Deciding on Bariatric Surgery for Our Daughter

Question Below Submitted By:  

Anonymous (a patient from Minnesota)

My 16-year old has been obese for 1/2 her life. She has been morbidly obese for 4 to 5 years. She went to the initial bariatric surgery informational meeting with me and has now qualified.

I have had heart attacks, heart disease, fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and diabetes. Her dad has diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Looks grim, huh? After a few weeks, she said she wanted this, too. She needed to change her life’s path.

She is 5′ 9″ and 325 lbs. We eat conservatively (especially after my heart stents) and she walks daily but cannot lose weight. She has anxiety, depression and has been teased (to tears) almost her entire school experience.

She wants to grow old without the problems her parents have. We had been uninsured for years and now have insurance. It is now possible.

She is physically and mentally mature for her age, but her weight limits everything except her grades. She is a straight A student.

She has muscle aches and pains. She has sore knees, neck and back. She tires with physical activity- and dreads Phy-ed. She cannot run at all. Finding clothing is almost impossible.

I believe she is beautiful. But, I want her to have a full, less-problematic life. Her dad and I are so worried. We are now pursuing the options. I know she is ready to do this and has our family’s support. Fully.

This is a scary trip.

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Patient Responses to the Question Above

Teen Bariatric Surgery

by: Tonya

As her parents, you know her mindset & what she's capable of as far as adhering to all the necessary dietary changes before & after surgery. You also have her best interests at heart.

I'd say, if she's not already in regular counseling, find her a psychologist (not the one used by your gastric surgeon). This person will talk with your daughter about all types of issues, but also let them know beforehand that you're wanting their opinion on how ready she is for this operation.

If the psychologist gives his/her go-ahead, the surgeon's psych gives the green light & you get the ok from the surgeon, I'd say 100% to go for it... but I think she should wait until after one of you (her parents) goes thru it so she can see/know exactly what to expect.

This surgery could open up a whole new, healthier, world for her & it seems she's motivated. Maybe, not necessarily for losing weight, she could count carbs & proteins, trying to stay w/in post-op ranges, as well as making sure she's drinking 60oz of water/day...of course, get a docs ok before attempting that.

I had the gastric bypass 9/24/13. I had also battled with weight, diet, & exercise, but thankfully, the bulk of my problems were after high school (they can be so mean!). I was still considered overweight because at 5'2", I weighed 145 pounds. But I was healthy overall, and most importantly, I was comfortable with my appearance.

The highest weight I know of being is 392 pounds & I had been diagnosed w/Type 2 Diabetes - that was just over a year ago when I began seeing my surgeon. My last official pre-surg weigh in I was 365 pounds (but I lost a bit more between then & surgery).

I just had my 6 week post-op visit & am now at 327# (I love getting on that scale, now!).

I'm also off my diabetes meds!

Talk to every professional to get their educated opinions, & even if you find she should wait, get her used to some of the dietary changes she'll be going thru later, because something tells me she's doing this at some point!

With all the health problems she may be facing genetically, I really hope everything goes her way pertaining to the surgery.

Good luck & the best of health to you all!

Sounds familiar

by: Nicole

Hi. I have been researching weight loss surgery and stumbled upon this website. I read your post and I can relate very much. I'm 17, 5'7, 322 pounds.. almost exactly the same as your daughter. I struggled with depression for a while and have been bullied my whole life. I am also a straight-A student, I actually graduated two years early. I don't know when you posted but I would love to hear if she got the surgery and how it went.

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