What I wish I had known before getting Lap band surgery.
Choosing to get lap band surgery was not an easy decision.
I was always slender, right up to the point when my Thyroid failed.
I was in my early 30’s, and there was nothing I could do as the weight just packed on me almost overnight while I waited for a medicine that finally stopped the weight gain.
Then it was up to me to lose the weight. But my body had always been so stable, that I have struggled and struggled with it, never really succeeding. But I have always tried.
for 20 years I tried.
With a change of medication, I started to have some success. Slowly and steadily, for 7 years I worked hard to get down from 350 to 260.
But then, for some reason, I started gaining the weight back very quickly.
Soon I was up to 300 pounds and I was afraid that the increase might never stop, and I was tired of trying so hard with no results.
So I scheduled a lap-band surgery.
To get to know the different options for weight loss surgery, click here: https://www.livescience.com/35740-weight-loss-surgery-comparison-graphic.html
I was scared of course, but I was also determined that this was right for me to do. I studied as much as I possibly could and then moved forward.
Let me say here, right now – that I LOVED having a lap-band! Oh, my goodness, it was exactly what I needed and did exactly what I wanted!
I loved the way it helped me manage my intake. I loved everything about it! But I was careful about when and what I ate with the lap band. My problem before, was that when I ate, I ate huge quantities. The lap-band was perfect for my eating struggle for exactly that reason.
And after the lap band was put in, I lost weight!
I felt great! I didn’t feel deprived in any way.
And I learned what I could eat and how much I could eat very quickly.
Because if I ate wrong, too fast, or too much, then my stomach would rebel, and I’d have to find a toilet to throw up in. I didn’t feel nauseous, it just automatically happened.
I began to notice that while I was quickly losing weight, some very serious aches were beginning to appear in my body.
My hip became severely inflamed and incredibly painful. My shoulder and elbow joints were also in pain.
This was new, and it was severe.
My husband is a chiropractor, but he couldn’t help me.
I tried many natural remedies, but the pain continued.
At one point, my lap-band quit working.
The doctor did an ultra sound and we found that the band had eaten its way into my stomach and needed to be removed.
I did NOT want to do this because I LOVED my band!
But – it was what it was – so I scheduled another surgery.
I was 230 when I had the band removed.
I also had extra skin removed from my belly. It was a lot extra, not only because I had been 300 pounds at the start of this journey, but I had my last three (of ten) babies when I weighed 350 pounds.
When the surgery was finished, I weighed 192 pounds, so nearly 40 pounds of extra skin came off of my torso.
Recovery was very hard.
What shocked me though, was that after the removal of the lap-band – and nearly immediately after the surgery – all of the severe joint pain went away everywhere except one hip and that pain diminished.
It turns out that my body had been allergic to the high-quality lap-band material! It had caused systemic arthritis, and I personally believe (no way to prove it) that the allergic response is why it had eaten into my stomach to begin with.
I wanted to have a Gastric Sleeve done as soon as possible
since I was allergic to the lap band, it was impossible for me to have another one, so I wanted a gastric sleeve as soon as I healed.
I asked, “How will I know that I have healed?”
He replied, “You will start to gain weight again.”
It took a while, and the weight eventually started to come back on.
But by this time, we had lost all of our retirement money (which was tied into real estate) in the economic collapse of 2008.
I so wanted a Gastric Sleeve, but I couldn’t afford another surgery.
I wish I had made the gastric sleeve choice to start with, but at the time, I had no idea how I would respond so I went with the lap-band. (And, again, I LOVED it.)
If anybody asks me, I would give my whole-hearted recommendation to the lap-band question.
I would also suggest researching Gastric Sleeve.
When I first investigated bariatric surgery, I was only aware of two options: Gastric Bypass and Lap-Band.
I did not want to reroute my digestive system and incur the lifelong problems that would cause.
That is why I chose the lap-band. I didn’t know about the gastric sleeve until I had already made the arrangements for the lap-band.
but I did consider switching to the sleeve at the last-minute, and it would have cost about the same, but I had already decided on the lap-band, and didn’t want to rush the decision.
I also felt that the lap-band offered more control where I could tighten or loosen the band at will, and I just didn’t know what to expect.
In hindsight, I wish I had done the sleeve instead.
The Sleeve uses surgical staples to lessen the capacity of the stomach, without rerouting the digestive system. I had zero issues with the limited eating from the lap-band, so the sleeve would have been just as easy.
I would not have needed to go and get fills to the band, and certainly, I would not have had the allergic reaction that caused the arthritis in my joints.
And all of that would have meant that I wouldn’t have needed the 2nd surgery to remove the lap-band, and I would have been able to continue to lose weight and keep it off.
For me, if I had known the future, I would have chosen the gastric sleeve as a preferred route to where I wanted to go with my body and my health.
If you are considering surgery, I hope you find something useful in this account of my experience
If you’d like to know more about me, click here for my Bio
Although I have not been financially able to have another surgery done, I have found some success with the Ketogenic diet. I had recently been diagnosed with Diabetes, and was able to lose enough weight, and stabilize my blood sugar, that I was taken off the diagnosis. Weight loss is still incredibly hard for me, but I like that I can control my health.
Check out The Beginner Keto Meal Plan and Shopping List if you are interested.