question about gastric surgeries

Having read many threads chronicling various dopers’ experiences with the different kinds of weight-loss gastric surgeries (OpalCat, among others), I have a general question.

How does one STOP losing weight, after all the desired weight is gone? I assume this probably varies depending on the kind of surgery, and I know there are different kinds. But does the surgery get reversed, or what? How do people who have these surgeries not waste away to nothing?

Mr. Stommuck stretches easily. You pretty much have to eliminate the bag altogether if you are looking for a top-end solution. You do that and you are swallowing directly into the small intestine. You eat lotsa small mealies which is s’posed to be better anyway with regard to weight management.

I fyou wanna go to work on the other end of the canal you can chop off a few yards (exaggeration) of small intestine and you then are addressing volume of nutrients able to be taken up into the body before the rich, delicious slurry (chyme?) runs out of room and starts taking up temporary residence in the colon. This is cool because if you need 100 megabytes of nutrition to keep you going at a healthy weight, you can do some math and say “my small intestine takes up nutrition at 10 megabytes per foot, so I need 10 feet–convert the rest to sausage casing!”

Both surguries are considered drastic and, as far as I know, last resorts when refrigerator padlocks and jaw wire has already failed.

I had a bad experience with Novocain injected for putting in a filling, years ago. Made my mouth numb for about six months. I got more or less used to the feeling in a couple of weeks, but had to be very careful about eating. Since I might bite my tongue without knowing it, I preferred food that was fairly soft or perhaps crisp; no steak! Warm or room temperature was best, as I might burn my mouth and not know it. I could taste nothing at all so that didn’t figure in. And since eating was basically work rather than pleasure I stopped eating as soon as I was not hungry… “full” was not more desirable, and fattening food were not tempting. I chose by texture (did I mention no steak!) and nutrition.
I have wondered if tongue-numbing might not be less drastic than abdominal surgery. It almost certainly would be more healthy.

I would guess with something like tongue-numbing you’d still have a problem with people that eat for the sake of eating, or eat while their bored, or eat while they watch TV etc… I know I do all of those things, even when I’m really full I still nibble on something. (That all has a lot to do with being fidgety and needing something to do with my hands). Also I think there might end up being a lot of people who bite there tongues off, or slowly mangle them over the course of several months and end up with infections. All though with somework it seems like it could be a viable option for some people under certain circumstances. What I mean is, I think they would have to do psychological testing on people to find out who it would work for. For example it worked for you, since you seem to eat for the joy of eating and not just because there’s nothing better to do. Also maybe if they could find away to only slightly numb your tongue so you could still tell if you were harming yourself, while still being numb enough that you couldn’t taste things like spicey peppers, salt etc…

Also I would add that it seems like something like this would be great if if went along with psychiatric work to make sure that after one or two rounds of thing tongue numbing you could continue to eat the same way after it wore off. In a sense you’d be using it to kick start a diet. Just like the patch helps you kick start quitting smoking.

I (now) also eat when bored. But with a numb tongue eating wasn’t more attractive than doing nothing. I didn’t really have much trouble (after the first few days) keeping my tongue un-bitten, so long as I either stayed away from food that had the same texture as tongue (did I mention no steak?) or chewed very slowly and carefully. There was little reason for the slow chewing unless I was eating at a friends place and they served something that required it.
It wasn’t very hard to get a nutritious diet from such food, and realistically I ate a healthier diet than I do now since I ate purely for that reason. As I recall, I ate a good deal of oatmeal, cooked vegetables, and a bit of fish. If you were really concerned about biting your tongue you could just run it through the blender and drink it. Chewing was not much fun, and taste was no consideration whatever.
I’m not too sure about using it to kick start the diet… when I got my feeling and taste back, eating was more fun that I remembered!
Basically, it took pretty much all of the pleasure out of eating with (what seems to me) less serious side effects than stomach stapling. I would NOT recommend it for anyone who could possibly manage a diet, but it might be better than some of the other alternatives.

I myself have a Lap-Band. It is a silicone implant which can be adjusted with saline injections according to how the person is losing weight, so my rate of weight loss is essentially under my control. That’s one of the things I like about it.
However, I suspect you are thinking of the gastric bypass, which is the more common operation in the USA right now. This is how it works for that kind of operation:
In very rare cases (people on the lower end of obesity who get a lot of intestine bypassed), it IS possible to lose too much weight with gastric bypass. For such people, reversal of the surgery might be considered. However, reversal is just as risky as the original surgery, so it would only be a last resort.
For most people, there are several factors that keep them from losing a dangerous amount of weight.
With gastric bypass, the “window of opportunity” for weight loss is about a year post-op. After that point, the intestines adapt to being bypassed and start absorbing more calories again. Plus the stomach does stretch a bit.
Plus, even though it sounds counter-intuitive, fat people actually burn more calories than thin people do. It’s hard work for the body to lug around 100 pounds of excess weight, so an obese person will burn more calories during physical exertion than a thin person will.
That means that, if you’re eating a reasonable amount of calories, you will eventually get thin enough that you aren’t burning as many calories as you’re taking in. Then your weight stabilizes.

My wife had a large duodenal ulcer removed in 1993. Most of her stomach had to be removed with the reconstruction. Now she doesn’t eat much at once but she eats many times a day. She weighs more now than she did when I met her in 1987 (not much but pleasing).