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05 Jun 2011

Gastric Sleeve Surgery
I am 1.67m tall and weigh 134kg''s, I am miserable and have been for many many years. I try dieting and exercising but it''s hard because I don''t eat veg, salad, fish or much fruit.
I have high blood pressure and I take medication (ziak) for that and I am on anxiety med''s and anti-depressants.
I hide away from the world, from life. I exist, I don''t live and I have wasted so much of my life I almost feel like giving up some days...
My friend suggested I look into surgery, like Gastric Sleeve Surgery... I am scared. I doubt my medical aid would help toward this and I just don''t know what to do. What are the risks for this procedure?
I know you must get the same questions all the time, the same stories and problems... I just have no one to speak to, no one that understands this hell I live through everyday...
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Eating Disorders Expert
Eating Disorders and Obesity Expert

01 Jan 0001

Hello Karen,
Yes, I do get this sort of question regularly, but I am more than happy to try and advise you. The sleeve (gastrectomy) procedure is extremely successful and poses minimal risk, it is the last sort if all non-surgical options have been exhausted. You certainly would qualify for bariatric surgery on your weight and medical condition. However, you would need to consider approaching a centre of excellence that provides bariatric surgery to have a full multidisciplinary team assess you thoroughly. No patient qualifies for surgery of they cannot demonstrate healthily controlled diet and exercise practices preceding surgery. The professional teams have dieticians and biokineticists to assist in this process. You have not mentioned whether you a diabetic? If you are, then a gastric bypass operation would be chosen ahead of a sleeve gastrectomy, as the latter will not resolve the diabetes, while a gastric bypass will almost certainly resolve the diabetes as well as all other medical complications associated with your weight. I can put you in touch with Sr. Gibson of the Chrysalis Bariatric Surgery Clinic if you would like to explore surgery as an option. If you do not live in Cape Town, she might be able to direct you to a team closer to where you live. Lastly, an increasing number of medical aid schemes are starting to pay for such surgery. It is not a cosmetic procedure, so medical aids are seeing the enormous benefits for their clients, where bariatric surgery saves their lives and also eliminated the enormous long-term costs of medical treatment for obesity. You can email me if you want to ask me more about your various options.
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