7 reasons why bariatric surgery is not the easy way out

7 reasons why bariatric surgery is not the easy way out

If you’ve had bariatric surgery you’ve most probably had some doofus say to you that it’s the easy way out. In my, and every other person I’ve met who has had weight loss surgery, experience ‘the easy way out’ is about the last description we would give it. Since people can’t help but blurt out these ill-conceived ideas I thought I’d make a definitive list on why that’s certainly not the case.

  1. The Optifast pre-surgery preparation diet.

This sentence alone will be enough to get most of you nodding along with me. In order for the surgery to be safely performed we need to shrink our livers through the wonderful medium of Optifast. For me, this was the hardest time of the whole process and it messed with my head big time. If there’s one thing that would make me think twice about doing it again it would be Optifast.

  1. You get absolutely no guarantees that you will get the results you want.

There’s two things that are going to have the most influence on the results you get from weight loss surgery. The first is that the doctor actually does the surgery and doesn’t just sit there twiddling their thumbs while you’re knocked out for a couple of hours and the second factor is the effort and dedication in sticking to your recommendations afterwards. We are all different and our bodies respond in different ways to bariatric surgery. You can maximise your results by sticking to the recommendations your team gives you and making the right choices around food and exercise.

  1. It’s expensive, if you’re paying, or extremely difficult to acquire if you go for public funding.

Actually getting to the point of having done all the things and jumped through all the hoops to get surgery can be difficult and the ones not fully dedicated to doing it are bound to not make it through. There’s still large entry barriers and that alone makes it difficult.

  1. Its surgery.

Yes, it’s a big surgical procedure. General anaesthetic, a short hospital stay, potential for risks and complications, and you know, changing your body in an irreversible way. It’s not a decision to be made lightly and I don’t know about you but I don’t really see surgery, of any kind, an easy way to deal with stuff.

  1. Your brain will still try to mess this up occasionally.

You get weight loss surgery on your tummy, not your head. The amount of psychological transformation that needs to happen is huge and for many of us is the hardest and most sustained struggle we will have on this journey.

  1. The judgement that comes with a decision like this.

There is still a lot of judgement in society around weight loss surgery and that’s a result of many things. The amount of misinformation that’s out there. People’s ignorance to what’s involved. Assumptions around bodies and how people come to be morbidly obese. And ha ha, what do you know, the common assumption that it’s the easy way out. Weight loss surgery is a very valid and effective way to deal with being morbidly obese and I wish some people didn’t look down on us for it.

  1. It’s no silver bullet.

I thought I would reach my goal weight and that would be that. Goal weight achieved, thank you very much. What I didn’t realise is that it wouldn’t stay there without continuing attention, consideration and effort. You don’t have surgery, lose weight, and be done with it forever. Your goals and focus change but you never completely stop having to think about weight maintenance.

 

My decision to have gastric bypass surgery was the single best decision I’ve ever made for myself and my health. It was also the hardest decision I’ve ever made for myself. I am lucky that I’ve had a relatively smooth ride and didn’t have any complications. In saying that though it certainly wasn’t easy, far from it. My gastric bypass is a tool I now have in the ongoing journey of being healthy and happy at a normal weight.

To get the most out of life we have to do the hard things that make us uncomfortable. That’s what helps us grow and change. If weight loss surgery was the easy way out everyone would do it. Let’s keep talking about it and changing people’s perceptions around weight loss surgery, the more voices and different stories out there the better!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind for you when someone says that weight loss surgery is the easy way out? Did I get it on the list or did I miss it? Comment below and let me know.

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There are 10 comments for this article
  1. Carolyn Cerecke at 5:08 pm

    Hi Melissa, good list. My main one is the complications that have been ongoing since I had surgery 12 weeks ago. I thought that I would have it trouble free…no clue why I thought that. Maybe because I have had a great attitude the whole time so thought that meant the surgery would be a breeze. Lol.
    This journey has been much harder than ever expected. I so want to chew something…….because of problems I went back to fluid 2 weeks ago, and now pureed food. …so I feel like my journey since surgery is so long…..I remember reading your list that included …chew, chew, chew……no clue when I will be able to chew…..
    Thanks for your blog!

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 5:24 pm

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having such a rough time Carolyn. Unfortunately you never know if you’re going to be one of the unlucky ones who will have complications. It sounds like you’re starting to make progress and that’s the main thing. Thank you for reading and I really hope you’re doing much better soon.

  2. Nerida at 2:37 pm

    Great list Melissa. Like Carolyn, my big ticket item is the complications that I had that went on for 3 years. 5 surgeries in 20 months (3 in the first 7 days); hospitalisations from bolus obstructions from food; ongoing physical therapy from chronic abdominal pain syndrome and a weakened immune system. But, I would do it all again. I have another chance at life; at really living and not experiencing my life and that of my family from the sidelines and I have gotten to know the essence of who I am and reconnect with the things that bring me joy through all the trials. My experience is definitely an “extreme” response to surgery but well worth it.

  3. Twiddle Thumb at 4:13 pm

    Hi Melissa. Great list! I’m new to your blogs but was wondering what was your reason for choosing the bypass over the sleeve? Looking forward to your reply!

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 7:19 pm

      Hello! I hope your finding my blog helpful 🙂 I had researched them both quite extensively and decided I wanted a bypass for many reasons, they have better success long-term, are more restrictive and I liked the limitations it puts on you for life (more-so than a sleeve) because I knew I needed it. Then in talking to the team it became clear that because of my reflux a sleeve would probably only make it worse so a bypass was the best option for me medically.

      • Twiddle Thumb at 6:37 pm

        Hi Melissa! Thank you for your reply 🙂 excuse my made up name its for anonymity. Very good reasons you have here. I spike to my surgeon and weve decided the sleeve is best for me but i still have that niggling feeling like i should get the bypass because I too want those limitations… im in a bit of a dilemma because of this. He mentioned complications occur more frequently than with the sleeve was this something you considered?
        Where did you get your optifast from and which flavours did you like the most? Starting in 3 weeks!!!!

        • Melissa Peaks Author at 11:12 am

          I’d much rather you made up a name and commented than not! I did consider the potential complications but I guess I figured that they were worth it for the benefits. I’m incredibly lucky to have had an easy time after surgery without any complications but even people who I know who have had complications (and have had a really rough time of it) still don’t regret having a bypass. It’s a really personal decision and you need to go with what you feel comfortable with. If you’re having a niggling feeling you might need to think more about it and listen to that. If you’ve got that gut feeling (geez the puns are never ending here!) then listen to it! I got my Optifast from a website called PharmacyDirect and in the lead up to surgery I only had chocolate and vanilla flavour on the advice of my team. Afterwards I would have one shake a day that wasn’t chocolate or vanilla and I really liked the coffee one. Good luck with the Optifast diet!

  4. Rita at 12:33 pm

    Hi Melissa
    I live you list and it’s all true. I had a sleeve done in April 2018. I’m doing really good. And have lost 66 lbs. I feel wonderful and have a great attitude. My only complications have been constipation and some hair loss.
    Taking biotion daily and a prunalax every night.
    But the hair will grow back and I will master the constipation!
    Good luck to everyone that is taking in this journey. It’s well worth it and I wish I had done it sooner!

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 1:16 pm

      Hey Rita, I’m pleased to her you’re doing well after your bypass. As far as complications go it sounds like you’re on top of them and they will come right. I’ve heard so many people say they wish they had done it earlier!

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