Gastric bands and obesity -Have you ever had a gastric band to help you lose weight?

Obesity

Obesity

Welcome to our new blog on the subject of gastric bands and obesity.  The aim of this blog is to encourage people who have had gastric bands to share their experiences with people who might be considering such bariatric surgery.

Over the last few years bariatric surgery (weight loss) has become far more common as a strategy to fight obesity.

So how does a gastric band work?  Actually the principle of the gastric band is very simple.  It involves the surgical implant of a band which reduces the size of the stomach.  This means that a person who has had a gastric band feels full more quickly than before and will eat less and this will lead to weight loss.


To help our readers understand what it is like to have a gastric band we would love it if you could share your experiences here on the blog.  Anything you have to say about weight loss surgery will be really useful but you might want to think about the following questions:-

  1. Have you had a gastric band?  If so what was the surgery like and how successful was the operation?
  2. If you have not had a gastric band would you ever considering having the implant?
  3. What other strategies have you used to lose weight?  How successful were they?
  4. Would you recommend the operation to other people?

Please feel free to use the comments box below to share you thoughts and experiences about weight loss surgery.  Please feel free to include any links which you think other readers may find of interest.

Many thanks in advance


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23 comments
Tronks
Tronks

Hi

i was banded 2  years ago now in London private with 5 adjustments in the price i have had only two adjustments in that time and have lost almost 4 stone .

i have had sickness when i eat too much or if i do chew my food enough to go down other then that it is the best thing i ever did i was given a food timer that helped me along eat very slow turn the timer after each mouthful wait to empty then continue to eat ...........  no problems at all .

i had the one cut and not 5 the doctor was great explained everything and how he explained it was just how it is .

Tracy 

SchatziGrossglauser
SchatziGrossglauser

 So many people think "it won't happen to me". When I was banded in May 2007, I had to go through the psych eval, meet with the dietician a few times, it wasn't a "quick" process.

I was told of some of the complications that "could" arise, however, the physician made it sound that those complications only arose to people that didn't follow the program. Of course it wouldn't happen to me. I would follow every word the doctor told me. AND... The best yet, it was reversible, when you wanted to get the band out, we will just take it out... YEAH RIGHT...
What I really learned... 
It is NOT reversible, removable yes, with a lot of hassle and money, but NOT reversible.
Erosions, slips, hernias, happen to more than 75% of band patients, not the 2% they were trying to tell me.
AND.. That the band can indeed kill you. I am not talking about the surgery itself, we all know there is risk with every surgery. I am talking about after almost 5 years of having this thing in you, it can indeed kill you. I know this from experience, I was within hours of death.

At first, I was VERY successful with the band.  I lost 80 pounds within the first year with only 40 pounds to go.  Then "hiatal hernia".  Had ALL fluid removed from the band as I could not even keep water down anymore.  The doctor refused to take the band out at this point, even though I asked him to.  I only had 40 more pounds to go, I had 'learned' to eat right, etc.  REMEMBER.. The band is a "TOOL" used to help us learn to eat right.
Well, went another 2 years with the band unfilled, throwing up almost on a daily basis.  Trust me, learned where every restroom was wherever I would go.  After about 3-1/2 years, I could not digest ANY form of protein.  So, as for 'cheating' the band, we learn to eat what our bodies will allow us to survive.  Slider foods.... Anyone hear of them?  Those are the foods that your body will allow you to hold onto when nothing else will stay down.  Mine became mashed potatoes.  I tried yogurt and even that wouldn't stay down, but for some reason, the carbs would.  Now this is what I learned was bad for me, but out of a will to survive, you learn to eat what you can hold down.

Fast forward, December 2011, band slipped.  Everyone hears of how a band slips and well, should I have it repositioned or what when it slips.  Well, when mine slipped, it cut off all the blood supply from my stomach.  I ended up in the ER, where they sent me home saying I pulled a muscle in my back.  Next night end up in ER again, explaining to them about the band and think it is something terribly wrong.  They were in the process of sending me home again, had me sign my discharge papers when my lab work came back and they realized that my white blood count was over double from the night before.  After another MRI, they sent me by ambulance to a larger hospital where I underwent emergency surgery.  The lapband had to be removed along with about half of my stomach because the band had literally killed over half of my stomach.  I didn't have the choice to reposition, remove, or revision.  They had to do what they had to do to save my life. I was in the hospital for a little over a week, ICU the first 2-1/2 days.  I was not allowed anything by mouth for over a week due to the damage to my stomach.  I went home with a feeding tube hanging out of me for the next 2 months.  
Right around the same time as the feeding tube was being removed, I started having really bad joint issues in my arms.  It seemed like somehow I was getting 'tennis elbow' or something, cause I couldn't even lift my coffee cup to my mouth.  

Fast forward, Now it is May 2013, I am now being treated for Rheumatoid arthritis (aggressive form), fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ),  high blood pressure, and depression.  Before my lapband surgery, I was in my doctors words... Healthy as a horse except overweight.  I had lower blood pressure, I was very active.  I used to be a volunteer firefighter and EMT.  Now, I can't walk from one room to the other without pain.
I asked why all of a sudden I would have all of this wrong with me, the only answers the doctors have is because of the trauma that my body went through with the lapband.

So, would I ever recommend the band to anyone?
NO, NO, and NO!!!

JeanneCarroll
JeanneCarroll

I had the gastric sleeve August 2011.  I was diagnosed with MS Sept. 2012.  I am down 100 pounds and I know now that with the added diagnosis of MS had I still had those 100 pounds on me it would make for a difficult time.  I have extreme weakness on my left side, if I was still carrying around those extra 100 pounds it would have been way more difficult.  I personally would not pick the lap band...two people have died at the local hospital (West Hills, CA) from the lap band.  In addition it cost in my area (California) $300 to have a fill which needs to be done regularly..it is very expensive and not very successful.  My cousin had her's slip and had to have emergency surgery to remove it and then had the sleeve done.  She too like many of the other posts lost and gained with the lap band but since having the gastric sleeve she is down 75 pounds so far...Remember all these surgery, whether gastric sleeve, gastric by-pass or the lap band are tools.  If you continue to eat like you did before the surgery you will gain the weight back.  I belong to a gastric surgery support group. This helps keep you on track.  If there is not one in your area, join weight watchers.  They will also help you control your eating.  Good luck to you all

KCHarwood
KCHarwood

I have had MS since 2001. I had gastric bypass on Dec 16th 2012. I picked gastric bypass because I know to many people with the band and their weight goes up and down. You can cheat the band is what a few people told me. Said if u eat stuff like ice cream it just passes right by the band. Since I had surgery I have lost almost 80 lbs that's just 5 months and I have lost that much. Feels great to be able to walk in a store and be able to wear anything in there... Feeling great and weighting in at 165 now and loving it!!!!!!!

Meridianbaby
Meridianbaby

I want to have the lapband done cause I am overweight. I also have fibormyalgia and I think it will help me alot.

JeanetteSantucci
JeanetteSantucci

I had it done 2.13/07.  I have maintained a weight loss of 120lbs for over 6 yrs now.  I also have a very aggressive form of RA.  I have yet to have any issues with my band.  I have been extremely lucky on that part of it but I understand how hard it is from day to day to maintain the healthy lifestyle.  It has changed how my whole family eats when they are around me and mostly for the good.  If you don't have a good support system it is very hard to make it thru this journey.  Yes I do work out but it is a very gentle one as I have now had 6 joints replaced in the last 2 yrs because of the RA damaging my joints.  Good luck to those who have yet to have it done.  You will be so happy you made the choice, it may not be at first but give it a little time.  It is a gamble if you do have an auto immune but for me it was worth it.  Good luck on your journeys!!!

MichelleTeague
MichelleTeague

I am banded have been for 11 months ive lost 8stone its by far the best thing i ever did i need to point out do not have this surgery done if you cannot afford the fills once your care package comes to an end, also do not have it done thinking its and easy option to weight loss because it takes work on your part you cannot rely on the band to do the work for you!! i have to exercise three/four times a week and i had to adopt a healthy eating plan (i do still have the odd treat) but i cannot eat them like i used to!!

NeeceGentry
NeeceGentry

I had the band, and it was not successful. You have to go have fills and I couldn't afford the outta pocket, which I didn't realize I had to meet. I wish now I had gone with the sleeve, but I was afraid of the possible complications. 

mostmphns
mostmphns

I want to have the surgery done but I always thought they wouldn't do it if you had an auto immune disease?

penniesfromheavon
penniesfromheavon

I'm not banded yet but I'm getting banded June 12, 2013. So far the exp. has been one of learning. I have learned that the phrase "eat to live, don't live to eat" is VERY true. I am sharing my exp on youtube w/a vlog of my entire process. my channel is called penniesfromheavon if you want to follow my story. I'll come back on here and update as i move along this road. I think it's great that this is available espically to people like me who have comorbidities like type 2 diabetis and hypertension. watch the videos, research and make sure it's right for you. Just having the band is not what works, the program is STRICT and your entire life has to change. The band is a tool. not a quick fix

MaryJoHalliday
MaryJoHalliday

I had a gastric bypass over ten years ago when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia two years ago I gained forty plus pounds, not from over eating because I have had every test imagine done even as far as seeing a surgeon three hours away and him testing my pouch from the bypass and that is still the same size as it was from when I had the bypass ten years ago?  They tell me its the meds? plus the in ability of not moving around like I used to?  I walk or ride a bike at least two miles a day  atleast three to five days a week, I have an eight year old daughter which keeps me busy also but, I have started the process about seeing about having the band done on what I have left for a stomach, I am so upset about the weight gain, that I had worked so hard ten years ago to have the surgery and lose the weight?  Is there an answer?


FranRhodes
FranRhodes

I didnt have the band but I have had the bypass Im now three months after my operation and have lost almost 3 stone it's hard work but worth it eventually

deeroyall
deeroyall

Hi glad all was great for you.im booked into luton hospital on 24th febuary for the gastric bypass.opted for this version in the end due to having type 2 diabetes and this form of surgery helps those with diabetes.

Im very nervous but looking forward to the outcome.

Trixie 11
Trixie 11

@SchatziGrossglauser So sorry to hear about this and I had a lot of the same symptoms and the emergency surgery when I slipped and herniated.  Did not get as sick as you, however my heart almost stopped with a pain med overdose to fast by an RN.  I have felt you pain and feel just like you, wish I would of keep trying to loose weight without this.  Good luck, I am being treated for osteo arthritis and cannot take and anti-inflamatory meds to help it,  ruins the lap band site and will set me up for more life threating surgery.  Hope everyone makes a full investigation into everything you will need to do before trying this.  As for me, I would not recommend this either. 


deeroyall
deeroyall

So sorry to hear what you have been through.the hospital I am under didnt even offer me the band saying they are stopping doing that kind of surgery, due to later complications.

Wish you all the best

Tronks
Tronks

@SchatziGrossglauser Hi

sorry to hear you have had such a bad time with your band and trust you are over it all now and well once more ...

were you not told about slips .... or offered to cover for these possible problems ? 

where did you have it done .

Tracy

Vkohrmann64
Vkohrmann64

@JeanneCarroll I too need to lose plenty of weight... have been up and down for a couple of years on what to do... dr. says the insurance will cover it.... but scared.... not sure how to start.... and the thought of waiting 6 months from the time you decide to do it rotts.... When I make my decision.... I'm gonna want it done right away.... so according to your writing... the Sleeve is the best way to go... I believe due to the fact that they don't mess with you intestines... thanks for the info... I'm still undecided.... but with my Spinal Spondylosis, Multiple Sclerosis and degenerative disc disease in my lower lumbar and in my neck.... I need something to help me..... I know its only going to get worse.... May God Show Me The Way..

JeanetteSantucci
JeanetteSantucci

@mostmphns That is what I thought at first but I worked with all my Dr's to make sure I would be ok.  They did so much blood work and testing on me prior to having it done and we made sure after I had it done to be very vigilant about research on any new medications we had to try.   Good luck if you decide to have it done.

DawnCarterBarker
DawnCarterBarker

@MaryJoHalliday just wondered if one of your meds is gabapentin. I have been on it for a year n a half for occipital neuralgia & have gained 60 lbs. I also have me. I can't lose the weight & every time I try to come off it I am in so much more pain.

dawnr68
dawnr68

@MaryJoHalliday I have had the band myself I think any wls surgery with someone that has an auto immume will get troubles some time in their journey i did ...I know of one person with Ra that did wonderful with it the rest 20 of my friends have failed with an auto immiune guess all we can do it keep putting one front in front of the other 

SusieWilsonWilliams
SusieWilsonWilliams

OMG I think you may have just answered my inability to lose weight. I've been on Neurontin for MANY years...maybe 6 or 7 and have gained almost 50# since then. I'm 57 years old so I attributed it to metabolism issues. I keep telling my dr that I CAN'T lose weight but she thinks I just don't try. She even put me on diet pills for a onto and I gained 4#!!! What can I do? And no, don't ask me to give up the med bc it def Helps my fibro pain!!! HELPS, but doesn't take completely away.