Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bariatric Surgery Doesn't Help Obese Live Longer--CNN

Bariatric Surgery Doesn't Help Obese Live Longer--CNN

Wow, they are finally admitting it. Here is what I have seen, because of my time in size acceptance and befriending folks with like problems online, I know MANY people who have had weight loss surgery. I believe one friend of mine is dead today as a direct result of that surgery, but I knew 5 personally who died, either on the table, or from the side affects that came later. At least two had to be put on respirators, to make it out of the woods right after the surgery. A 500lb man I met in NAAFA had it done and was dead a year later. I believe the nutritional problems is what kills you in the long term--some even do well a few years down the road, to get more autoimmune and other problems, while the surgery is far more dangerous in the short term for what comes.

That said, I understand why some take this spin of the roulette wheel. Dieting fails. I have had to depart from dieting many times to even control the resultant depression and self-hatred that comes from seeing no results, that includes a college try with Weight Watchers a couple years ago. Now I try to eat only when physically hungry, stay busy and try to take one walk a day--even if its short and barely would be considered a walk by thin people. Fat people get tired of being put down and want to be like everyone else. Some may see me as having "given up" but I am tired. Unless you can come up with something that kills all hunger pain, or allows me to go over 8 hours without passing out from not eating, I want to be left in peace.

The whole WLS thing makes me angry, because I find myself thinking that the money, research and effort could be put forth something that actually works, and does not entail having people have their guts rearranged and has so much pain and torture attached. The worse thing too, and I saw this with friends, is if your weight loss surgery fails, YOU ARE BLAMED, they tell you that you are out eating the surgery, that you are not doing everything "RIGHT". So it doesn't change those problems.

One thing that keeps me from weight loss surgery, is I know the torture of digestive problems that impact ones life. I have finally just come out of severe bowel problems where I wondered if I was at that end of my life, and "cured" things by removing all fat, chlorine sprayed lettuce and MSG from the diet. The severe IBS can still be triggered though on far rarer occasions via anxiety. One cannot function while in pain, and or barfing, even reading a book, or taking a nap, is beyond one's function. All of life is surrounded by pain. So having already suffered this, I'm not ready to sign up for more.

Here's the deal, while this surgery for SOME, offers maybe a few years, of thinner life, and better mobility and function, down the long haul road it fails. I saw a diabetic become a far worse diabetic then ever before even at a thinner weight, I saw a friend die of heart disease, she had lost only 20% of her weight that had been previously far more controlled. I do not buy it as the magic panacea.

Getting bariatric surgery will not decrease mortality several years after the surgery, according to a study published in JAMA.

Although the weight-loss surgery has been shown to decrease weight and diminish diabetes, the older, severely obese male patients in the study were not living longer because of the procedure.

The study was to be presented Sunday at the Academy Health Annual Research Meeting.

For the severely obese, bariatric surgery is one of the most effective ways to reduce weight. The most common bariatric surgery is gastric bypass, which creates a small stomach pouch that restricts food intake.

The study conducted at Veteran Affairs medical centers followed 850 veterans who had bariatric surgery from January 2000 to December 2006.

When study authors compared the raw rates, patients who had surgery had lower mortality rates with 6.8 percent versus 15.2 percent after six years.

But when researchers compared the 850 veterans to 1,694 similar patients who did not have bariatric surgery, they found that surgery was not significantly associated with reducing mortality.

Matthew Maciejewski, of Durham VA Medical Center and colleagues concluded that bariatric surgery does not appear to be associated with survival during a mean of 6.7 years of follow-up.”

Fat people deserve better.


  1. I knew that any altering of trying to by pass the body's defenses against starvation would lead to this result. cutting the body forcing it to eat less is suicide.

    if one does not address the real cause then no other "cure" will do. I subscribe to the real culprit, cellular malnutrtion, the diet advice given by the so called "experts" is what is causing it. low fat high carb is what is killing us, people go on a diet what is the first thing they eliminate? high fat dairy. google obesity and dairy, the results are remarkable. the second thing is meats, which do tend to be higher caloire per ounce then say veggies or fruits. but caloires is not the problem. it is the nutritional aspect that is the problem.


  2. I have the theory that most fat people are suffering from malnutrition really and the obesity epidemic,is from our adulterated food. I had a farmer tell me the soil is being depleted so even vegetables being grown have less minerals and nutrients as once upon a time. I am busy investigating something regarding my bowel problems, allergies and why do I have so many constant vitamin shortages...

  3. Bariatric surgery is a so much reliable and successful treatment for to lose a weight. It first removes a extra protein from the body then give you the flexible body.

    bariatric surgery

  4. No Thanks.

    What protein does it remove from the body?

    Never heard of that one.

    It fails. Even the fact that you can regain weight after having your body basically mutilated is insane.

    I tire of the doctors who suggest weight loss surgery to someone with digestive disorders.

    I also know people personally who have died from this surgery. Of course when you tell arrogant doctors that, they laugh you off like you are making it up, as the faces of your friends go through your mind.

    I do not think bariactric surgery is reliable or successful, I think it stinks and is a FAIL plus 100. It's like they got together to come up with the most painful torturous "treatment" they could come up with. Forget it.

  5. What???? Seriously, how on earth can you know so many people who have had bad outcomes? I've met (in person and online) be-zillions of people who've had WLS. I've worked with the bariatrics department at the hospital where my mother worked and I'm acquainted with the president of a WLS foundation. WLS saves lives. It's advanced to the point of being routine surgery now. People lose weight, their health problems clear up, and they go on to new lives. But those people don't make news. They blend in, they move on. I know from experience how people can forget who you used to be when you lose a significant amount of weight.

    If WLS is not for you, that's fine. I'd no more criticize someone's choice to have WLS or not than I would think I am entitled to pass judgment on any other healthcare decision any of us might make. Women's reproductive health, end of life care, alternative medicine, or WLS. Everyone is entitled to make their own choices for their own bodies.

    I've met so many people whose lives have been changed for the better. They're grateful for it every day, years and years later. I honestly haven't heard more than a handful of negative outcomes which seems commensurate with the percentage that any surgery has failure/mortality rates. I devote a chapter in my book to considering surgery.

  6. Trust me I understand those who make the choice. You are right people are entitled to the choices for their own body. I do know too many who have died from WLS or gotten sick. I haven't seen the positive results. Some people it seems do well the first two years and then it catches up to them. Too many sick friends and others.

  7. I may have considered WLS myself if I thought I'd live through it. The nutritional angle bothered me too. I go anemic NOW and short on vitamins. Also if someone has PTSD from almost dying of asthma and breathing problems, that last thing they want to be is strapped down to a WLS table and given MORE PAIN. I do think it is like they decided to find the most torturous method for people to lose weight. That is my biggest probem with it. Also with the digestive system, the kidney stones would throw it out of whack big time--puking for 2 days straight, I have serious IBS too and allergic digestive problems with food, already can't eat many food groups, for me it adds up to be too dangerous. I can't imagine a life where I am throwing up or in pain every day. The months where I had at least 3-6 days of a month from renal colic from kidney stones was enough to do me in. The WLS people I knew, they didn't seem spared from hunger. What about low blood sugar? What if your metabolism sinks LOWER> I got sick for months once and barely ate anything and didn't lose weight. My temperature sure dropped though.

  8. Do you live in an area where the quality of healthcare is generally lower than national average?? Seriously, I've been very well acquainted with the WLS community and I do not hear horror stories on the level and in the numbers that you tell. My hometown is not a big place but even the bariatrics center at the hospital there has a fantastic reputation. I visit with the director whenever I'm home and he's distributed my books to patients. I'll be there next month and I will address a support group or two.

    It's my understanding that WLS outcome statistics can be impacted by the percentage of patients who go into it with extremely elevated risk to begin with and usually only a limited number of surgeons will work with very high risk people anyway. But to slander the procedure itself is unreasonable. It's become highly advanced and effective. The overall statistics are impressive. It IS the best possible way for people who have struggled for years to finally end the struggle and regain their lives and their health.

    Where I work with WLS the most is addressing the shame projected against patients accused of "taking the easy way out." Now THAT is one seriously vicious fat bias! Lose weight and people are STILL judged for how they did it! It perpetuates this idea that people become fat through their own laziness and lack of discipline therefore they should be forced to do "penance" for their gluttonous crimes. Combine that with general ignorance that WLS is some kind of free pass to eat all you want and drop weight effortlessly and that's some pretty severe fat shaming. And it's mainstream! It's nothing for somebody like Jillian Michaels to go on The Doctors and bitch about WLS and for various daytime shows to trot out the horror stories of surgery gone wrong, delivered as an ominous cautionary tale. There's no ratings value in stories of happy healthy people getting on with their lives.

  9. How about just NOT wanting to suffer?

    I told someone once, I have suffered enough pain that signing up for more including something that would even threaten me emotionally--I have PTSD from almost dying of asthma and from the work I used to do, and seeing violence. Also you may want to ask yourself, why someone like myself who has suffered at the hands of medical professionals due to misdiagnosis, I have cardiomyopathy from the untreated hypothyroidism alone due to the time elapsed, would be so willing to sign up?

    WLS patients I know have needed MORE surgery got back in for fissures, bowel problems etc.

    Also why do doctors push this for people who have endocrine problems--no thing is being done about the high cortisol zipping through my body to the tune of over 300 on a urine cortisol.

    The whole surgery is based on the bias that fat people are sitting around pigging out and have to have their stomachs "locked up".

    I have to admit I am disappointed you support WLS. However I want to read your book still. Your other ideas are very positive and good.

    The quality of healthcare is neither better or worse, but remember I am a lower income person, the medical world is different from those in the lower socioeconomic ranks. One day I ended up in such bad shape, was lack of health insurance.

    I have KNOWN people.

    Look at the WLS hospital. They see the FIRST YEAR and for many that is GOOD. It was good for friends who later DIED. They lost some weight, they saw some diabetes numbers go down but then the real fun started.

    The most brittle diabetic I knew, who was diabetic for 10 years was having her feet removed. Ive been diabetic for 10 years at a higher weight. She had WLS, and was having parts of her feet cut off even while being lower weight.

    A friend had WLS who was 500lbs, and lost around 80 and then STOPPED. IT simply did not work. She died the next year. Her health declined rapidly.

    I knew a 500lb man who got WLS, from the NAAFA club, some weight loss to start and then he died too. The complications started.

    A friend of mine who was in the 300s, I was around 22 years old, was a coworker, died on the table.

    I can name off at least 5-10 others where it was a bad idea.

    To be frank, I would have no problem telling the WLS, it is a terrible procedure and yes part of me almost sees this as "more torture" for the fat. I mean why did they focus on surgery and not hormones or metabolism? Why was the STOMACH made the central focus?

    Sure they then say after everyone dies or gets sick, like the 600lb woman I saw who ended up even more severely sick on the Discovery Channel, sure you were sick and fat already, so if you die it's not our fault.

    I mean that is the "get out" clause.

    1. You seem to be basing your views on people you know personally and how you manage to know SO MANY who've had unfortunate outcomes from WLS, I have to admit I find that rather stunning. In no way am I suggesting that I think you're lying. But really. What you're saying would defy national statistics. I doubt that the head of the WLSFA knows as many horror stories as you do. But the bottom line is this. WLS is a healthcare choice and just as I trust women to make their own decisions what's best for their reproductive health, I trust people to make their own decisions what's best for their metabolic health and their weight. You need to let go of your bias because that's what it is. You don't get to make the choices for anyone else's body anyway.

    2. One can go online and find FAR more people with bad weight loss surgery results then I personally knew or know.

      Why do you find it stunning?

      Look at the bariactric clinic, you see the successes, the people who fail, that same shame, they stay away. Can you imagine someone has their organs re-arranged, and the weight comes back or they go back to being fat or get sicker? They don't come back to advertise the fact. They slink away.

      I know since you have worked at one or said someone close to you worked at one, you may be unhappy with me now. But there are a lot of problems with weight loss surgery.

      I have a friend who works in disability admin. She says weight loss surgery is a bad bad deal. She knows how fat and sick I am and has said, don't even go there. This person goes through thousands of medical records and consultations with doctors to go over disability cases.She sees the bad results for herself and what the people cope with.

      Why would a head of the WLSFA even admit horror stories?


      You mean this is a CHOICE?

      I consider it a choice between a rock and hard place, die of being fat, or let us chop your stomach up, or your intestines out in hope that you won't die of nurtritional deficients but that your body will actually take some weight off. Sure you may puke and feel like garbage everyday, but you'll be thin!

      That isn't a choice. Do I blame the people who make it? NO I DO NOT. People in this world are limited in what they can do, they make do with the best that they are offered. Maybe I would have even decided to make the spin of the WLS roulette wheel with different circumstances but its a pretty poor place for people to end up. It offers little. When I think about fat people in general, it seems the abuse is never ending and this is probably the most horrific medical procedure that could have been planned out.

      They do what they can to survive. But something is wrong with the research. Something is wrong with the fact about every dime is poured into this surgery in the research world. Something is wrong, that it is STOMACH focused to begin with.

      What is my bias?

      Clearly define that to me.

      I think they could have offered people more then that. I find out the research is poured into WLS, and while other areas are ignored from my own perusal of PUB MED.

      The surgery itself is based on the bias, of obesity being stomach focused and central. I think I raised some points here that made you uncomfortable. Look I do not blame you if you had WLS, most people have WLS, know there are few other options out there. Why would I blame then when they are given so little choice. Why would I blame someone when I know how hard being fat is?

      But I will still question this medical procedure and why we are being offered THIS and nothing else.

      By the way I spent a long time on obesityhelp. com YEARS AGO.

      The earlier incarnation of this website, years ago.

      The gauntlet people were forced to run seemed designed by Satan himself, in terms of pain and suffering. The special pills, the special vitamins, the throwing up that was taken for granted as a daily enterprise--I hate throwing up, and have done plenty of it in this life. The extreme dependence on medical professionals for follow-up, complications. The strange "be positive" or else posts. I noted for myself on many WLS boards, that if people had regains or the surgery did not work, they were held often personally responsible. Sometimes you'd see a subtle hint for the sufferers to leave since it would bum out the newbies or the ones who were researching the surgery for themselves. I know about the different methods, the difference between a DS, a sleeve, the Roux-en-Y etc


  10. If I died on the WLS table, theyd say well her heart was already so far gone. I think they are NUTs to tell a person with cardiomyopathy and PROVEN hormonal disease and autoimmune to climb up on the WLS table, but that's just me.

    I do not see it as highly advanced or affective. I have never seen or met anyone 10 years in who has said,. THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA. Sure a few may win the roulette wheel, but most of whom I have seen have lost.
    I don't see it as the easy way out. Its not up to me to judge what people do. Fat is so painful, I totally SYMPATHIZE with anyone who wants to take their chances.


    We will chop your stomach down to size and it will chop you down to size?

    WLS itself is based on SHAME, even for the body part they choose to FOCUS on.

    So much of the metabolism and fat itself is CENTERED in the BRAIN.

    So when the surgery fails as it so often does or someone has the regain, well the shame is still there. They supposedly "outate" the surgery, they didn't follow the doctor's instructions.

    I don't trust the medical establishment to the same degree, not at all.

    I also think about the MONEY component of WLS, $50,000 per surgery or more, more then focusing on developing a medication.

    Something is wrong with that.

    And why on earth has no one asked the FAT people who are severely overweight what life is really like for them.

    You need to see this article I wrote and YES it brings up WLS.

    Please see where I am coming from.

    I got turned down for surgeries before, they even thought I had a tumor in my chest and doctor took one look at me and said, "Im not doing it, you'll die on the table" but then I turn around the next month and am told WLS is your only hope?

    Never made sense to me.

    Please read my letter to the obesity researchers with an open mind. Thanks.

    1. Really. Let it go. This is an issue about choices. Other people's choices. And they're intelligent enough to make them.

  11. Where did I say anything else?

    But the choices presented them should be BETTER.

    Why can't a person question the whole weight loss surgery system?

    It's not a cure, it's the most drastic measure they could come up with.

    Sure a few *win* the spin of the roulette wheel. Did you have WLS? But many do not.

    What did you think of the letter written to the obesity researchers?

  12. WLSers are probably the greatest percentage of my readers and book buyers because on the Internet they are an easily identified niche. WLS is a major part of my on-going conversation because I deal with people who have needed to lose a significant amount of weight for most of their lives. In my consulting and training practice, I've yet to have a client who hasn't considered it if they haven't already had it.

    You should get in touch with the Obesity Action Coalition. They'll actually chat with folks on the phone and answer questions. The organization covers every kind of obesity management option and they fight bias. They can also give you current surgery statistics. Membership is inexpensive and you get a subscription to their magazine.

    You could tell them you want to send your letter to them and would like to discuss it with someone.

  13. I realise I'm kinda late to the party, but I find this discussion in the comments kinda... fascinating. Especially Digny Kight's assertions about the demographics of his readers vis-à-vis skepticism at the OP's own anecdotal evidence to the contrary. I dunno, perhaps it's just easier to be dismissive of the negative side of WLS and pretend that those who point it out are the ones with the problem. That's a "choice", too.

    Like FHPP, I'm skeptical of "health at any size" but I'm also turned off (to be polite) by all of the hype and magical thinking around bariatric surgery. Because, honestly, it is SUCH a racket these days. Before my mother had her RNY gastric bypass in 2011, we both attended a seminar about it, and I'd say about 90% of it was a sales pitch for thin-ness. They paraded in WLS patients who testified about how much better their lives were for being thin; one woman actually got all teary-eyed as she talked about being able to shop in the "normal woman's section" for the first time in her life. And I'm thinking, wait, isn't the primary goal supposed to be about health? Then again, how can they possibly call a procedure that mutilates a healthy organ "healthy"? Something that causes essential vitamin malabsorption, at the very least, in 99% of the people who have it done? It may indeed be "life-saving" for some of the people some of the time, but that sounds more like a choice between the lesser of two evils; a devil's bargain, not something anyone of a particular BMI should be wanting to line up for; certainly not something to be "sold" to them like a magical cure.

    To be perfectly clear, I'm not putting down anyone who chooses the WLS route if that's what they feel is best in their situation. I just feel the conversation should be different. And yes, that means highlighting the bad as well as the good, so that people can make a more informed choice on what will be a life-changing experience. Honestly, Digny, if you believe that even most people are given all of the information they need to make an informed choice, then I've got oceanfront property in Arizona to sell you.

    FTR, my mother has had numerous side effects since her surgery, including chronic anemia and hypoglycemia to the point that she can no longer drive. But I'm sure that to her dying day, she'll insist it was all worth it because she now weighs as much as she did in high school. *shrug*

  14. Many dismiss people who speak honestly about WLS. I just do not want to suffer anymore. Fat is bad, but I spent a year with bowel pain and puking my guts out at least 6-8 days per month and if it had been everyday I would have lost it. I am glad you are questioning HAES, some of it is good but a lot of it I definitely do not agree with. I get sick of the magical thinking about WLS too, they basically are giving a person a new "Illness" to replace fat but more often then not people regain and end up with a whole new set of problems. One thing I have thought about with WLS is I can barely afford the healthy food I need now, so what happens when I need special purees and vitamins added to the mix.

    I consider the majority a racket, though I would never blame anyone who decides on the spin of the wheel, I still think fat people deserve a lot better.
    I am sorry for what your mother has gone through. I used to ask on WLS boards when researching it, "I get low blood sugar now and nutritional deficients how am I going to avoid that after surgery?" None of the responses were satisfactory.