Weight Loss Surgery If you've had it, or are considering it, share your discussions here

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Old 04-03-2005, 12:19 AM   #1  
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Arrow Questions about Lapband surgery

Hi all!
I am currently exploring all the various types of WLS. I just received a packet of information from a local surgeon *Dr. Smoot in Havre de Grace, MD*. I will be mailing this back to him on Monday and look forward to my first appointment to talk to him.
I am currently 39 years old, and by the charts I am at about a 48% BMI. *wince*.
I have a few questions about the Lap Band WLS surgery, if anyone is able to help me I will be very grateful!
1. Anyone who has had the Lap Band have Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance? I know that they will/have covered the WNY, but do they also cover the Lap Band surgery. I am willing to have the RNY procedure done.The only thing I have concerns over with the RNY are the long term effects of the nurtrient and mineral malabsorbtion. I assume that can be varied by the amount of intestine that is bypassed, but I will talk to the surgeon about that. )

2. How quickly did hte weight start coming off for you? Not that I am necessarily wanting an "instant" fix, but I am curious how the weight comes off for a Lap Band person. I have seen a lot of posting on various sites from those that have had a RNY or a variation there of.

3. What is the recovery rate following the Lap Band surgery? Time wise, I mean. )

4. What is eating like for those of you who have had the Lap Band surgery?

Just a few of the basics, and whatever else you care to share I would love to hear!

Kathie *ReddKatt*
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Old 04-04-2005, 02:16 PM   #2  
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Hi Kathie,

I think I'm the only Lapbander around here, so hopefully I can help you.

1. I believe Blue Cross/Blue Shield will cover the band, but I'm not sure. If you go to Obesityhelp.com there's great insurance info there. I started out in this process willing to have RNY too, but as I researched more I decided the Band was definitely the surgery for me. I too was concerned about the malabsorbtion part. My other concerns were the "honeymoon" period and complication rate. I like that the band can be adjusted to work for as long as you need. Which surgery you have is a very personal decision and you definitely want to be sure you're choosing the right one for you.

2. My weight came off pretty quickly at the beginning. I think I lost 22 pounds in the first month. It really slowed down after that, but once I got decent restriction, it picked back up. I have been banded a year (my anniversary's on Wednesday) and have lost 78 pounds. A lot of people lose a lot more, and some lose less. I do not diet - ever. I know I could have lost quicker if I did, but I'm trying to just eat like a normal person. I do try to follow the basic rules (protein first, veggies second, anything else that will fit last) but it doesn't always happen. I figure I got to a BMI of 46 at the age of 46 by dieting my whole life, so this time I'm doing it differently. I do eat foods with sugar sometimes and I don't deny myself anything. I just have less. The other thing I do is work out a lot. I feel better than I have in years. As a matter of fact, I took a 15 mile bike ride yesterday and it was no problem at all. A bandster generally will not lose as fast as a bypass patient, but at two years out studies show that weight loss is similar. Please don't automatically believe some of the outdated studies floating around out there from the FDA trials. Recent studies show a much higher success rate than the ones at first did because of doctor experience and other factors.

3. Recovery rate - I was in the hospital overnight. I recovered very quickly. As a matter of fact, the next week I traveled to Arizona and had to keep reminding myself that I'd just had surgery. Your mileage may vary.

4. I kind of answered this one in the second question, but have a little to add. I eat pretty much whatever I want (but try to follow basic rules) except that there are a few foods that still give me trouble. I have trouble with dry chicken. I also have trouble with doughy breads and sometimes rice. Those foods tend to get stuck, which hurts. Even after a year, I have to remind myself to take small bites and eat slowly. I don't mind that though, because it's a reminder that my band is there, doing it's job.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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Old 04-07-2005, 12:56 PM   #3  
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Reddkatt, I am right around the corner from you in Elkton. I'm considering some sort of bypass surgery, be it lap band or the RYNY........ I think my email is in my profile if you want to talk.......
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Old 04-08-2005, 03:34 AM   #4  
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Hi! I am new here. First, let me wish Chickadee a Happy Bandiversary!! Great job!

Redkatt, I have been banded for 10 months and am very happy with my band. I have lost 79 pounds so far and have 25 more to go. I lost most of my weight in the first 6 months and have had a few problems and been on a long plateau. I am starting to lose again now.

I eat a lot less than I used to and also try to eat mostly protein and veggies. The band keeps my appetite dimmed when I have a proper fill, so I can do the rest by eating right and exercising. I was not willing to have a bypass, so I was very glad to find out about the band.

Blue cross pays in some areas, so look into it. You may have to appeal to get them to pay. Good luck with your research, no matter what you decide.

Last edited by Chickita; 04-08-2005 at 03:10 PM.
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