Originally Posted by cotonpal
First we cut out functioning stomachs of obese people and now we think about eliminating their sense of smell. I think this says more about how we think about obese people than it does about understanding what drives weight gain and loss.
I completely agree. If you delve down into gastric bypass, as I have done, the picture is hardly reassuring.
While you have "only" a 1 in 200 chance of dying from the procedure, the aftermath is different. The surgeon is going to dust you off his hands within six months, while the "honeymoon period" lasts a year. The honeymoon is the time period for your digestive system to fully heal... and properly feel hunger again.
Typically, this first year is a time when the procedure works as advertised. People aren't hungry and the weight is dropping off. Many of them find the exacting regimen of tiny meals and required vitamins an easier price to pay than their many failed diets, and the nearly inevitable bathroom difficulties and bouts of stomach spasm and lightheadedness are compensated by their rapid weight loss and the admiration from family and friends.
Some don't even get that though; if there was any kind of emotional content to their eating, that coping mechanism is now gone, never to return. A 2012 survey indicated people after bypass had doubled
their risk of alcoholism. Other "emotional eaters" discover that stuff like ice cream and cake digests more easily than fat and protein. It is less likely to trigger "dumping," which some people describe as "feeling like you are going to die." The internet is full of bariatric foods, basically Atkins bars and shakes for bypass patients, because real food is just so troublesome.
And then the honeymoon ends. Hunger comes back.
And there's not a dang thing you can do about it. This is the "failed bypass" where people gain back all the weight by stretching their stomach back into a larger size. And if they are lucky, that is the end of it.
But a substantial number (at least a third, but of course they don't like to release real data) go on to have far more serious issues, including death. Because this is also when the consequences of nutritional absorption come in; the compromised digestive system can't absorb nutrients so matter how many vitamins and shakes a person tries to get down. Eat more, dodge the complications, and gain weight. Don't eat more, and make malabsorption more of a problem.
So then there's epilepsy, nerve damage, strokes, brittle bones, joint pain, dimming vision, mental disorders; the list goes on and on.
Successful? I don't think so.