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LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by donali

  1. donali

    Lap-Band Failure Rates

    I joined this group in 2003 when I was banded. I would be very surprised if more than 5 of the original members still had their bands. :-( kerrib, I think it's time for you to have an endoscopy, if you haven't already. Donali
  2. donali

    Newly Band-less

    Condolences on your band loss. As far as what you can do when the hunger monster returns... The same old things we tried before. Water load, vegetable load, solid Proteins, exercise... That still didn't stop me from regaining 133 pounds. I had to get sleeved to regain control. Wishing you good luck. Donali
  3. donali

    Lap Band Removal coming up

    I was banded for 18 months, started at 303 got down to 200. Band removed 7/04 due to 40% erosion, gained back to 333 from 7/04 to 08/09. Vertical Sleeve done 8/14/09, down to 197ish depending on the day. Once my band was removed my hunger kicked back in to pre-band levels. :-( I feel like my band controlled my hunger better than my sleeve, but I'm still restricted enough (apparently) to achieve the same results. I did have a rocky time at the beginning of my sleeve journey due to a self-contained leak and spent the month of November in the hospital, but all is good now. Without the help of the band most people will not be able to maintain their weightloss - depressing, but true. No different than going off a "diet". That being said, there are those rare folks who are able to manage it. Best of luck - Donali
  4. donali

    Slippage and erosion

    Hi - I am assuming that your doc removed all the Fluid in your band? That's usually the first step in a slip, with hopes that the slip will correct itself. Erosions generally are asymptomatic until there is no restriction whatsoever. I was 40% eroded and felt no differently from the day I got my band - no pain, no loss of restriction, nothing. I don't know the stats between a slip becoming an erosion, but I have not heard of any correlations there. Erosions can only be reliably diagnosed by endoscopy. Good luck!\ Donali Banded 1/23/03, debanded 7/04 due to 40% erosion VSG 8/14/09
  5. I got home from my Mexican adventure a few hours ago, and unfortunately, the news is not good. I am trying to put this in perspective, but I still cried all the way home. My band has eroded, and has to be removed. I guess the good news is... it can be removed. And I have lost 97.5 pounds with it. It's just that... I don't mean to sound melodramatic, but honestly, I would almost rather be dead than gain that weight back. I think that's what all the tears are about. Not the additional surgery, or the $5,500 it's going to cost, but that terrifying fear that the weight is all going to come back on. Again, writing this out, it seems like such a petty fear. It's not like my life is directly in danger, or anything like that. I just thought I had finally, finally found the answer to staying a more healthy weight without struggle. It was a beautiful dream... Dr. Carmen did say that once everything is healed back up, I could be rebanded. But I have read on the support boards that once you have an erosion, the chances you'll have a second erosion is 50% (initially it's supposed to be 1-3% chance of erosion). I told Dr. Carmen that, and she said no, the chances remain the same, and in fact, may even be a little less, because the scar tissue left over from the first banding makes the stomach wall a little thicker, almost like a callous, which could help reduce the chance of a second erosion. I will have to do more research to see if that might be true - it's the first I've heard of it. I wonder if they could use the same band, or if Inamed would take it back and give me a new one for free. Otherwise, I have no idea how I will find another $10,000 to cough up for rebanding surgery. As I was bawling in the doc's office, she swore that they would do everything in their power to help me maintain my current loss. She even offered the possibility that Dr. Lopez could do a gastric bypass on me while he had me open to remove the band. At least I still had enough wits about me to say absolutely not, I definitely do NOT want a gastric bypass. I made her promise that no way, no how, would I wake up with a gastric bypass. She said not to worry - if I didn't want one, they wouldn't do it. On the way back from the endoscope Dr. Carmen asked if I still had restriction, and I said yes, and she said that I could keep my band until I lost restriction. But once we got back to her office and she looked at the pics, she said the band had to come out. Then she called Dr. Lopez, and he said it needed to come out as soon as possible. So Friday, July 2, I go in to have my band removed. Damn. Dr. Carmen assured me that nothing I had done caused this, and nothing Dr. Lopez had done caused this – it just happens sometimes. Hopefully I can keep from bawling over this too much. I am so very lucky, and so very grateful for all of my blessings. I love, love, love my band, and do not regret one moment. After talking with Inamed and hearing advice from my other various board memberships, if I am convinced that the erosion rate is not increased, and I can somehow find the funds, I will get rebanded after everything is healed up. I’m afraid it may be hard to convince me, though, that this won’t just happen to me again. Now it is time for me to play the grateful game: 1. I am so grateful I was able to have the initial surgery, and have an unremarkable recovery. 2. I am so grateful to have lost 97.5 pounds virtually effortlessly. 3. I am so grateful I have made such wonderful bandster friends. 4. I am so grateful that my erosion was discovered before gastric juices started leaking into my abdominal cavity and really caused serious problems. 5. I am so grateful I have the money to pay for the band’s removal. 6. As much as I will miss my band, I won’t miss the annoyance of my port and tubing. 7. I am so grateful I made the time to have therapy for my compulsive overeating problem, and pray all that I have learned through that and over the past 17 months will help me keep off the weight I’ve lost. 8. I am so grateful to have my health. 9. I am of course grateful for my wonderful, supportive, and loving BF, family and friends. 10. I am so grateful to have a wonderful job, and a decent income where I can own my own home, and reliable transportation. The grateful list could go on, and on, and on. Here are the pics from the endoscopy. A rough translation of some of the gastroentologist’s written comments: The body of the stomach and part of the antro is deformed (pic 4) by foldings that go through this zone and which is an extension of the round portion of mucus formed by the band which is observed in the cardias (valve between the esophagus and stomach). The posterior part of this round part of mucus and penetration of the band in 40% of it (pics 2&3)
  6. Hey, Bright!! Whatever happened with your band? Hopefully all is well and you are back on track! Sorry Ireland didn't happen this year, but a friend and I are determined to Celebrate our 50th birthdays there, so sometime early 2011 is the goal. I see crazy fares right now for slightly more than $600! xxoo
  7. donali

    Almost 5 years since surgery

    Hey, Megan!! Time for your 6 year update!! I miss you! Hope you're doing well, and met your goal!
  8. donali

    LapBand VS Sleeve??

    I loved my band, had a great experience. I was one of the lucky ones where my hunger was absolutely under control. Bread, rice and pasta were hard to eat, so those items were mostly eliminated from my diet. If I *really* wanted those things I could have them, but they were hard to eat and I had to go very slowly. Same thing with rubbery foods like shellfish - I could eat it, but it wasn't fun (or tasty). If I hadn't eroded I imagine I would still be banded today, pretty much at goal, and loving life. Unfortunately, in spite of being a model bandster, my band *did* erode, and I had to have it removed. I am now sleeved, and wish I had done this from the beginning (if I'd been sleeved to begin with, I would have saved $17,000+ dollars, avoided two major surgeries, and avoided 2 twilight procedures). Make no mistake - I loved my band. It did everything I expected it to do, and I lost 103 pounds with it *effortlessly*. I was in heaven! Until it all went south on me. So, hind sight is 20/20 they say. If I could do it all over, and if I could have known then what I know now, I would have been sleeved to begin with. But I didn't know. I chose the procedure that I thought was safest and least invasive with still a chance of a good outcome if I were willing to put in some effort to change my eating habits in response to better controlled hunger. I wish my band had been a permanent procedure (in that it worked exactly as it was supposed to with no complications). It's good that it's reversable, though, since the chance of complications is much higher than advertised (IMHO). After my band was removed I had a lot of scar tissue where the band had been placed and eroded and repaired. I would still ocassionally get "stuck", but I did not have the added benefit of true restriction, or reduced hunger. So my 103 pounds came back, plus 30 of their previously unknown friends. Thank goodness my Mom was able to lend me the $$ to be sleeved. I don't think I could have lived another year at 333lbs - every day I could feel myself literally dying a little more.
  9. donali

    Fat Ladies Singing?

    After my port repositioning, I don't recall the band interfering with my singing. Bear in mind my singing (while paid) is very low key, and not professionally operatic (I'm a paid church soloist). I do a solo once a month, and sing with the choir one service a week. For a true professional who's doing shows 5 days a week, I couldn't say how it might affect them. If you haven't been banded yet, I would highly recommend you consider the sleeve instead. No maintenance, no foreign object near your diaphragm, no chance of erosion...
  10. donali

    I'm THAT Special...

    Rosario, you have my condolences on the loss of your band, and having to go through another surgery. My band removal was a much easier recovery than my band placement - that missing 103 pounds really helped, I think! Are you really having no restriction from your eroded band? I regained all my weight plus 30 pounds after my band was removed. It took me five years, but once my normal hunger kicked back in I was fighting a "losing" battle. I just got sleeved on 8/14/09, and am already down 38 pounds from my highest. Wish I had been sleeved to begin with! Best of luck, and keep us posted. Donali
  11. donali

    It's Time...

    Hello Old Friends (and soon to be new friends!) - It has been a long time since I posted. I was one of the original members when LBT first started - WOW!! It has grown, and has SO much more than before. Alex - fantastic job! Anyway, for those who don't know/remember me, I was banded 1/23/03, had a wonderful/uneventful band journey until June-ish '03 when I tore my port sutures and had to have a port revision, followed by more wonderful/uneventful band journey with a loss of 103 pounds in 18 months, at which point it all came to an unglorious end 07/04 when my band was removed due to 40% erosion. I can't believe it has been FIVE years since then! Of course my lost weight all came back once the hunger kicked in again, plus an extra 30 pounds or so. I am back at critical mass, and now have an appointment for 8/20 to get sleeved. Whoo hooo!! I feel so hopeful again, and can hardly wait. Any advice from sleevers, fire away! Donali
  12. donali

    It's Time...

    LEATHA!!! OMG! How the heck ARE you?!?! Okay, you already answered that, but it's so good to see you! Congrats on your reaching goal and then some - I hope you are able to put back on the weight you need. If you need any tips on gaining weight I'd probably be a good person to ask... lol Now that I look back, I think, "What was I thinking when I chose the band???" Did I honestly think that I would have that device in me for the next 40 years? I guess I did. Hopefully I won't think the same about my sleeve once it's done... lol
  13. donali

    It's Time...

    Thanks for everyone's replies. MacMadame, you made me smile. I used to be one of the top posters here many years ago, but once I lost my band it was just too hard to keep coming back, particularly when the weight started piling back on in spite of all of my good intentions and knowledge. Elisabethsew, I'll PM WasA. I did some research on other surgeons, but am self-pay, and wasn't sure I wanted to do another surgery in Mexico. Pleatman had the best self-pay prices I found for the states, plus he includes all the pre-op testing in the price, and has hundreds of VSGs and RnYs under his belt. He has also always answered my emails to him personally and promptly (I contacted him several years ago when I started thinking about the sleeve). But more info is always welcome. Tiffykins, that sideways port is torture. I could not get mine respositioned myself, and boy-oh-boy did it smart! I can't imagine doing it on my day out of surgery! Yikes! Thanks for the well wishes, and I send them back to you for your own revision. Oregondaisy, nice to meet you! Dr. Pleatman has taken his share of knocks on the board, but I always thought it was nice that he tried to answer some questions. The board has evolved quite a bit since he first joined - we didn't used to have ads back then, so docs posting on the board initially weren't exactly welcomed with open arms. Ruthi, are you being rebanded or revising to something else? Thanks again for all of the support!
  14. donali

    Miss California and Gay marriage

    Amen, BJean. It is up to all of us to protect the rights of everyone. It wasn't that long ago that it was illegal for blacks to marry whites, and if you put THAT to a vote in some areas of the country, it still wouldn't be allowed. The majority doesn't count when it comes to protecting civil rights - that's the whole point of minority protection. It's just a matter of time before these final discriminations fall away (the younger generation cares less and less about these kinds of discriminations, and tend not to support them), but in the meantime there are real people suffering the effects of this last bastion of bigotry. Equality for all can't come soon enough.
  15. Maybe this info will help, posted on the Yahoo graduatebandsters board (I hope this is not terribly bad form to post here without his permission - if so, my apologies): ********************* HI again, folkses! Wellll, I promised I would post regarding the significant something that I learned last weekend, tomorrow, but I'm at work with not too much to do today and need to look busy, so I'll type this on wordpad and cut 'n' paste into an e-mail! >;o) When I was in Tijuana last Saturday getting my fill, Dr Kuri showed me that my restriction was in fact adequate on the flouro. Being the stubborn cuss I am, I asked him for a small top-up anyway, because I've been HUNGRY for the last three or four weeks, and my weight loss has essentially stopped. (Please see my post just prior to this one for the continuity) I could also eat a horse; hooves, tail, shoes and all! I have had some meals in those last three weeks or so that would AMAZE any bandster! An Example: one dinner was a McD hamburger (bun and all), a Del Taco bean burrito, and a Del Taco taco-supreme (WITH the tortillas). Any ONE of those should have been enough, but in LESS than 20 minutes, I ate all 3, with NO golfball!!!! I felt like my band was WIDE open. I wasn't even particularly careful about chewing well. I felt each bite I took go through the stoma within SECONDS of swallowing it - it wasn't staying in the pouch, and I wasn't getting filled up! - Logical conclusion: My band is too loose. Maybe I have a tubing leak, or a bad port. Maybe I just lost too much weight and the fill I got on Jan 9th wasn't enough. - I dunno, so it's off to see the wizard, and I wind up telling Dr Kuri what I have just related to you all. Dr Kuri asks me what I eat for the whole day, and I tell him. I have ALWAYS been too tight to eat solid food in the morning and ANY attempt to do so resulted in me looking at my Breakfast again! I always had 20 oz of hot tea and then 8 to 10 oz of lowfat milk with a scoop of unjury Protein in it, instead. lunch isn't much better, but I could get a Protein Bar down if I took my time and went slow - DINNER was the only meal loose enough to be able to eat solid food. When I told him that, Dr Kuri was HORRIFIED! He told me to make LUNCH my biggest meal of the day and to have a very light supper (dinner - whatever you want to call it...). I have heard this advice before, but I had always discounted it as "cultural bias" because that's the way Latin American countries customarily do it, and then they sleep off the big meal in the afternoon siesta before returning to work. A very nice custom, but not conducive to the way things work here in the states! Welllll - I was wrong! Dr Kuri explained the reasoning behind it to me and it made sense: the big meal doesn't pass out of the pouch before you go to bed - a large portion just LAYS there in your stomach while you go to sleep. The stomach isn't designed for prolonged food storage. It is designed to help break the food down and mix it with the acid then send it off to the intestine quickly. When the food just sits in there, it irritates the finicky thing and makes it swell up, so when you get up in the morning, you can barely drink WATER! Because you have to wait for the swelling to go down, you get insufficient nutrition during the day. So, by evening you are HUNGRY again and you get your maximum hunger at just the same time as your band finally opens. You then overeat, which causes the whole cycle to start over again! By having a larger meal at lunch time, you are still fairly full by dinner time, and you can get by with a light meal - say a bowl of Soup or some such, that passes out of the pouch completely before you go to bed. Result: no overnight swelling and you can eat breakfast again the next morning! Sounded good in theory; Lets see how it works out in practice.... I wanted to wait to post this info till I had had a chance to try it out and could report ACTUAL RESULTS! Well, the results are - Dr Kuri was (as usual) Right!!!!! I have been able to eat breakfast again every morning since I started following his advice (note: for this to work, you HAVE to start with a big lunch, then a light dinner, then sleep, then the next morning's breakfast will go down!), and my weight loss has resumed. If anything, I'm almost uncomfortably full all day without eating NEARLY as much as I was before I tried this and was still hungry within an hour or so even then! I took a banded friend with me who thought she also needed a fill because weight loss had stopped and she was able to eat the whole house, including the linoleum, in the evening, too. She got no fill, but DID get the same advice from Dr Kuri as I did. She has been trying the same regimen as I have, with similar results; weight loss started again, no more HUNGRY feeling all evening, and the restriction provided by the band is again adequate to the task. I now believe that MANY American bandsters are in the same situation and for the same reasons as I have just discussed. And, MANY others are OVERTIGHT and suffering reflux from getting too tight a fill to try to deal with this very problem! Instead of getting another fill when you are already at your sweet spot, when the loss begins to slow and stop, and the hunger returns, LOOK AT YOUR EATING PATTERN!! If your big meal and/or problem time is in the evening, this is very likely what is affecting YOU! Before getting another fill and becoming overtight, try altering your meal pattern as discussed above - give it a week or two and try to really follow it carefully - I'm here to tell ya, IT WORKS! What the heck - if it doesn't, you can always still go get another fill, but hey; it's worth a try isn't it? (Not to mention being a LOT less expensive!) What have you got to lose besides a hundred pounds or so... ? polarbear Mike, Hesperia CA Dr Kuri, 5/8/03, 378 at surgery 427/250/227-180 (-177 so far) BMI 53/32/22 (50 at surgery)
  16. donali


    Hi All - I'm Donali (pronounced Donnelly), 42yo female. I've been battling my weight all my life, done ever diet imaginable, and some beyond imagination! lol I was banded as a self-pay in TJ by Dr Lopez on 1/23/03. My last pre-band diet was a year on Meridia, which really did help with my appetite - I went from 313 to 228 in a year. But, of course, once the medication was over... appetite kicked in, and I got back up to 303. Geez. My sister had the RNY a few years back - she lost down to a size 18, and is almost back to where she started. She's frantically doing Atkins now. I almost had the RNY because my insurance would pay, but after watching sis regain, and reading more about the risks, I knew I just couldn't do it. My initial reaction to the band was "gross - I don't want that thing in me" until I realized that was my best option. It's not nearly as gross as I thought it would be! lol My journey is slower than many, because I refuse to "diet" - I am mindful of what I eat, but nothing is off limits. I had 6 months of intensive compulsive overreating counseling, which has been a God send for my self-esteem. It also gave me a lot of tools to deal with my emotions seperate from food. This weekend I was craving M&Ms, so I ate a bunch of those, but that happens very very rarely. I know they're not off limits, so even if I overindulge I do not get down on myself or freak out, because it is so rare for me to do that. Anyway, I continue to search for sneaky exercise activities - you know, the kind that are fun so you don't realize you're getting exercise. I am still at the point emotionally that I do not want to start a program that I might fail at - the 47 pounds I have lost should never come back as long as I keep my band and this current restriction, as I am just living my life "normally", not doing anything special. Sure, I'd love to lose faster, but not at the risk of all the good counseling work I've done. I'm looking at this as the rest of my life, and trying to focus more on living and not my WEIGHT, which has been an obsession most of my life. My goals: To be at peace with food. To eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. To be good to myself emotionally, and be my biggest supporter! To be the kind of friend to myself that I am to others. As a side benefit of these goals, I hope to lose another 121 pounds or so. Frankly, I'd be thrilled to reach 185 again - at least for a little while! I'm filled to 2ccs after my 3rd fill 7/5/03. I am still able to eat a whole sandwich, but just barely. My fills tend to tighten-up after a MONTH, so we'll see how I'm feeling in August. I don't want my intake to be so low that my metabolism is further suppressed - my next big learning curve is trying to increase my metabolism. Best wishes to everyone!
  17. Hi Everyone! I know - long time, no hear! I still check in on the group every once in a while, even though I rarely post anymore. Most of you probably don't even know who I am! But I was banded on 1/23/03 and unbanded 7/04 due to 40% erosion. I was banded in TJ by Dr. Lopez. Since my band loss my weight is pretty much back up to where it was before my 100+ lb loss with my little band buddy... *sniff* Oh, well, someday, somehow I will find a way that works for me to lose and keep it off. I'm still paying off my banding, port repositioning, and de-banding, so another surgery isn't in my immediate future. If I get fed up before I find a way to do it on my own I will probably go with the vertical gastric sleeve. But again, my insurance won't cover that, either, so this time I'm going to save up the $$ before the surgery. ugh... Anyway, I know some of you still cook, even though your portions are much less, and I am hosting my first ever in-home party (not counting my own Slumber Party that a few SD bandster friends attended)! If any of you are interested in coming to the actual party (Escondido, CA) send me an email and I will send you an invite. Otherwise you can shop from the comfort of your own PC if you like, and still take advantage of the guest special without actually having to leave your house! http://www.pampered chef.biz/ mreyes?showId= 1207950 NOTE: Please place your order prior to my Show closing date: Sat 06/30/07 If you get prompted to enter a hostess name when you place your order, please use: Donali Again, if you'd like to come to the party itself, drop me an email and I'll send you an invite! The party is on Wednesday, 6/27 at 6:30pm in Escondido. We'll have food and drinks (she'll be cooking something yummy for us!), and there will also be an on-time prize drawing. Come and socialize! Get a free meal! lol Happy shopping!! Donali
  18. What day you think is the most special day of the year? You only get to pick one this time!!!
  19. Checking out the poll thingy!! If you can't choose one favorite, mark more than one!
  20. donali

    Hi from Ireland!

  21. donali

    Band removed -- Back and feeling good

    OMG!! I haven't been here in ages, and THIS is what I find?!?! I am so grateful your surgery went well, and that rebanding is covered, and all seems to be well in hand. I miss you!! xxoo Donali
  22. Please mark whether you are banded, ex-banded, or researching. This poll is anonymous. Voting here will help us get an idea of percentages of complications withing the LBT community, since it's so difficult to find up-to-date info.
  23. :girl_hug: That's the noise of killing a tumor! xxoo
  24. donali

    Singing after surgery

    I would take it very very easy - it's the deep breathing where you're really going to notice a difference, and perhaps some real pain. Don't push those deep breaths - your pouch/band is right below your diaphragm, and pulling the diaphragm down to breath will most likely remind you of that pretty quickly. I went back to my church job too quickly - I think I gave myself a week. 3 would have been better. After I was all healed up it wasn't really an issue, but sometimes on those deeper breaths I could still feel the band resistance.
  25. donali

    Game: 5 Letters

    COOLS Chauvenists often offend ladies' sensibilities. SKATE

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