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Off the Band-wagon?

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Day Dreamer


Too much information might be the problem in my case. I have researched and researched (forums, medical blogs, news, etc) till I have almost talked myself out of any surgery.


I think I am fairly intelligent, and capable of fully understanding that any surgery comes with risk.... but, after reading about port flips, many, many slips, tubing wrapping around intestines, the Band attaching to organs, countless infections and tons of people going for Band to Sleeve revision - and more. Ugh.


I was hoping this was my thing. I have studied it for years. Knowing countless friends to have RNY and Band with wonderful results - only to find out that they secretly had issues. Why didn't they mention it? Why didn't I notice?


I am really disappointed. I feel like it was my duty to do adequate research but now my Band buddies accuse me of digging too deep; they seem to be disgusted with my interest in finding out as much as I can. One even got upset when I showed her a picture of what the stomach looks like when the Band is removed (not gross, just dead-looking white/grey tissue where the Band was, surrounded by healthy pink stomach tissue). She said it upset her.


I am sorry but I have never been big on the whole "Ignorance is Bliss" bull.


So here I sit, wondering if I should proceed with my WLS journey or continue to fight this losing battle on my own ..... and since when is too much information a bad thing?

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I am torn really. I have no co-morbidities. So part of me thinks, I need to suck it up and lose it on my own. I suppose if I had a co-morbidity, like Diabetes, I would feel that the Band helped to save my life. Thanks Mike, I will read your blogs now!! :)

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I think being aware is one thing, knowing what could happen is another, and believing it will happen to you is different as well. YES being banded comes with plenty of chances of failure, complications, slips, flips, erosions, and so on. Any WLS surgery comes with complications. Are your chances of developing complications highly decreased if you work with an experienced and well educated bariatric surgeon? Yep. Are they decreased if you follow the rules? Of course.

It comes down to how much risk you're willing to take. Are you willing to risk trying to diet and exercise on your own? Is having WLS a risk you want to take?

I was young when I got banded, 18, and while I knew about all the risks, I also knew I couldn't do it on my own. While I was never a huge yo-yo dieter or someone who spent ages and ages trying to lose lots of weight, and the fact is that I did not WANT to become a yo-yo dieter or someone who went into my late 20s still morbidly obese. Being fat had changed my life for the bad and I was tired of it. My main problem was portion control and the band was advertised to do such. Has it? Definitely. I'm down 112lbs in 9 months. But along with success stories comes even more failures.

My advice to you is to weigh the pros and cons of surgery. Whether it's the band or the sleeve, sit down and really think. If you decide to wait, why don't you try to do diets that bandsters or those who are sleeved follow? Maybe put yourself on a cup of food a meal diet along with exercise. Will it be harder without WLS? Surely. But you could at least relate to us who have had WLS and can come for support.

Good luck with whatever you decide :) Do what is best for you.

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There's plenty of potential issues that could happen with anything and there's always a risk any time you have a medical procedure. However, the bottom line is you have to do what's right for you.

I can tell you that the majority of issues that occur come from the patient being non-compliant with post surgery instructions.

Band slippage usually occurs when someone isn't eating properly or they're throwing up too much, etc... (again all signs that they're not eating properly.) These are things people won't admit to, they'll blame the surgeon, the band, etc... and while there are SOME cases of of malpractice or faulty equipment the majority of it goes back to non-compliance.

Flips that's questionable, if again the patient is non-compliant with lifting restrictions, etc.. it's possible they tear or loosen their stitching during the healing time and don't see the result of it until after.

Remember that 90% of the people who have the surgery have issues and problems with food and accepting responsibility for their own actions so they'll be quick to blame the band, doctors, anyone but themselves.

I am 1 year and just shy of 3 months out and not a SINGLE complication. Not one. If I throw up, I KNOW it's because I ate too fast, didn't chew enough, etc... Sometimes I get stuck because I'm not open, again I know this happens at times and comes with the territory, however they tell us to sip something warm if we haven't eaten yet to open us up. So that's my issue.

I researched this for 5 yrs before I did it, feeling surgery would be my absolute last resort. When I became truly informed I realized it was a tool and not a way to do it for me, unlike bypass.

All that being said ultimately it's your decision. I've done it both ways, with or without the band, the difference with the band is while I haven't had a HUGE weightloss like some, I haven't gained, which is my main concern. I feel like this is one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

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Don’t give up and don’t what if yourself to death! You are doing a great job informing yourself which means you are committed! When I was first considering getting the band I did the same thing and almost talked myself out of it. Insurance would not pay for my band so in addition to all the questions that we all have I was also questioning spending that much money on myself which was extremely hard. In the end I got the band and have not looked back. Best money I have ever spent! April will be my four year bandiversary and I am VERY proud to say that I have kept my weight off! Things do go wrong for all of us some serious - some not. It is a learning process and you will do fine because you are already learning so much. The worst thing that has happened to me is reflux and I am still not sure it is the band it could just be me. I don’t have to worry about my band slipping as my doc attaches the band to your stomach so there is not slipping. And like everyone else, I have had vomiting when I ate to fast or two much so it is a matter of slowing down and knowing what you can and can’t eat. I wish you luck on journey whatever you decide.

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I went back and forth for years. Then I hit 40 and wished I did it when I was 35. I have been banded for 6 months and it was the best thing I could have done. Good luck

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Thank you all for the wonderful input. One thing I never considered was that a lot of complications were related to people not following the rules. Never crossed my mind or equated. But now that you have pointed it out, it sort of makes sense *nodding head*. I think I have the willpower to stick the rules. I am pretty much a rule follower in life - just never had strict rules about food.

Again, thank you for the inspiration because I think you all opened my eyes. Complications? Yeah I know they are out there and anything could happen, but why increase the chance of complications by not following the rules!!! Very good info indeed. + rep for you all! :)

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That is a strong opinion expressed by Yvette. Myself, I've had lots of complications that I can't control. If I had to choose to do this to myself again, after what I've been through, no way in HELL would I do this.

Let's see. I have no sweet spot. I'm open or I'm too tight. It currently takes me an hour to eat softs like yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, ff refried beans. BUT if we take out even the slightest I lose all restriction. Yes my surgeon has flouroscopied my theory and test showed me to be speaking the truth. I've also had a stricture and now face replacing either a leaking port or leaking band, I don't hold fluid.

Eating should not be painful. I always have a heavy chest that fills like heartburn when I eat ANYTHING, this includes liquids and softs.It happens even when we open up my band and release the restriction. Never had this until surgery.

This surgery isn't perfect and some people have better outcomes with it. To think that you do this perfectly, while others are just FAILING is really harsh.

Sad.... Just really sad!

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