Weight Loss Surgery - Thinking about having weight lost surgery

01-02-2006, 07:46 PM
Hi, every one , I'm new to this site. I'm thinking about having weight loss surgery. I'm not sure which weight loss surgery should I have. The lap band or the by bass. I herd the lap band is more safer. what do you all think?

01-02-2006, 11:10 PM
welcome aboard, anim! it's nice to meet you.

as for your question. well, there's no easy answer. a lot depends on what YOU want out of the surgery, and what you're willing to do to lose weight and keep it off, and the amount of work you've already done in taking care of your food demons. and, of course, for many of us, there's a major issue of what our insurance companies will pay for.

most surgeons have information meetings in which the describe the various surgeries that they do, and what to expect. go to a couple of these so you can find out as much information as you can.

but i can give you some general information.

the two most common forms of WLS being performed in the US are the roux n y gastric bypass and the lapband. duodenal switch is also done, but there are relatively few surgeons who are skilled in this technique.

the lap band restricts the amount of food you can eat at one time. the risk of nutritional deficiencies is relatively low. you live with a port under the skin, and the doc can tighten or loosen the band so that you can get more or less restriction, weight loss is GENERALLY slower than with the bypass, and some studies have suggested that people with this generally lose less weight and have less success at keeping it off

HOWEVER, much of this 'success' depends on the patient: consistently eating appropriately and exercising are ESSENTIAL. it's not a free ride. people who stick with the 'rules' have EXCELLENT weight losses and don't regain it.

the bypass adds malapsorption to the restriction. those of us who've had it have a 'tiny tummy' and we have 'rewired' intestines so that we don't absorb all the calories we eat. of course, that also means that we don't absorb all the nutrients we need, so the risk of nutritional deficiencies is very very high and we need a lot of follow up for the rest of our lives.

it's important to follow the rules - diet and exercise - to get the best weight loss and to keep it off.

hope this is enough info to at least get you started. keep asking questions!!!

indigo child
01-03-2006, 08:49 PM
I also want to add that having a lap-band is not without potential complications. The band itself could become infected, cause necrosis of the stomach if too tight, or slip if too loose and cause obstruction of the bowel. One can also develop an allergic reaction to the "foreign body." Also, you must be prepared to make frequent trips back to your doctor to make sure that the band is filled and working properly.

The good thing about it is that it is reversible (they remove it) and that there is no malabsorption of nutrients.

All of the WLS procedures you will find have pros and cons. Good luck in sorting them out!

01-03-2006, 09:47 PM
Thank you jiffypop and indigo child

01-04-2006, 09:04 AM
I just had Lap RNY on Dec. 8-and I'm doing fine. I went back to work after only 2 weeks. No matter what you decide-make sure you find a good surgeon. The Lap RNY is more permanent than the band-after awhile, from what I understand, the band no longer works. Just do your homework and you'll be fine. Blessings to you.

01-04-2006, 11:00 AM
actually, some stats just presented at the OBesity Society meeting suggest that, for 'compliant patients' the results at 5 years for the lapband match those for RNY.

compliance. compliance. compliance. <sigh>

01-04-2006, 03:43 PM
Hello all,

Not trying to be difficult, but I have to say a coupla things.

LivinforJC - one of the reasons I chose the band is because it will work forever if I need it to. There is no "window of opportunity" with the band. You can fill and unfill it as much or as little as you need. Since there are no malabsorption issues, that window doesn't exist and you don't have stretched pouch issues as often either.

Indigo Child - yep, there can be complications with the band. They are few and far between, but they can happen. The band does not have nearly the complication rate of the bypass though, and bottom line for me was that band complications rarely cause death. For me the choice came down to safer surgery vs. faster results. Fortunately, I wasn't in bad enough health that I needed the much faster results that the bypass provides, so I chose the band (plus I was lucky that my insurance covered it). Also, my personal experience is that I don't have to go to the doctor very often at all. I've been banded 21 months and have had five fills. Some people need more, some need less. I don't think for most people that would be a very big factor in the decision making process unless they lived really far from their surgeon's office.

actually, some stats just presented at the OBesity Society meeting suggest that, for 'compliant patients' the results at 5 years for the lapband match those for RNY.

compliance. compliance. compliance. <sigh>

Yep, both surgeries will get you to the same place eventually.

Unless of course you get
complacent. complacent. complacent. <and I do. sigh>

aninim - Research, research, research. Choose what's right for you!


01-04-2006, 05:28 PM
I have thought about surgery for a long time. Two main reasons that I am scared of it are death and infection.
Ive had 2 C-Sections and after both, I developed staph infections. The 1st was the severe one. I was in the hospital for a month after delivering my daughter. I cam close to dying.The 2nd one wasnt as bad but I was still in the hospital for 2 weeks.

The lap band seems safer but still has risks. Im not sure if my insurance would cover it. :( So Im sticking to counting calories and exercise for now.

indigo child
01-04-2006, 10:43 PM

I would have opted for the band, too, if my insurance covered it. It did not. I was told it was still an "experimental" procedure, which I found hard to believe as they have been using it successfully in Europe for years.

However, I do live nearly an hour and a half away from my surgeon, so yes, having to go to and from his office would be an inconvenience, but one I might have gladly made.

One of the reasons I posted about the potential complications with the band, however, is that it seems no one seems to give those much thought. It's like the band is totally risk-free to some, and if one is going to ask the question, I think they should be fully aware that *none* of these procedures is without possible complications. Not trying to start a bander vs. RNYer war. ;)

Having had my RNY, though, I am very happy with my results.

01-04-2006, 11:17 PM
hmmm. this discussion is making me think that i should go find some current stats on complications and success rates and post them... it'll take some time, so please be patient. ok?

01-05-2006, 06:09 PM
I would suggest finding a *reputable* surgeon in your area and having a consultation. Then, he or she can tell you the risks and benefits of each surgery and help you make an informed decision. That is how I decided on the roux-en-y gastric bypass.

01-05-2006, 06:10 PM
Also, if you are hoping for insurance coverage, many insurance companies won't cover certain surgeries that they deem "experimental", such as the DS.

01-05-2006, 07:35 PM
Read. Read. And then read some more.

It is always amazing and more than a bit frightening how many people look at WLS as a panacea. A "cure all" and a "fix" for all of the food issues that they may suffer through. It is even more worrisome how few are really aware of the risks invovled in these surgeries.

There are benefits and risks for each type of WLS. The only person who can tell you which benefits are desireable and which risks are acceptable for you is you.

But take your time. Read a lot. Talk to more than one surgeon. And - no disrespect intended to anyone here - take everything you read on the Internet and weigh it carefully against factual information you receive elsewhere. All advice and opinions are not created equal.

This is not a decision to be entered into lightly or with haste.

For me - I have chosen the Lap-Band. The weight loss will be slower. It will also require more work on my part (choosing the right foods, portion control, fills ...) but in the long run for me I believe it is the best surgery because I don't have serious issues with emotional eating or grazing. I have problems with portion control. Which the Lap-Band is a very good tool for.

I also chose it because it does have less risk of surgical complications as it is a less invasive and complex procedure. On a personal level I was not comfortable with the malabsorption aspect of bypass surgery and feel better about leaving my anatomy largely unaltered.

My best friend chose duodenal switch surgery. Her eating issues are different from mine. She wanted to acheive the fastest possible weight loss with the least statistical chance of regain. She probably got what she was looking for (though that doesn't mean that compliance with post-surgical lifestyle changes isn't necessary). For her the associated risks of her surgery were worth it.

For someone else RNY might be their best choice.

But one thing is certain. Be sure, before you commit to this step, that the choice you make is one you can live with.

Best of luck,

indigo child
01-05-2006, 08:17 PM
Veggymom, you already look like you're having much success on your own! Congrats!

01-05-2006, 08:48 PM
Veggymom, you already look like you're having much success on your own! Congrats!

Thanks. Though 7 pounds of that is due to this hellacious Optifast diet. 6 days of drinking an average of 850 calories has netted 7 pounds of weight loss. It looks good on the scale but Lord knows I wouldn't want to try to live like this! :dizzy:

01-05-2006, 08:49 PM
Another happy bandster here. Information and personal choice are definitely key. However, I wanted to add a little more info on insurance. Unfortunately, many insurance co. automatically deny the lap-band hoping you'll go away. Many people have successfully challenged their insurance companies on appeal and won (and some don't!) so if you are denied it's not automatically the end.

indigo child
01-05-2006, 10:31 PM
I hear ya! :)

01-07-2006, 06:03 AM
Would the surgeons consider surgery if you are only a couple of stone overweight?

01-07-2006, 10:32 AM
Would the surgeons consider surgery if you are only a couple of stone overweight?

How many do you consider a "couple"? If you literally mean two - then you're talking about 28 pounds (1 stone = 14 pounds). So no a reputable surgeon will not consider you a candidate for surgery at just 28 pounds overweight.

Generally you must be considered morbidly obese (BMI over 40) or obese with a BMI over 35 with illnesses directly related to your obesity to be considered for WLS.

In my case, at 5' 6" 145 pounds is smack in the middle of the "Normal" BMI range.

To qualify for WLS I would have to weigh at least:

220 lbs (5.3 stones more than my "ideal" weight) with co-morbidities to qualify as WLS patient.


250 lbs (7.5 stones more than my "ideal" weight) without co-morbidies to qualify as a WLS patient.

Hope that helps.