The whole month was a blur. But you will improve, slowly but surely. The drains are the worst - but absolutely necessary. I had to sleep sitting partially upright.

but, after a few months, I built up endurance. Things wind you a lot at first, forget the gym for a bit! But the results changed my life for sure. I never gained back full sensitivity around the incision but I don’t even notice it. Hands down the best thing I ever did for myself.

If you have specific questions, happy to answer. Well done on your loss - incredible! And @whitewave i hope you are feeling better post surgery!
 

Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
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@Gabbycat I'm not even worried. I'm one week PP and nearly back at pre-pregnancy weight and STILL retaining fluid, lol.

@Cerulean thank you! I already know I want the "fleur de lis" incision for sure. I'll have to wait and see if I'll want to deal with 360 or just the front. I will def wait at least 5 years so my kids are old enough to not be super needy so I can recover properly. Most likely this will be my 40th birthday gift
 

Gabbycat

Shiny_Rock
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@whitewave @CHRISTY-DANIELLE @Cerulean Did any of you loose your gallbladder with the surgery or due to the rapid weight loss? Mine is coming out on Monday in advance of the sleeve. I already have a large stone in it, so I know that means I'll have an even greater chance that it would have to go anyway, but the doctor won't take the gallbladder out and do the sleeve at the same time. So gallbladder Monday and then sleeve in 6 weeks.

I'm really freaking out now that this is getting real. I know I need this but am having trouble getting past the fact that I am messing with otherwise good organs. I know both surgeries have low complication rates, but they can happen, and I am scared to death that I'll end up feeling I was better off fat than dealing with nausea and worse diarrhea the rest of my life.

Any reassurances you can offer would be much appreciated.
 

CHRISTY-DANIELLE

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@whitewave @CHRISTY-DANIELLE @Cerulean Did any of you loose your gallbladder with the surgery or due to the rapid weight loss? Mine is coming out on Monday in advance of the sleeve. I already have a large stone in it, so I know that means I'll have an even greater chance that it would have to go anyway, but the doctor won't take the gallbladder out and do the sleeve at the same time. So gallbladder Monday and then sleeve in 6 weeks.

I'm really freaking out now that this is getting real. I know I need this but am having trouble getting past the fact that I am messing with otherwise good organs. I know both surgeries have low complication rates, but they can happen, and I am scared to death that I'll end up feeling I was better off fat than dealing with nausea and worse diarrhea the rest of my life.

Any reassurances you can offer would be much appreciated.

My gallbladder had already been out for years by the time I had my sleeve surgery. It is very common for rapid weight loss to cause gallstones though. I'm also a nurse for bariatric surgery. My surgeons will actually do a sleeve and gallbladder at the same time, if the patient needs it.
If your gallbladder needs to come out, there's really no "choice" there. True it can cause some IBS, but that is usually from high fat foods. You figure out what foods cause you trouble...and just avoid them!
As far as worrying about altering your stomach: true, it is a permenant change. So it's good that you are giving it thought. And often patients at some point after might wonder what they've done. I hit that worry point about a month after surgery. It didn't last. It's been 6 years and I don't regret it. Occasionally I crave a Dr Pepper or a cold beer, but I stick to the " NO BUBBLES EVER " rule. I have gained back some weight, but I'm still well under my pre surgery weight. I still have restriction , get full easily, but honestly never feel deprived. No regrets.
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
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@whitewave @CHRISTY-DANIELLE @Cerulean Did any of you loose your gallbladder with the surgery or due to the rapid weight loss? Mine is coming out on Monday in advance of the sleeve. I already have a large stone in it, so I know that means I'll have an even greater chance that it would have to go anyway, but the doctor won't take the gallbladder out and do the sleeve at the same time. So gallbladder Monday and then sleeve in 6 weeks.

I'm really freaking out now that this is getting real. I know I need this but am having trouble getting past the fact that I am messing with otherwise good organs. I know both surgeries have low complication rates, but they can happen, and I am scared to death that I'll end up feeling I was better off fat than dealing with nausea and worse diarrhea the rest of my life.

Any reassurances you can offer would be much appreciated.

I never did have my gallbladder out, but I had multiple people in my support group (my hospital offered it pre and post surgery). I believe it is relatively common.

I fully agree with @CHRISTY-DANIELLE . I have zero regrets. I also feel SO much better than I ever did when I was heavier. I have also regained some weight, but am no where near where I was and I am so grateful everyday that I was able to have the surgery. I met and married the love of my life and will be able to safely have children. I no longer have sleep apnea or high blood pressure.

I also never feel deprived and it gets easier over time. The way I eat now is second nature and I basically can eat anything except avoid raw vegetables and have to be careful with very rich, fatty foods but have them in small amounts. I am 5 years post op.

I remember being very very scared pre surgery, it is a big deal and it will change your life in so many ways, 95% of them extremely positive. Hearing my support group of maybe 30-40 different people...the only regret that any of them had was not doing it sooner. Not a single one of them regretted having surgery.
 

Gabbycat

Shiny_Rock
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My gallbladder had already been out for years by the time I had my sleeve surgery. It is very common for rapid weight loss to cause gallstones though. I'm also a nurse for bariatric surgery. My surgeons will actually do a sleeve and gallbladder at the same time, if the patient needs it.
If your gallbladder needs to come out, there's really no "choice" there. True it can cause some IBS, but that is usually from high fat foods. You figure out what foods cause you trouble...and just avoid them!
As far as worrying about altering your stomach: true, it is a permenant change. So it's good that you are giving it thought. And often patients at some point after might wonder what they've done. I hit that worry point about a month after surgery. It didn't last. It's been 6 years and I don't regret it. Occasionally I crave a Dr Pepper or a cold beer, but I stick to the " NO BUBBLES EVER " rule. I have gained back some weight, but I'm still well under my pre surgery weight. I still have restriction , get full easily, but honestly never feel deprived. No regrets.

Thank you for responding. Having someone in the field who has experience definitely helps. The IBS is my concern as I've already dealt with that for years. I've only had one gallbladder attack 2 years ago. So I guess I keep deluding myself into thinking maybe it won't act up and I can keep it. I just don't want to be house bound because I'm afraid of using the bathroom on myself and/or chained to a commode. But several stories I've read have said that the WLS helps because you're eating better and in smaller amounts.
 

Gabbycat

Shiny_Rock
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I never did have my gallbladder out, but I had multiple people in my support group (my hospital offered it pre and post surgery). I believe it is relatively common.

I fully agree with @CHRISTY-DANIELLE . I have zero regrets. I also feel SO much better than I ever did when I was heavier. I have also regained some weight, but am no where near where I was and I am so grateful everyday that I was able to have the surgery. I met and married the love of my life and will be able to safely have children. I no longer have sleep apnea or high blood pressure.

I also never feel deprived and it gets easier over time. The way I eat now is second nature and I basically can eat anything except avoid raw vegetables and have to be careful with very rich, fatty foods but have them in small amounts. I am 5 years post op.

I remember being very very scared pre surgery, it is a big deal and it will change your life in so many ways, 95% of them extremely positive. Hearing my support group of maybe 30-40 different people...the only regret that any of them had was not doing it sooner. Not a single one of them regretted having surgery.

Thank you for your input, too. I guess that's the one thing that keeps reassuring me---even folks who had complications say that they would do the surgery all over again. I think that's a pretty astounding endorsement.
 

CHRISTY-DANIELLE

Brilliant_Rock
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Thank you for responding. Having someone in the field who has experience definitely helps. The IBS is my concern as I've already dealt with that for years. I've only had one gallbladder attack 2 years ago. So I guess I keep deluding myself into thinking maybe it won't act up and I can keep it. I just don't want to be house bound because I'm afraid of using the bathroom on myself and/or chained to a commode. But several stories I've read have said that the WLS helps because you're eating better and in smaller amounts.

Definetly the post op diet changes will help. In my pre sleeve life a bacon cheeseburger was an iffy choice... There are meds that can help if you have problems though. The IBS was worse the first few years after my gallbladder surgery. It lessened over time. I do think having it out now is wise as rapid weight loss could compound the problem: more stones & more attacks. Gallbladder surgery is so much easier now that they do them laproscopically. 3 days and you'll be fine usually. Mine was before all the advances, so was an open surgery with weeks of recovery.
 
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