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Weight loss surgery & riding L.O.A

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  • Weight loss surgery & riding L.O.A

    Has anyone on here resorted to weight reduction surgery? Pros, cons, has it been worth it?

    I'm starting to seriously consider this. (yes my doctor has also said I should consider it) So far the plan is to possbly lease my eventer out for a year to allow me time to save for the procedure. Am I insane to give up riding for a year for this???
  • Original Poster

    Has anyone on here resorted to weight reduction surgery? Pros, cons, has it been worth it?

    I'm starting to seriously consider this. (yes my doctor has also said I should consider it) So far the plan is to possbly lease my eventer out for a year to allow me time to save for the procedure. Am I insane to give up riding for a year for this???


    • #3
      That's a tough decision to make, and I'll admit that I really have no background on this subject. However, if your doctor has suggested it, then he/she has reason to believe that your health may benefit from the procedure. If it comes down to a decision between your health and riding for a year, then your health is worth the year off.

      If you are healthier and more physically fit (as I expect an exercise/healthy eating program goes with the procedure), then you will be that much happier/healthier riding after a year has passed.

      Again, just my uneducated opinion.


      ** Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious. **


      • #4
        Why would you have to stop riding for year? What type of surgery are you considering?

        I had surgery (DS) in December 2001 and didn't ride for six weeks (surgeon said I could start back after three, but I knew he wasn't horsey and had no clue about what "riding" meant -- in my case a 17H greenie). It was absolutely worth it, no question.

        Feel free to ask any questions you want.


        Reality is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
        Originally posted by King's Ransom
        "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"


        • #5
          I think she is stating she needs to lease her baby out in order to save $$$$$ for the procedure. I think if it will help you feel better and more comfortable then do it!
          As long as you are doing it for you and not for anyone else

          ~We all rise, We all fall....Get up and get over it ~
          ~~If Ponies were people, they\'d all be in Jail~~

          ~We all rise, We all fall....Get up and get over it ~


          Gonna parteee like it\'s MY birthday~~~~ (kind of) 50 cent


          • #6
            Would you say more about what kind of surgery you're considering? Also, if you're fit enough to do any level of eventing, why do you feel this is necessary? Not meant to question your (or your physician's) thinking, or criticize in any way, I'm genuinely interested.

            He's not really a pony, and I'm really not "pony aged" either.
            "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

            Spay and neuter. Please.


            • Original Poster

              Exactly it Boss Mare ... the problem with riding is it eats up nearly all your cash and doesn't leave alot of room for saving. Evidently the provincial health plan may cover some of this but I'll still have to dish out a sizable chunk of change.

              MonstrPony: You'd think that about eventing wouldn't you. I'm a bit of a freak of nature in some ways. I moved up to Pre-training last year and managed to place both runs, I can ride my sensitive mare quite well, do gymnastics that end 3'9" and can do 3' with no stirrups if I really have to.

              I'm also 5'3", around 230, (depending on when it is in the season) have arthritis in my knee from an ACL replacement that is becoming rapidly more aggravated from the weight and have reached the point where I can't really progress anymore in my riding without a major change in this avenue. Never mind the family diabetes history, but like always the riding is the real motivator.

              I've tried just eating healthier, crash dieting, weight watchers, Atkins (low carb) (that one works ok), exercise more, fat metabolizers that left me so jittery I could barely ride.

              At my fittest I was jogging 2 miles a day + weight training & racquetball 6 days a week + riding in summer 6 days a week and still never lost weight. I'm far from that stage now...

              I'm tired of alot of things now...
              - having trouble finding riding clothes and paying through the nose when I do
              - having to deal with people in tack shops (You want an 18.5" jumping saddle? You jump? You event???)
              - having doctors so busy trying to point out my weight problem that
              they completely ignore the reasons I have come to see them in the first place
              - having people assume that my horse must be SO easy for me to be able to do well with her at competitions
              - not having most pros take me seriously in my goals
              the list goes on ... but I'm fed up, and there really seems to be only one successful route to force the situation to change

              [This message was edited by A_work_in_progress on Apr. 22, 2003 at 04:51 PM.]


              • #8
                I understand.
                I am about 5'5 and weigh 220.
                That is the most I have ever weighed.
                But 2 children will do that to you
                I always said my future husband will be a plastic surgeon!
                If I could do it I would be the first one to jump up on that table with you!
                Good Luck!!!!!

                ~We all rise, We all fall....Get up and get over it ~
                ~~If Ponies were people, they\'d all be in Jail~~

                ~We all rise, We all fall....Get up and get over it ~


                Gonna parteee like it\'s MY birthday~~~~ (kind of) 50 cent


                • #9
                  Just curious, but what kind of surgery would it be? The one where they make your stomach smaller?

                  I think you should do it. Obviously, you would be doing the surgery for yourself, and you obviously want the change you are not seeing. It would probably be worth it to lease out your horse not only for money reasons, but for recovery time as well.


                  • #10
                    A_work_in_progress: you sound a lot like me before I had surgery ('cept I weighed more). I had also done all the diet stuff and excercised every day (weight/aerobics/raquetball/riding). I'd also placed regularly in shows (equitation, even).

                    Which surgery are you considering? I was my understanding that it's covered in Canada if recommended by your primary care. Have you investigated any of the online discussion groups geared towards weight loss surgery? If not, let me know and I can point you in a few directions.

                    You sound like you'd barely make the "overweight" criteria, but with the knee problems, you shouldn't have a problem proving "necessity." Trust me, however good a rider you are now, you'll be lightyears better once you've lost weight. (Just be careful mounting after the first 30 or so pounds come off. I nearly launched myself over the other side of my horse 'cause I was still using muscles used to more weight. )

                    Good luck in whatever you decide.


                    Reality is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
                    Originally posted by King's Ransom
                    "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"


                    • #11
                      A work in progress-
                      I had weight loss surgery. Please email me. I will answer any questions I can. I do not mind at all.


                      • #12
                        O.k. I re-read your original post. No- I do not think you are crazy for wanting to give up one year of riding. Although a couple things to consider-
                        1. My surgery was covered by insurance. Most all cover it as long as you meet the criteria.
                        2. I think you will be able to find a way to ride and still have the surgery. You may not be able to compete as much- but definitely ride!


                        • Original Poster

                          I'm considering the gastric bypass for a couple of reasons
                          - Ontario does not fund the lapband procedure at all ($15000 is more than I can manange)
                          - There still seem to be issues with band slippage in a significant percentage of cases
                          - I'm hesitant when it comes to silicone implants
                          - if the lapband has issues I'll end up with a bypass anyway

                          YI know I'm on the border for where it is recommended without complications but when the knee problem, asthma and family history
                          of diabetes is factored in I don't think that there is much issue. (I could always go on a chocolate binge... kidding)

                          I guess I was kind of worried that with riding being the prime motivator that I was looking at it for trivial reasons. The funny thing is, the more I talk this issue out, the more I realize how many things are really bothering me about the weight. I know that part of the problem is emotional eating, at least this would force me to break that cycle or at least deal with it in a more hands on fashion.

                          My sister has recommended that I get counselling both before and after, and ride her horse somewhat to keep in it a bit. I am concerned about the lease idea too though. I'm going to try and arrange it so that she stays at my barn, whether turned over to the school or leased out. That way my coach would still be dealing with her and my friends could keep a good eye on things.

                          How long is recovery time typically though ... what can I expect? Am I going to need significant time off work? I know I'm all over the place on this, still mulling all the potential complications over I guess...

                          You know ... I've never been willing to post photos of me and my horse because I didn't want to put up withl with what I thought to be the inevitable comments ... despite the fact my horse has a super cute jump ... that sucks....


                          • #14
                            AWIP --

                            My horse was one of my biggest motivations for WLS. Feel free to email me if you want to ask questions.


                            Reality is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
                            Originally posted by King's Ransom
                            "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"


                            • #15
                              Go to a very good surgeon.

                              I've got a great surgeon, but I still had some complications following a scar revision surgery -- ended up in the hospital with a skin infection. grrrr.

                              Best of luck!

                              *Hannah Bay*
                              *Tatabra Kirsche*
                              *Baby X (coming ~ 4/11/2003 --woo!!!)*
                              *Hannah Bay*Tatabra Kirsche*
                              *Gryphon Bay & Amethyst Bay*


                              • #16
                                & it SCARES me. I looked at your profile but you don't post your age/birthdate & I think that would be a factor in your recovery time, at least.

                                I would ask whatever doctor you are thinking about choosing HOW MANY of these specific surgeries he/she has done. What is THAT DOCTOR'S success rate? What does THAT DOCTOR define as success? What is that doctor's complication rate? What is that doctor's death rate? I would ask the same questions of the hospital. Experience is KEY in these kinds of surgeries.

                                I would also ask myself whether I can put up with the saggy, stretched skin or whether I would be putting myself through more surgeries to take care of that problem.

                                I would also want to know about long term health effects. You know about the long time health effects of obesity but these sorts of operations also have long term health effects, such as potential vitamin deficiencies, etc. How will you cope with those? Will they be easier to cope with than putting yourself on a stringent low-calorie diet? I'm not sure the difficulties I have read about would be easy to deal with.

                                I am, myself, about the same weight you are, so I am posting this as a fellow over-weight person. Still, I'm personally scared.

                                www.rougelandfarm.com Home of TB stallion Alae Rouge, sire of our filly Rose, ribbon-winner on the line at Dressage at Devon.


                                • #17
                                  I know absolutely nothing about WLS, but if you decide to go for it, have you considered a half lease on your horse? That way expenses are drastically reduced,and you wouldn't have to stop riding entirely (as it is obviously a huge part of your life.) Also, you would still be able to be directly involved with the care of your horse.

                                  Good luck with making these very tough decisions,



                                  • #18
                                    Email me. I may have a less drastic (this is major, major surgery) solution for you. Not to mention cheaper.

                                    ''Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.''
                                    - Pablo Picasso
                                    'Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.'
                                    - Pablo Picasso


                                    • Original Poster


                                      I thought about a half-lease but at least if I lease her out full I can have the stipulation that shoeing and vet bills are the responsibility of the lessee. The problem is not just board ... its the board +shoeing+vet bills+tack repairs cropping up+++ that is involved with retaining responsibility. If I go for this then I need to be able to save a fair amount within a time frame. (surgery +recovery time $ in case it surpasses my vacation time)


                                      I'm turning 30 this fall

                                      Yup, there is ALOT of risks with this. I've read some of the studies data on what can go wrong. Rupturing, adhesions, nutrient deficiency, impactions & death to name a few.

                                      I've tried severe diets before, but the problem with those is that you have the option to stop once you start. And I do, every time. Also I've looked at the medical data; if a person is 80+ lbs overweight, then surgery is the ONLY documented option to have a reasonable success rate. That's just as scary to me. I have nearly as much chance of winning the lottary as losing the weight I need to and keeping it off for more that 3 years.

                                      Trust me, I'm scared either way. At least these risks are ones I can actively choose instead of letting ones that are just as nasty catch me by doing nothing,


                                      • #20
                                        Check your private topics. I know a number of people who have lost 100+ lbs and kept it off.

                                        ''Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.''
                                        - Pablo Picasso
                                        'Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.'
                                        - Pablo Picasso