This is something I recently posted to someone researching.
I would say that there are three regularly occurring post-op posts that you should be aware of as you prepare. Being aware will help you deal with the psychological aspect of the band in the weeks and months following surgery.
1. Be aware: You may experience a lot of discomfort after surgery that is pain related. People vary so much on this and of course everyone hopes to be one of the "bounce right back" folks, but be prepared to be in a lot of discomfort for up to a week or even more. It is NORMAL to be depressed and/or regret having the surgery immediately post-op.
2. Be aware: It is very likely that your weight loss will stall or even reverse (meaning actual gains) during the first weeks to month after surgery. This is counter-intuitive to people, because they just had weight loss surgery AND they are on a liquid diet and not eating. But it is NORMAL to plateau or even gain Water weight while your body is recovering from the stress of surgery. Try not to despair. If you keep at it, you will begin to lose weight soon enough.
3. Be aware: A lot of people feel very hungry and ready to eat eat eat almost immediately after surgery. For a lot of people, the band alone doesn't do anything for weeks to month until it is filled. This is what people refer to as Bandster Hell. A smaller subset of people do feel a reduction in hunger right away-- but if you don't go in automatically expecting you'll be a lucky one, then you won't be as baffled and disappointed if you aren't. It is NORMAL to feel hungry and frustrated until you reach the appropriate fill for your body, and that may take weeks to months.
Knowing these things and expecting them will help tremendously with your emotional reaction to the band. If any of these things happen to you, you are in good and prolific company. Don't despair! Figure out before your surgery how you might cope with them when they come up and odds are, they won't be a problem for you. Knowledge is the key.
I would add the following to that list:
1. The average loss at 2 years with the band is 60% of excess weight, according to band literature. So if you need to lose 100 lbs to be in a "healthy BMI", then the average person will have lost 60lbs by the end of year 2. This is the average, which means that there are going to be a few people who lose 0 lbs in 2 years and an equally few people who lose 100+ lbs in 2 years. Most people are going to be right around that 60% mark (I wish I knew what the standard deviation is, that would be even more helpful).
2. Weight loss is not constant and linear for most people, even if they are very very consistent with their eating behavior and activity level. It seems like it should be-- calories in/calories out-- but there are a lot of people that tend to lose in cycles and you may be one of them. For me, I lose weight in chunks, then I "plateau" for a few weeks, then I drop another bunch of pounds within three days, then "plateau" again. You may also be one of those people-- don't let it worry you.
3. Exercise may temporarily stall your weight loss or even make you gain, especially if you are starting or intensifying your program. I have been working out consistently for the past two weeks after about 10 years of nothing. I have GAINED weight even though my eating hasn't changed and I'm burning more calories. That's normal. I know if I keep at it, I will drop that plus some more and have a healthier heart and more stamina to boot.
4. This is hard work, even though the band DOES make it easier if you let it. I get full on small amounts of food-- not "stuffed" full like I was used to, but "ok, I've had enough and my body doesn't need more" full. This is REALLY hard to get used to. Full is never again going to feel like full has felt in the past. But, I can still eat past the point where my band says "eh, you've fed your body as much as it needs" and very very often my brain says "do it, you know you want to, mmmmm it tastes so good, just one more bite!". It is a real struggle sometimes to listen to my band and not my head hunger. I actually have a little mantra when I'm eating and being mindful. I say "if I'm not going to listen to the band when it says stop, then why did I bother with this surgery in the first place?" That tends to turn down the volume of the head hunger.
I think people naturally go into this surgery very optimistically. They go to the seminar and the surgeon and the carefully selected successful patients of that surgeon talk about how amazing it is. They come on this board and look at the success story forum, and the "I lost 100 lbs" forum, and the "before and after" picture gallery. They see people's tickers (like mine) who have lost huge amounts in months, not years and they expect only the best , most luckiest results, and ignore the fact that the average expected loss in 60% of excess weight at two years. I understand this because I did it too, and I fully believe that I have been incredibly LUCKY so far and that it's "easy" for me to say this but I do think that bandsters who are really in touch with reality and not overly optimistic are going to be able to emotionally adjust to banded life better.
Do not get the band if you expect it to work like bypass. If you want super fast results, and you want malabsorption, then get the bypass. With the "plusses" of the band, including its adjustability and its reversibility, come some costs and one cost is that it requires adjustment which is unpredictable in some ways, and it's associated with a slower rate of loss.