Friday, July 31, 2009

Lap-Band..not dance

I've been doing a little research on Lap-Band surgery this week, and am considering doing it. Having no health insurance, this is a huge financial commitment for my family--but then again so is being obese without having health insurance.(I'm not insulting myself--technically, I am medically obese. It's just a word.)

So, I'm putting out to our blog readers. What's the word on your street? Have you had it? Thought about it? Decided against it? If you exercised four times a week and were on Weight Watchers for three months but only lost nine pounds, would you do it? If twelve pounds was the most you EVER lost on ANY eating plan, would you consider it?

ETA: the BITE ME! winner from Monday's contest is Maria D! Congrats Maria! Mel has your email and will contact you today!


  1. Anonymous12:21 AM

    It depends on what you want. My wife did a lot of research on this. The deal is, if you get the lap-band surgery, you're looking at around 2 lbs a week weight loss, which is medically good. If you get gastric bypass, you're looking at a ton more.

    But here's the deal. You haven't given very much of your medical history, so it's hard to say. Are you over 40? Have you had children/hysterectomy/diabetes/acid reflux? Do you feel tired all the time?
    A lot of those things could also be attributable to other health issues. You could have a jacked up thyroid, or even something else.
    I would recommend you get a full check up before you decide to do this. Make sure it's not something hormonally wrong with your or chemically wrong with you first. If all that comes out clear, then you should consider it. But if your doc finds something that can be attributable to you not losing weight, that might be a better way to go.

  2. very good advice--thank you

  3. I have had the bypass, mostly because the doctor I decided on ONLY did the bypass. Also because at the time my insurance wouldn't cover the band (still too new with complications vs the proven gastric bypass). I have had almost no complications, lost about 120 pounds in 9 months or so and would do it again in a second.
    The literature his office gave me at the first consultation made it clear to me that I had made the right choice. Years upon years of diets with either no loss or a continued loss/regain/regain more cycle. A proven history of exercise having little to no effect on weight, etc. Certain people's bodies just WON"T lose weight the normal way anymore and surgery is the only way to help after a certain point. It is probably way too involved to get into on a blog post, heck I may have gone on too long already. Email me or call me if you seriously want more info. I will PM my cell to you on Divas.

  4. Anonymous5:56 AM

    If you're seriously considering the lap-band, they're going to put you through rigorous tests. Including psychological. They do this for the by-pass as well. So the commenter who mentions you should be tested for other health issues is right, but keep in mind, the bariatric doctor you choose will already have an eye to doing just this.

    You have to get approval from your primary care doctor first. They will have to show how you've tried and failed at other weight loss scenarios. Like diet (aka: yoyo dieting) and medications or fad diets like South Beach or Atkins.

    Trust me. They're VERY thorough in the pre-screening.

    Also, as for which to decide on. The By-Pass does have faster results in the beginning. However, the band is sure and steady and both surgeries have an equal over-all weight loss over a 5 year period. It's just that the by-pass usually gives it to you in the beginning and levels off. The Band...well, she's slow and steady. But some feel that's healthier. There is also the benefit to not having malnutrition issues that are associated with by-passing the parts of your system that absorb the nutrients.

    With the band, you still get all the nutrients out of what you eat. You just can't eat a lot.

    I got the lap-band about a year and a half ago and have lost 81 lbs. My husband had the same procedure one month after me and has lost over 160 lbs. It really all comes down to metabolism and how "good" you are. Because no matter which surgery you choose, you still need to make good choices for food and exercise.

    Neither of these surgeries are magic bullets. And you will have days you curse whichever one you've chosen. But, as someone on one of the bariatric boards once said, "Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels."

    Good luck in your decision. Here's to being a healthy weight.

  5. All I can say is, just be sure you're emotionally stable before moving ahead with such a drastic procedure. My cousin wasn't. She'd recently lost her husband, but went ahead with gastric bypass because it was something he wanted so badly for her. But then, she'd lost her two best friends in the world -- her hubby and food -- resulting in enormous tragedy for the entire family.

  6. Have you been to a nutritionist? How about a doctor that specializes in obesity? There are other options you might want to explore before having surgery. Having said that, if you feel it's the right thing for you, I say more power to you.

  7. Anonymous8:47 AM

    Let me begin by saying I have tried a lot of different diets the most popular being Atkins and WW. I was told by my friends and family that I needed to start looking at lap band or gastric bypass because I was not having any success with weight loss programs and exercise. But I was just dead set against a surgical procedure. So January 2009 I set a goal and joined an exercise program and started cutting calories. Since then I have lost 71 pounds and I feel wonderful. I am still not at my goal but I know I will get there. I am not telling you this to say lap band is not the way to go but maybe when you given up all hope of losing without surgery like I did you may still be able to pull it off without the surgery. Ya I worked out. But then I started working out with a boot camp group and even through it was hard I stuck with it. I had never done bear crawls or ran sprints in my life I hated every minute of it but it worked and I still go every mon, wed and fri. Just look at your options and it is good to get different opinions but make sure no matter what you do it is what you think is best for you.

  8. You've gotten a lot of good advice so far. I would just like to add:

    If you can not currently control your diet now, you will not be able to after the surgery.

    You WILL lose weight initially BUT it will come back and you will be where you are now *Less the pain and expense of the surgery*

    I have watched my Aunt & Friend both go through this viscous cycle. They slimmed down for a year but now are back to where they were before.

    I think *ask your specialist* 6 months of careful calorie counting & exercise is usually suggested before undergoing the surgery. Think of it as a life-change, NOT a diet - you have to be willing to sacrifice food forever.

  9. I've seen people yo-yo on it, like sveltedreams said above.

    I don't know anything about it, but everyone I have met who did it bounced back up within few years.

  10. All the comments are fabulous. Thank you so much. A lot to consider.

  11. Wow, this has been an awesome post. I love the comments you guys have left.

    Gwen, ((hugs)). I hear ya. I struggle with weight too. We support and love you no matter what you decide to do!

  12. My cousin had this done and lost 160 pounds the first year. She feels so much better and has more energy. Go for it.

  13. Emily Ryan-Davis1:35 AM

    For what it's worth to you, I only lose an average of 3 pounds/month now and it's been this way since my mid-twenties. Weight loss that slow IS healthy even if it isn't as fast as you desire, and exercise + nutrition are weighted differently than poundage on a scale of what's more important to health.

    Longterm weight loss just takes time. It takes time to lose, it takes time and effort to maintain (it's taken me 15 years to lose 130 lbs).

    Good luck with this method if you feel it's going to be right for you but I don't think you're "failing" with other methods.

  14. Pamela Lawrence2:36 AM

    There's a lot of misinformation in this thread. The fact of the matter is that over 80% of the people who have Lap Bands lose the majority of their excess weight and keep it off. Whoever says that if you don't have your issues straightened beforehand, has no idea what they are talking about. They couldn't be more wrong.

    For example, a study of 591 patients found that six years out, the average Lap Band patient had lost over 80% of their excess weight and had kept it off.

    Dr. Favretti studied 1791 Lap Band patients for up to twelve years. He found that they went from an average BMI of 42.6 and at the end of the study, had an average BMI of 31.6. So the bullshit that people gain the weight back is just that - bullshit.

    Last but not least, weight loss surgery extends life and increases the quality of life for patients. Lap Band patients add about another ten years to their life over people who just use diet and exercise. Ten years. That's a very big deal.

    Here's a good site for reading up on all issues related to lap band. You can spend a whole night there reading up on studies and stories. Plus she has a great blogroll.

    The difference between the Lap Band and diet and exercise is that the Lap Band prevents your body from taking defensive action to put weight back on. When you lose weight, your body starts cranking down your metabolism (it can drop by up to 50%) while simultaneously flooding you with hormones that make you want to eat. Ever found yourself in front of the refrigerator eating something you know you shouldn't eat just at the time you're doing really well on your diet? That's hormonal. You've undergone a chemical tsunami designed to get you up and eating. At that same time, your body has dropped your metabolism so you're gaining weight more rapidly than you normally would. That doesn't happen with Lap Bands. That's why people don't gain the weight back.

  15. thanks for commenting--and adding to my information resources.