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Conversion- Worth it?



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Hello all,

I was banded 9/2009 and lost about 80 lbs (went from 250 to 170) in 18 months or so. I always had problems with getting stuck and vomiting/PBing, but I pushed through it.

I started to have difficulty swallowing more and more, and after an upper GI study and endoscopy, I learned I had esophageal dilation and prolapse. If you aren't familiar, it means my esophagus was stretching out above my band and flopping over, creating a tiny pouch where food would get stuck. My lap-band doctor gave me a complete unfill, with the goal of letting it heal and then deciding what to do next.

Next thing you know, I'm regaining weight. In addition to the personal stresses of going back to college and divorce, my doctor closed up shop and moved out of state without so much as a how-do-you-do. So for the last several years, I've been walking around with an empty band, no method to get my medical records, no new doctor, and just a ton of stress from divorce and new jobs, job changes, blah blah. Just real life stuff, I guess.

As you can guess, I have regained all of my weight lost with the lap-band and more. I'm now at 265, my all time high.

I don't want to deal with my lap-band anymore. I know if I fill it, I'll have the same problems as before, and I really don't want to further damage my esophagus. I'm considering conversion to RNY, but am scared and feel like it represents some kind of personal failure to be at this point.

I love hearing about all your successes and struggles with conversion, and would welcome any advice or feedback! I am worried whether or not more surgery is worth it, and whether RNY is going to help me when lap-band failed (or when I failed at lap-band, either way).

Thank you, lovelies!

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I had a prolapsed band and a total until 18 months before bypass conversion. In spite of no Fluid, I kept getting worse. I couldn't eat for months and I had low energy and pain for a year. My revision was an emergency due to perforated stomach and more in there.


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Please don't feel like a failure. My doctor said many have these problems. It is not your fault. We did our best and researched before the band, but time has passed and the side effects are beginning to show up now.


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When I got my band in 2001, nobody talked much about bypasses in Germany, especially not in young women, so the band was the way to go.

Some years later I wouldn't have chosen the band again and I'm glad I was converted to MGB after the band started to erode into my stomach.

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Hello I was banded Aug/09. I have Barrett's esophagus as result from the band. I got the band out in 2015 when I had to get my gallbladder removed. I gain more weight then I ever have. So September 18 is my surgery date for RNY. I struggled so long with this weight and I need to do something about it. The sleeve was first choice until I heard so many people talk about heart burn well I already have it bad so bypass it is. Good luck with your decision. You have to do what's right for you.

Sent from my SM-G900V using BariatricPal mobile app

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I'm converting on 9/11. Eroded esophagus, heartburn and a fear of regaining all my weight.

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Hi, I was banded 12 years ago and due to similar circumstances I had my band removed February 16th and had RNY April 25th. I never realized how bad I truly felt until my band was out. These two surgeries are night and day. I have lost 60 pounds and have not vomited once! I can eat meat, veggies and nuts and no PBing! You are not a failure just fell victim to an unsuccessful band. My surgeon will not do the sleeve on any previous band patients due to the scar tissue the risk for a leak is very high. If I had known how much better I could have felt I would have done this years ago! Good Luck!


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Banded Oct 2007, like you, struggled with vomiting, etc. to where I was having to eat around the band. Lost about 40lbs total... Moved to another state in 2010, but the doctor that did my band moved before that, so no follow up, etc.

Jan 2012 had to have emergently unfilled in the ER due to having a stomach bug to where my stomach swelled up around the band and I couldn't even swallow my own saliva. Left it unfilled for 4 years... Gained weight of course.

May 2016 I finally had enough of my co morbidities, so I sought out the help of my local bariatric specialists.. I had my band taken out July 2016. I should mention I had Left shoulder pain for 9 years! Every doctor said it was from an injury (I had separated that shoulder in 1993), even though I tried to tell them I had only had it since I had the band was placed, literally that day. I brought them research articles showing that it could be referred pain from my band riding up under the nerve. Miracle of miracles... the day I had my band out I have had NO shoulder pain ever since that day!! Bonus, 1 month post op, I had lost 7 lbs !

I am now scheduled to have a RNY on August 1 after a year of jumping through hoops for insurance. I also was not recommended to have the sleeve due to scar tissue and previous GERD. Will let you know how it goes!

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Banded Oct 2007, like you, struggled with vomiting, etc. to where I was having to eat around the band. Lost about 40lbs total... Moved to another state in 2010, but the doctor that did my band moved before that, so no follow up, etc.
Jan 2012 had to have emergently unfilled in the ER due to having a stomach bug to where my stomach swelled up around the band and I couldn't even swallow my own saliva. Left it unfilled for 4 years... Gained weight of course.
May 2016 I finally had enough of my co morbidities, so I sought out the help of my local bariatric specialists.. I had my band taken out July 2016. I should mention I had Left shoulder pain for 9 years! Every doctor said it was from an injury (I had separated that shoulder in 1993), even though I tried to tell them I had only had it since I had the band was placed, literally that day. I brought them research articles showing that it could be referred pain from my band riding up under the nerve. Miracle of miracles... the day I had my band out I have had NO shoulder pain ever since that day!! Bonus, 1 month post op, I had lost 7 lbs !
I am now scheduled to have a RNY on August 1 after a year of jumping through hoops for insurance. I also was not recommended to have the sleeve due to scar tissue and previous GERD. Will let you know how it goes!

sorry to hear about the problems you've had with your band D:. I had a lap band placed in 2010 and removed it in march of this year due to complications. I lost 65 lbs in the first two-three years but regained it all back + more in the years ahead. I had constant pain at my port site, food would get stuck at each meal, and I would vomit up my food often which made me eat foods that were easy to go down (fatty, oily foods). I also had severe pain in my left shoulder that would last hours at a time which went on for 4 years! My surgeon hadn't heard of left shoulder pain from his patients until he spoke to one of his colleagues who had a patient with this symptom. It was because the band was irritating some nerves (like you said). After taking my band out I don't have any problems. I am starting all over and preparing to have gastric bypass. Finished my orientation this morning and have a consult scheduled for the end of this month!


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Banded in 2011, lost 118 lbs. Had heartburn really bad, so I had emergency surgery to have it removed in 2015. Gained about 70 lbs back. Had a revision to bypass in March of 2016 and I am down 110 lbs from my highest. 120 lbs @ 4'10 1/2". I've lost almost as much as I weigh. I had a few complications at the beginning, but it has all worked out and it was well worth it. It's a totally different feel for fullness. I used to get the shoulder pain when I was full. This is like a regular full feeling. "Satisfied" with small amounts. Best decision.

Sent from my Z981 using BariatricPal mobile app

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I had the band in 2009 and went from 305-260 and stayed there at 260 until 2016. I finally went to the doctor in the fall of 2016 because I had been aspirating saliva almost every night, felt like I had pneumonia for most of the morning, and I had terrible acid reflux with a hiatal hernia. I also for most of those years had a dull pain with every swallow and sharp pain in my right shoulder. So they took Fluid out in the fall, I quit aspirating in my sleep, started gaining weight and only slightly improved acid reflux. My surgeon took out the band in April of this year and 2 months later did the sleeve and hernia repair June 23. It's been 4 weeks now and I have not had one day of acid reflux and have taken no medication for it! I'm eating soft foods and I get full and no pain! I'm loving this so much more. I have been in a stall since 1.5 weeks out but today the scale budged a little so now I'm down 19 lbs at 4 weeks out. I wish I had done this much sooner. And I'm grateful my surgeon was conservative by wanting me to have time to heal between surgeries. I spent years fighting my band instead of using it because it hurt and was not what I expected. I didn't feel much restriction, it just made me slow and hurt. I've been afraid I would "fail" at the sleeve the way I did with the band, but it's becoming apparent that the sleeve is a much more useful tool and I feel confident I can do this.


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Hi Sarah,
Totally worth it.

Banded 12/2009 at approx 275lbs. Highest weight was 302. Band for me down to 175 & I leveled off about 183lbs. 2012, I had my first band slip. 2013 was a major slip & then herniated my stomach 2014. I also now have Barrett's Esophagus. Band had to be removed on emergency basis 10/2014. They kept me overnight. Nurses offered more pain meds the. Ext day, but the pain was actually less at that point than it had been when it was still in.

RNY bypass 9 days ago. It was a a difficult decision, but I've had no regrets. Take care. Keep posting questions and reading others posts.
~Amy


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