Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Do Anything that Diet & Exercise Won't?

Speaking only for myself, it kept the weight off beyond 5 years. Like 95% of overweight dieters, I was unable to maintain my weight loss for a long period.

Experiences with GBP and dieting and exercise programs vary so much for person to person that it is really unfair to make blanket statements about what works or is worthwhile.

Abbie, I admire your courage and determination. I know that carbohydrate addiction was part of my problem.

Good surgeons won’t perform this surgery unless you have tried everything to lose weight. Alcoholics give up alcohol altogether. Heroin addicts get clean. The problem with eating addictions is that you can’t give up food altogether. So everyday, three times a day, you have a little of your poison.

There are medications out now that help to treat the eating disorder of compulsive overeating. The anti-convulsive medication topamax was found to have the side effect of affecting the appetite.

I had my GBS six years ago. I lost more than half my body weight – 155 pounds. I call the person that I lost “Chuck.” I regained about 30 pounds and then levelled off.

I was in the process of eating a chocolate chip cookie when I read above that I couldn’t eat sweets! I have no problem with sweets at all. I do have a problem with dry foods such as chicken and rice. But I eat beef, seafood and pork. Just smaller amounts satisfy me.

Others who have had the surgery find chicken easier to digest. So who knows?

I had no emotional problems with not being able to eat large amounts of food after the surgery and I have been surprised that others have.

One of my friends and also a psychiatrist that I have known have gained all of their weight back after the surgery. I have no idea why it worked for me and not for them. There are days when I simply forget to eat.

No one should go into this without thoroughly researching the subject and the surgeon who would be doing the procedure. A woman should be at least 100 pounds overweight. For a man, it should be more than that.

Those of you who think that solutions are simple – eat right and exercise – might consider reading up on the latest bariatric research. When hormones and endocrines are involved, complexities abound. What may be true for you is not true for everyone.

About 20 years ago my dad had half of his stomach removed. He had ulcers, and from what I understand they finally ate through the wall of his stomach.

Needless to say, he had part of his stomach removed, and I see every day how he suffers for it. Sorry, I’d rather be fat than go through that. It has gotten worse over time. Sincere good luck to all those who have GBS done, I hope it works better for you.

I’ve known several people (known them well) who have had some sort of bypass done (different degrees) and none of them should have been considered for the procedure as none were morbidly obese and hadn’t really tried to lose weight. At least two had severe body issues and just wanted a “quick fix” in addition to having planned about 4 plastic surgeries after the bypass.

I support you on the bypass issue if you have legitamately tried to lose weight and have the psychological stamina to adhere to a changed lifestyle, but if it’s a quick fix, as I am seeing more and more of, you should NOT be allowed to get one.

Last I heard, the mortality rate associated with GBS was between one and three percent. This includes persons who die on the table, or who die afterwards due to complications.

My mother-in-law was one of these. Died less than two weeks after surgery; an abcess developed along the seam, encysted, grew, and burst while she was asleep one night. She literally went from “recovering fine” to “dead” in about thirty hours. My wife, child, and father-in-law took this rather badly. Hell, so did I. I rather liked my mother-in-law.

…but she felt she was getting old. This was bad. Old is bad; society says so. Old and fat is even worse. So she got the surgery. She’s dead, now.

Admittedly, 97% to 99% of those who get the surgery don’t die. But every now and then, the big roulette wheel comes up double zero.

I would take that chance if my odds were worse if I did NOT have the surgery. MUCH worse. Otherwise, forget it. Watching someone die rather quickly of necrotizing fasciswhatsis isn’t much fun.

a very good point. ain’t that a bitch ?

this must be why food kills more people than all the drugs combined.

or MAYBE, JUST MAYBE its because when you’re a heroin addict everybody is telling you “you have to stop man, you will kill yourself” and when you’re a fucking swine eating yourself to death, and doing the same thing to your kids - nobody tells you anything because they’re afraid to hurt your feelings.

Actually, weight loss surgery has a high mortality rate from post-surgical complications that aren’t necessarily based upon any particular underlying health problem that the patient already had – or had in significant enough measure to be considered deadly. The post-surgical death rate at one year after gastric bypass (the most severe of the various WLS procedures) is on par with open heart surgery. (Master Wang-ka was in the ballpark, it’s about 2% or so.) When considering this surgery, I’d advise anyone to ask their surgeon “Will I die in the next year?” and compare that answer to the fact that 1 in 50 WLS patients the answer to that question is an absolute, statistically demonstrated “Yes.”


As Zoe noted, gastric bypass results aren’t even necessarily permanent, it is entirely possible to gain back all the weight that is lost, and then some, despite the reduction in bodily capacity. It’s a very extreme solution to a problem that could be approached in other ways which can’t kill.

No, what’s a bitch is that you’ve shown a complete inability to offer anything useful to any discussion about the issue of body weight. Your own admitted prejudices – so skillfully and masterfully phrased in the most profanity and vitriol-laced terminology you can muster – do nothing but add noise where signal is gravely needed.

You aren’t answering the question of the OP, you aren’t adding information, you’re not debating, you’re just dishing out insults. So why don’t you go play in the Pit rather than continue to attempt to derail what is otherwise a reasonable discussion?

TeaElle, I’m going to miss you.

I had GBS July 2, 2003 and have lost 102 pounds. I had always struggled with my weight. Even when I wasn’t watching what I ate, I was still exercising regularly. I started having back problems 5 years ago and became unable to exercise, so my weight got out of control. Dieting or exercising alone never worked for me, so surgery was the only way I would be able to lose weight. Now I can exercise again, since the back pain was primarily due to my weight.

Except for people who can’t achieve weight loss in “other ways which can’t kill”. In fact, you said “Absofrickenlutely” to the quote below, in which Irishgirl says that it’s a last resort.

GBS is a tool used to lose weight. Anyone who has the surgery knows that it’s possible to gain the weight back. We have to go through a lot before we can even have surgery. I had to lose 10% of my weight, attend the support group meetings, talk to at least two others who have had surgery, have psychological counseling, see a nutritionist, have a multitude of tests done (sleep apnea, EKG, echocardiogram, upper endoscopy). It took almost a year before everything was finished.

It is also strongly recommended that we receive psychological counseling if we can’t get our compulsive eating under control.

I want everyone to know that people who start the process thinking it will be a quick fix, will likely find out throughout the process that it’s not. I put myself through hell, as I had complications in the beginning and couldn’t eat. But, it has been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I no longer have back pain, gastric reflux and my ulcerative colitis has been the quietest it’s ever been since I was diagnosed 18 years ago! And I can exercise again for the first time in 5 years. I have my life back.

God, I sound like an informercial. :o

what kind of information are you seeking ?

human body did not evolve on a lifestyle where food supply is unlimited and physical exercise is nonexistent.

if you lived in the wild there is no way you’d weigh 400 pounds no matter what your genetics are because as soon as you’d start getting fatter you’d get slower and so you would be spending more time hunting and less time eating - bringing you to a ballance.

it is my opinion that hunger is a perfectly normal condition to be in. it is my opinion that your body is NOT supposed to maintain a healthy weight by itself . it is my opinion that somebody who eats anything he wants and never gains weight is the one with messed up genetics, not somebody who can gain 20+ pounds in a month without even trying, like me.

what pisses me off is that everybody is looking to get fit without any hard work why can’t people just get the idea that nothing is free ? well gastric bypass may be free if your insurance is paying for it, but what that really means is I AM PAYING FOR YOU GASTRIC BYPASS so that i can work overtime, exercise an diet and you can sit on your ass and complain about me not being polite enough.

most people seriously involved with fitness agree that not only should obese people be denied coverage for gastric bypass, they should be denied coverage for all medical problems related to obesity, because they brought it upon themselves and thus they should be the ones paying for it.

Back this up.

In my case, I only became overweight because I started taking Prednisone at age 19 for Ulcerative Colitis (I was a healthy 135 pounds until that time). So, I brought it on myself and I should be denied medical coverage?

Even for people who have poor eating habits, I think this is an extremely cruel position to take because you think we’re costing you money in insurance costs. Here it shows that we are actually saving you money.

I, for one, am starting to prove this theory. I haven’t needed any doctor visits, physical therapy, drugs, chiropractor visits, etc. for my back or any drugs for my ulcerative colitis and gastric reflux. It’s been 9 months now and I haven’t been to the doctor yet.

Oh, I get it now. If you smoke, we should refuse to give you any medical treatment. Smoking is something you bring on yourself, and it’s bad for you.

Alcoholic with liver problems? Your fault.

Even better, have a baby whose born with problems? Well, that’s not my fault. Why should I have to work to pay for it?

Hey, if you get in a car accident, cover the medical expenses yourself! It’s your fault you crashed!

Thanks vasyachkin, I have seen the light.

we’ve discussed this on some bodybuilding boards and nobody opposed that point of view. and it wasn’t me who suggested it in the first place.

you are welcome.

by the way it DOES matter in a car accident whose fault it was, if both drivers have liability insurance the one who was at fault will have to fix his car with money out of his own pocket. i know cuz i totalled two cars on liability insurance and didn’t get shit from my insurance company ( other than a hike in their rate ) .

also ( but i dont know if this is true ) my pharmacist friend told me that alcoholics get the last place in line for liver transplants …

You have completely missed Intent’s point. You also didn’t address my point about bariatric surgery saving insurance companies money in the long run.

I’m waiting…

You’ve lived a very sheltered life if you think anyone considers fat peoples feelings.

People who would NEVER ask, “Do you have a drinking problem?” have no problem leaning out of their car window and screaming, “GO ON A DIET, FATTY MCCHEESECAKE!”

Not that screaming at someone from your car has ever been proven an effective catalyst in weightloss. :confused:

Not true. Alcoholics are considered for organ transplants under the same rules as everyone else; that is, according to the severity of their disease. However, they do have to be sober for a period of time first.


i thought it should be obvious. like i said, it should not be just the surgery that would be denied coverage for, but all obesity related illnesses. the insurance company would not have to spend a dime on you. can’t do much better than that.

ironically, I DO consider fat people’s feelings. but not because i care ( cuz i don’t ) rather i just have to pretend that i am this nice and friendly person, cuz thats the image i am going with in my non-internet life.

Wow. Then I’m finished with this discussion with you. It’s going nowhere, fast. You apparently have no compassion, and until you’ve walked a mile in an obese person’s shoes, you will never understand how difficult it is.