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New Bandsters becoming extinct?

Jim1967

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I've been banded for a little over a year now and I can remember when I attended my first seminar in October 2011 there was so many potential band patients. As time went on and I attended support meetings and gastric patients always far out numbered bandsters but there was still a lot of people. So now my Wife has begun her journey and is using the same center I used but a different Doctor. Doctor who was giving the seminar discussed all three option as they now offer the Sleeve along with the band and bypass. As I was taking in all the information it became quite clear that the band has fallen out of favor with the Doctors in the center. They'll still do Bands if that is what the patient wants. At one point the Doctor said "On average our patients lose 30 pounds in year one where the other surgeries have a higher success rate".

 

Needless to say I disputed those numbers and then privately told the Doctor I believe she was being unfair with her assessment and then I questioned her that out of the number she is using how many were due to non-compliance vs actual complications/failures? Her answer was bluntly "That is why I like to push for the Sleeve over band as it requires less attention". Sounds pretty bias to me!! I then said so what you're saying is getting the Sleeve means it is successful regardless of the effort of the patient? And her reply was "Well there will always be guidelines and good choices to be made in order to be successful". .At that point I had enough and it sounded like she was blowing me off.

 

I continue to follow up with my Doctor and I still attend certain support meetings but I can sadly see band patients being a thing of the past. I attend as a patient advocate in what is called a Panel of Experts which is made up of post op patients with at least more than 9 months of experience. I sit on this panel with bypass and sleeve patients. It is designed for preop to ask anything they want to the post ops without any presence from the Center. Basically a patient to patient candid talk. I will tell you the last one I had been to consisted of about 20 people and 2 were potential bandsters. I think I ended up answering 3 or 4 questions while listening to the Sleeve and Gastric speak.



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IMHO , people are looking for a "quick" fix and the sleeve and bypass may represent this to them, rapid weight loss no maintenance ect, I think the doctors push those surgeries as well as it requires nothing more of them after surgery , to each their own and its a VERY personal choice ,but for me the band is the only option

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After attending a seminar, I started thinking maybe I wanted to go with gastric bypass instead of the band. Then I met with my surgeon and he looked at my current BMI, where he felt I needed to be, my current health issues and my current exercise routine and he told me I would be very successful with the band, though he said it was my choice and he wasn't going to push me one way or the other. I chose the band and I'm only 2 weeks post op and have no regrets.

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I agree it is a very personal decision but I feel they definitely presented it in a negative light that can easily scare the uninformed away from it. My Wife is trying to decide between the Sleeve and Band and she has asked my opinion many times on it. I agree the Sleeve definitely sounds like it is less maintenance as far not having to struggle with bandster hell and the possible frequent adjustments but in the end your still being cut which is what swayed me away from those surgeries to begin with.

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Yes, My Doctor was the same way. We discussed everything and he told me it had to be my decision on which option to go. Even at 488lbs he said he thought I would do well with the band. I do wonder if that seminar would've been different if he was leading it or if his opinion has changed as well.

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They Rearange your insides with the sleeve and bypass and if you really don't watch what you eat then most of or al the weight you lose does come back ,the band is not a fix all it is a tool to help you adjust and when you adjust to it then you start to know and feel when you are full and when you have that stuck experience then you really know not to do it again, I am saying this cause my Aunt was a R. N nurse and she is about 67 and she has had 4 different surgeries 2 of them we're getting her stomache stapled ,cause that's what they used to do ,the one was the bypass and of course she gained back quite a bit the last one she had was the sleeve and she lost ,however I watched as she ate a double quarter pounder ,lg fri,1/2 a small watermelon then had popcorn and a big glass of soda ,she has lost but she could not get the band cause her stomache iwas connected to her liver so their we're complications when she went in for surgery for the band so when she woke up they told her that she got the sleeve so just becareful please and make sur it is your decision not anyone elses, cause your the one who has to adjust and live with it , not trying to scare anyone just ask as many questions as u want and make sure they don't u don't feel like their blowing you off also you might want to see some of the Surgeons patients in real life who have had success on the different ones and ask them questions I know I did so that's how I decided hope this helped in any way sorry for it being so long .

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I think they make more $$$ performing the sleeve.. not sure but it seems to be the newest fad. I looked at that option but my surgeon said I would be a good candidate for the band. I also wanted the option of reversing if I needed to. There is no reversing sleeve surgery.. HOwever, the band does require participation by the patient and not simply being a bystander.. I am hoping my band will help me continue to be more aware of what and how I am eating.

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Absolutely Sharpie. Band keeps me honest and holds me accountable. I have 0 regrets with my band. I just found the differences in attitude with the seminar 17 months later a little disturbing. I felt as though they were purposely skewing facts to sway people from choosing the band without directly coming out saying 'no, you shouldn't do that.'

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The doctors are favoring the band less not only because of the complications that previous studies have stated but because of the complications that they and other surgeons have experienced since banding people. And since the LB seems to have a higher rate of revision surgery that might be a deciding factor? JMHO

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I honestly believe the doctors don't want to deal with all the necessary follow-up the band requires. They make very little money on fills and the Sleeve and Bypass make them far more money overall. Plus, judging by the level of ignorance I see on these forums? I'd believe they are seeing a lot of complications because people seem to be going into banded life totally blind with little or no information. I don't know if doctors aren't educating properly or people just don't listen, but it's no wonder there's so many complications when so many seem totally clueless.

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I agree Mis73 , I am a self pay in Canada ,I am not required to do any seminars or info sessions other then an online one ( online as my Doctor is on the other side of the country) it does not mean I have not been researching and reading the information books provided to me but some of the posts I read its like people just run out and get banded thinking its a cure all and do some major damage because they have not informed themselves

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The sleeve is the new fad, and once the data is in, it will show the same problem as GB, stretching the stomach/pouch out, and the patients gaining the weight back, just like patients who eat past the band. I think there will always be a place for the band, people who don't want to mutilate their intestinal tract.

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The band is losing its popularity IMHO because of the aftercare work that a surgeon has to get involved with like fills and xrays etc, Once a bypass or sleeve are done people are discharged home and its almost goodbye forever with maybe a follow-up visit or 2. The odds for complications post op maybe higher for the band but the mortality rate still far outshines the sleeve and bypass.

I still believe that people should take responsibility for their own health and be informed about something before doing it, particularly like the lapband, at the end of the day its me who has to live with it, I will never understand people going into this ignorant of what part they have to play.

Grats Jim u are still doing great !

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I can say firsthand, in healthcare, the more responsibility you give a patient the higher the chances of non-compliance.....

I'm not speaking about WLS, but in my field we attempt to make things as "Idiot Proof" as possible.....tamper proof, permanent, etc.

After seeing patients all day, having ONE who comes in and clearly is involved and plays their part makes your day...the entire staff feels good...because the others just make you roll your eyes.....

I work primarily in pediatrics, so it is the Parents who we are dealing with when it comes to the child's care.....there are parents who are very involved, listen intently to everything you say, ask questions, and when they come for a follow up appointment you can plainly see your instructions were carried out....and then there are parents who can't take responsibility for themselves let alone making sure their child.....they act as though they are too busy, not enough time...and they feel it is YOUR job to do it...that's what they're paying you for, right? Maybe the word I'm looking for is "Lazy"

I can understand, as it is a known fact, that when you give a patient control over their prescribed plan, you can only hope.....

I'll be honest, I've done this long enough that I can size someone up at the first meeting and know our work is cut out for us.....the term used is someone is "High Maintenance"

Lap band surgery success relies entirely on patient compliance.....and if a particular Dr. has had many non-compliant patients, it is enough to pull your hair out.

You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.....this is one of the main reasons for the pre-op Physc eval....

All one has to do is read this forum enough to see there are as many different approaches, philosophies, theories as to how to be successful with the band as there are stars.....I read things all the time and scratch my head "where on earth did they learn that"?....as I'm sure people say about my success story.

But I keep my mouth shut and yet read everyday about people's failures, frustrations, and sadly totall regret to ever having this surgery. Sad....but there are many "High Maintenance" people here.....

Sometimes, it is easier to keep it cut and dried, black and white, it is what it is, take away the adjustability with as little patient control as possible.....

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You're right B and I guess I was just a bit shocked by the difference in attitude toward the band but the more I think about it they were always more in favor of the gastric then the band long before the Sleeve came into the picture. I guess it's because is the same weight center I was started my journey off with I was put off a bit with what they were saying at the seminar. Again, I sometimes feel the band is the black sheep of the family and at times I've been annoyed by my Surgeons lack of involvement when I go for follow ups. Usually when I go in I only see his PA. Talking with my Wife last night she was quick to remind me that I am not high maintenance and if anything I'm a model band patient. My Surgeon's hands off approach with me is not personal. I have had zero complications and the weight is coming off so I assume his time is spent with more needy and new patients.

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This is a growing trend. The sleeve is comparable to band, except in regard to aftercare. It's a restrictive surgery, without a device that can fail or cause problems on its own. The recovery from sleeve is longer and a bit more difficult. The risks are a bit more, but not huge. Doing a sleeve on a previously banded stomach is much more difficult...higher complications, longer surgery.

There has to be open mindedness when discussing surgical options...things change. If I'd had my knee replaced 5 years ago, I'd be wishing the newer options were available then...

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I agree MsMaui. I am certainly opened to the Sleeve if that is what my Wife chooses. My gripe is not about which surgery is better. My issue was how she introduced the three options to brand new people attending an informational seminar. I may be exaggerating a bit when I say she should've just told them all not to get the band period. "You will fail and not lose weight." because that's the way my Wife and I heard it. Basically it comes down to this, they will keep offering the band because there will always be people who want it and why turn someone away someone who is willing to spend money.

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I am 9 years out on my band and yes weight loss was very slow and hard but it was my own fault really for not working with my band like I should. I am having to start over after gaining weight with pregnancy but I am committing myself. My doctor is talking to me about the band to sleeve conversion due to the slow weight loss and some issues I have had but I do find that the sleeve is being pushed more than the band. He told me himself that he hasn't placed a band in over two years now and when I got mine that was the majority of his surgeries. You have to work with whatever you have done the surgeries aren't the fix they are just to help you lose and maintain.

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