well, hi there, kim... i don't know of anyone who has rheumatoid specifically, but just about every single one of us has osteo and all the MDs we've all seen have pretty much said that if it'll get the weight off and help us keep it off, they're on board with it.
the only concern i can see is that since RA is an autoimmune process, you might need a really careful workup to make sure that there's no autoimmune processes going on in your digestive tract. i've known one or two people who had undetected Crohn's disease [not necessarily related to RA except that they're both autoimmune]. the roux en y causes problems for them, but i don't think that the lapband would be a problem. i just have no idea about the duodenal switch in these cases.
sooo. ask oodles and oodles of questions... looking forward to seeing more of you -or less of you..