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.