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LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by parisshel

  1. parisshel

    Feeling kind of devastated…

    I had a tummy tuck--different from your surgeries--but just to share that the final result is not set until up to 12 months postop. Your shape will keep changing as fluid leaves and the new taut skin adjusts. I remember thinking that I had no waistline post TT but eventually my hourglass shape emerged. It tooks months for the sweliing to go down and the true shape to show itself. Also your thighs may look bigger because edema (water) moves downwards with gravity. This will clear eventually. However my thighs looked shockingly large to me postop because I had never really seen them without my belly hiding the tops of them. Once my belly was gone...everything looked really different down there! I hope that with time you are going to love your new body. Every single day I am thrilled when I look at my nice, flat tummy. BTW I am 63 and did my surgery when I was 60.
  2. Thanks for this additional information and I'm pleased you are on the other side of this and recovering perfectly. Totally agree on continual checks/barium swallows for those of use who still have bands. I've had mine going on 9 years now and do a barium swallow each year just to check placement, flow, etc. Like you, I no longer fill but that doesn't mean I should not check it for viability purposes.
  3. This sounds like a painful and stressful experience. I'm sorry you had to go through it. I have a question about "hooks" and how they embedded into your intestines. The band, which goes on the upper part of the stomach, is not near the intestines. Did you surgeon say it had migrated? Can you ask them how this could have happened? In any case, I hope by the time you read this you are feeling much better.
  4. parisshel

    How faded are your surgery scars?

    Coming up on two years post-tummy tuck. While I never had any raised portions of the hip to hip scar, the color continues to be quite visible. I have used scar cream from the moment I was authorized to do so. I also never exposed the scar to the sun for the first year post-TT. So I did all the right things in terms of promoting the least-visible scar possible. I don't anticipate any change at this point, although scars I have from decades ago have lightened considerably, so maybe there is hope if I have patience! In the meantime, I just concentrate on how happy I am with my flat and toned tummy!
  5. parisshel

    Loose Skin? Lap Band Success Stories?

    I echo the advice of those above: do your research on a different type of WLS other than the lapband. Even if you find a surgeon to place yours, there are fewer and fewer surgeons and fill/unfill facilities so if you have issues down the line, you may not find someone with the background and experience to help you out. Lapbands were a big trend years ago but are seen as arcane now. Today's trend is the Sleeve...this also may one day go the way of the band. The Gold Standard is the Bypass which has decades of data supporting its efficacy. (It is also reversible if needed.) With that said, I have had a band in place for almost 8 years. I'm one of its rare success stories with no issues. While I never made it to goal (my starting weight was similar to yours), I'm at a weight that is fine for me. No significant regains really, but when I do start climbing back up the scale, I know what to cut out. Not sure if I still have restriction/hunger dimmed by my band....I do a lot of the maintenance work myself. I had loose skin but I'm much older than you. It wasn't due to "quick" weight loss---my weight came off at the same rate as a traditional diet such as WW. It was just from having been obese. So two years ago, at age 60, I had a tummy tuck. It was absolutely life-changing. Best thing I ever did for myself. Not only do I love my tummy for the first time in my life, but having had plastics ensures that I keep my weight off and keep exercising....I would never want to ruin the results of the tummy tuck. Here's a photo of my tummy now---90% of this is the tummy tuck, 10% of it is my core work that I do every day to keep everything strong and toned. Sorry this photo is so large....something happens when I upload photos to this site. Normally it is much smaller! Good luck as you move forward but please: do your research, talk to other WLS patients to see their experience with the different surgeries out there.
  6. parisshel

    General dating question

    I waited awhile before telling my (then) BF that I had been much larger and had had WLS. It wasn't any big deal to him. My weight loss left me with significant loose skin, especially the "apron" which had my tummy hanging down to my upper thighs. I was embarrassed greatly by my "apron" and always wore lingerie in bed to cover that part of my body. I finally decided to get a tummy tuck 6 years after my WLS, even though I was not at my goal. My WLS surgeon and the plastic surgeon agreed that since I'd held my weight loss for so long that it would be fine to go ahead with the tummy tuck. It was TRULY the best thing I've ever done for myself. My sense of self is completely different. I no longer have so much shame around this part of my body. When my BF broke up with me and I starting dating again, my WLS and tummy tuck made reentering the world of dating so much easier on my mindset. I had so much more confidence. I know that should I find a new partner, I would at some point share that I had WLS. It is obvious I had plastics, because the scar from a tummy tuck is quite large and evident. So I would be open about that, too. I figure anyone worth developing a strong connection with will take this information with acceptance and even admiration for me. Below, a current photo of my tummy. 90% of this is the tummy tuck, 10% of it is my core work that I do to keep my tummy flat and toned. (I don't know why the photo is huge; sorry!)
  7. parisshel

    Pandemic Check In

    Thanks for starting this thread. We went into lockdown in March, opened up a bit in the summer, and locked down again in early November. I knew with the initial lockdown I'd have to pay attention to two things: exercise (we were allowed one hour outside each day, limited to walks within a 1 km radius) and my food. In the initial lockdown I gained 2.5 kgs, which apparently was a national average! I know this was due to reduced activity + having food a mere 5 steps away from my WFH set up. Right before the November lockdown my BF up and announced he didn't love me anymore, leaving a two-year relationship with no discussion. I turned a sow's ear into a silk purse and spent that lockdown working out and eating cleanly, knocking off the weight I had gained in the spring and getting back towards my best weight. I'm a bandster, and stress tightens my band so all of these events have made it easier to eat healthfully since I'm rarely hungry. We are now semi-locked down, with a curfew, but I take advantage of the mornings to walk 5-10 km every single day. I'm not sure this helps weight-wise, but it is vital for my mental health! Foodwise my fridge is stocked with the kinds of foods that keep hunger at bay but that I enjoy: proteins, veg, fruit...you know, the classics!! Keep well, everyone!
  8. parisshel

    Too old for plastics?

    I had a tummy tuck last year, at age 60. I had some significant post-op complications, but now that I'm on the other side of all that, I can say that this surgery was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. Never too old, as long as your surgeon says you are eligible, healthwise, for plastics!
  9. parisshel

    13 years later and - I Love my band

    This sounds like me. I'm a longhauler, too, 10 cc with 5.0 cc fill. I can eat pretty much everything, just smaller bites and much slower. No one likes to go to lunch with me because I take so long to finish my food! But still....love that my weight is stable and I had a tummy tuck last year to complete the transformation. Both procedures totally worth it...it is quite freeing to live in a body that I'm not ashamed of.
  10. Thanks. I meant to say abdominal binder and not compression garment. How quickly I've forgotten all the aftermath of this surgery! Thanks for explaining how the fluid gets released. Good information on the lymphatic massages. I do these from time to time, especially for my legs because the TT disrupted my lymph system (but things are reknitting themselves even now) and I get a lot more fluid build up in my legs.
  11. Yes, I had also read that there is a correlation between higher-weight TT patients and fluid-related complications. (I had forgotten about that until I read your post.) I think, given my weight, my surgeon should have inserted drains as a precaution. I also had lipo; I forgot to mention that.
  12. My surgery was done in Paris, France, where I live. I chose the top plastic surgeon in the city, vetted him carefully. He had done hundreds of TTs, and said that mine was the first time he'd ever had a complication. (Of course I can't check if that is true.) The initial surgery went well and I only stayed one night in the clinic. I started developing a fever a couple of days after the initial surgery. I called the surgeon's office and the medical secretary didn't seem alarmed about this. (I should have immediately requested to be seen...but I wasn't mobile enough at that point to get to his office. + I trusted the secretary. Big mistake on my part.) Luckily I had visiting nurses coming to my home post op to change my dressings. It was a nurse who saw my abdominal skin turning yellowish (indicating infection) and she felt my lower abdomen which was hot. My lymph glands in my upper thighs were also enlarged and very painful; I could not sit or walk. On day six she said she suspected I had an infection. By that time I had an extremely high fever, I alternated being freezing cold and trembling to sweating so much I slipped off the hospital gurney by the time I got to the ER. They scanned me and saw all the fluids collecting in my lower abdomen...fluids that, had I had drains, would have drained out of my body and I would not have developed an infection. They got me back on the operating table immediately (I was very close to dying, with my system shutting down due to the scepsis), reopened the abdomen along the same line as the initial surgeon (so I don't have a double scar) and cleaned everything out. After that they put in three drains, I had heavy antibiotics (they had to put in a PICC line for these). My red blood cell count was so low they had to give me 2 units of blood. Nurses cleaned my drains and changed the dressings 3 x day for a week until they deemed me healthy enough to go home. The drainless TT relies on the surgeon's ability to do a "quilting" stitch when reattaching the inner muscles. The quilting stitch, as I understand it, makes so that fluid can't collect. I'm not exactly sure where the fluid goes, however, as it has to go somewhere! In my case, the quilting stitch did not do the job of keeping the fluid from collecting and it just sat there inside of me with nowhere to exit. Eventually it would have probably seeped out of the wound area, bursting through my stitches. Additionally, my surgeon did not think a compression garment was necessary. The second surgeon was astounded at both the idea of a drainless TT and lack of a compression garment. I'm now 15 months out, and all of these complications are behind me. I love my tummy....truly a work of art. It's a firm slate, and I never get tired of looking at it. However, the aftermath was indeed traumatic and something I will never forget. My takeaway is this: fever is NEVER normal post op. It is the first sign of infection. I should have gotten myself to either the hospital or my surgeon's office at that point.
  13. Hi! I had a drainless TT that went very wrong. The fluids collected in the site, I got an infection that turned sceptic and I almost died. Emergency surgery to reopen the site one week after the initial TT, necrotic skin removed, drains put it, blood transfusion and one week in the hospital. And I had one of the "best" plastic surgeons in the city. I would not recommend it, for obvious reasons, but "your mileage will vary."
  14. Thanks for your vote of confidence. I have the raised toilet seat (from years ago when I had a cast on my leg) so glad to see I can get some more of money's worth out of it! Yeah, no recliner but I bought two foam wedges; those things you use behind your back to read in bed. One behind me and one under my knees should keep me in a ideal post-op position until I straighten out. Thanks again for bringing down my fear level!
  15. I'm having a drainless TT next Tuesday. Just wondering if you think the post op pain will be less because of the no-drain technique? Any tips for the immediate days following the TT? TIA.
  16. Do what makes you feel fierce, strong and happy. I had my lapband placed when I was 54. Next Tuesday I'm getting a tummy tuck. I just turned 60. Is that too late? Who cares? I want to live the rest of my life in a body that makes me feel good and healthy. I cannot wait to have a flat, toned tummy.
  17. Hi everyone! I have an AP small lapband, surgery done 2013. Lost around 70 pounds and am scheduled for an abdominoplasty in early May. My surgeon is of course aware that I have a lapband in place, but he hasn't addressed how this affects the surgery he is going to do on me. Are there any Bandsters in this group that have had this done? I read a scientific article (old, dated 2012) about possible complications due to the port and tubing and the muscle stretching involved with the abdominoplasty. Of course I'll bring this up with the surgeon but wanted your input as well. TIA!
  18. parisshel

    abdominoplasty after lapband

    Thanks so much for this comforting information, Tashaplus3. I appreciate it. You look great!
  19. parisshel

    Banders #7

    Hi all you veterans! I haven't posted for ages but just wanted to let everyone know that I've still got my band (unfilled but not removed) and still maintaining a good 67 pound weight loss. I hope all of you are well!
  20. parisshel

    AFIB after Lapband surgery

    Removing the lapband will not bring your heart back to where it was prior to the AFib setting in. AFib is a chaotic rewiring of your heart's electrical pathways. The AFib permanently alters how electricity moves through your heart, electricity meant to keep your heart it in sinus (normal) rhythm. So even with my band loosened or removed, the electrical currents have been disrupted and that is for life. I "should" have my band removed at this point, since it serves no purpose and can in fact cause other issues (as you have probably read about now that there is a vast body of post-WLS literature on this particular WLS), but I just cannot bring myself yet to go under the knife. Because now with Afib, that's another risk factor anytime you have anesthesia...you can be on the table and go into an episode. Terrific! One of the self-defensive comments my surgeon said when I asked about the link between the band and Afib was him saying that all "those patients" would've ended up with AFib anyway. In other words, there is no proof between the band and Afib. That's a really convenient excuse for him, as you can't disprove what he is saying. I know there is a link because my first episode of Afib was undeniable linked to my swallowing food. For three days, each time I swallowed a small bite of food, my heart would go into arrhythmia as the food passed through the band. As long as I didn't eat anything, my heart stayed in sinus rhythm. But one bite of food would set off the Afib. It would calm down after an hour. But another bite, even of yogurt by the third day, and I'd go into arrhythmia. This is clearly an irritation of the vagus nerve, which is involved in digestion. The band, sitting on the nerve, would compress against it as the food passed through. I'm lucky I went to the ER when I did. When I walked in, they admitted me immediately, once they saw my heart rate and crazy arrhythmia. I saw the chart, upon which was written "ABSOLUTE EMERGENCY". I was very close to having a stroke from throwing a blood clot. The meds are a drag but like you, I'm holding off on the ablation. You always want to have a "next step" with Afib because it will increase as one ages. So meds first, then ablation, then pacemaker.
  21. parisshel

    AFIB after Lapband surgery

    Hello! Yes, I developed AFib after my lapband surgery. If you Google Gastric Band + AFib, you will see there are many of us. I've consulted with several doctors to see if they have an opinion on what I believe is a link between the band and the arrhythmia, due to the proximity of the vagus nerve. My banding surgeon denies any such link (no surprise there), even when I came in with printed accounts of patients who had experienced the same thing. So I changed surgeons, (not only for this reason; my surgeon was just unpleasant to consult with). My new surgeon says there is a link. She does not do lapbands anymore, for this and for the low success rate of the band. I had my band emptied completely, just to take the pressure off of the vagus nerve. Unfortunately, once you develop Afib, you have it for life, as the electricity in your heart has been forever altered. I've been on meds since I was hospitalized with the Afib November 2014. I hate them, hate the way they make me feel (tired, fuzzy-minded and depressed) but I'm not yet moving forward with ablation, which would be the next step. I have small episodes of Afib now but nothing like the 3-day episode that landed me in the ER. I'm sorry you, too, developed this consequence. It's unnerving. Had I know this was a potential risk, I would not have chosen a lapband as my WLS.
  22. Following this topic. I have kept an empty band for a couple of years now and now have to either get it out or revised. (My band was emptied due to its interference with the vagus nerve which was provoking atrial fibrillation.) I just saw my surgeon yesterday who has given me three choices: accept my weight where it is, diet the rest of the weigh off, or mini gastric bypass. She is not pro-sleeve for my situation, as she views the sleeve as the next "lapband" in that she has more and more sleeve patients gaining back their weight and doesn't think the longterm weight maintenance is proving to be the case with restrictive methods such as lapbands and sleeves. She has floated the idea of a mini-gastric bypass as her best recommendation for my situation. I'm researching this but I doubt I will do it. The potential complications from the malabsorptive WLS are rather scary to me. Enough that I will probably just go back to Weight Watchers and grit my teeth to get the rest of my weight off.
  23. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/26/bariatric-surgery-the-solution-to-obesity?mbid=social_facebook Anyone else read this article? I thought it presented a balanced and readable overview on the history of surgical procedures to combat obesity, as well current research findings. It's also cool that a magazine as respected as the New Yorker is writing about this.
  24. parisshel

    A blessing in diguise

    Thanks for your response, and I hope your recovery is going smoothly. I think eating "as if you still have the band" is a good strategy. No, I won't proceed with another surgery. My new heart condition would be a risk factor for any surgery, and I'm all about mitigating all risks nowadays! I regret not going with the sleeve as my initial WLS choice, but I just couldn't get my mind around the amputation part of that surgery. Bypass was out too, as I'd read too many scary stories of complications with that type of WLS. I suppose if I were in my twenties, I'd rethink this. But I'm not, and I've just come around to accepting that life at this weight will be the life I have. I'm glad to have lost what I did with my lapband, and sad that I never got to see "thin", but at least I'm now so much more normal-looking on the outside, even if my heart- health is actually worse now that pre-lapband. My motto now is this: I don't regret getting banded, but I'd never recommend the band to anyone. There are so many more-perfected options now on the market. Wishing you the best as your recover and convert. I'm sure you'll do well.
  25. parisshel

    A blessing in diguise

    Hi. My story is similar to yours, and we have very close band dates. I'm sorry things did not work out in a positive fashion but glad your removal went well. I have a question for you. Do you sense a difference in appetite/satiety now, without the band? Or is it similar to when you had an empty band? I ask the question because I'm supposed to have my band removed. It's empty now, and has been for awhile, due to an Afib I developed because of the band's restriction, but I'm fearful to have it totally removed. I'm not sure just having the empty band gives me any restriction whatsoever (I maintain my loss by dieting, sadly, with the same crappy mindset that requires), but I figure it may be better than not having any band at all. Your thoughts about differences between empty band/no band and hunger levels are appreciated!

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