Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why did you Band? My information Session

Until my information session i was completely on board with the lap-band. I was happy, and willing to wait to lose the weight over a longer period of time. I went to my information session and was attended by people of all sizes, and about 30 people showed up.
I went alone with no support because i want to be my own pillar and have my family and friends for backup, but rely on myself for the most part. I am getting my surgery done at University of Michigan's Bariatric Clinic. I met one of the surgeons, and the nutritionist. We went over all of the surgeries, and i can say that i was probably the first to gross out a surgeon. =) I asked: "if i got the sleeve, could i get the part of my stomach that you remove in a jar or something preserved?" He thought i was joking. When he realized i was not he said it was bio-hazardous and said that it would decompose, and i asked if we could put a preserver in so i could put it on a shelf to remember where i came from. =D Needless to say i got a solid NO. I think i watch too many medical shows. The guy next to me said he could tell i was a graduate student. :-p
Anyway when they got to the band, the surgeon said that he had not put in a band in the last year, and that the others surgeons there only had put in a handfull. He said that he has removed many bands this past year, and continues to see esophagus and stomach erosion, in addition to faulty, and failing bands. That is pretty scary. Also the idea of a foreign object in your body is starting to freak me out.

So as of right now i am thinking of gastric bypass. But i still have time to be swayed. A biggie for me is that i clot easy, and losing the excess weight would remove a lot of the pressure on my legs and thus reduce the chance for clots. Where as if that weight stays the the same then my clotting is pretty high, not to mention high cholesterol etc.

Question to you:
Why did you chose the band over any other surgery?
Would you chose it again if you could?


  1. I chose the band because it allowed for future tune ups at a fraction of the cost of a revision surgery and because it only takes a few minutes for the adjustment. Granted I went to Mexico for my surgery, but my after care doctor stated that the number of lapband surgeries vs bypass is increasing and said that bypass is mainly done for people who have a greater amount of weight to lose and severe co-morbidities. I also work for Blue Cross and a couple years ago when the WLS benefits were undergoing an overhaul, I was in a meeting where it was mentioned that the insurance companies and the provider community for specific geographic areas tend to dictate what procedure is preferred.

    jody at

  2. Hi - Here's why I chose it ( Yes, I'd do it again, but it's a very personal decision. If you have band questions, please feel free to email me or comment on my blog. I've been banded for 6 years in November.
    Good luck,

  3. I chose the band because I am young and because it is not permanent. I like to know that if there are complications, I can take it out and I can heal, ya know?

    I want to get pregnant after I lose my weight and I didn't like the idea of doing all that work to lose weight with RNY and then risk stretching my stomach out when pg. And I don't like that if you fall off the wagon with a cut up stomach I could be screwed. With a band, if I slip up, I can just get a fill.

    I also don't like the idea of malabosorbtion. There are just so many types of health complications with malnutrition it makes me uneasy. Not to mention intestinal problems and things like that. And I want to lose the weight slower so I have less likely chance of so much sagging skin. And the healing time is MUCH faster. I can't afford to take more than a few days off work at a time!

    With lapband, it is all reversible if something goes wrong or I decide I dont want it anymore. But when you rearrange organs and cut parts out, you can get those back..ever! that is way more scary to me than putting something in there.

    I also think that a lot of surgeons are biased and they like RNY because the success rate is so much higher (which probably makes them look better). My surgeon and the psychologist both said they prefer RNY (because of the success rate) but they understand why i wanted lapband instead. Don't let a doctor discourage you or make you change your mind by fear. You've done the research, you know the statistics.

    That being said. I will still read your blog and cheer you on no matter what WLS you decide! Those are just my reasons for my decisions :)

  4. ody- I am surprised that you had your surgery in Mexico, i don't think i would have the courage to do that =)

    Fluffy- I like your blog i will add it to my favorites. =)

    Wtfovaries- I think surgeons are biased too, but aren't everyone? ;) The way they were talking is that with RNY your stomach that they separate is still viable so if something DID happen there is a way to reattach it if you had to. The new RNY they don't cut anything out. The sleeve i thought was scary they remove 85% of your stomach thus my comment above about can i keep it :D

    Thank you everyone for your insight. I was reading on Fluffy's site here: from one of her comments that they did not trust themselves to something reversible. I kind of feel the same way. Not to mention that my mother in law calls me a zebra of the medical field. Their is a saying "if it sounds like a horse then it is a horse" but occasionally it will sound like a horse but be a zebra. Weird i know but it seems to be the case for me. My blood clots my doctor thought it was my weight, and i had pulled a muscle, and couldn't breathe because i was obese. There have been other things through out my life. Point being, i don't feel comfortable with foreign objects in my body. A plus side to this surgery where i am going is that it will be done laproscopically for the lap band or the RNY.
    I will consider to listen and take what you guys have to say into consideration after all isn't that what a blog is for :) I still have a ways to go i am only 2 months into my 6 month weight loss plan with my doctor. So thank you. All i appreciate all of you. I truly honestly do.

  5. Hi Amber! Thanks for Following me! I had the Lap Band Surgery, but my Surgeon really tried to sway me to do the RNY!

    I have been Banded for about 17 months and I have only lost 58 lbs! Thinking back on it, I wish that I had gone for the RNY like the Surgeon suggested (I am a grazer).

    But now they do the Gastric Sleeve.....If I have complications down the line, I will probably do the Sleeve, even my hubby thinks it would be better than the GB as you don't become malabsorbed, and you keep at least part of your Stomach!!

  6. Oh, and I LOVE the colors in your Blog!!

  7. Debi,
    big bummer about the 58 :( I am a grazer too like you. The sleeve kind of freaked me out. At least with GB your stomach is still alive and they can reattach if necessary (all the blood vessels are still connected) that was what the surgeon said. Where as the sleeve 85% of your stomach is removed. Bonus to the sleeve is they can always downsize to the GB if needed. Good luck to you in your future. Thanks for loving my blog colors =)

  8. I would get a band again in a min. I am 11 mo in and have lost 60lbs. I eat just about any thing and have adult cocktails. I could lose more if I worked at it but slow is fine with me.
    Good luck

  9. Christine, thank you for your input. I think for me i want to lose fast because i have a blood clotting disorder that is made worse by my excess weight. I also am borderline diabetic.

  10. Amber, best of luck to you in your decision, I know how difficult it is. I am a sleever ( and found you through Debi. I would choose this surgery again in a flat second! I have lost -61lbs in 6 months and don't have single issue with ANY food, I have never vomited (NOT EVEN ONCE!) and my labs are close to perfect (there is no malabsorbtion with the sleeve.) Just for me personally, I would never do the band or the RNY, but that is just my opinion. I did a huge amount of research before making my decision, so I wouldn't do it any other way! Best of luck to you!

  11. For me, the lapband seemed less invasive, no re-routing of my insides. Also the slip and erosion rate depends on the patient following directions and the surgeon placing it right. I chose to drive 100 miles to a more experienced surgeon for that reason. I had prepared myself for all sorts of problems getting stuck, PB and sliming and have had NONE of that. I am not perfect but I follow most of the rules most of the time and it works for me. I have lost 32 lbs in 3 months with the band and that is with not a ton of exercise and with eating some treat things now and then. I did have a hard time making the decision but I needed help, I don't have to fight everyday to eat less now. I just do it. Sometimes I forget and eat a little too much, all it does is slow down my weight loss, so overall I would do it again in a heartbeat. I know I have added years to my life.
    I wish you the best luck in your decision.

  12. I chose gastric bypass over the band. I didn't want a foreign body in my body, especially with the risks of eroding into the stomach lining. I have lupus, so clotting could also be an issue, and it wasn't recommended. I've been very happy with the results of my bypass, and wouldn't do it any other way :)

  13. I have not been banded yet and am new to the blog world, so all of these comments have been helpful to me as well! Thanks for posting the question you did. I don't have a lot of followers yet, but I was going to post the same question on my blog. Keep us updated on what you decide. And like others have said, I am with you all the way no matter what you choose! Good luck!!