melmarlem

lap-band success???

22 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

I have recently been approved for lap-band surgery, and am expecting to have my surgery later this month. I have a good family friend who had lap-band surgery 2 years ago and she has not had very good success with it. I'm worried that maybe I should have chosen RNY instead. Is it possible to be successful with the lap-band? I currently weigh 260lbs. My surgeon, exercise physiologist, and myself have set my goal weight at 130lbs. Is this unrealistic? For all of you that have the lap-band, please tell me how much weight you've been able to lose and keep off :). Also how long did it take for you to lose it?

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Does your friend actually eat appropriate things or eat things that just slip past the band? Any weight loss surgery is hard work. It's not a quick fix and of course the band will be hard work. 130lbs is definitely not unrealistic. I'm 21. 5'4 and 120kgs which is 264lbs and haven't really thought about my goal weight at the moment. I want to loose 44lbs by november and then I'll see where I go from there. Overall I would probably be happiest at around 65kg (143lbs)

As long as you set your mind to it and keep that in mind and do everything you can to make this work how could it fail?

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I had RNY just over a year ago, but I thought long and hard about the Lap-Band.

The reasons I didn't choose it:

1) I was afraid of slippage complications.

2) I didn't want to go back for fills.

3) I wanted a faster weight loss.

4) I wanted the consequence of getting sick if I ate the wrong thing.

5) I have crappy willpower. (See #4!)

6) I accepted the fact that I would have to take more supplements/vitamins with the RNY.

7) And most important...my doctor recommended RNY over the Lap-Band, based on my weight, history, relationship with food, etc.

How much research have you done on both surgeries? I highly recommend reading the book "Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies". Stupid title, but good book. It will give you a good general education on both types of surgery, and what to expect with each.

Don't jump into a surgery that you're not 100% sure about. Even if you change your mind and it throws your schedule off, you still want to choose the surgery that's right for YOU. :)

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I know there are people who have great success with the lap band. I do think you may have to have a bit more will power than with RNY, and it's my understanding that weight loss may not be as fast and you may not lose as much. My concern about the lap band is that it does seem to have a fairly high rate of failure. I've seen a lot of people on this site who had the band who then had to have a revision to RNY (or who are waiting to have RNY) because they band didn't work for them. There also seems to be a lot of problems with the band slipping or causing erosion. It's my understanding that some insurance companies no longer cover the band for these reasons.

Now, RNY can have its own complications, and like I said, some people have great success with the band, so I think it needs to be an individual decision. Does your doctor recommend the band for you? If you're not sure the band is right for you, you might want to hold off on the surgery just a little bit until you can do some more research and feel confident about your decision.

Kelly

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Thanks to all of you for responding. At first I wanted GBS because as a nursing student I knew more about that surgery. When I met my surgeon I told him I wanted GBS and he disagreed. In his professional opinion he thinks I am a better canidate for lap-band surgery mostly because of my age, 22 years old. His reasoning was because if I got pregnant with the band, no biggie, just unfill the band. Also he was concerned about me taking vitamin supplements for the rest of my life....not such a big problem, but again I'm only 22..the rest of my life is a long time!! None of those reasons made me choose the lap-band over GBS. I chose the lap-band because as a nursing student I don't have the time to take off from my studies to recover from a surgery as serious as GBS. I understand lap-band is a serious surgery too but I think I might be able to survive a few days or a week of being sore :)

Back to my friend that had the surgery, I'm not sure if she eats what she is supposed to or not. It seems like she does when she is around others, but who knows what she eats at home? I'm not looking to lose the weight fast per say, I just want to lose it and keep it off! Slow and steady wins the race! After doing some reading on here and other weight loss forums I feel comfortable and confident with my decision of having lap-band surgery instead of GBS. I have heard about the weight-loss book for dummies...I need to go buy it and read it! :P

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I'm glad you came to a decision you feel comfortable with. There is a website forum for people with lap band that you might want to check out. I think it is lapbandtalk or something like that. There don't seem to be as many banders here at TT as there are people with RNY. Of course, you are still welcome here as well, and I hope you stick around!

The lap band, just like RNY, is just a tool. You have to do your part, too. Some people say it easier to "cheat" the lap band, but I think you just have to keep your priorities in mind. If you are going to all the trouble and expense of having WLS, why would you risk cheating?

Kelly

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I know there are people who have great success with the lap band. I do think you may have to have a bit more will power than with RNY, and it's my understanding that weight loss may not be as fast and you may not lose as much.

I think I would have to disagree with the two statements above. I had lap band surgery 14 months ago and have thus lost almost 170 lbs. I have been overweight since I was a very small child and had absolutely no will power. Until the surgery, I had never successfully lost more than about 10 lbs. I was 321.6 lbs when I had the surgery.

As far as the total weight loss / speed of weight loss goes, that depends on the person and the surgeon. Lap band is a bit more precarious than gastric bypass because it's not a one-stop fix. It's a progressive, adjustable long-term fix and I think the 'adjustable' part is what makes it a little more complicated.

Most people seem to be of the impression that one fill is all you need to lose weight but what no one tells you is that the lap band is actually wrapped not around the stomach but around the stomach and surrounding fat. This means that as your body burns it's excess fat, the band becomes looser and thus needs another fill. The greatest aspect of the lap band procedure - it's adjustability- is also it's greatest draw back.

I think the biggest issue is not with the procedure but with the education provided with the procedure. If more people were better prepared and understood what would have to happen, a lot more people would have successful long-term weight loss. You cannot have just one or two fills and expect to lose 100% of your excess weight.

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Wow, you've done great! Good for you.

Kelly

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Wow, you've done great! Good for you.

Kelly

Thank you!! Ive been morbidly obese since 13 and to look in the mirror and think to myself, "I'm thin!" makes every minute of the last 14 months a 100% worth it. I realize I'm kind of bragging, but I'm so incredibly happy that this surgery worked. My entire family tells me now that they actually didn't expect it to work at all- and they were the ones who recommended it. It just goes to show that even those of us at the very bottom can succeed

Be it lapband or gastric bypass, I think it should be viewed at a second chance -I know it was for me.

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I agree with the last poster... I too had lapband and have lost over 88 pounds in 6 months... everybody who is looking at getting banded needs to really educate themsselves and be prepared to keep up with it and go back to the doctors regularly.

good luck with your decisions!

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I think I would have to disagree with the two statements above. I had lap band surgery 14 months ago and have thus lost almost 170 lbs. I have been overweight since I was a very small child and had absolutely no will power. Until the surgery, I had never successfully lost more than about 10 lbs. I was 321.6 lbs when I had the surgery.

As far as the total weight loss / speed of weight loss goes, that depends on the person and the surgeon. Lap band is a bit more precarious than gastric bypass because it's not a one-stop fix. It's a progressive, adjustable long-term fix and I think the 'adjustable' part is what makes it a little more complicated.

Most people seem to be of the impression that one fill is all you need to lose weight but what no one tells you is that the lap band is actually wrapped not around the stomach but around the stomach and surrounding fat. This means that as your body burns it's excess fat, the band becomes looser and thus needs another fill. The greatest aspect of the lap band procedure - it's adjustability- is also it's greatest draw back.

I think the biggest issue is not with the procedure but with the education provided with the procedure. If more people were better prepared and understood what would have to happen, a lot more people would have successful long-term weight loss. You cannot have just one or two fills and expect to lose 100% of your excess weight.

Congratulations!! That's amazing. I totally agree with you about the whole one or two fills thing, yes there are some people that can loose alot with only having one fill or two BUT they are a very small percentage. I've noticed that there does seem to be alot of people that have the band removed but the thing is, they are all on this site of about what? 2-3 thousand people? So of course it seems like there are heaps. I mean I've been banded a month and I still have doubts about whether this will work but that's just me - I know I have to do this right to make it work. Like the 3rd person said, all of these surgeries are tools, not a quick fix.

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I think I would have to disagree with the two statements above. I had lap band surgery 14 months ago and have thus lost almost 170 lbs. I have been overweight since I was a very small child and had absolutely no will power. Until the surgery, I had never successfully lost more than about 10 lbs. I was 321.6 lbs when I had the surgery.

As far as the total weight loss / speed of weight loss goes, that depends on the person and the surgeon. Lap band is a bit more precarious than gastric bypass because it's not a one-stop fix. It's a progressive, adjustable long-term fix and I think the 'adjustable' part is what makes it a little more complicated.

Most people seem to be of the impression that one fill is all you need to lose weight but what no one tells you is that the lap band is actually wrapped not around the stomach but around the stomach and surrounding fat. This means that as your body burns it's excess fat, the band becomes looser and thus needs another fill. The greatest aspect of the lap band procedure - it's adjustability- is also it's greatest draw back.

I think the biggest issue is not with the procedure but with the education provided with the procedure. If more people were better prepared and understood what would have to happen, a lot more people would have successful long-term weight loss. You cannot have just one or two fills and expect to lose 100% of your excess weight.

I am so glad you responded so favourably about the lapband, I had my lap band fitted a week ago in GB, as the NHS waiting lists were over 4 years long, I decided I would pay for mine myself,

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I agree with the last poster... I too had lapband and have lost over 88 pounds in 6 months... everybody who is looking at getting banded needs to really educate themsselves and be prepared to keep up with it and go back to the doctors regularly.

good luck with your decisions!

I think I would have to disagree with the two statements above. I had lap band surgery 14 months ago and have thus lost almost 170 lbs. I have been overweight since I was a very small child and had absolutely no will power. Until the surgery, I had never successfully lost more than about 10 lbs. I was 321.6 lbs when I had the surgery...

Wow- thanks for sharing your stories. I've just begun the process for Lap Band surgery and am very inspired by both of you.

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I have to add myself to the list of happy bandsters!

I am nearly 2 years post-op. I had a BMI of 38 when I started with my surgeon. I am down a total of 63 lbs. from my all time high.

My weight is now stable, I've been here for about 6 months now. I'd like to drop a few more, but am not working hard enough to do it. But I am happy in my size 10 clothes with my normal blood pressure and blood sugar.

This is the easiest time I have ever had at maintaining my weight. Even when I was bigger, it was up and down and always on my mind. Food was always an obsession.

That is not the case now! :-)

Denise :)

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Add me to the Happy Band Camp too. I am very new to it (2 weeks) but I can tell that this is exactly right for me. I am not even sure I want to get get a fill, just knowing the thing is there has my attention, we'll see. I can't thank you guys enough, I have copied and pasted some of the ideas and postings and printed out others. I am so happy with my decision.

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I did not have great success with the band. My dr once asked me if it controlled my appetite. I told him no and he said people never have success if it doesn't help control the appetite. It def slowed my eating way down, but with a lot of nausea and discomfort, and ultimately very unsatisfactory weight loss. It seems like it's sort of hit or miss, but I asked my dr if it gives people lots of problems and if he doesn't recommend it often, and he said that for the people it works for it's great, but a lot of people have a lot of problems with it.

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I really don't mean to be a pessimist or discourage anyone who's considering the surgery, but Josephine did raise an important point--it requires a lot of follow up care. As part of my appeal process, I requested a fill history and I see that I have had 18 fill adjustments since Jan 2007. That averages out to every two months, and that is an awful lot of times to visit the dr (not to mention the $$ spent on co-pays), and I still never found my 'sweet spot'. I actually have come to believe that it doesn't exist for me. At one point the nurse practitioner who was doing my fill said to me that it's really not supposed to be this hard.

All that said, if I were starting over and didn't have the experience that I've had, I would def be considering the band and would likely choose not to have my anatomy altered

And Josephine, I'm so glad to hear that your sleeve is treating you well. Good luck!!

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Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

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She doesn't like anyone talking badly about the lapband. I won't let that discourage me from telling the TRUTH in the hopes that it can help someone in the future who may be having complications but not realizing it's connected to their band. Knowledge is power and I believe it's a VERY BAD IDEA to bury your head in the sand and pretend everything's sunshine and roses.

People need to know that complications happen so that when they're faced with a problem they can say "Hey I read something about that. I better call my surgeon to doublecheck!"

Thousands of people read this website. I'm sorry if my story angers one person, but it's worth it if there are others that my story helps. Just my honest opinion.

You have a very valuable story to tell and for someone to proverbially stick their fingers in their ears and go 'la la la, I can't hearrrr youuuu" is not helpful to anyone.

People need to know that there are some very serious risks from any of these surgeries and what they are. Putting a foreign object in our bodies is a risk, and people need to weigh the possibility of rejection, just like they weigh the risks of dumping, or strictures or other problems that come with RNY.

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I did not have great success with the band. My dr once asked me if it controlled my appetite. I told him no and he said people never have success if it doesn't help control the appetite. It def slowed my eating way down, but with a lot of nausea and discomfort, and ultimately very unsatisfactory weight loss. It seems like it's sort of hit or miss, but I asked my dr if it gives people lots of problems and if he doesn't recommend it often, and he said that for the people it works for it's great, but a lot of people have a lot of problems with it.

HI RSW, sorry you haven't had success with your band. I have seen your other posts asking for help. I didn't have any advice, and so didn't respond :(

I hope you find the answers you need.

About the band and appetite control, I'd like to add my perspective/opinion. For what it is worth :-)

The band does not affect the nerves or hormones that handle appetite the way that bypass does so therefore, band patients' (well, this band patient's) hunger feels exactly the same as before surgery.

When I am ready to eat, I still feel that I could eat the entire side of beef and 10 lb. bag of potatoes. Sometimes I still find myself putting that amount on my plate and trying to eat it as fast as I used to, and that is where my troubles with stickage begin....ugh! I have to stop myself when putting food on my plate to lower my portion and then again when I begin to eat to take small bites and chew them thoroughly. If I allow myself to get too hungry, look out!! I seem to forget about this tool I had installed.

For me, the difference comes between meals. I still fight head hunger, but that is easier to do if I am not fighting physical hunger. I find my satiety level stays high much longer between meals than it used to. Or if I do get physically hungry, a small snack of string cheese will suffice until the next meal time.

Just my experiences, others' mileage may vary!

Denise

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snipped

I think the moral of my story is that the band can work for you (as long as you're not terribly unlucky with rejection) as long as YOU work for your band. You *MUST* be willing to go back to the doctor many times until you find your sweet spot and you MUST be diligent in your efforts to lose weight and take care of the device inside your body. Without proper aftercare, terrible things can happen. With proper aftercare and some work on your part, the band can help you make your weightloss goals a reality.

Hi Josephine,

You bring up some excellent points for folks exploring WLS options to ponder.

I'd like to comment on your statement about band patients being willing to make many trips to the doctor to find the sweet spot.

While it might take more than a few trips for some that isn't always the case. For me, I had the usual post-op trips that any surgery patient might have, but for fills, I have had 4 and one slight unfill.

I am almost 2 years post-op and in the last year, I have seen my surgeon once, that was for a fill around August 2009. Before that I had a fill around December 2008.

Perhaps our definitions of 'many' are different. My insurance covers my fills. I'd probably think I had too many if I were paying out of pocket. But as I look back, I do not feel that I was going to see the surgeon often. My surgeon's office runs very smoothly. He is almost always on time and I am in and out quickly, so it is not a huge amount of time out of my day. As I sit here thinking, for fills/unfill I had 4 appts in the first year and 1 in the second.

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope your are doing well with the sleeve conversion you had and that you are able to get the port removed later as you lose the weight.

Denise

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