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Freaked myself out by reading Negative experiences. Give me the truth, please.



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I went to another website's forums as a way to more inform myself about Lap Band. I am excited about my new life.

But all I seemed to find was negative stories about people whose lap band caused major complications and who later needed revision surgeries. Many did not recommend the band. It is my understanding that the older bands caused more problems than the new ones, and that the new ones are much better. Is this true? I know every surgery has risks, but after reading these stories I am freaked out and nervous that once I am banded I may develop one of these complications. I read something that said 6 out of every 10 lap bander gets some kind of revision/complication surgery. Is that right?

I was super resolved about my decision to get a lap band (hopefully at the end of Sept.) but I had a flashing thought of well, maybe I should just do a liquid diet instead (even though I would likely end up gaining it all back some day).

Please, those of you who have been there done that set me straight. Thanks.

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You can't live on liquids forever. And once you stop liquids, it's VERY difficult if not impossible to not gain the weight back. Why? Because a liquid diet is a crash diet. It completely kills your metabolism. It is a fact that the more you crash diet, the likelihood of you gaining all the weight back and MORE is far higher than if you didn't bother dieting at all.

The band carries a risk of complications, yes. I have never seen statistics that support a 6 in 10 complication rate. But assuming that's true, let's put it into perspective: complications with the band can range from a port flip (easy fixed in day surgery) to erosion or worse (requires band removal). In Australia where the lapband was used routinely long before it was approved for use in the US, the complication rate is about 5% (all complications). Erosion rates are at sub 1%. Of these complications, some are caused by band failure and some by patient non-compliance, so that too is a factor.

Forums are NOT an unbiased representation of a population. Generally speaking, people seek out forums when they wish to discuss a problem and need support. This means that a lapbander who is at goal who isn't experiencing issues would usually have no reason to post, and few of them do (even on this site). Why would they?

So your best bet in terms of getting information regarding complication rates, risks and issues is to seek real studies regarding short, medium and long term prognosis for lapband patients. Paul O'Brien has been placing lapbands in Australian patients since 1994, and my own surgeon has nearly 2 decades of experience and still advocates banding for his wls patients.

Do your research and then make your choices, and don't necessarily accept other's personal experience as the only facts out there. Or else how is that different from me saying I lost over 100% of my excess weight with my band and have kept it off for 5 years with nearly no real imposition on my life?? I don't expect everyone to be like me, so those with complications shouldn't expect everyone to be like them.

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I am very new to this page and I am in the process of doing everything I need to do for lap band. Thank you for all your thoughts!! I'm so glad I was on this page to read what you wrote. So informative!!! Thanks!

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If 6/10 people banded have complications OR revisions, I don't think doctors would be performing so many... Check the source of that info, it sounds like rubbish.

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How many obese people have complications from being obese? It is far more dangerous to do nothing.

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Well, if you go to OH which is a anti-lap band website you will hear nothing but negativity about the band. Anyone who post there nowadays are seeking revisions and are very bitter about their band experience.

Also, you have to take into perspective the type of complications that occur with the band, most are simple things, like vomiting, reflux, heartburn, port leaks and tubing leaks, these are the majority of issues that occur with the band.

Frequent reflux/vomiting is a symptom of lap band problems, such as slippage or dilation. Some people live with a slipped band for years, who don't have good aftercare, and end up needing emergency surgery to remove the band.

Port and tubing leaks are not dangerous, but annoying and can get costly if someone is self pay and don't have money to fix or replace the band, this is why many people who are self pay should have a rainy day fund for any unforeseen lap band issues.

However, these things can get severe if not treated promptly, like food obstruction can get life threatening and cause repeating vomiting and dehydration if someone does not seek medical attention by a lap band surgeon immediately.

There are many people that do not have aftercare with their bands, many went to Mexico and don't have a surgeon to see them regularly in the US, some people have very poor aftercare with the surgeon that sees them in the US also, some lose their insurance, and no longer can afford the aftercare with their bands, so if you dig deep in how most people suffer complications, they are usually not really caused by the lap band.

Also things like food obstruction which usually can be easily treated easily, can turn into a horrible complication if the patient does not see their lap band surgeon immediately to remove saline from the band.

Also, everyone's body reacts differently with the band, some people have a weak or short esophagus and are not good candidates for the band, and they can't stand the pressure of a tight band and sometimes this will cause esophageal motility issues long term, but from all the studies I've read even people with a weak esophagus and motility issues return to normal after the band is removed.

,

Also I agree with the above poster Lellow, Australia have better lap band stats than the US because they have better aftercare surgeons, many surgeons in the US do not like offering aftercare and filling the lap band-- many surgeon view aftercare with the lap band to be annoying, many in the past have pushed them to Primary Care Physicians for fills, and other fill givers that do not fill the band properly, who know nothing about the band.

Many of these surgeons were Bypass surgeons and only did the band as a "side project" because MOST people WANT the lap band and the bypass surgeons would do a bait and switch on patients, not fill the band properly and many people never get to the green zone, either too tight or not enough and patients would get so frustrated and remove the band, and the Bypass surgeon would gladly remove the band and revise them to the bypass, and that happens WAY too much in the US.

I've had a lap band for almost 8 years and I would not change to any other procedure, I could have revised to the Bypass or Sleeve last year when I got my band replaced due to a hiatal hernia, but I see too many Bypassers and Sleevers struggling with weight gain long term, and dealing with other long term health issues such as reflux, Vitamin deficiency and hypoglycemia.

I will risk lap band complications any day before I would risk Sleeve, or Bypass complications.

Also check out the revision forum on OH, many people are desperate and seeking help from weight gain with the Sleeve and Bypass, many long term Bypassers are NOW seeking bands over their bypass, my surgeons also says many Sleevers are asking for bands too, but they can't because they don't have enough stomach left, but their small stomach has stretched too much to be effective without serious deiting, but some surgeons are putting some type of mesh bands over Sleeves, never let negative people fool you some have other motives for band bashing.

Good luck.

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Band is a lot of work no doubt about it. There are guidelines you must go by and after care is huge just as the others have mentioned. I also have no doubt there have been legitimate band failures BUT I am betting there are more failures because the person was non compliant and didn't do the things they were supposed to. You're going to hear more about "failures" then you might successes because the successful people are enjoying their new lives. You'll hear plenty of anti-band complaints because they need a stage to stand on and say "Don't do this you will fail because I did"....It's all rubbish and I myself came close to canceling my surgery after reading the rubbish on OH. Thank God I found the wonderful folks here at LBT. This was the best thing I have ever done for myself and if I am a failure then I love it.

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Thanks Jim1967, I too, had my misgivings about the band. My niece chose the gastric bypass as she, being a nurse, felt it was the thing for her.I did not want the problems that come with that. I wanted a tool that would make me the responsible one for my weightlosses. I can lose weight on my own, but breaking the habits of regaining is the hardest for me. even with lapband, one can regain, if they are not careful. I have had a revision, but would not be persuaded that the lapband is not greatest! If you do followups, as you should and advise the surgeon if you have problems, you should/could be fine! Karen

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Spending most of my teen and adult life being FAT !!!

nd doing every diet ey made....Lap Band has helped me live again !!! Now a age 55 I feel like life has just begun...

I started at 257 and it was work for me to walk to check my mail..I was tired all the time...now just 2 years later...I love to walk ...I love that my life isn't ruled by food..Like Jim said..there are rules to fallow with the band...that really aren't hard to live by ...Good Luck...fallow your dream

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As others have previously posted, there are risks of complications with any surgery, and WLS is no different. And there also are complications from obesity which I believe we all know about.

It is true that those who have been successful with their weight loss journey do move on from this site and enjoy their healthier lives. The individuals who experience the complications are the ones who usually engage in "band bashing".

Aftercare with the band is essential for your health and success with weight loss. I have experienced complications with my band, and presently 2 different surgeons cannot explain what is going on. My band is still properly placed, but I need to be very careful with my evening routines to avoid nighttime vomiting.

The band has fewer incidences of post op complications statistically than other types of WLS. And for me, I was advised that I was not an acceptable candidate for the sleeve due to a pre-existing medical condition.

I disagree with a previous poster that the band was done by many bariatric surgeons as a side project. The alleged "bait and switch" tactics she alluded to are not only unprofessional, they are unethical. As the patient, it is your responsibility to ask questions, educate yourself, and move forward with your decision based on what you feel is the proper choice for you.

Best wishes as you consider your options...

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It's so true about the other sites being "anti-band". When I started out researching, I went on all of the websites, and found Thinner Times and Obesity Help to be very negative towards the band. I also read many horror stories from people with the bypass, so clearly, the margin for complications is present no matter which way you go.

As stated above, yes, there is continuous aftercare with the band, as opposed to the other surgeries. However, the band can be removed if there are major issues, and most all of the time, everything returns to its pre-band state. THAT alone was my reason for going with the band.

I was very clear that my work would start the minute my eyes opened from surgery.....and I was okay with it. No matter what surgery, the work has to start at some point, and I was fine having that be immediate. Being 5 months out, I have no regrets, and I'm still thrilled with my choice.

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Sojouner,

It's ok to disagree with me, but I will tell you, you are a "rookie" at the lap band, and I've seen a whole lot regarding the lap band.

There are MANY "bait and switch" surgeons, they know MOST patients WANT the band, and they will either talk them into the Sleeve or Bypass and tell them that the band will not work for them, which it probably won't because they will offer them horrible aftercare, I've SEEN it too many times over the 8 years I've had a band seen others with horrible issues due to horrible aftercare.

So does Dr. Simpson agree with "bait and switch" surgeon based on his lengthy blog of his thoughts about the TRUTHFUL demise and issues that many lap band surgeons have caused including that 1800- scam clinic that sparked a congressional investigation.

Most banders lap band experience will be as good as the surgeon who installs it and the aftercare they receive, and patient compliance.

Here is the link

http://www.yourdoctorsorders.com/2013/05/lap-bands-perfect-storm-and-turn-around/

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Sojouner,

It's ok to disagree with me, but I will tell you, you are a "rookie" at the lap band, and I've seen a whole lot regarding the lap band.

There are MANY "bait and switch" surgeons, they know MOST patients WANT the band, and they will either talk them into the Sleeve or Bypass and tell them that the band will not work for them, which it probably won't because they will offer them horrible aftercare, I've SEEN it too many times over the 8 years I've had a band seen others with horrible issues due to horrible aftercare.

So does Dr. Simpson agree with "bait and switch" surgeon based on his lengthy blog of his thoughts about the TRUTHFUL demise and issues that many lap band surgeons have caused including that 1800- scam clinic that sparked a congressional investigation.

Most banders lap band experience will be as good as the surgeon who installs it and the aftercare they receive, and patient compliance.

Here is the link

http://www.yourdocto...nd-turn-around/

That's a great link, thank you so much for sharing it!

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There are MANY "bait and switch" surgeons, they know MOST patients WANT the band, and they will either talk them into the Sleeve or Bypass and tell them that the band will not work for them, which it probably won't because they will offer them horrible aftercare, I've SEEN it too many times over the 8 years I've had a band seen others with horrible issues due to horrible aftercare.

So does Dr. Simpson agree with "bait and switch" surgeon based on his lengthy blog of his thoughts about the TRUTHFUL demise and issues that many lap band surgeons have caused including that 1800- scam clinic that sparked a congressional investigation.

Most banders lap band experience will be as good as the surgeon who installs it and the aftercare they receive, and patient compliance.

I agree with this a 100%. I have no doubt there are plenty of unethical Surgeons out there looking to make a buck. Alex posts news stories every day about places being sued and losing their accreditation.

My own weight center when I went through the process the band was very popular and they were just starting to learn about the Sleeve and now it is all they push for along side with bypass. They will still do the bands but their logic behind it is the Sleeve takes a lot the burden off the Patient for aftercare. My Wife is going through the process now and they asked her why she is choosing the band over the Sleeve. She gave her reasons and that was the end of the discussion. Her band surgery date is 9/16.

Sleeve maybe a better option these days but in the end they are still cutting you and that is something neither my Wife or I wanted anything to do with.

I do believe a lot of the responsibility is on the Patient for every aspect of seeking out surgery. There is no rule that says you have to go with the first Surgeon you meet so the research goes beyond the procedures and which one is best for you.

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