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Bariatric Surgery isn’t “sketchy”

Alright, sometimes I poke around on the pro-fat activism side of tumblr out of curiosity. I’m generally in favor of it. I used to be obese, I know what it’s like, and I don’t want it to be like that for anyone else. Some of the stuff I find on that side of tumblr is pretty laughable, but there’s a recurring trend that I find outright disgusting.

Hey, if you’re a fat acceptance movement person, stop shaming people for getting gastric bypass surgery. I don’t care if it’s roux-en-y, lap band, or gastric sleeve. There is nothing wrong with any of those surgeries. I’ve seen them described as “sketchy” multiple times and quite frankly I get the feeling you didn’t read up on them at all and just want to make baseless assumptions that this could only be born of fat hate or something like that. Um, no. Let me explain how these work.

Roux-en-y is the surgery that I actually had. They go in and detach a small portion of your stomach from the rest of it. Your whole stomach stays in there because you kinda need it to secrete enzymes and what have you, but the rest of your digestive system is rerouted to connect to that very small portion of stomach that now is what you use for food intake. The purpose of this is to dramatically change your maximum portion sizes, and also to decrease how much you absorb from your food. How much everything. If that sounds scary, it’s really not. Yes it means you have trouble getting various vitamins and what have you out of your food, but that’s what multivitamins are for and there are ones specifically designed for bariatric patients. The only tricky thing is protein but you should be eating a lot of that anyway, milk is an easy way to get a lot in, and you can also use the protein powder that people who are trying to build muscle use. The weight comes off pretty fast so you’ll probably end up with loose skin if you don’t have a strict exercise regimen once you recover, but any good surgeon will warn you of that.

Lap band is the most different of them as your stomach itself isn’t physically changed. They put a special band, kind of like a rubber band, around your stomach so that there’s a small part at the top, then a bottleneck that takes a while for food to go through. This one doesn’t really do the malabsorbtion thing that the other two methods do, but the tradeoff is that you do have to have annual visits with the surgeon to make sure the band is in place or to re-inflate it or however it works. Also it has the highest risk of gaining the weight back or just not doing anything in the first place since you can still just dump pop or other sugary drinks into yourself. This was easily my least favorite option so I know a lot less about it, but some people prefer that none of their internal organs are being cut and it’s usually the cheapest.

Gastric sleeve works exactly the same as roux-en-y except they make your stomach long and narrow.

But basically my point is that none of these surgeries are “sketchy” or bad and any good surgeon will make sure you know what you’re getting into before you do it. If you’re overweight/obese and it’s not your thing, that’s fine, but don’t attack people who do choose to do it. That makes you a gigantic asshat and you should be ashamed of yourself. Honestly, if you attack people for losing weight via any means, so long as it is healthy and not due to an eating disorder or other illness or generally bad situation, you are a gigantic asshat and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Good day.