July 20, 2016

Adverse Topics in Bariatric Surgery

On Saturday, Max called and asked if I could come to his place. I agreed and when I arrived, Tim, and two other members of our support group were present. Max said that the three of them had been approached by the hospital and doctors to have bariatric surgery. Max said he had turned them down, but the other two had agreed to an appointment which would be the following Wednesday to see if they qualified for the surgery.

Max asked me if I had been approached and I said not this time. Max said he would not consider bariatric because of all he had read and that I had blogged about recently. I said there is a lot more that needs to be blogged about and I have five or more topics to work on writing. One of the two spoke up then and asked why we would not consider bariatric surgery.

Max and I started listing the reasons:
  • You would not be told everything you will need to know
  • You will only be able to eat a spoonful of food at any one time.
  • You will need to wait once you swallow before you can have a swallow of water
  • You cannot drink or should not drink any alcohol
  • You may have diarrhea or vomiting
  • You will have many vitamin and mineral deficiencies and may require shots for the vitamin and minerals to be of any value
  • Most oral medications may no longer work
  • Insulin may be required to manage your diabetes
  • You will need mental health counseling
  • You will possibly lose the ability to detect hypoglycemia
  • About three to five plus years later, your risk of suicide increases

I said these are the ones we can think of immediately, but there are more. Yes, your diabetes may be put in remission about 12 to 18 months after the surgery, which is a good thing.

The next thing you need to be aware of is the small amount of food you will be able to consume without stretching you stomach. This is a big problem for most people and when they do this, they will regain much of the weight and diabetes will return. Several of the people we know have needed a second surgery to repair the stomach and the cycle can repeat itself.

Several things you need to be aware of before consenting to the surgery. Always make sure that you have a meeting about the side effects several days before the surgery is scheduled. Many surgeons rush you into surgery and never cover the side effects. Others present you with a consent form just before surgery and expect you to sign it without reading it. Whenever any of these happen, you would be wise to walk away and never look back.

Many of these surgeons are only interested in the money and not your health. They will not do anything for you after your surgery and seldom cover the things that you need to do following surgery.

A minority of bariatric surgeons will do things correctly and do tests before and after surgery to make sure that your primary care doctor follows through with the care and tests necessary.

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