Anyone have experience with Lap Band Surgery?

  1. i am looking into getting the lap band. i would love to hear from any of you who have had this procedure done. do you think it is a good thing, and why ?

    thanks for all of your responses !

    praiser :heartbeat
  2. Visit Keepstanding profile page

    About Keepstanding, ADN

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 1,680; Likes: 1,654

    26 Comments

  3. by   Aneroo
    I went to an info session on it last year, but never got the nerve up to go through with the paperwork. I think I was ok with the surgery, the time off needed, but didn't want to deal with the insane amount of paperwork!
    Once I've been at my new job for a while I'll probably start the process up again.
  4. by   caliotter3
    I was acquainted with someone who worked with this procedure and had the procedure done. This person suffered with constant gastric upset and "leakage". Also said that occasional "fills" needed to be done. Sounded too uncomfortable and inconvenient to me.
  5. by   TinkRN8
    Quote from praiser
    i am looking into getting the lap band. i would love to hear from any of you who have had this procedure done. do you think it is a good thing, and why ?

    thanks for all of your responses !

    praiser :heartbeat
    hi praiser,

    i just tried to pm you, but it wouldn't let me. i had the lap band procedure in sept 2004. i have lost over 100 lbs, and for that i am grateful. however, i tell people all the time who ask me about the surgery that i only advocate wls surgery if, and only if, you are entirely committed to a lifestyle change. i know so many people who have had the surgery that just got thinking it would be a miracle cure for being fat, and it isn't. yes, i have a band that restricts how much i eat, but it does not restrict my brain and what i put in my mouth. you still have to change your way of eating and how you think about food. you must be willing to also work on the issues that made you put on the weight in the first place. if you don't deal with the psychological part of weight loss, you will not lose the weight and you will fall back into your bad habits. there are ways of eating around the band and gaining the weight back or not losing at all. i see it all the time. a lot of my fellow lap banders can't figure out why they are gaining or not losing weight, and it is because they are not changing their habits. the live like they live and eat the way they did before surgery, and you just can't.

    i had a wonderful surgeon, actually she is the foremost authority on all types of wls and goes around the country lecturing and teaching other surgeons. she has an excellent program that doesn't just include surgery, it includes support groups, both before and after, follow-up, nutritionists, psychologists, etc. you have to be very careful, as a lot of surgeons just do the surgery and you are on your own. you need to make sure that whoever you go with has a full program that will support you from pre-surgery to post-surgery and beyond.

    there is really so much i could say on this subject. am i happy that i did it, yes, it was the right choice for me. but i have had my struggles and i still, to this day, have food issues. i don't drink or use pharmaceutical drugs, but i know that food is a drug of sorts for me. i work on my issues everyday and it is an ongoing process. i think alot of people go into wls with rose-colored glasses and don't realize that you still have to work at being thin. there is a reason you are overweight, and it isn't just because you eat too much. people told me all the time, "just don't eat so much", or "eat healthier". i tried every diet out there, literally. there is a lot more that goes into it than that. and that is why you have got to make sure that if you do the surgery, you are committed to the entire process and are willing to work on whatever issues make you eat. you will have failures, but also great successes. it is all a process and journey.

    i went on way too long. again, i could go on forever. i actually wrote a paper on this subject for my psych class. if you have any specific questions you can email or pm me.

    good luck on whatever you decide to do.
  6. by   EymieICURN
    I had a Lap Band in 2005. I lost the wt and loved having it. Mine slipped twice and caused an obstruction (I was unable to keep anything down, not even water). I was down to 110 pounds (very unhealthy for my ht). I had it taken out and gained the wt within 10 months. I ended up having gastric bypass last Oct and I am very happy. If my Lap band would have stayed put it would have been great. Good Luck with your decision!
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    I never seem to land anywhere that my employer's health insurance helps to pay for this procedure.........otherwise, I'd have done it years ago. I didn't want the Roux-en-Y---I've cared for a number of patients who have had terrible malnutrition issues, adhesions, chronic nausea/vomiting and so one afterwards---but I'd get the lap band in a heartbeat if I could.

    As it is, I finally decided that I am on my own on this weight-loss thing, and I've changed my entire diet with less-than-impressive results, if you only count lost pounds (I've dropped only 13 lbs since late March). But I feel 100% better both physically and mentally, and I've even been able to come off one of my BP meds as well as my antidepressant.........so even if I don't lose a great deal of weight, I'm still going to be healthier. At my age, I'm certainly not aiming to be a swimsuit model, so I'm more about the health angle anyway.
  8. by   RN1982
    I'm having gastric bypass on May 26, no regrets about it. I did not want the lap band. I'd rather have my intestines rerouted than have a foreign object in my body. Plus, I've heard from a few people who have had it and weren't happy with it. I've talked to people who have had gastric bypass performed by my surgeon and they have not had any complications.
  9. by   Keepstanding
    ladies, thank you so very much for all of the feedback on this post. you are very appreciated ! redbeathe:heartbeat

    praiser :heartbeat
  10. by   vashtee
    My mom had one done recently, and she is losing weight. I'm hopeful she will keep it off, but to be honest, I'm not sure she will because she isn't involved in a holistic program that addresses her deeper issues. Still, when she asked me what I thought before she did it, I told her I'd rather see her do this than the bypass surgery.
  11. by   HelenofOz
    Quote from chihmom8
    Hi Praiser,

    if, and ONLY if, you are entirely committed to a lifestyle change. .
    I think that is the most important aspect of this procedure.

    I work in PACU and we sometimes get 4 or 5 patients through on the same day for the lap banding procedure, from the one surgeon. And of course we've all been involved in finding out about the procedure and know that he has a fairly intensive pre-op process, but if the patient's 'head' isn't in the right place' it's not going to work for them, ie if they're looking for an easy answer to their problems then this is not it. (One lady was 7 kilos heavier when she came back for different surgery 12 months later). Saying that tho, 3 of our staff members have had it done & they all look good, but all admit that it is hard work.

    If this is what you really want to do, and you are committed to the changes it requires, then go for it (with the proviso that it has it's own anaesthetic risks)

    And happy shopping for the new wardrobe!
  12. by   3boysmom3
    I just started the lengthy pre-op process and hope to have mine by the end of the year. My surgeon and insurance require a 6-month medically supervised wt. loss program (by someone other than the surgeon) and then I can be scheduled. Have to get psychological testing and so forth. The surgeon and facility have what sounds like a really intensive post-op support program as well. I am SO excited and can't wait. I do know that it will require a true lifestyle change.

    I've lost weight so many times- only to gain it back. I am sick and tired of the roller coaster, and I do not believe that WLS will be an "easy fix". I am determined to lose wt. My only fear is that when the six months is up and they go to get approval from my insurance co., that they may not approve it. Mine requires a BMI of 40; or a BMI of 35 with some very specific co-morbidities. My BMI is 38, and the only comorbidity on the list that I have is hypertension. But if they balk, I will appeal, and the comorbidity that I DO have, although it's not on their list, is horrible, horrible feet problems. I'm only 49, but I am limping by midafternoon every day, whether at work or at home, due to foot/heel pain. I've had steroid injections several times with temporary results. My podiatrist said that foot surgery would be the next step, but I have several different things going on with both feet, and I'm not too excited about foot surgery... and I KNOW that losing a significant amount of weight would help the problem, as my podiatrist has agreed with me on that. So I could probably help the BP, the feet problem, maybe the back pain, and so forth??? So I think that while not life-threatening (my insurance co's requirement), my feet problems impair my ability to work and conduct other necessary activities of life in the way that I need to be able to. Don't know if it will work but I'll use it to fight with!!!

    If all else fails, I may look at the cash-pay option and take out a loan. I really would hate to do that, but if it's all I have, I'll definately consider it.

    I've got several friends who have had it and love it. Good luck with whatever you decide!!!
  13. by   Baloney Amputation
    I'm thinking in general terms here, but the last poster got me thinking about this. If medically supervised diets are required before surgery as part of the preop phase and the patient has to demonstrate success with that before going to surgery, why not just go with that successful medically supervised diet alone?

    My job only talks about the bad cases regarding lap bands and Roux-en-Y's, and there certainly have been some bad things that happen with lap bands. I don't usually hear about the successes in my job, however, and that's just because of the nature of my job, not because it's not successful. However, one close-to-home tragedy regarding gastric bypass (not lap band), clouds my thoughts entirely.

    I personally only know about the cheap, old-fashioned way of losing weight, not the high-tech ways.
    Last edit by Baloney Amputation on May 8, '09 : Reason: so it's pertinent to the thread
  14. by   mustlovepoodles
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    As it is, I finally decided that I am on my own on this weight-loss thing, and I've changed my entire diet with less-than-impressive results, if you only count lost pounds (I've dropped only 13 lbs since late March). But I feel 100% better both physically and mentally, and I've even been able to come off one of my BP meds as well as my antidepressant.........so even if I don't lose a great deal of weight, I'm still going to be healthier. At my age, I'm certainly not aiming to be a swimsuit model, so I'm more about the health angle anyway.
    What's this "ONLY dropped 13 pounds" business? Puh-leeze. You didn't GAIN 13 pounds, in fact you LOST 13 pounds. Yay!

    I have gained almost 80 pounds since my 14yo was born. I do not have "big bones." Somehow I didn't notice that I was getting huge. As a result of some intensive therapy for other issues, my secretive eating came to light. And suddenly I understood what I was doing to my body and I was horrified. I immediately stopped drinkng anything sugar-sweetened and started drinking water. I became mindful of evening eating(I had been consuming nearly 3000 calories EVERY NIGHT, just grazing.) Just those two things got me started. I lost 10 pounds in about 4 weeks.

    That gave me the motivation to get serious. I have severe sleep apnea, triglycerides = 350, I'm at high risk for diabetes and heart disease. I have to get serious. I examined Lap Band, but instead I've determined to give it the old college try. I joined Weight Watchers.

    I am so pleased with WW. WW stresses tracking what you eat. I write down absolutely everything that passes my lips. They assign points to every food; foods with high fiber and low fat have lower points, therefore you can eat more of them. The meetings I go to are very motivational and i get a lot of support from the other women, many of whom are even bigger than me. I'm focusing on losing 5% at a time--just 11 pounds. I can't even think about how long it will take me to reach goal, but I can surely lose 11 pounds. It's just a real positive experience. I have lost 9 pounds in teh past 2 weeks.

    So, I could say I've ONLY lost 19 pounds since the end of March. But I prefer to shout it from the rooftops: "OMG! I've lost 19 pounds!"

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