If you have read the first part to this article, titled First-Hand Experience with the Gastric Sleeve, Part 1, then you are already privileged to my history with obesity. I left-off in the last article stating that I had finally made an appointment to discuss weight loss surgery with a baraitric surgeon. It was May of 2013, and I still hadn’t even told my wife yet that I was even considering something as drastic as this. Despite that, I did want to learn more about the procedure, and there was only so much research I could do online before it made sense to just go speak with someone.
It was at this appointment that I discovered a newer procedure that had been very successful on prospective patients in the past few year, the gastric sleeve. Essentially, in a nut-shell, this is a surgery where they remove approximately 60-75% of the stomach, staple it, and your done. It is more preferred by surgeons because of the much lower associated health risks, and because it can be done laproscopically — unlike the gastric bypass which is much more complicated, and no deemed much more unsafe.
Going into the meeting with my doctor, I was initially sold on the lap-band procedure — another widely accepted practice now, and one with much less permanent effects. In this procedure, a small band is placed at the top of the stomach where the food enters the stomach. It constricts that area of the stomach, in order to make it seem like you are full, much quicker — thus, in theory, reducing the amount of food one eats. After speaking with the doctor, though this procedure had much less significant long term implications, it was also not as effective because there were ways to thwart the lap-band system. Lastly, once it comes-out, one can easily fall back into their old bad habits.
It was a tough decision, and one that still makes me a little nervous despite already having the procedure performed, but I knew that it was time for a major change in my life. I knew that if I didn’t do something about my weight, that I would end-up with terrible, life-threatening diseases that would prevent me from living a happy and healthy life. I want to see my children grow-up, I want to meet my children’s future spouses, I want to meet my grandchildren, and I want to live to be old and gray with my life. Ultimately, I knew that if I was unable to get my weight under control, this was going to be much less likely because of serious health complications like diabetes, heart disease, increased risk of stroke, cancer, and other truly awful diseases.
I knew that if I was to change the fate of my life, and take control of my future, that something drastic needed to be done immediately. In my next article, First-Hand Experience with the Gastric Sleeve, Part 3, I will begin going into detail the insurance process I went through, and the months leading-up to my surgery on September 30, 2013.