I recently found a group for people who have survived the complications of WLS and joined it. One of the emails I got today was the following list of complications:
Dehydration, Chronic Vomiting and Nausea, Stroke, Heart Attack,
Arrythmia, Kidney stones, Kidney Failure, Liver Failure, Anemia, Deficiencies (B-12,potassium, iron, B-1, B-6, etc.), Malabsorbtion of supplements
(calcium, minerals, nutrients from food), Blurred Vision, Muscle and
Bone Pain, Loss of Teeth, Bleeding Gums, Rotting Teeth Due to
Vomiting Requiring Root Canals, Hypoglycemia, Headaches, Black
outs/Seizures, Lactose Intolorant, Injury to Spleen during surgery,
Coma, Paralysis/Blindness after coma, Osteoporsis, Burst Pouch,
Lupus, Auto-Immune Disease, Looped Intestines, Ruptured Esophagus
from vomiting, Misfired Staper during surgery, Ulcers, Pneumonia/Lung
Problems, Arthritis, Weakness and Fatigue from Malnutrition, Overall
Pain, Metabolic Bone Disease, Food Blocking Stoma Causing Severe
Pain, Stoma Needing Stretched Repeatedly, Neuropathy, Beri Beri, Put
on Feeding Tubes/PICC Lines, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue,
Fistulas, Atrophy of Muscles, Hair Loss, Hernias, Blood Clots, Leaks,
Peritonitis, Heart Burn/Gerd/Acid Reflux, Bowel Obstructions,
Gallstones and Gallbladder Removal, Severe Depression, Anxiety, Loss
of Memory, Poor Concentration, Irregular Blood Pressure, Diahhrea,
Constipation, Opening Of Outer Incision-Needing Packing Until Healed
From The Inside Out, Insomnia/Sleep Disorders, Unforced Anorexia and
Bulemia, Gas, Silent Stroke, Vertigo, Malnutrition which is the cause
of many of the above problems, Many End Up Becoming Invalids, and
then there is death.
When I had my WLS 10 years ago, guess how many of these I was told about. Have you guessed it yet? NONE!!!!! Yeah, I was told about vomiting, but not that it could end up being a chronic thing (vomiting would happen only when I ate more than my itty bitty mutilated stomach could hold, or if what I ate wasn't chewed well enough). RIIIGHT...........lie to me some more, asshats.
I can guarantee you that if I had known ANY of these were possible complications, I might have had a lot of reservations about the surgery. I might not have had it, especially since the muscle and bone pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy were things I already had BEFORE the WLS (and how much were they aggravated by having it?). Now I also have explosive diarhhea, depending on what I eat (if it's got milk in it, or it's fast food, I had better be right on top of a bathroom or I'll be taking a shower and changing clothes).
Unfortunately, it wasn't until about 8 months after I had the surgery (and was figuring out that it hadn't worked as advertised...duh!), that I got a computer and found the internet. And it was a couple of years before I got comfortable researching online, but by then, my WLS had failed, I was fatter than ever, and I didn't bother to check into all the problems I could be having because of it. I figured it had happened, I was at least smart enough to tell the doctor who wanted me to have it done again to fuck off, no way were they getting another chance to fuck me up even more than they already had, so why bother.
Then this last summer, after I got married and didn't have to work anymore, I had more online time than I've ever had and found FA. The more I learn from y'all, the madder I get at all the asshats who think that any risk(s) you have to take to get thin are worth it, just to be thin. Hindsight is definitely 20/20, and if I had known then what I know now, I'd have found other ways to deal with the arthritis in my knee (gee...why didn't my then-doctor recommend cortisone shots? 10 years of pain because she said it was my fucking fat making an arthritic knee hurt......what a fucking bitch she was). I'd have found other ways to deal with the back pain I have (and I'm thinking that the problems with my knee were contributing to the back thing). Ever since I got that cortisone shot, I've been able to walk through Wal-Mart for shopping instead of taking the electric cart.....do you know how amazing that is for me? Yeah, I still have back pain if I have to stand still for any length of time, but I don't have much back pain when I'm walking, and for me, that is something totally new and different (and I love it, when the weather gets nicer, I'm going to try a walking regimen and see how it works). But of course, a lot of doctors tell you to just ignore the pain and exercise anyway. Yeah, doc, I'll do that when you're in just as much pain as I am and you exercise (and I can guarantee you that the pain I rate as 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being worst, would be about a 15 or 20 on your scale). It's amazing how much pain you can tolerate when you have it every fucking day and no one will listen to you or give you anything for it (other than tylenol or ibuprofen or naproxen, which quit working if you take them all the damned time).
Sorry this has devolved into a rant, but it just makes me so freaking mad that doctors refuse to fully inform us of ALL the possible consequences, just because they are so focused on "fat is unhealthy, thin is healthy, no matter what".