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LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by parisshel

  1. parisshel

    Deciding the Band

    The decision, and the success with whatever WLS tool you choose, is entirely yours. It's great that you are doing research in this stage. I'd encourage reading about post-surgery and longterm complications from all the different types of WLS tools...you can search through these on this platform. While reading, ask yourself how you'd live with any of the complications should they happen to you. And ask yourself if you are truly ready, physically and mentally, to do what you can to avoid any user-based complications. (The WLS-based complications you really have no control over. But you must inform yourself of what these might be.) Inform yourself of what the post-op diet is for your choice of WLS. Short term AND long term. Can you live with what is required of you to not only lose the weight, but keep it off? Do not go into this thinking you'll follow the rules only temporarily....many WLS fail because patients slip back into old habits after the "sweet period" (usually about 18 months) has passed. Bands can be eaten around, sleeves can be stretched, bypasses can be overridden by patients who just cannot, for whatever reason, come around to the idea of a lifetime of WLS-compliant eating. Be ready to change everything about your current life. WLS will not work if you think it's all about the surgery. Success is met with a holistic approach...the surgery, if done correctly, will dim or eliminate your hunger, at least initially. But you also need to line up mechanisms for filling the space you are no longer eating to fill. Are you ready to take that on? Wishing you all the best, and a successful and happy outcome to whatever you decide to do.
  2. Totally get your regrets. Had I not had complications from my lapband, I would not regret choosing this WLS. But I did develop complications (lapband-sourced complications, not owner-sourced complications, which nobody likes to read or hear about) and it is natural that I now regret the decision. Please don't feel bad about yourself. The lapband has known and numerous complication rates, and more and more are revealing themselves as time moves forward. I suspect this will also happen with other WLS. Even in the best surgeon's hands, WLS affects people's bodies in different ways. Some people strike gold--lose weight, keep it off, no complications, and others do not. You fell into the "other" category. It's not your fault. It's normal you regret your choice, because of the pain you are feeling every day. If you had had a car accident (through no fault of your own) and now lived in constant pain because of that, you'd regret getting into the car that day, right? I know you aren't asking for what to do next, but if the band is making you miserable, you might consider having it removed. It should clear up the reflux and the getting stuck issues. And then you will feel better, and can think about your next step with a clear, pain-free mind.
  3. parisshel

    Just curious....

    If this is your plan, I would strongly suggest you consider another form of WLS. The lapband is a "crutch", or "tool" as many will say, without which one is merely dieting (and hungry, frustrated and sad). Many who have had bands removed will testify to regaining the weight lost with the band (plus additional pounds, which is similar to what happens when a non-surgical dieter stops dieting). Most former bandsters on this platform post that when they had their bands removed, they went on to do a revision surgery such as bypass, sleeve or RnY. So based on that, if would suggest that if you plan to get banded, and then have the band removed, you should also include in your plan a budget for revision surgery, or an acceptance for the rebound weight gain. I've never read about a bandster who kept their weight off after band removal.
  4. parisshel

    diagnosed with achalasia

    Is this a complication from your lapband, or independent of it?
  5. parisshel

    Low heart rate

    That is a lower-than-normal heart rate, although perhaps you have become quite fit and you now have an athlete's resting heart rate. Rather than trusting the Fitbit, I'd look at any other symptoms: are you tired all the time? Are you easily winded? Do you feel dizzy? Do you pass out when you stand up? And also, of course, consult a physician to get a "true" cardiac workup. Yes, the lapband can fiddle with the vagus nerve, although you'd be hard-pressed to find a practicing lapband surgeon who will admit to this. (You'll find loads of former lapband surgeons who will confirm this, however.) Anatomically it is possible, as the banded area encompasses where the nerve passes down the eosophagus and upper part of the stomach. My lapband is responsible for my now lifetime atrial fibrillation due to where it sits on my vagus nerve. Sadly, for me, as I loved my band before it gave me complications.
  6. parisshel

    Extra restriction caused by anxiety ?

    Yes, this is pretty common. Some recommend a glass of wine or two to help you unstress (and loosen the band) but that would kind of defeat the purpose of restriction. I say just go with it and take advantage of the poor man's fill!
  7. parisshel

    For those who have had unfills

    I had an identical experience to what you are describing after having an unfill, and then refills. When I asked my surgeon why we "refillers" seem to report a lack of being able to refind original sensations of fullness/lack of hunger between meals/restriction, he answered "We don't know." It's a drag, but it may be helpful to get in the mindset that your band ultimately doesn't do the bulk of the work after the initial, glorius first year (or so). Mine ran full power for the first year, making the weight drop off with little effort on my part, other than eating in a band-friendly way which was super easy due to my perfect restriction. Then I started having complications and a first unfill. I never found the original restriction once I was cleared to start refilling. As time went by, and my weight started slowly climbing, I told myself I had to throw out the fantasy that my band was going to do all the work for me. So I brought in my old tools (from my dieting years) and polished those off. The weight gain halted (I've been at the same weight for more than a year now--no losses, but no gains). I had to let go of feeling badly that I was "back to dieting" but you know what? At the end of the day, it still is easier, at least for me, to do this with a band (mine is now unfilled completely, due to other complications) than to do this as an unbanded person. In short, I understand and have lived exactly what you are experiencing. My only "tip" is to "live like you have an active band" even if you aren't feeling it. (I know, it's not as easy as when the band was indeed active.)
  8. parisshel

    What can I take for cough' cold, congestion?

    Drinkable Mucinex will be good as you don't want mucus build-up on your stoma. Headcolds are a real drag with a band because the trapped mucus will put pressure on the stoma and make for more stuck episodes. Having a head cold is like a "poor man's fill"--you get super restriction without a doctor's visit! So try and keep all the phlegm liquified. Otherwise you can use decongestants without a problem. Sudafed (if you can still purchase that---thanks, methheads!--) comes in tiny little pills that will pass your band fine.
  9. parisshel

    Appetite suppressants (prescribed) 2 years out...

    I seeing nothing wrong with adding additional tools to your weight loss toolbox as you continue your post-op life. I remember when there were more bandsters on this forum and I remember several of the veterans posting about using appetite suppressants when after a certain amount of time with the band. I remember reacting like you, thinking "Hey! I got the band so I'd never have to deal with my appetite again!". But many veterans of WLS find that appetite does rear its head after a certain amount of time, and it's not just head hunger. It is your body overriding those wonderful initial effects of the WLS. The good thing is that when you use the 1-2 punch of your WLS + medication, you'll have a super tool. You've already got the WLS in place, and the medication will be like "topping" off your surgery, hopefully. Kind of like re-igniting it. Don't feel bad. Use everything you can to keep your weight loss going (or get back on track).
  10. My experience with an unfill and re-fill is that I never found the same restriction/satiety again. Others on this forum also had the same experience. We don't know why that is, but it seemed to be universal. I remember having better restriction/satiety at 3ccs (in a 10cc band) prior to my unfill, than I had at 6 cc after a re-fill. Sorry I don't have a better story for you, and I hope you re-fill experience will be a successful one.
  11. parisshel

    I am paying too much for this not to work

    If unfilled and throwing up or too tight to eat a lapband-friendly diet, something is wrong with the band's placement. Either a tilt or a slip. And unfilled band in a perfect position would not cause these symptoms. If I were in this situation, I'd get to my surgeon's office and I'd request an xray, endoscopy, or whatever is the correct protocol for them to check the band's placement. As another person said above, if you don't do this, and you just continue on, you are heading towards major damage to your digestive system. You already have one complication, but it is a reversible one. Please don't let it move forward into a non-reversible complication.
  12. parisshel

    So what am i missing?

    I'd suggest ruling out MS.
  13. New research is showing the while the ghrelin hormone is supressed initially with amputative surgeries such as the sleeve, the hormone actually seeks another pathway and will re-develop in the remaining bit of the stomach. This explains why some sleevers' hunger returns. The hormone's production is only temporarily supressed but it will seek a new way to express itself eventually. Hopefully, however, the patient will have developed good habits by that time (because really, that's the goal of all WLS, right?) and when the hunger hormone returns, he/she will manage just fine with exercise/reduced portions/happy healthy lifestyle.
  14. A slip can indeed be "small". The band can tilt its angle, or just slip slightly. The typical solution doctors will try is an unfill so the band goes back to the proper angle or position all by itself.
  15. I'm not revising to anything (I have to get my band removed, but won't be moving forward with another WLS) but I will share with you what an expert bariatric surgeon told me about the bypass after band. The bypass is the ONLY revision surgery that should be done after a [failed] lapband, and the reason for this is that it is the only WLS that not only offers restriction, but also works on the feedback loop from stomach to brain. Your appetite and food choices will be completely different after the bypass. This is not true with the sleeve, which is merely restrictive, much like the band. (Band to sleevers, please don't jump on me for this statement. I know there are many of you out there that have had tremendous success with your revision surgery. ) This surgeon explained that if someone did not have success with a band, that same person would not have success with a sleeve. She stated is was not ethical for a surgeon to revise a bandster to a sleeve, knowing that that same patient would eventually be back for a bypass. FWIW, your decision to revise to a bypass is, according to this surgeon, the best way to move forward, as you will be altering not only how much you can eat, but what and why you eat. The bypass will effectively turn you into eating like a naturally-thin person, and for life. (Not just the "one sweet year" other WLS give you.)
  16. parisshel

    Lap Band Veteran Failing Miserably

    There is nothing wrong with you. Your longterm experience with the band is the rule, not the exception. It isn't you. The band doesn't alter your brain (unlike the restrictive and malabsorption surgeries such as bypass). It is merely restrictive (as you experienced). When your metabolism and appetite wake up from those days/months post band surgery, many of us experience what you are describing. Please don't blame yourself. It is unproductive, and really, if you talk with other longterm bandsters, you'll see that 80% are right where you are. This is why the band is falling out of favor and there are fewer and fewer WLS patients opting for it.
  17. parisshel

    slipped gastric band

    I would contact any digestive surgery practice. Of course a bariatric practice is best, but many digestive surgeons can remove a gastric band, if that is what is necessary. Are you open to going outside the NHS? I would think you would have more options if you did that. If you want a referral in Paris, I can send you the names of several surgeons who, while they no longer place bands, can do followup and removal if necessary. If you are in London, Paris is only 2.5 hours away.
  18. parisshel

    Friday can't come fast enough

    I love how wise you are. I love how honest and self-aware you are. I can't wait until your fill, too, and to read that you are back down the scale to your former weight. I have no doubts this will be the case.
  19. parisshel

    Lapband unfilled, problems are resurfacing

    Find the money, even if you have to borrow it, and go in and get your band looked at under xray with barium. What you are experiencing is not at all normal, and the symptoms are consistant with a band slip. Do not let this persist, or you will have greater issues than just money. Your health and stomach are at risk here. Please do this now, and let us know how you are doing.
  20. parisshel

    So why does this annoy me so much?

    This is a terrific thread with great contributions from everyone. Here are my thoughts: I agree with @@B-52, and I think we might be in a minority, but I do know from experience that my WLS was the only thing standing between me and consuming too many calories. It is not me making appropriate food choices, but my WLS tricking my brain into allowing me to make appropriate food choices. How do I know this? Because with an unfilled band/no band, I don't make appropriate food choices, or, rather, it takes intense, consistent willpower to make appropriate food choices. (@@gowalking made an excellent analogy to pain levels with NSAIDS and pain levels without them...a world of difference. WLS is the NSAID for obese people It is an external aid to keeping us on the right, painfree (psychologically-speaking) path.) It does not make us more moral, noble or smarter. It just overrides our default [overeating] personality. My weight-loss inducing food choices were not made because all the sudden I had some new-found wisdom/will-power/or healthy sense of what I needed to eat. No, the only reason I could eat less was because I had had WLS. When one's WLS tool is no longer effective, we go back to our default (for the most of us). Because that's they way our mind and body works. It is not a moral failing, it is the way we are hard-wired. If I see someone who I know had WLS and I'm watching them eat normal-size portions of food, or "unhealthy" food, or food that is not compliant with a post-op diet, I don't think "what an idiot." I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their WLS choice isn't "active" anymore. Because when our tool works, the idea of consuming large portions, or foods that are not WLS compliant, doesn't even enter our brains. Right? Remember when you were fresh out of surgery? And your tool was sparkly-new? Did any of you start off by eating non-compliant foods? No, of course not. Because your tool was active. And part of what is was doing was dimming your hunger and restricting your stomach space (this applies to all WLS). An optimally-working, active tool translates to weight loss/maintenance. I really don't think that someone overeating after WLS is wasting their tool. I think that their tool isn't "speaking" to them any longer. Bands can go awry, sleeves can stretch, bypass I don't know about...but the sweet, effective timeframe of many of our tools can be brief for some of us. Yes, it is sad that someone would undergo such a drastic step to not have it turn out as one dreams (believe me, I know this from my own experience), but I really think the fault is more on the tool than on the person. Am I naive? Possibly.
  21. parisshel

    Possible band slip. Kinda freaking out.

    Last week during a routine checkup I was told my band had slipped. The surgeon encourages removal as the angle at which my band now sits can cause a complete obstruction. Your surgeon can tell you how long an unfill might last. I've read that they can resolve the slipped band issue, but sometimes they do not. When I had my band unfilled a year or so ago, I just stayed on a Weight-Watchers-type diet plan and was able to maintain my loss. The point is to not go crazy due to the unfill, but do be prepared to have a plan in place because you will feel hungry.
  22. parisshel

    OK, I give....

    I like your analogy and it seems pretty spot on. Your surgeon sounds wise! And a big bravo for you in recognizing that you needed to use your band rather than continue to struggle (and feeling bad about this new hunger). I'm sure you'll get an excellent result from a fill, certainly considering that you lost so much weight without a filled band! Here's to re-finding that "just banded" feeling of restriction/hunger dimming. What a relief that will be, to not have to white knuckle your way through the day. Good for you for taking action! Let us know how you do with the fill.
  23. parisshel

    Don't get a lap band

    I sincerely doubt that anyone would read this post on a forum and follow that advice. So while everybody does have a right to voice his/her opinion and share his/her experience, I don't think anyone will be scared off in getting a lapband/sleeve/bypass/whatever just because someone advises against it, especially someone on a Forum. The only person anyone should seek advice from/listen to is a qualified surgeon. If your surgeon says "I don't think a lapband will work for you," you should take that seriously. Ask why. Read statistics. Research all available and legitimate evidence and publications pertaining to your choice of WLS. (Message boards do not count.) But don't put stock in individuals' stories, because guess what? You can ALWAYS find someone who succeeded with "x" and someone who failed with "y." Always.
  24. parisshel

    After emergency band removal questions

    Wow...that's scary to know that an infection can occur just like that. I'm looking forward to my removal, too. Mine has been a ticking time bomb for the past year, when I started having complications. I'm glad to not have to continue to worry about "what next"? Wishing you the best, and especially for your half marathon.
  25. parisshel

    After emergency band removal questions

    I haven't had my band removed yet (it's forthcoming) but I suspect removal causes some swelling in the banded area, especially if the surgeon had to cut out any scar tissue that may have built up under the band. Did they how your port and lap band became infected?

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