Weight Loss Surgery - LapBanding.. A go!? Or a no!?

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05-21-2009, 05:34 PM
I've considered the LapBand surgery through and through. My sister tells me not to do it because it can be "tricked", it can errode your stomach, etc. I haven't heard many positive things about it.
Can you please share your experience and whether you'd reccomend it?
Is it something easy to live your entire life with? Would gastric bypass be the better option?

Thank you! :D

05-21-2009, 10:54 PM
First off, all WLS is a tool each with it's own good and bad points. There's no right and wrong answer, just what will work for you.

I love my lapband and would do it again in a heartbeat and for me the RNY would not have been as good a choice.

I was a volume eater, I never felt full. The lapband is a revelation - now I eat a small serving or half a sandwich (or less) and I'm not just full, I'm satisfied. Knowing I can only eat a little before I'm done makes it much easier to say "no" to that bread bowl at the restaurant or whatever. I often have every intention of having "just a little" dessert only to find myself too full to have any, thus saving me from myself.

There's no secret to losing weight after any WLS, you have to eat fewer calories than you burn. Especially with the lapband if you are determined to sabotage it you can. The easiest way to do this to drink high-calorie foods like milkshakes or full-fat smoothies, eat ice cream, etc. So yes, you have to want to eat the right foods - the band does it's part and helps you manage the hunger and the quantites, you have to take responsibility for the food choices.

I chose the lapband, among other reasons, because it is easy to live with. No dumping, no off-limit foods, just good choices and bad choices. At 3+ years post-op it's become normal to eat a small serving of whatever we're having and skip the carb course.

My best advice to you is to do your research and pick the surgery that suits YOU best. All WLS have good points and bad points.

Good Luck,

05-22-2009, 03:51 PM
This is something you should talk to your doctor about. You should talk to a bariatric surgeon and then make your decision from there.

You are going to hear lots of good things and bad things about each surgery, so its really something you need to hear from a professional.


05-23-2009, 04:31 PM
No one can tell you what WLS procedure is best for you (or if WLS is right for you to begin with). You are the ONLY one who knows yourself well enough to make that decision. Most doctors do not know about all the different WLS procedures available, and most surgeons will only recommend the procedures they know how to do - most surgeons do NOT perform ALL the different WLS procedures.

That said, there are 4 widely available WLS procedures, not just 2: the band, RNY gastric bypass, VGS (the sleeve), and DS (duodenal switch). Please know and thoroughly research all your options. PubMed is a great place to start for clinical studies.

To decide which procedure is best for you, I would start with these questions:

What type of eater are you? If you are a big sweets eater, the band will likely be a poor choice since most sweets are "slider" foods (slip right through the band). If you are partial to fatty foods, the DS would be a good choice since it results in malabsorption of about 80% of the fat you eat. If you are a volume eater and not really a grazer, you might want to check out the sleeve.
Can you commit to taking supplements for the rest of your life? With the band and sleeve, you'll be on multivitamins and calcium at a minimum, with other supplements added as needed if your labs show low levels (some people don't think you need ANY vitamins with these procedures since there is no malabsorption, but if you're eating so few calories each day, you're VERY unlikely to be getting sufficient nutrition without supplementation). With the RNY, you're looking at multis, calcium, B12, and iron, at a minimum. With the DS, you're looking at multis, calcium, and vitamins A and D, at a minimum.
How much do you want to lose? Purely based on statistics, the band and sleeve are best for "lightweights" (starting BMI of 35-45), and the DS is statistically the most successful for the super morbidly obese (BMI 55+), and it has the least potential for future regainn. Again, that's just statistics - some do better and some do worse with every procedure.
Do you have any health issues that may steer you to a particular procedure? By this, it could mean something that a particular procedure is most likely to help with (example: the DS has the highest resolution rate for type 2 diabetes), or it could be a health problem that makes a certain procedure a bad fit for you (example: someone with Crohn's would likely not be happy with a malabsorptive procedure and should look more toward restriction-only surgeries, like the sleeve and band).
What can you commit to as a lifestyle for the rest of your life? Any means of weight loss requires a lifestyle change - we all know that, right? Are you one who can count/limit your calories forever? your fat? your carbs/sugar? Different answers to these will lead you different procedures.Try to find a surgeon who performs ALL the different procedures (or consult with multiple surgeons to find out about all of them). Even if you don't end up going to that surgeon for your surgery, it would be best to talk to them about your different options, and then find a surgeon who is especially skilled and experienced in the specific procedure you choose. All too often, I See people pick a surgeon and then not even research certain procedures because their surgeon doesn't do it. Changing surgeons takes a phone call - getting the procedure that's not really right for you will affect you for the rest of your life (and could result in a second future surgery for a revision).

05-24-2009, 05:31 PM
as everyone said - there's good and badk for each choice - and it all comes down to:

your overall health - some folks need to lose weight really fast and therefore aren't good candidates for procedure that results in slower weight loss [although studies show that everything is about even after about 2 years - but that's another story, and there are long-term differences from one surgery to another]

the way you're willing to live for the rest of your life

And i can't say it better than Jilly did above - ya have a lot of research to do, now, and lots of questions to ask - and we're here to answer them!!!

05-24-2009, 09:16 PM
According to your info, you want to lose 81 pounds. I would think that the RNY would be a drastic surgery for such a relatively small loss. I wanted to lose about 170 pounds from my starting weight to my doctor's goal. 320 down to 150.

The band is much easier to live with, I would think. I love mine. If I over eat or don't drink enough water, or chew well, I have problems. If I follow my plan, I'm good.

There are possible complications with any surgery choice. I would think there would be more with RNY. But do your own research and talk to professionals. sometimes eve people we love have their own secret motivations for telling us things they do. it's your life, your choice and you need to know it's right for you.

As for me, the band was the right choice.

05-26-2009, 08:15 PM
Like everyone has stated before the most important thing is what you want and also with your doctors approval. Any surgery is can cause complications even if you just get your wisdom teeth pulled.

05-27-2009, 05:42 PM
I'm terribly afraid of surgery...I still have my wisdom teeth thanks to my fears. But I'm going to work my butt off to lose the weight on my own. Thank you for your responses!!

05-28-2009, 08:34 AM
I'm terribly afraid of surgery...I still have my wisdom teeth thanks to my fears. But I'm going to work my butt off to lose the weight on my own. Thank you for your responses!!
If your current weight and height are accurate below your avatar, you currently have a BMI of about 37, so you don't qualify for WLS at all unless you have comorbidities (sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.).

Good luck!