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LAP-BAND Patients
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About SkinnyKathy

  • Rank
    Guru in Training
  • Birthday 07/20/1966

About Me

  • Biography
    I had lap band surgery in September 2008. My starting weight was 433 lbs. Since then I have lost about 250 lbs. I am beyond thrilled!
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    Los Altos
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  1. Ugh. I see I will have to lobby the head of HR to include more insurance options next year. I don't mind paying more for better health insurance to get bariatric surgery covered. I just wanted to get it done in 2021, not wait until 2022. I wonder if I should start documenting the 6 months of medically supervised weight loss now in anticipation of hopefully a new medical insurance option in 2022 that will cover it. Or would the six months have to start once the policy is valid?
  2. I had a lap band under United Healthcare PPO in 2008, lost 250 pounds, then had to have it removed in 2018 due to terrible acid reflux, Kaiser insurance. Have gained over 100 pounds back. Now I want to have RNY gastric bypass, and was set to get this going through Kaiser but got derailed due to COVID. Now I just started a great new job which I am very excited about, but the downside is that they only offer one insurance option, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. I have to start the whole insurance process all over again, in fact find new doctors again, but today I called the customer service number for BCBS of AL and asked about bariatric surgery and they told me that it is not covered on my policy! Has anyone ever had this experience, and were you able to find a way to get bariatric surgery covered under appeal? I really want this surgery but the out of pocket costs are pretty bad. I can't believe that this isn't covered in any form. Help!
  3. Thanks, everyone. I'm facing a similar situation. Long time bandster, lost 250 pounds, now 100 of that has crept on. Band had to be removed last December due to reflux. I was in process to get RNY when COVID hit and I stopped everything. I was away from the program too long and they dropped me, now I have to get back in and finish the pre-op checklist. I'm looking for success stories to bolster my confidence to do this.
  4. Hello all, I was banded in 2008 at 433 lbs and lost 250 pounds to get my weight down to ~180 in a few years. Kept the band almost 10 years but the acid reflux got too bad and I had to have it removed a little over 6 months ago. My weight had been creeping up to 240 before the lap band removal and up to 280 now. I am strongly considering the RNY but am concerned about the permanent rearrangement of my insides. That's why I went with the band in the first place, because it was reversible. I am concerned about developing malnourishment, although I am good about taking supplements (which I do every day even now with no bariatric surgery in place). I am looking for success stories. Who has had their band removed and then put in a RYN and had a good experience? I need to lose at least 100 pounds now and want to keep it off for life this time.
  5. I had a tummy tuck with anchor incision, breast lift with implants, and arm lift all done at the same time. Interestingly enough, the arm lift was the most uncomfortable part. I planned ahead well and rented a recliner with a lift, borrowed a walker, and had helpers on standby. The first week was a bit tough, but I never regretted it, and it was great that I didn't have to take all that time off work several times. Even though this was a lot of surgery, my plan was to do the back half of the tummy tuck (to make a circumferential lift) and thigh lift in a second surgery, which for various reasons never happened. Since then I have had to take my lap band out and have gained weight. So I need to get that under control before I can finish my surgical transformation. But I still do not regret doing multiple procedures in one operation.
  6. SkinnyKathy

    Breaking up with my band and mourning the loss

    Well it’s all over now. At least the band part of my life. Band removal surgery was two days ago. I’m healing ok except for a seroma under one of my incisions. I have a call into my doctors office to see what to do about that. Doc said I had a lot of adhesions that he had to remove, and also that the valve between my stomach and esophagus was shot due to the band. So definitely no sleeve in my future, but RNY is still an option. I have to wait 3 months and lose 20 pounds on my own first.
  7. Hello all, I was a lap band success story at one time, surgery in 2008, losing from 433 to 178, keeping most of that off for years. But life and acid reflux have taken their toll. I’ve had my band unfilled and refilled several times over the past years, but it’s no use. I can’t get to a sweet spot again where the band helps me lose weight and the acid reflux is manageable. The band is coming out on Monday. I’m depressed and worried. For me the band was magic, it made it easy (or at least possible) to lose so much weight. Now with an empty band for several months I’m struggling so much. I’ve regained 100 pounds in the past four years. Although I don’t have much restriction now, I’m worried about further weight gain. And also feeling like a failure, although I know that the band failed me. I did lose 250 pounds! I’m thinking of getting a RNY but I still don’t like the idea of cutting myself up like that. I’m trying to lose weight without further bariatric surgery but I’m not feeling confident. I’m mostly feeling depressed that this thing I loved at one point has turned out to be such a disappointment. Like a relationship gone bad. I’m breaking up with my band but still mourn the loss.
  8. SkinnyKathy

    Is lap band that bad?

    I was banded 11 years ago and was very successful with the band for a long time. I lost 250 pounds and kept most of that off for many years. Now, in the last few years, my band has gone from being my friend to at times my enemy. Lots of acid reflux, waking up with stomach bile in my mouth, and also not some days I can eat anything and other days I can barely sip water. It has gotten to the point where I have started thinking "what can I eat" rather than "what should I eat"? I have also gained back 100 pounds of the 250 I lost. Technically, by the numbers, I am still considered a "lap band success story." And if you asked me several years ago I would have highly recommended the band. But now I wouldn't. Needless to say, I am starting the process of having it removed and strongly considering converting to RNY.
  9. SkinnyKathy

    Lap Band revision to RNY?

    Elcee, thank you for your reply. How much did you lose on the band in the first place? How long were you banded? How was the recovery from band to bypass in one surgery?
  10. SkinnyKathy

    2008 bandsters

    I was banded in October 2008. It was awesome for the first two years, then still good for a number of years after that. I went from 433 to 178 pounds. But the last few years have been quite difficult and depressing. GERD, vomiting, foam in my mouth, food getting stuck, and poor eating habits developed by thinking "what is my body able to tolerate now?" rather than "what is healthy to eat?". Gained nearly 100 pounds back of the 250 I lost. I'm done with this band. Ready to have it removed and revise to RNY as quickly as my doctor will let me, looks like 3 months. Doctor appointment to kick off the process is tomorrow. I think I may have to go through the usual pre-surgery hoops.
  11. SkinnyKathy

    Gastric Bypass after Lap Band

    Hello all, I'm in a similar situation. Lap band in 2008 and I went from 433 to 178. I thought the band was a miracle! But in the last few years I have really struggled with GERD, throwing up, constant flem and white foam in my throat. Gross. And managing the pain from GERD has led me to various unfills and also bad eating habits gained from my fear of GERD pain (not "what is healthy for me to eat" but "what will my body not reject now?") have led to regaining almost 100 pounds out of the 250 I lost. So tomorrow I'm going to the Kaiser bariatric clinic to talk about having the band removed, and after the minimum 3 month waiting period, revised to RNY. Sleeve is out of the question due to GERD. It seems that everywhere on this board I see pre-revision people like me but not many post-revision people. I want to know how it has gone for those who have done the band to RNY revision!
  12. Hello all, I had lap band in 2008 and lost ~250 pounds, from 433 to 178 pounds. I thought the band was a miracle. Then the band went from being my friend to my nemesis. Trying to manage severe GERD has led to almost 100 pound gain. Long story short, I have a doctor appointment tomorrow to see about getting the band out and convert to RNY. (Sleeve is out of the question due to GERD). I have Kaiser and they will only do it in two steps which I am bummed about, but I just want to get the process started. Anyway, the reason for my post is I have been re-emerging on this forum to find others who have transitioned from lap band to RNY. My main question is, for those who have gone from band to RNY, how was the transition for you and did you find that the RNY worked well for you after your band? I read a lot of these stories about people losing a lot of weight quickly on RNY but they are talking about their first bariatric surgery. As a second bariatric surgery I want to know more about what I can expect. Are there forums on here for revision patients? Kathy
  13. I was banded in 2008. Lost 250 pounds from 433 to 183 or so. I thought the band was a miracle. Then problems with acid reflux started. I have had all the problems people gave mentioned on this thread. I’m managing it now by avoiding eating or drinking in the evening, and emptying my throat as much as possible before going to bed and anytime I wake up at night. I keep a plastic cup on my bedtime table to spit up in. Plus my band is not very tight. But I am still having acid reflux pain during the day and occasionally wake up coughing still. At times I’ve had to have my band completely emptied. And I’ve gained weight, now up to 270. I’m strongly considering having the band removed, and getting a RNY instead. I have Kaiser and they won’t do it all at once. I wave to wait 3 months in between, which is a bummer but I have to admit that my band isn’t working for me anymore. I’m scared about malnutrition from the RNY though, and cutting out to much of my insides just seems wrong. I wish I could keep my weight under 200 without such drastic measures but I’m not feeling confident that I can do it anymore.
  14. SkinnyKathy

    Traveling caused Lap-Band tightness

    Yes, I had this every time I flew. I found with the band that any kind of stress -- altitude, lack of sleep, changes in routine -- would make my band tighter. With air travel, especially over long distances and time zones, it's all of the above. And one of the gotchas with the band I found is that when I gets tight and you get dehydrated, the dehydration itself causes more tightness and it becomes a downward spiral where even when you are doing everything right it is very difficult to get yourself turned around. One trick I learned to turn myself around when under dehydration stress like that is to give myself an enema with pure water. You can buy enema bottles at any drugstore and THROW OUT THE LIQUID that they come with as it has salt that you don't want. Rinse it out and replace with just water. Apply as per directions but keep the water in. It won't take long to absorb. You can do this again if needed. I found that when I got dehydrated like that and I couldn't take in fluids orally, I could take them this way, which would relieve the dehydration stress enough so that I could take them orally again and get myself back on the right path.
  15. SkinnyKathy

    Gaining weight after 250+ lb loss since 2008

    Julie, yes it can be brutal! But for me it was not brutal at the onset. This is the hardest it has ever been for me. I'm glad to see other long-term bandsters though that are making it work. That gives me hope that it can be done. I was thinking about it and the other thing I did religiously in the first few years was log my food intake. So I recently joined loseit.com and am now logging my food intake every day, honestly accounting for every bite. Sometimes its the small nibbles that add up that can sabotage you, so I am committed to being honest and transparent with myself.

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