Jennasis

Young & Seriously Thinking of a Sleeve Surgery

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Hello, my name is Jenn and I'm 24 years old. I've been thinking of getting this gastric sleeve surgery done, but am finding that a lot of people have it done later in life, like 40's+. If any of you could have chosen would you have gotten your surgery younger? I have been blessed with parents that have offered to pay anything the insurance doesn't cover,(I will be paying them back in small increments) I'm just a little worried about the time frame and my state of mind. Am I too young? I will have a smaller stomach for the rest of my life (God willing that will be a LONG time) will it create complications 30-40 years down the road?

Also, my mindset on food is dangerous. I love it. It am a constant snacker, even when I'm not hungry. I'm all about convenience, freezer meals are my bread and butter. Speaking of which, I'm a carb fiend! Noodles, bread, mashed potatoes, rice ect. I love it all. I know I will have to break myself of this habit, but its so hard! I feel like the permanence and cost of a surgery and absence of hunger will go a long way to spur me to change my lifestyle. Pain and money are huge incentives for me.

I don't want to wait on this surgery because I wont be on my parents insurance forever. And It feels like such a blessing that my parents have offered to pay for it right now! But I'm still a little worried about changing my life long eating habits. I would love some feedback!

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Three things:

One, don't do this unless you've exhausted all other options and methods. This is serious, life altering, scary stuff.

Second, if you've done one, sooner is better than later. You're likely healthier now than you will be in the future and there's no downside to sooner.

Third, after surgery most people seem to have a harder time maintaining as time goes on. Since you'd be starting young you'd need to be extra diligent because you need to stay strong and maintain weight loss for 50+ years.

Good luck!

 

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I say age is irrelevant. I've seen people as young as 16 or 17 all the way up to in their 70's get the sleeve. It's all a matter of mindset and a clear understanding of the surgery and why and how it works. The most important thing in my opinion is a complete motivation to change your lifestyle to better yourself, or else it won't work. Period. It's also important to figure out why you may want to eat emotionally, because life will still have it's celebrations and stress, sleeve or not. They still haven't figured out a way to have it choose the food we eat for us ;)

People have a tendency to get very short sighted about things when it comes to this surgery, and only concentrate on the weight loss aspect of it, not really realizing that maintaining that loss is actually where you're going to get the best bang for your buck. Only 43% of people who have WLS maintain their losses. That's because it's hard to stay motivated day in and day out for pretty much the rest of your life, but that's honestly what it takes. Sure, you still have the benefits of the surgery, but I always say although it's a permanent procedure, the benefits are actually pretty temporary. At 2.5 years out, I can eat more, am hungry more often, and can easily eat my pre surgery calories in a day if I really put my mind to it. Sure, I still can't eat more in one sitting, but I can graze all day with the best of them. That means what I choose to put in my mouth is so very important these days, even more so than earlier out. When I do slack a bit and put on a few, it takes twice as long as before to take it off due to a metabolism that is now complacent and used to the way things are now. I really have to shake things up to get things moving again. Gone are the days of a few days of protein shakes for a couple of days and BOOM, the weight comes off. I will always have to watch every morsel that goes into my mouth. 

 

If you feel you can be truly committed to this, I say go for it! I'm almost 50, and look and feel like I'm in my early 40's. Off all medications, can run a couple of miles and climb 150 levels of stairs on the stair machine. Being able to do those things, plus stay in my size 6 clothes is what keeps me motivated and has helped me keep my weight off for well over a year now. I know I still have a long road ahead, but it's so worth it! It will be for you, too!

 

 

 

 

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My daughter had RNY at age 19. Her life was miserable at 260lbs....no self esteem, no social life, etc. Her knees and feet hurt all the time. Surgery was the BEST thing she ever did for herself. If you are ready, and you pass the psych exam, are ready to make lifelong changes, then I say go for it! 

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5 hours ago, Daisymom said:

I say age is irrelevant. I've seen people as young as 16 or 17 all the way up to in their 70's get the sleeve. It's all a matter of mindset and a clear understanding of the surgery and why and how it works. The most important thing in my opinion is a complete motivation to change your lifestyle to better yourself, or else it won't work. Period. It's also important to figure out why you may want to eat emotionally, because life will still have it's celebrations and stress, sleeve or not. They still haven't figured out a way to have it choose the food we eat for us ;)

People have a tendency to get very short sighted about things when it comes to this surgery, and only concentrate on the weight loss aspect of it, not really realizing that maintaining that loss is actually where you're going to get the best bang for your buck. Only 43% of people who have WLS maintain their losses. That's because it's hard to stay motivated day in and day out for pretty much the rest of your life, but that's honestly what it takes. Sure, you still have the benefits of the surgery, but I always say although it's a permanent procedure, the benefits are actually pretty temporary. At 2.5 years out, I can eat more, am hungry more often, and can easily eat my pre surgery calories in a day if I really put my mind to it. Sure, I still can't eat more in one sitting, but I can graze all day with the best of them. That means what I choose to put in my mouth is so very important these days, even more so than earlier out. When I do slack a bit and put on a few, it takes twice as long as before to take it off due to a metabolism that is now complacent and used to the way things are now. I really have to shake things up to get things moving again. Gone are the days of a few days of protein shakes for a couple of days and BOOM, the weight comes off. I will always have to watch every morsel that goes into my mouth. 

 

If you feel you can be truly committed to this, I say go for it! I'm almost 50, and look and feel like I'm in my early 40's. Off all medications, can run a couple of miles and climb 150 levels of stairs on the stair machine. Being able to do those things, plus stay in my size 6 clothes is what keeps me motivated and has helped me keep my weight off for well over a year now. I know I still have a long road ahead, but it's so worth it! It will be for you, too!

 

 

 

 

THIS. everything about this. 

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Hi Jenny and welcome to the forum.

I had my initial surgery at the age of 28. The best advice. I can give you is to get yourself a good pysch. Not necessarily the one your bariatric surgeon suggests. While they might be a great help with regard to your actual surgery going forward, I found I really needed one to help me deal with the changes from a social viewpoint.  I had huge issues adapting to life as a thinner, more attractive young person. Prior to surgery I'd been relentlessly bullied, a social outcast who attracted very little attention from the opposite sex. I definitely had no social smarts, and it could have cost me my life had I not had a great family doctor at the time who recognised I was in trouble and referred me to a professional that could help. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say I was suicidal within a year of the surgery. That doesn't mean I'm suggesting you don't have surgery, just that you be aware that life can change in many unexpected ways post surgically. Having a good support team really helps.

As far as your question regarding longer term complications goes.....well no-one can know for sure. You are looking at having surgery that has the potential for immediate complications, and if you're prepared to accept those risks then logically it shouldn't be a far stretch to accept the risk of longer term complications. My surgical complication was discovered 30 years after my surgery. I'm being pretty philosophical about it given I accepted a much higher risk of death back then than there is now, so as much as I'd rather not be having to have new surgery, at least I got 30 years down the track without complication. The longer you move into the future the more technology and medical knowledge there is to resolve any issues you might have. I wouldn't even factor into my decision what may or may not happen decades from now. With weightloss surgery so much more commonplace these days, many others are likely to have experienced any long term complication that you might get, so surgeons will have seen it all before and know what they need to do to fix it.

Good luck with your decision. Even if you are unsure what you want to do, starting the process and getting the required education about the surgery, isn't locking you in to actually going through with it. You can change your mind right up until they knock you out in the operating room.

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Thank-you all for your posts!

I've been overweight since middle school and every year I just get a little bit bigger and bigger. I've tried so many different Diets and the like and I really feel this might be my saving grace. I will admit I want this for the fast weight drop, and I know it will in no way be easy. but I have never lost more than 2-4 lbs on ANY diet. I feel like if I start seeing the changes and see myself as this new, healthier, slimmer person then I will be able to say to myself "This. Hold on to this version of your self." And be able to continue to better myself, because I know how being healthy and slimmer looks and feels.

8 hours ago, Aussie H said:

Hi Jenny and welcome to the forum.

I had my initial surgery at the age of 28. The best advice. I can give you is to get yourself a good pysch. Not necessarily the one your bariatric surgeon suggests. While they might be a great help with regard to your actual surgery going forward, I found I really needed one to help me deal with the changes from a social viewpoint.  I had huge issues adapting to life as a thinner, more attractive young person. Prior to surgery I'd been relentlessly bullied, a social outcast who attracted very little attention from the opposite sex. I definitely had no social smarts, and it could have cost me my life had I not had a great family doctor at the time who recognised I was in trouble and referred me to a professional that could help. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say I was suicidal within a year of the surgery. That doesn't mean I'm suggesting you don't have surgery, just that you be aware that life can change in many unexpected ways post surgically. Having a good support team really helps.

I knew I would need a support system to keep myself accountable, but didn't think of a Pysch. Are you meaning a shrink? If so, I'll keep that in mind! If I start showing signs of strange behavior or depression I'll know to not ignore it and go get some help!

 

 

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First off welcome,

I have been one of those people overweight my whole life. I had the lapband surgery done when I was 17 years old and now at 27 I am having the Sleeve done in a week. I will definitely say at 17 years old I was in no shape or way ready to make the life changes that came with weight loss surgery. aside from the fact that I had complications from lapband which is what ultimately led to It being removed, I was still eating the same way I was before surgery. I also think up until this point in my life I wasn't fully ready either. What finally made things click for me is the slew of health problems I now have from being morbidly obese.  It's a big decision to make, just make sure when you do make the decision that you are fully committed to the lifestyle changes that you have to make. I started implementing a lot of the lifestyle changes while I was on my 6month supervised diet for insurance, it's making the process a lot easier. I will say definitely go to a seminar, do your research ask questions and have a support system in place. just make sure you are truly ready as you are the only person who can answer that.

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On 1/26/2017 at 8:27 AM, Daisymom said:

That means what I choose to put in my mouth is so very important these days, even more so than earlier out. When I do slack a bit and put on a few, it takes twice as long as before to take it off due to a metabolism that is now complacent and used to the way things are now. I really have to shake things up to get things moving again. Gone are the days of a few days of protein shakes for a couple of days and BOOM, the weight comes off. I will always have to watch every morsel that goes into my mouth. 

 

I'm not quite sure what your saying here. If you are suggesting that you can't lose weight as quickly as you could immediately post surgery, then yes that's true. However if you are suggesting that your metabolism is basically stuffed for the rest of your life, then that isn't necessarily the case at all. I have no issues losing on average 1kg (2.2lb) a week when I watch what I eat. That's really quite a reasonable weight-loss by any standard apart from surgically enhanced weight-loss. There are many tricks that can be used to increase a sluggish metabolism. Just because you've once had WLS doesn't mean that every morsel needs to watched for the rest of your life. You do get a break further down the track when occasional indulgences wont mean the end of the world.

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8 hours ago, Jennasis said:

I knew I would need a support system to keep myself accountable, but didn't think of a Pysch. Are you meaning a shrink? If so, I'll keep that in mind! If I start showing signs of strange behavior or depression I'll know to not ignore it and go get some help!

 

In my case I needed a psychiatrist, because I let things go too far out of wack and needed prescribed medication for a few months. That doesn't mean you need to go that far. You just need to find a professional who you feel comfortable enough to talk things out with, be that a psychologist, family therapist, even a life coach might be right for you. As long as you find someone that can help you handle all the emotional hurdles that such a huge life change has a habit of bringing. It is really useful to have a set of ears outside of family and friends because they aren't very impartial when it comes down to the nitty gritty. In my case my existing relationships all changed post surgically, and none for the better. Suddenly other peoples feelings of jealousy, bitterness. or feeling threatened by the changes I was making in my life became overwhelmingly my problem instead of theirs.

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In my opinion, since you are a 24 year-old adult, you should certainly be capable of making a mature decision for your health. Talk to your doctor/surgeon. Find out the stats for surgery today. You'll find that laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery has a low complication rate. Please don't take my word for it; do your homework.

In addition, most people on the forum lament (myself included) that they didn't have the surgery sooner. I personally wasted a lot of time (20 years) trying to get my weight under control. 

The truth is, it is a tool. It's not a panacea. It will require major changes in your current behavior. However, if you find a good medical team, complete with a nutritionist, they can prepare you for these changes. Counseling is always beneficial in all life stages. 

That's my two cents. You sound like a smart, thoughtful, capable young woman who is weighing carefully her options. Good for you.

 

 

Edited by ShrinkingViolet2

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The only thing I would say is that it isn't your age that is the problem, it's that you need to do a LOT of head work. You have got to really dig in psychologically into why you are over eating, and you need to try eating the way you would after surgery for a while. If you don't do the head work and figure out what your triggers are, what you use food for, why you are using being overweight, you won't be able to stop eating the way you are.

I would really suggest counseling with someone who has experience with people going through WLS and eating disorders. The sleeve is JUST a tool. It is not a magic wand. 

The program I went to had a dinner every January for the people who had surgery that year. There were hundreds of people there. The program invited one guest so I guess they felt like they needed to have "normal people" food as well as healthy choices that we should be eating. I was literally kind of sickened by some of the people at my table. At that point I was about 120 pounds down and had about thirty pounds left to lose. I ate what I usually eat, stayed with lean proteins and veggies. I had like one bite of my husband's desert and I was fine.

I had been logging everything I ate into my fitness pal for a year and so I was looking at what these other people were eating, and I would guess they had at least 2000 calories. At one meal, at a dinner celebrating their surgery! I talked to a husband and wife who both had gastric bypass. I was just so stunned by the amount of food these people could eat. They'd had surgery a month before me and I just could not believe it. The surgeries are just a tool. If you are addicted to food, you will find a way to get as much food into your body as possible. I think they were just drinking a lot of water so that the food would empty out of their pouches ASAP. I can tell you neither of them looked like they had lost any weight, you would never know that they had pouches, they were both still vastly obese. 

It is very easy to get in slider foods. I was talking to a woman who was going from a band to a sleeve in the surgeon waiting room one day. She said that the band didn't work for her, I asked why and she said "well those ice cream shakes go down so easily." If you don't want to stop eating, surgery can't help you. 

I went in for my year check up and my surgeon was dumb founded by the fact that I had lost 150 pounds. And I've kept it off, my third anniversary is in March. I have gained a few pounds and then I always immediately change my ways and figure out what happened and start losing again. 

Good luck to you! 

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I agree with what everyone else says.  

1. This isn't a magic wand.  It IS work for the rest of your life..

2. You can out eat the sleeve or bypass.  If you are addict to food, are and emotional eater or a bored eater you will find a way if your head isn't in the right spot

3. Sure, surgery is a tool; it will help you get where you want to be, but only you can control what goes in your mouth.  

4. It's up to you to follow the "plan" your surgeon gives you.  There are reasons behind it.  

I think we all know that someone who gained it all back, didn't get to goal or whatever.  I told my birth sister (who had RNY) I was considering it.  She got pregnant 3 months after surgery and never got to goal.  She told me not to do it that she regretted it.  I asked why and she said she still couldn't eat some things like rice.  My old boss had RNY, has gained at all back and more ; she keeps a coke and box of crackers on her desk at all times.  

If your mind set is in it and you can deal with lifetime changes-go for it.  For many of us we wasted years trying to do it on our own...good luck!

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1 hour ago, Cheesehead said:

I agree with what everyone else says.  

1. This isn't a magic wand.  It IS work for the rest of your life..

2. You can out eat the sleeve or bypass.  If you are addict to food, are and emotional eater or a bored eater you will find a way if your head isn't in the right spot

3. Sure, surgery is a tool; it will help you get where you want to be, but only you can control what goes in your mouth.  

4. It's up to you to follow the "plan" your surgeon gives you.  There are reasons behind it.  

I think we all know that someone who gained it all back, didn't get to goal or whatever.  I told my birth sister (who had RNY) I was considering it.  She got pregnant 3 months after surgery and never got to goal.  She told me not to do it that she regretted it.  I asked why and she said she still couldn't eat some things like rice.  My old boss had RNY, has gained at all back and more ; she keeps a coke and box of crackers on her desk at all times.  

If your mind set is in it and you can deal with lifetime changes-go for it.  For many of us we wasted years trying to do it on our own...good luck!

I totally agree with this.  Weight loss surgery is a very powerful tool that can allow you to lose your excess weight and to keep it off long term, but it is only a tool.  

Weight loss surgery only succeeds when the person is stubborn and motivated enough to use it to help them change their relationship with food.  In short, the surgery makes it possible to become thin and healthy, but it does not succeed if the person continues to eat and drink unhealthy foods, snack all day, etc.

Finally, remember that the sleeve and the gastric bypass each have their own advantages and disadvantages - be sure that you understand this and make an informed decision on which surgery to have.

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I told myself that I was divorcing food. And it's been a fabulous divorce, let me tell you. LOL. 

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13 minutes ago, lightenupwoman said:

I told myself that I was divorcing food. And it's been a fabulous divorce, let me tell you. LOL. 

So many things just doesn't taste the same--why bother is my motto..I just don't enjoy it anymore..

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1 hour ago, Cheesehead said:

So many things just doesn't taste the same--why bother is my motto..I just don't enjoy it anymore..

I wish I had that. I've heard other people say the same thing. For me, all the old foods I've tried taste exactly the same. Really wish they didn't. *sigh* Regardless, I'm not going back into captivity to food. Not returning to Egypt no matter what...

Edited by ShrinkingViolet2

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2 hours ago, Cheesehead said:

So many things just doesn't taste the same--why bother is my motto..I just don't enjoy it anymore..

 

1 hour ago, ShrinkingViolet2 said:

I wish I had that. I've heard other people say the same thing. For me, all the old foods I've tried taste exactly the same. Really wish they didn't. *sigh* Regardless, I'm not going back into captivity to food. Not returning to Egypt no matter what...

I have found, in the three years since my gastric bypass, that my taste in food has evolved quite a bit.  For example, due to my pouch not liking solid meat, I find that I no longer eat (or desire) steak, roast beef, roast lamb, pork chops, and other solid meat products.  In addition, due to a couple of bad dumping episodes, I no longer eat (or desire) most high fat foods like ice cream, doughnuts and other fried foods (except in very small quantities).  Instead, I eat a lot of chicken, turkey, low fat dairy products and eggs.  Moreover, pasta, bread and rice are only rarely in my diet as they fill me up very quickly and provide little nutrition.  I still have butter, but only in moderation.

I find that I do not miss my old unhealthy diet and am amazed that I ever ate many of things (and in such large quantities) that I used to eat. 

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28 minutes ago, Res Ipsa said:

 

I have found, in the three years since my gastric bypass, that my taste in food has evolved quite a bit.  For example, due to my pouch not liking solid meat, I find that I no longer eat (or desire) steak, roast beef, roast lamb, pork chops, and other solid meat products.  In addition, due to a couple of bad dumping episodes, I no longer eat (or desire) most high fat foods like ice cream, doughnuts and other fried foods (except in very small quantities).  Instead, I eat a lot of chicken, turkey, low fat dairy products and eggs.  Moreover, pasta, bread and rice are only rarely in my diet as they fill me up very quickly and provide little nutrition.  I still have butter, but only in moderation.

I find that I do not miss my old unhealthy diet and am amazed that I ever ate many of things (and in such large quantities) that I used to eat. 

Well, I haven't tried doughnuts, lol, but everything I have tasted tastes the same.  It's great to have a change in taste. That's awesome.  Wish I belonged to that club.  I just have to tell myself "no." I will say that fried foods don't sit right, but I never ate that many fried foods to begin with. No matter what, it's a blessing to have had this surgery.

Edited by ShrinkingViolet2

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On 1/28/2017 at 9:33 AM, lightenupwoman said:

The only thing I would say is that it isn't your age that is the problem, it's that you need to do a LOT of head work. You have got to really dig in psychologically into why you are over eating, and you need to try eating the way you would after surgery for a while. If you don't do the head work and figure out what your triggers are, what you use food for, why you are using being overweight, you won't be able to stop eating the way you are.

I would really suggest counseling with someone who has experience with people going through WLS and eating disorders. The sleeve is JUST a tool. It is not a magic wand. 

Read this over and over and over. 

 

The reasons you eat when you aren't hungry now are the same reasons you'll eat when you aren't hungry after surgery.

 

I lost over 100 pounds in my late 20's and spent a decade gaining it back. I had to deal with my food issues before I had surgery. Otherwise I would have made it to goal and then eventually put most of it back on. Not saying you would do this. Just sharing what I think I would have done without all the head work. 

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Gosh there's already a lot of great advice on here I don't know what more I could add. I'm not too much older than you (29) and I started looking into surgery when I was about 27. Heck yeah I wish I had a good job and insurance at 24 where I could afford the time off, the copays, and all that jazz. I also thought at 24, even though I was 320 pounds, that WLS was only for people who were ultra morbidly obese, and to me, even though I was in the morbidly obese BMI category, didn't think I was overweight enough to qualify. So I wasted 3 years exercising my butt off and yeah I lost weight, but it all came back--like it always did for me and many others who try it without the WLS tool. Caveat to this, I am still pre-op so I cannot speak to post-op experience yet, but I am definitely in the mindset and setting myself up for success now. 

So no, you are not too young. But seriously, seriously do your research, talk to doctors (both medical and psychological), and get yourself armed with information. Be honest with yourself. Let me say that again, be honest with yourself. Will you be able to commit to a lifestyle change of seismic proportions? Are you prepared to possibly change your relationship dynamics with people you love the most? If you are, then yes. Do it girl. Change your life! .

This is my favorite WLS youtuber and she has a great video about being young and wanting WLS: 

 

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Hi!

Don't let age stop you! I am only a few years older and I literally feel like this is my saving grace. I am in the process now (hopefully having surgery around June) but have never been more sure of a decision in my life. Yes, we have to live with it longer - but that means we get to REALLY LIVE. I can't even picture going 2 more years living like this - I want to be free! to run up stairs...go for a jog....tie my shoes without becoming a body contortionist lol

I am similar height and weight and I know sometimes you think "nahhh I'm young I can do it myself" it took some time for me to admit and accept that I NEED HELP. this tool is our help (if you choose). some people can lose 90-100lbs on their own, that is amazing! but for me, I can't.

I'm not sure if you have children yet, but for me.....I haven't started my family yet. I want to be physically healthy to carry my children and keep up with them after! 

I am most worried about extra skin, but many doctors and people here have told me since I AM starting young - there is more of a chance my skin will snap back easier.

this is a deeply personal decision - but we are here to support either road you choose!

 

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This is a old post and as such my input probably comes to late.   But I am surprised by the responses.  Lots of un-evidenced assertions. 

This YOUNG lady is asking if at her age its a good idea to have WLS.

She gets back.... I think    In my opinion.... As far as I am concerned .... These answers should carry little credence as they are based on personal experience and at best a small circle of people respondents may know.  personal experience I might add that may very well not correspond closely to her situation.  This is an absurdly poor way to make a choice like this.

What this she needs is empirical evidence about the average or likely outcomes for women her age, race and ethnicity, approximate BMI  after X number of years after WLS.

This research may very well exist buried in meta-analysis of Weight loss studies.   I encourage her to do actual research, divorce herself from emotional considerations and understand the science and the demographics associated with this procedure for such a young person.   

 

Just my two cents.   -Jim

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42 minutes ago, lenspirate said:

This is a old post and as such my input probably comes to late.   But I am surprised by the responses.  Lots of un-evidenced assertions. 

What this she needs is empirical evidence about the average or likely outcomes for women her age, race and ethnicity, approximate BMI  after X number of years after WLS.

I totally disagree. What use are averages when as you have already stated she is an individual with her own issues. All the advise she's received regarding seeking counselling of some kind are completely about her dealing with her individual health and eating issues. These are what make her overweight, and these are the issues that are most likely to block her ongoing success or be able the conquer them and succeed. Averages are only useful if a person is "average". None of us are!!!

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1 hour ago, Aussie H said:

I totally disagree. What use are averages when as you have already stated she is an individual with her own issues. All the advise she's received regarding seeking counselling of some kind are completely about her dealing with her individual health and eating issues. These are what make her overweight, and these are the issues that are most likely to block her ongoing success or be able the conquer them and succeed. Averages are only useful if a person is "average". None of us are!!!

I think you missed my point. 

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