Saturday, June 09, 2007

Weight Loss Journey

Yes I am still around, I've just had a small break from blogging. Thanks for all those people who left warm wishes and messages, they were all very appreciated. During this time away I've been reflecting on my life, my goals, and most of all my weight loss journey. I have also realised that whilst my life has been tough over the past few years, I'm glad that I went through it all and even very proud how I've come through it. I can finally say that I am happy with my life and happy being single and I don't need a man to complete my life. The only things I'm not happy with or in control of is my weight and what I eat. I'm now looking at ways to solve this problem.

One major things I've realised that I've been trying to lose weight now for at least 10 years and honestly I have lost weight but I HAVE put it all back on. Yes I am the same weight I was 10 years ago. During these 10 years I have tried many different diets/programs, the major ones being:-

* weight watchers (on more than one occasion)
* sureslim
* lite n easy
* calorie controlled diets (calorieking etc)
* low carb
* CSIRO diet
* The biggest loser diet

and many other ones from the magazines. I've had some success with them but nothing long term. I've realised for me to be successful in losing weight it all comes down to my ability to control my hunger and the amount that I eat. At this stage I'm looking at ways that I can control my hunger and the amount that I eat and I'm looking into surgery options at the moment. I know there are lots of you out there that will not agree with such drastic methods but I need to do what is right for me and what I've been doing over the past 10 years hasn't worked. Its time to look at new options and the option I'm looking into at the moment is lap band surgery.

During the past 2 weeks I've been doing a lot of reading about losing weight and what options are available to a morbidly obese person like myself. Until lately I've really hated and I haven't wanted to admit that I am morbidly obese but who am I kidding, I am and it is only me who can change that.

During my reading I've found the following interesting paragraphs that I thought I'd share with you all:-

Non-surgical methods of losing weight may eventually fail because they require daily compliance for the rest of your life. Our bodies are designed to fight weight loss so when someone diets their body becomes significantly more efficient and their brain sends stronger and stronger hunger signals. This explains the intolerable discomfort associated with dieting and the rapidity with which weight returns after a diet. The majority of people seeking surgery for long term weight control have had successful short term weight loss with diets in the past. Regardless of the amount of weight lost your body will wish to return to the weight you were before the diet.

Almost 60% of Australian adults have a weight problem and for those who are severely overweight Bariatric (obesity) Surgery offers the real possibility of lifelong weight control. Thousands of people in Australia die every year from obesity related diseases and hundreds of thousands suffer medical, physical and social disability.

The last 2 paragraphs were written by Dr Michael L Talbot. MB ChB FRACS.
Dr Talbot is a specialty trained Upper Gastrointestinal, Laparoscopic and Endoscopic Surgeon based at St George Hospital. He consults from the Department of Surgery at St George Hospital, at Suite 1 26-28 Gipps St Miranda, at the Wollongong Day Surgery and at the Sydney Institute of Obesity Surgery in Ashfield.

Lapband Surgery (or Laparoscpic Gastric Banding)

Laparoscopic Gastric Banding is the most frequently performed operation for obesity in Australia and yearly accounts for 25% of obesity surgery operations worldwide. It is a very good option available for people needing to lose weight but it will not suit everyone.

Having a band placed is simply the first step in the weight loss process. Any person undergoing this operation needs to understand how the band works in order to obtain their goals.

Patients electing to undergo laparoscopic gastric banding will be cared for in a safe and supportive environment, from the time of initial consultation through to achievement of weight-loss goals and long term follow-up.

The actual lapband that goes around your stomach

How the lapband looks on your stomach.
The port is used during the fill progress post operation.

In this procedure, a hollow band made of special material is placed around the stomach near its upper end, creating a small pouch and a narrow passage into the larger remainder of the stomach. The band is then inflated with a salt solution. It can be tightened or loosened over time to change the size of the passage by increasing or decreasing the amount of salt solution. The entire procedure is done laparoscopically, where a laparoscope is inserted through the abdominal wall through small surgical incisions.

It induces weight loss by reducing the capacity of the stomach, which restricts the amount of food that can be consumed.

Minimally Invasive Approach
During the procedure, surgeons usually use laparoscopic techniques (using small incisions and long-shafted instruments), to implant an inflatable silicone band into the patient's abdomen. Like a wristwatch, the band is fastened around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny stomach pouch that limits and controls the amount of food you eat. It also creates a small outlet that slows the emptying process into the stomach and the intestines. As a result, patients experience an earlier sensation of fullness and are satisfied with smaller amounts of food. In turn, this results in weight loss.

Least Traumatic Procedure
Since there is no cutting, stapling or stomach re-routing involved in the LAP-BAND System procedure, it is considered the least traumatic of all weight loss surgeries. The laparoscopic approach to the surgery also offers the advantages of reduced post-operative pain, shortened hospital stay and quicker recovery. If for any reason the LAP-BAND System needs to be removed, the stomach generally returns to its original form.
Adjustable Treatment

The LAP-BAND System is an adjustable weight loss surgery. The diameter of the band is adjustable for a customized weight-loss rate. Your individual needs can change as you lose weight.

To modify the size of the band, its inner surface can be inflated or deflated with a saline solution. The band is connected by tubing to an access port, which is placed well below the skin during surgery. After the operation, the surgeon can control the amount of saline in the band by entering the port with a fine needle through the skin.

Minimal Trauma
Least invasive surgical option
No intestinal re-routing
No cutting or stapling of the stomach wall or bowel
Reduced patient pain, hospital length-of-stay and recovery period

Fewer Risks and Side Effects
Significantly lower mortality risk than other obesity surgery procedures
Low risk of nutritional deficiencies associated with gastric bypass
Reduced risk of hair loss
No “dumping syndrome” related to dietary intake restrictions

Allows individualized degree of restriction for ideal, long-term weight loss
Adjustments performed without additional surgery
Supports pregnancy by allowing stomach outlet size to be opened for increased nutritional needs

Removable at any time
Stomach and other anatomy are generally restored to their original forms and functions

Effective Long-Term Weight Loss
More than 100,000 cases performed worldwide
Standard of care for hundreds of practices around the world
Academic publications with up to 7 years of follow-up

At this stage I am still researching this procedure and talking to as many people as I can that have had the procedure and so far I have not found anyone who isn't happy with their doctor or results. I've made an appointment to see Dr Talbot on 4/7/07 to see if I'm an acceptable person for this procedure, yes after blood tests the Dr still has to accept you as a suitable person.

Sorry this blog ended up being longer than I had originally planned it would be.

Take One Step at a time