After 30 years of obesity and trying every diet known to man I couldn't get this surgery fast enough. My surgery was covered by insurance. I didn't care if I died on the table because as far as I was concerned I was dead already.
My surgery was in 2001 long before anyone knew much about it. I weighed 260 lbs when I was finally weighed (probably weighed more) and lost 130 lbs that I have kept off to this day. My age at the time of surgery was 47. I was a photographer, musician and artist but no one saw those things, they saw only the obesity.
Since entering "normal people land" I have had to learn so much more than any education available. The surgery itself was very new and no one at the time was aware of the psychological aspects involved. So many people think you have the surgery and you're done. The surgery is the smallest part of it. Fortunately I found my way and figured out many things along the way.
Currently I volunteer in the bariatric community trying to help others succeed as well. I created a site and blog called Bariatric Girl. Because I am involved with the weight loss surgery community I have come to know hundreds of people with successful stories. It is not the easy way out and you have to work at this every single day or you will gain some weight back. I know in my case I had to understand that I am a food addict and I used food to self medicate uncomfortable feelings and pain away. We have to be aware of the addiction so that we don't cross addict to something other than food.
Like I said, I know hundreds that have had surgery. Some succeed and some do not. I was given a second chance at life and would do it all over again.