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Smart Texan

About to pull the trigger...is it right for me though?

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I had a lapband in 2005. I weighed 218 lbs at 5'5" and only ever got to 178. That was a long time ago. I've had a bout with esophagitis once and it was scarily similar to a heart attack, not to mention the inability to ever enjoy steak or chicken due to it getting stuck and coming back up. Out of hunger, I've resorted to Blue Bell on a regular basis. I'm back up to 195. I don't want to be fat my entire life and unable to exercise due to knee pain along with a leaky bladder. The complete lack of desire for intimacy with my hubby who is still raring to go is also a direct result of poor body image issues!

My main concern is, I'm 64 yrs old, have no health concerns other than this weight! How successful will a gastric sleeve be for me? I'd love to lose at least 40 lbs and be in the 150's. Both of my sisters have had the surgery and my niece. One sister went from 250 to 150, the other hasn't lost any, but the scary thing is, she had a lapband before and had a revision. I'm scared mine could go south like hers instead of successful like the other sister.
Guess it's all in my hands, but the age thing is concerning.

Appreciate any feedback that will push me over the line....or not, lol.

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  1. Ann2's Avatar
    First, your age -- it's irrelevant! I was sleeved at age 68. I'm 73 now and feel 53.

    I lost 100 pounds and have kept it all off. However, I wasn't a lapband revision patient, just a virgin sleeve patient.

    Check out my first three "surgiversary posts" to see what I did that worked for me.

    I feel like a raving WLS success. I don't see any reason why you can't be either -- IF you are willing and able to change your lifestyle and IF you really demand a better life for yourself.

    Very best wishes to you.

    Ann

    P.S. Start reading at this link. You'll find other links worth reading in my signature block. https://www.gastricsleeve.com/forum/...ad.php?t=59053
  2. artpe54's Avatar
    I just was sleeved a few weeks ago at age 64
  3. DutchSleeve's Avatar
    If age is your main concern: don't hesitate a day longer.
    I am 2 years out in a couple of days, was sleeved at 63 and like Ann2, I feel like a succes story.
    Also no revision, but still.
    Like Ann2 said: total commitment and a positive attitude will bring you a long way.
    Good luck to you!
  4. sraebaer's Avatar
    Sleeved at 57, now 62. Lost all my weight by 58 and have been a regular-sized, healthy person since. I do not feel 62.

    But at 5'5" and 195 pounds is your BMI high enough for surgery?
  5. AnnieG's Avatar
    I had my sleeve in October 2017 and hit goal in about 7 months, and remain there. Like Ann2 and Sraebaer, its the best decision ever. I was 65 and at 77 feel so much better than the past 10 years -- in fact, this is the first year in 10 I haven't had a major hospitalization.

    I have energy, feel good, look good (so they say) and I feel like I have a wonderful chance at 20 more years!
  6. Sandra3's Avatar
    I agree with our friends here : your age is not the issue. International guidelines indicate a limit at 65 when patients have comorbidities. Seems you have none. Surgeons say they can operate later when the patient is "healthy".

    So here is how I look at your situation:

    - on a medical point of view, your BMI is 32, the sleeve would not be an option in many countries since you have no other medical issues (lucky you!). Indeed many doctors will not care and just take your money. I would be careful around those kind of doctors.

    - body image : it's hard for all of us. I feel bigger today than I felt when I was like 100 pounds bigger. Indeed I just gained weight with meds and my compas is kind of lost right now. The sleeve won't help resolve all those issues, believe me! It's a long process and the way we deal with our image is really tricky and not only linked to our weight.

    Losing 40 pounds can be hard, they could come back again and again with only diet (been there done that for 20+ years, was 60 pounds in and out each year), eating ice cream is probably hard for your body, giving you hyperglycemia and cravings. But since you still have your band, why don't you try to take protein shakes instead? It would calm down hunger and cravings, and if you lose weight it's a bonus!

    Here is what I would do if I was you:

    - get a check up done by a bariatric surgeon to make sure your stomach is ok (endoscopy) because what ever is your decision, you need to have those exams done. If your stomach has erosion, the band might need to be removed.

    - try a low carb diet for two weeks, find a nutritionist to help, have blood tests done to make sure what supplements and dosage are needed. If you have cravings you might also be vitamin deficient.

    -get an xray for your knee. If it's a bone issue, losing weight is not going to be the solution. But if it's a ligament issue, you might want to try to take omega 3 and other natural remedies (curcuma?, arnica?), it might help relieve your pain. And losing weight would help of course.

    - it might be interesting to find a counselor or shrink specialized in body image issues. I tried to find one, in my countryside in the middle of nowhere it's hard, but hoping to find one at the hospital very soon. I do believe we sometimes suffer from huge dysmorphia and it would be easier to know how to manage those "not so pink sunglasses".

    -you mentioned your sisters, one obviously needed the sleeve and lost 100 pounds, may be the other one didn't need it? best thing to know what you need is to get your body composition done, it will give you a better idea of what can be lost or not. Dextra scans are what is used in the US, it's not that expensive, one of my friend did one with Groupon last year, it was 35$. She thought she should lose 50 pounds, the scan said she could only lose 30! the rest was muscle mass...

    But I might add (because I saw it in my family), sister rivalry does exist even when we get older. The real question is may be not a weight issue. We are all different, compare your body with your sisters is may be not a good thing.
    I saw my cousins in big pain because of body issues, one was always more "attractive" and people were always making comments. It did so much damage to the other one who got "less positive comments"...I do suspect it was one of the main reason for her depression.

    Plus you have a lovely face, and your husband loves you, you need to love yourself more (we all do, speaking to myself here too!)

    Finally, when we reach sixty+, we have all a higher risk of getting breast cancer. I hope you have had all your check up/mammography done.
    But there is surprising findings about the sleeve.
    I was reading a study last week, they said that getting bariatric surgery was the only way to help get a better weight on the long run and lower the risk of getting cancer. That is one very positive outcome indeed.

    Finally, if I was you, I would consider getting the band removed and get instead the balloon. It's a six months "big help" and it's reversible. Getting surgery is always a risk...so I would try all available solutions before going to the extreme.

    Good luck for your decision!
    Take care.
  7. Christie13's Avatar
    You should still be able to lose weight even though you had a lap band. You will lose slower than a first time WLS patient from what I have read from other conversions. Now the thing about the sleeve is you can eat around it with slider foods. For most people sweets, ice creams, fried foods, chips etc are sliders. They get small enough that they kind of keep sliding down. Solid proteins and veggies will fill your sleeve quicker. You will have to get your blue bell consumption under control as you would be able to continue to eat a lot of it with a sleeve. It is wonderful and you should be able to eat healthy sustaining foods again although in small quantities.
  8. AngelNP's Avatar
    Hi Christie,
    I have blogs and messages to newbies. I just want to let you know that I am post op 6 years and currently 169 (7 lbs more than when I had my sleeve). There is a group on FB, push for your better by Amy Smith. I recommend this awesome community. I hope you have the band removed and have the VGS! Then, when you start eating solid foods again, go KETO lifestyle. Good luck to you and God bless! PS. If you only need to lose 40 lbs, then go to this community and follow the steps of the kick start and watch Amy's videos. I'm telling you, the 40 lbs will fall off. I was 195 in July 2018 and now 169 and only 19 lbs off my goal. FAT BOMBS are the bomb!
    Sincerely,
    Jen
  9. Ann2's Avatar
    Just sayin' to AngieINP and SmartTexan, there's more than one way to skin this cat.

    What works for one person may not be the right approach for another -- although many common principles do apply to all of us, e.g., protein first, eat slowly, minimize sugar and starchy carbs, don't graze between meals, exercise regularly, etc.

    Speaking purely for myself, I've never gone keto or paleo or All Meat All Week (seriously, that's one of many other approaches). However, I eat nutritious food, including a LOT of fruits and veggies, and some (not a lot) of whole grains. I'm also very physically active. A true catchphrase for weight loss and weight maintenance is "Your mileage may vary."

    This morning, 4.5 years post-op, I weighed 133.8 (that's 101.8 pounds less than my highest pre-op weight).

    P.S. I don't know what fat bombs are.

    P.P.S. It matters not a whit how fast you lose the weight, but that while you're losing you learn how YOU can keep the weight off for the rest of your life. Very best wishes!
  10. jerzeygirl's Avatar
    I agree with Ann2. It's not the same for all and we need to find our own way on the journey. I know what fat bombs are and I also know it doesn't matter what "tool" you use to lose weight, keeping it off and learning a new lifestyle is the key to maintenance, which is what we need to keep in mind. You may qualify for a sleeve since you have some "problems" with the band, we do many revisions but no longer use lapbands in our bariatric center. We take our more than are put in these days, period!

    I was 61 when I had my surgery, lost 145 pounds and am just recently having some trouble with mindless eating (I admit it) and am working on it now. I never regret the surgery even while I'm struggling a bit as it's easier to get on track and lose a stubborn 8-9 pounds now after surgery. I also feel at least 15 years younger than I did before surgery, by the way, I really feel like 25 sometimes; just don't want to brag...lol...
  11. SAMom's Avatar
    Sleeved 8 months ago at age 66. The BEST decision I ever made. No real issues since. Good luck! Go for it!