I Had Gastric Sleeve Surgery And Here Are My Thoughts
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
On September 24th, 2013, I made the choice to change my life forever and had weight loss surgery (gastric sleeve) at the age of 30. I was an Army wife, mother of 4 and 240 pounds at 5’2.
I had several health issues: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, joint pains, and back pain. In addition to all my health problems, I had low self-esteem.
My surgery was done in Colorado Springs, CO, Fort Carson and my doctor was Dr. Robert Wilcox, a bariatric surgeon. He was absolutely amazing! My husband is active duty Army, so our Insurance company, Tricare, paid for 100% of the procedure.
Due to my significant health problems, I did not have a traditional consultation. I was referred to Dr. Wilcox by my primary care physician, who was concerned about my weight management and not the aesthetics of being overweight. Before undergoing the procedure, I did a significant amount of research of the different types of weight-loss procedures. I research gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery and lab band procedures. After meeting with my doctor, it was decided that a sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve surgery, would be the best option for me. I booked my surgery and waited for the day to come.
The procedure itself went well. I have a very high tolerance for pain, so I didn't feel much immediately following surgery. I could drink clear fluids just fine and was only required to stay in the hospital for three days. When I returned home, I was very moody, because I was having mental hunger pains. I wanted to eat and I kept telling myself I was hungry, but looking back on it, I wasn't hungry at all.
I will say that the first 10 days following surgery were the most difficult part of my recovery. To elaborate on what I said above, weight loss is mental and sometimes your brain will trick you and make you feel hungry when you're not. Getting through being mentally hungry was difficult for me, but I got through it.
Having surgery was the best thing I could have done not just for weight loss, but it gave me the chance to gain control of my life again. Plus, it prevented my from eating stuff that I should have never been eating in the first place.
As the days of my recovery went on, the stages in the food plan progress. You start with a clear all-liquid diet before transitioning to puree foods and then to soft foods. By the time you can eat soft foods, you won't even want the food. It's all mental. I have never regretted having bariatric surgery. I could see results almost immediately.
Ten days out of surgery I went on vacation to the Hot Springs with a group of 15 people. I was the cook and I was happy with that, because I would get a full satisfying feeling off the smell of food alone. I was only able to eat 4 bites of food at that time. That amount of food intake will gradually change after the 1st year. I found that my taste buds changed as well. For example, I use to love chocolate, now not so much. I love vanilla and fruits when before I did not.
I lost my first 50 pounds in 5 weeks. For reaching this goal, I was taken off all my medication.
Having this surgery gave me a new outlook on life and I fell in love with my new self. I went from having no confidence, to being able to help others considering having surgery. To date, I have lost a total of 95 pounds. I would encourage anyone fighting weight issues to think about making a life change and having this procedure. Weight loss surgery isn't magic. You still must eat right, workout, and put the work in to keep the weight off.
It will work if you work it.