Have you considered weight loss surgery?

Diabetic Connect Staff
By Diabetic Connect StaffA Latest Reply 2012-03-03 18:56:41 -0600
Started 2012-01-04 17:52:52 -0600

Have you considered weight loss surgery like gastric bypass before? What are your thoughts on it?

Advocate Susan Sloane provides a great overview of the process, risks and benefits in this "Living With Diabetes" article: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-artic...

38 replies

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-03-03 18:56:41 -0600 Report

I know several people who have had this done and only one has it helped. He actually put on the 15lbs to meet the required weight for it, and he is in perfect shape and health and has kept the weight off for 5yrs. The others lost weight, but didn't stick to the rules and now weigh more then before the surgery and health is worse. So, if you want to do it, be ready to follow the instructions for the rest of your life or don't do it. No, it is not a quick fix and no quarantees it will change your diabetes.

jamielloydst 2012-02-18 17:43:58 -0600 Report

i have had gastric bypass, it is not a "cure" for type 2. i am 8 years post op and my diabetes is just as bad as it was before if not worse. i lost over 100 lbs and weigh about 125 now. just recently came off a insulin pump. do not think that this surgery is a quick fix, or a fix at all.

Caroltoo 2012-02-18 17:59:33 -0600 Report

Other than not curing the diabetes, has the surgery been a success for you?
Loosing 100 pounds and weighing 125 sounds like weight loss success. Have you found the adaptations you've had to make to deal with the smaller stomach size problematic?

Okiedude 2012-02-08 19:25:42 -0600 Report

Well since the article appeared to be slanted against bariatric surgeries AND most of the posters here seem to be negative in their comments then I am sure I will be most unwelcome in my comments. FIRST OFF, the article left out the one GBS procedure that has the MOST SUCCESS with "curing" Type 2 Diabetes. It is called the Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch or "DS" for short. I believe that if you do the same research I performed pre-surgery you will find (as I did) that all DS patients are able to come off insulin and most are able to come off oral medications as well.

On August 1, 2004 I weighed 394 pounds and my BMI was in the "50's". I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance and since my Gastro-Intentestinal physician recommended GBS they approved it. YES, I had to go through a battery of tests (many blood tests) and YES my wife and I had to visit with a Psychologist. I had the procedure at the end of August of 2004. I was in ICU for 3 days and in the hospital for another 3 days. I "recovered" in the area (in a residential type motel) for another week before I had the "drains" removed. My surgery was laproscopic so I didn't have a huge scar down my chest like in the old days. Just 4 small incisions (which today you can't even see).

Within a month of the surgery I no longer had to inject insulin. Within another 4 months I was able to come off the oral medications completely. Although it meant an almost complete liquid diet for about 6 months (lots and lots of Protein shakes) I eventually lost 204 pounds. My lowest weight was 190.

Just about a year after the procedure I could drink carbonated beverages and coffee again. I can eat almost ANYTHING that I desire; however, as before, I suffer the consequences when I eat things I really shouldn't (peppers, spicy foods, sugar, etc.) My fasting blood glucose readings average 129. I've gained back some weight but routinely weight around 230 pounds. I know that about 15 pounds of this is my "paunch" but I cannot afford the surgical procedure to have the remaining body fat removed and I'm okay with the way I look.

Also note that the "DS" procedure doesn't suffer from the Dumping Syndrome that the RNY does. You also don't have "Stoma Blockages" like the RNY does.

I had the surgery and it's been the best thing that's ever happened to me. I suggest anyone that is interested in it to visit "Obesity Help" website at "obesityhelp.com" and do your own research. Read the "success stories" as well as the complaints and then see how many more "Success" stories there are than complainers. There are also many, many Support Groups out there for bariatric surgery recipients. Go visit one and get your information directly from the horses's mouth instead of depending on the opinions of others.

My surgeon was Dr. Dennis Smith out of Marietta, Georgia. I have a t-shirt that reads, "Thank You Dr. Smith…You Saved My Life!

jayabee52 2012-02-08 20:43:51 -0600 Report

Howdy "Mister" Womack (is Mister your given name, or an honorary title?)

I am happy for you to be here and share your positive experience with your DS proceedure. I had not heard of this proceedure before now so thank you for sharing it. I learned something today.

jerry278 2012-02-07 00:13:13 -0600 Report

I considered it , then went to an information seminar and spoke to a couple of my relatives who had it and they said if left to do it over again they would not have it. Since then one has died at 4o years old from complications and her twin is also in failing health due to infections and other related effects of this surgery. Do yourself a favor and try something else. God didnt intend for your plumbing to be rerouted this way.

Caroltoo 2012-02-07 06:08:30 -0600 Report

I know people who have been very successful with theirs, but others feel it was a horrible choice. Don't know anyone who just feels ok with it. Results seem to elicit very strong and extreme feelings.

ranamuk 2012-02-06 13:38:08 -0600 Report

I for one am totally against gastric by-pass surgery (gbs). My sister who weighed almost 300 lbs in 2004 decided to have the surgery to better her health. She had t2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, etc…she seemed to be the perfect candidate for the surgery.

She had the surgery and all went well. As she lost the weight she also lost alot of the health problems that existed. However, one big problem with gbs is that as the weight comes off the patient tends to replace the habit of eating food with some thing else. My sister did just that. She replaced food with alcohol and became and was a alcoholic for over 3 years. Her new skinny body also caused to shop uncontrolably for new cloths, new cars, new house and other unnecesary things. She also left her husband of 20 years.

The alcoholism soon help to cause stage 4 breast cancer & and she lost both breasts. The cancer traveled to her liver kidney, and lymph nodes.

She is doing better today. She drank all through her chemo and radiation. She entered detox and has now been 80 days sober. Dr.'s say that currently there is no sign of active cancer cells.

So I have to ask, was it worth it? It was her intent to become healthier, She believed that by having the surgery and losing weight she could rid herself of the diabetes. No one ever told her that she would replace food with some thing. Be very careful folks…this surgery could change/ruin your life.


stevehenry1 2012-02-06 14:48:26 -0600 Report

Sandi, I know what you mean. My (now)ex had it done and lost 160lbs. I then had to pay for her plastic surgery. Every month she bought a new wardrobe as she lost weight. Then she decided she could do better than me so we got a divorce. Fortunately, I kept my credit separate from hers. I found out that she had between 17 and 25,000 $ in credit card bills! Before she paid it off every month. That was in 2007. This past week I've been getting dunning calls from 2 credit card companies for her. I have no idea where she is. I had trouble dealing with her appearance as she lost the weight. She began to look like the old lady cadavers that come out of nursing homes.( I used to work in a funeral home) Breasts all sunken, hanging skin, spindling arms. I loved this woman but she ceased to exist when she had that surgery. The personality changes were the worst. From a caring loving woman she became a vain, selfish bitch. I married her for who she was, even at 300 lbs., because of her personality. From what I have heard, the divorce rate is 80-90% for those who have had the surgery. I lost the woman I had planned to spend the rest of my life with

ranamuk 2012-02-06 21:12:00 -0600 Report

Hi Steve,
It sounds like you to have also experienced the waves of hell this GPS can cause. I'm sorry your love was put aside, but I think your ex, just like my sister felt there was nothing wrong and that it was us who had changed and not them. How deceived they are!

Dr.'s, insurance companies, health professionals, medica TV talk shows have never really approached or considered the serious emotional problems this surgery can cause and now GPS is as common as a cup of coffee in the morning. How many other family members and loved ones are facing this hell with no support or help.

You lost your wife and I almost lost my sister to GPS. All I can say again…was it really worth it?

stevehenry1 2012-02-06 22:57:06 -0600 Report

It was mentioned in the "class" we attended before the surgery. Yes, she BLAMES ME for everything, trying to change her. Ha—I supported her decision because of her health problems, not to make her thin. That didn't matter to me, I loved the person. Basically, when men showed her attention (instead of ignoring her) I think it went to her head.

They need to work harder on the serious emotional disorders also, not just mention it. They also need to spend more time on the physical changes. I was shocked to see how bad she looked during the weight loss., like a 3rd world refugee. Fortunately, she gained some back and improved her appearance, even though it drove her into a frenzy trying to lose the weight gain. I think it causes some of the same problems as anorexia, the obsession on weight. Yes, the surgery works physically, but has a great emotional and life changing toll

J.H. 2012-02-06 13:03:36 -0600 Report

I had gastric by-pass surgery on March,18,2008.I had some serious complications that most don't get.My stomach melted away.I had a good doctor who was a surgeon before a bariatric Doctor and in time He got me back where I needed to be.I didn't get out of the hospital until Oct 17 2008.I started loosing wt when I got home.I was a diabetic and 263 lbs. to start.When I left the hospital I was 249 lbs. Fast forward-Now just short of 4 years I have lost 140 lbs. I weigh 123 now and still loosing.I am no longer taking insulin ,only 1mg of glimpiside and it lowers my blood sugars so much I often have to eat snacks through out the day and before bed.I think I will be off everything very soon.
I do have to take alot of Vitimins and minerals and a B12 shot and Omeg.3 but that is partly do to not eating much fish and you loose the part of your stomach that obsorbs Vit. B12.I am also taking Vit D.They have found that people who get the surgery are more often then not low on Vit. D also.
I feel better and have more control of my diet.I seldom feel hungry and have to remind myself to eat and check my sugars 4+ times a day.(It goes so low,)
I can eat sweets,ice cream,pies,Ect. in reason.I think because my stomach had to be rebuilt I can drink diet soda and most who have the surgery can't drink carbonated drinks after and eating sweets gives them what they call the dumping syndrome.In a way I guess the added problems I had benefitted me in the long run.I credit God for keeping me alive and the doctor the knowledge to put me back together.
My husband had the surgery in 2005,Different doctor and hospital. He lost about 150 + but when I was in the hospital he gained most of it back.I don't think his surgery was done correctly. Now my doctor is trying to help him get back on track.He was diabetic to and took pills no insulin and now needs nothing.His blood sugars also run low sometimes .He still craves and eats sweets,can't drink soda's and gets the dumping syndrome if he eats ice cream.
We are both 55 now. I was 51 when I had the surgery.
I suggest you check out doctors that have a good record of the surgeries.Talk to their patients.My doctor has a support group he encourages his patients to attend. I had to travel 3 hours away for my surgery so I don't attend .I know 3 other people from my church that has since had the surgery.All have lost alot of wt. and all are looking good and feeling better.

newlife12-20-2011 2012-02-06 11:29:52 -0600 Report

My husband had gastric bypass surgery on 11-29-2011 and has lost 56 lbs since surgery and I had gastric bypass surgery on 12-20-2011 and have lost 30 lbs since surgery. I am Type 2 diabetic and my husband was not diabetic at all. We had the surgery to help improve our health. I to date have not saw any improvement in my blood glucose numbers but I was 199 lbs when diagnosed in 2001 therefore, I am curious if I will be able to get off of my diabetes meds or not. Only time will tell.

The sugery was not that difficult but its the change in habits that we are having problems with - eating slower, chewing everything until it is like applesauce. Transitioning from soft foods such as yogurt and cottage cheese to meats has been difficult.

draco59 2012-02-05 00:50:52 -0600 Report

At one time, I was in the process of jumping the hoops for the insurance company… about half way thru the surgeon went back to his home time. It was going to be the bypass one. It was going to be out patient and back to work in 3 or 4 days. My wife had the surgery when it first came about almost 30 yrs. ago. She came back on the vent, in ICU, and off of work for a few months. They all went that way. Also no upper GI’s before or after. She lost a lot of weight, but developed pernicious anemia. She keeps about 2/3 of the weight off all these year. But there were also a few who only lost about 10 lbs.
There is a new bariatric surgeon in town, my cardiologist is considering it. But I’m working with a program through my work Health insurance, for helping me with my medical problems. So we’ll see how it goes before I make up my mind about the surgery. But also considering it runs in both side of my family, I sure genetics is involved with mine. So it’s going to a long hard decision and a lot of internal though and reflection.

Wanda Murline
Wanda Murline 2012-02-06 08:57:40 -0600 Report

I used to weigh 228 pounds and stand at 5'5". I joined Weight Watchers and over about nine months took off 28 pounds…not great, but a start. I have type II diabetes and so far have been able to exercise and eat right and kept my numbers within norm. When I found I had diabetes, I panicked and went on what you would call a crash diet…lost another 30 pounds in six weeks…also started losing my hair and over a six month period, I gained 20 of those pounds back. I was reading a diabetic book and found Almased synergy drink…I started it seven days ago…the first three days you give up all bulk food, you drink the shakes…then you start with two shakes a day and a regular meal (leaving off the breads, potatoes, etc)…this is where I am now, been on it one week and dropped 7.5 pounds…I feel great and my numbers are lower than they have ever been…95 before meals and 125 after meals…I purchased it for my numbers because they were creeping higher…this stuff works. It is a little expensive…got mine off nettrition.com for $10 less than at GNC…$25.00 for a can that will last for the first three days. When you look at the price of burgers and fries, I guess it is not so bad.

draco59 2012-02-06 10:18:48 -0600 Report

Thanks Wanda, I'll look into it. On the first of this month, I started using a one on one wellness system thru my works insurance. It’s with an RN, and I have the same one all the time. We work on one problem at a time. We’re going to see how it works. My cardiologist agrees so have the by-pass is put on hold for now. But he’s not ruling it out in the future.
Again thanks for the info Wanda and hope you tummy gets better soon.

lisagamache 2012-02-04 23:46:22 -0600 Report

I am thinking about the surgery gastric bypass. I cant take being this sick anymore. If I dont have nausea then Im burning up and feeling like i am going to pass out. Recently been put on insulin and I dont want to die. This is my last resort.

Tinad1 2012-02-06 09:00:26 -0600 Report

It isn't easy even if you get the gastric bypass. You will still have nausea. I do understand the "not wanting to be sick" anymore. The nausea is similar to morning sickness if you are a woman. I have had other health issues that were not related to the bypass that have cropped up. Would I do it again, yes. I hope that it is successful for you.

draco59 2012-02-05 00:59:11 -0600 Report

Think long and hard about it. What type are you considering??? My docs want me to lose at least 140 lbs. I really don’t think if I have the surgery that I will lose that much, but they say is possible. Just think it thru, look at every option.

Tinad1 2012-02-06 08:56:35 -0600 Report

I had gastric bypass surgery with the DS and I have lost 145 lbs as of today. Has it been on easy street? No. I have had complications that has nothing to do with the bypass procedure. I started off at 410 lbs. I am 5'7" tall if that gets you any indication of my size. My BMI was over 60. Would I do it again. Yes. I did think long and hard before I had the procedure done. I am a retired RN and knew the risks better than most. I am no longer on Lantus. I am using very little Aprida. I am still on Metformin twice a day. I am having problems with my stomach, but I have been on some high powered antibiotics for kidney infection that hasn't anything to do with the bypass.

draco59 2012-02-06 10:07:58 -0600 Report

I'm glad you did so well, antibiotics can tell the hell out of your stomach, surgery or not. Hope you get to feelling better soon. I understand what your saying. I'm not tell her not to have it, just lok at her options. There's a good chance I will be having it all so, right now, I'm 5'11" @ 331, I'd love too be bck to 200 lbs.

toomuchman 2012-01-08 06:00:22 -0600 Report

my doctor wants me to get the surger but I lost my insurance so I don't know when or if I can get it. I have diffficulty exercising because of my foot, I have Charcot foot and my right foot was amputated last year. Right now it doesn't look good.

jayabee52 2012-01-09 11:44:03 -0600 Report

I have gone with the reducing of carbs option and I have lost in the vicinity of 50 lbs since Feb 2011. When I started my "experement" I wasn't doing it for the weight loss, rather to see if my pancreas excreted enough insulin on its own to manage my blood glucose (BG) levels at an acceptable range. It was if I ate very carefully. So I didn't note my weight when I first started. I noticed my pants getting looser after 2 or 3 months. Now I have dropped to a 36" waist band where I was formerly comfortable in a 42" or even a 44" waistband. I have taken to wearing 38s and have to have a belt on or I will lose my pants!

I am willing to share with you what I have done should you request it. I had sent you a friend request a day or two ago. Please accept it so I can email you the details should you wish it, or you can send me a friend request.

pixsidust 2012-01-09 10:30:04 -0600 Report

He may be able to hook you up with some clinic options that may pay for the surgery. From what I have recently read about Charcot Foot. I would do it. If not then be very drastic about your carb intake to get your weight off. I feel for you.

realsis77 2012-01-05 11:15:25 -0600 Report

HI I believe its a very personal decision. I have known many people who have went and successfully got the surgery and are looking and feeling great now! Its not an easy surgery from what I hear so weigh out the risks and benefits and make your personal decision from there. Being diabetic it is very difficult to loose weight I know this. Especially being on insulin like myself. I recently lost 30 pounds THANK GOD!!! I truly hope I can keep it off!! I know its hard but you can do it!!! As for the surgery only you can decide what is right for you.. I do wish you the very best and keep us posted on how you are doing!!! Also I know you will make the best decision for you!! God Bless and Happy New Year!!!

jayabee52 2012-01-05 03:20:38 -0600 Report

"It is not for everybody" is the phrase Susan repeats over again. I would not myself go through this if I were PAID to do it.

I have had friends who have gone through it. They seemed happy enough with it. But one lady friend who had gone through it years ago lost a lot of weight but had recently balooned up to close to her former knee damaging weight ( I initially met her as a patient in the hospital after a knee replacement surgery when I was a Nurse's Aide there ).

I don't know about the banding surgery as I have not had experience with that, but I wouldn't recommend the one where part of the stomach is stapled or removed. I feel that that is a irreversable process. Kinda like trying to un-break an egg, Humpty Dumpty!

I had trouble lowering my weight also, until I got a grip on my eating of carbohydrates. I dropped weight when I wasn't expecting to do so when I tried (and suceeded) in managing my Blood Glucose readings without the use of diabetes meds simply through what I ate and didn't eat. My last A1c was 5.5 and I lost about 50 lbs. And for the first couple months I wasn't even aware it was happening!

To your better health!


Tinad1 2012-02-06 09:03:40 -0600 Report

Congratulations! It does work.

jayabee52 2012-02-08 09:46:39 -0600 Report

I got on the scale last Sunday (Feb 5) and I weighed 150.8. I started at the end of 2010 tipping the scale at 215. Yes it does work, and I didn't need to mess with my digestive tract!

stedix 2012-02-06 08:19:36 -0600 Report

I had the RNY surgery two years ago. I have lost 110 pounds. Prior to surgery I took 250 units of Lantus, 250 units of Humalog, 2500 MG Metforming, and 20 mcg symilin.

After surgery, I no longer take any of these. I had the surgery because my endrocrinologist suggested that it would help me control my blood sugar. he was right. It is not for everyone, but I am so glad I did it.

This is not a second chance at life because I have had a lifetime of second chances, this is a second life.

kschmoyer 2012-02-07 06:45:21 -0600 Report

I was an out of control diabetic prior to May of 2011. My health was on a downward spiral and no sign of hope in sight. I had contiplated WLS for several years, but I am not good with change. I finally hit rock bottom and decided to go to a seminar at the urging of a friend who had the surgery. It was the day I began to get my life back. I am off Humalog, down to a minimal dose of lantus and hoping to be off that soon. I take 2 small doses of metformin and a very low dose of BP med. I have lost 85 lbs since the beginning of my journey. I do agree it is a personal decision and one that you have to be willing to commit to. The changes in your life are dramatic, mostly for the good. It is not easy or a "quick fix". It is a tool and you have to use that tool efficiently and responsibly. But I finally have something that works for me after trying diet after diet and having minimal success only to fail again. My bariatric team is the best. We have support meetings and internet forums that help keep you informed. I couldn't be happier with my decision, not a single complication. And I'm not leaving my husband of 34 years…I do enjoy shopping now, but I try to do it responsibly (consignment shops and sales). I agree, this is my second life and I'm going to take full advantage of it.

Caroltoo 2012-02-07 06:49:02 -0600 Report

I'm happy to hear you say it was such a positive choice for you. I have a friend who says the same and, in fact, went on to start a new career as a spokesperson in TV ads for a local new car dealership. She has made an amazing change in her life and her relationships have remained supportive and solid. Good luck as you continue in your journey to health.

BAN LAP-BAND 2012-02-06 10:07:23 -0600 Report

Metformin maximum is 2,000 a day why were you takng more then the manufacture suggests. Too much Metformin can cause GI issues. What is Symillin? never heard of this med for diabetes? Lantus and Humalog? why sound like your endro gave you way tooo many drugs that are not to be mxed like that. just sayin. I too had the surgery to get of the diabetic insulin but as time went on it became painful to eat and as depression set in I gained wait because I was back taking insulin and we diabetics all have found out INSULIN makes everyone GAIN WEIGHT no matter what your diet is.

BAN LAP-BAND 2012-02-06 10:01:21 -0600 Report

I had Lap-Band 3 years ago. but after having sooo many negative issues with the band I had it removed 4 months ago. I am a diabetic and had the surgery to stay off insulin but after a year I had t take insulin again and begain to have slippage of band and gained weight. I still have an open would after the band was removed that will not heal. Please do not tak this surgery liightly. Surgeons don't tell you how painful it is to eat with the band torture. I wouldn't give the Lap-Band to my worst enemy. NO NO

Next Discussion: Vanadyl Sulfate ? »