Sleeve Gastrectomy - 20 Year Old Female Review
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
Hello my name is Jessica and I am from New Orleans, Louisiana. I wanted to tell you a bit about my experience with a sleeve gastrectomy. When I was doing my own research, there were a lot of older people discussing their experiences, but I found it difficult to find younger people’s stories. Therefore, I wanted to write about the perspective of a young 20-yr old woman.
Different people have had varying experiences so please continue to do your research. This is my story. Many of my closest friends and acquaintances have noticed such drastic changes that I felt the need to write about it. To begin, my highest weight was around 200 pounds and today (8 months after surgery), I’m around 150. It’s not something I like to discuss and I haven’t really shared that with anyone other than my closest friends, but I am trying to be candid. I having struggled all my teenage years with trying to lose weight and was never successful.
For those of you that are unfamiliar, the gastric sleeve surgery involves literally removing a part of your stomach. It reduces the size of your stomach so that less food gives the feeling of fullness. While the capacity of your stomach shrinks, it is still possible to overeat and expand (or stretch) your stomach. That is why even with the surgery, there is still a personal component and degree of self-discipline that is necessary to reap the benefits afterwards.
There are certain things that have changed since surgery. For one, I am not allowed to drink and eat at the same time and many of the foods I used to enjoy are no longer palatable. For example, I no longer enjoy watermelon, avocado, mixing sweet and salty, tomato, or wait for it…Chipotle (so sad, I know). Truthfully, it isn’t that big of a deal because it’s just a change in preference. I don’t miss those foods because I no longer enjoy them.
One of the interesting things about this procedure is the personal component I mentioned. While the gastric sleeve procedure provides a foundation, without making good choices every day, you will not be successful. This is actually one of the greatest parts of the process because at the end of the day, you are the one who earns it. It gives you a helping hand but if you actually plan on going on a weight loss journey you need to diet and exercise appropriately.
As for why I went ahead with the bariatric surgery, food had always been a big part of my life. Whenever I was sad or just bored, I would always turn to food for comfort. It became somewhat of a crutch for me and I grew to rely on it over time. Eventually, I had grown to over 200 pounds and it became an unhealthy reality for me living with all of this excess weight. I had some relatives that had the surgery and I noticed the positive results so I started to look into it. The first step I took was going to a seminar where they discussed the three different surgery options, which were gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery, and gastric sleeve. I won’t get into the nature of each, but they basically go over each with you and you start to form an understanding of what would work best for you.
I stayed overnight after the surgery and followed that up with a week of rest at home. For the first couple of weeks, you are required to drink only liquids. During this time, your stomach is in the process of healing so it’s necessary to avoid solid foods like potatoes, etc. As the days progress, you begin to introduce harder foods into your stomach and by 40 days, you are allowed to resume normal eating. I was told it takes around 6 months for your new stomach to completely heal, but don’t quote me! I can say that I’m 8 months in and I feel great.
The first couple of weeks after surgery were particularly difficult. It took me a while to realize this, but I understand now that eating is much more of a mental compulsion than a physical need. Drinking liquids for those first couple of weeks helped me to face this reality. Coming to terms with my emotional dependency was most likely (and still is) the toughest part of the process. I did go into a bit of a depression because I wasn't being satisfied by my daily caloric intake.
I wouldn’t consider myself an overly insecure person, but with the weight coming off, I feel like I am potentially (and finally) becoming the person I have always wanted to be. I am a lot more social, I am more active, I feel more expressive in the clothes I wear, and I am generally a more confident person. It’s one of the more difficult things to put into words, but I am so happy that I chose to go ahead with the weight loss surgery because without it, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
In addition to the aesthetic benefits, there are also health benefits to the gastric sleeve procedure. As you begin to shed the weight, you reverse some of the potential complications of obesity such as diabetes. It’s not uncommon for people to start weaning off their medications and eventually stop taking them altogether. I’m not a doctor, of course, but just wanted to mention some of the other benefits.
In conclusion, I hope you found this useful. Again, there were many articles about older people and their experiences so I wanted to share a different perspective. As I mentioned in the beginning, please do your research, but the results have been nothing short of amazing. Also, if you are simply an interested observer, please support the people considering this surgery as it’s tough on multiple levels. Being overweight is physically and emotionally draining and having a good support system is integral to overcoming it.