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Lap band removed!



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Hi all!

Soooo my story started a few years ago (I think 6).

I was morbidly obese and felt disgusting. HW was about 244 lbs (and I'm only 5 feet tall!!). I didn't have the willpower to lose ALL that weight on my own and began to realize that I needed help.

My mother had RNY a few years earlier and, while she DID lose like 75% of her excess weight, she never looked healthy to me. She suffered with anemia and Vitamin deficiency, never worked out, had very saggy skin etc.

When deciding on a bariatric prodecure I felt attracted to the lap band due to its reversability and low operating risks. The first surgeon I went to was VERY pro the LB- in fact I think he only performed this procedure. The second surgeon I consulted with was vehemently against the band and strongly advised me against it. This was years ago when then "anti band" sentiment was just starting.

I ultimately decided on the lap band because I'm a nervous person in general and wanted the "easiest", lowest risk, and most reversable procedure performed.

The surgery went well and there were no problems. I was able to go back to work within a day or two.

I've heard some people say they have a "love hate relationship" with the band. For me it was a "want to love, yet fear relationship" meaning I WANTED so BADLY for the band to work. But I was constantly afraid of it slipping... Or eroding.. Or food getting stuck (in public!) ... Or suddenly feeling tight when traveling and I didn't have access to a doctor... Or not being able to afford the fills and fluoroscopys... Esaphageal dysmotility, distended pouch... Etc.

My doctor had a strange way of doing fills. Unlike using fluoroscopys to help me find my "sweet spot" he would just put in the needle, fill the band, have me sit up, chug Water, and then release some Fluid. Once I felt the water go down he would remove the needle and tell me that im in the perfect zone.

Boy did that cause issues! Getting lukewarm sink water down is simple... But getting in Proteins and/or veggies down was much harder! I was constantly running back and forth to the doctor for fills/unfills (which wasn't cheap or easy! He was located 1.5 hours away from me and fills we're $50 plus insurance copay. So i was constantly taking off a half day of work and shelling out $80 for this.)

When I'd see him he was thrilled! After all, I WAS losing weight... And getting fitter... But it sadly it had nothing to do with the band. I was just too ashamed to admit it. Rather, I worked out every day, ate under 1200 calories/day, and carb cycled. I was on a mission to prove to the world that I COULD lose weight, and that I didn't get cut up and have a foreign object placed in me for nothing.

It was sad for me, and I really did feel alone... But I made it work and got used to chewing my food up a ton, taking tiny bites, drinking a lot to get the food down. I went from 244 to 178 and was happy. I was far from skinny... But I really felt good.

Fast forward about 5 years!!...

I got married, moved to NY and mostly forgot about my band. I actually gained some weight back after the wedding, but started Medifast/optavia and lost 40 lbs. I was good... Until the heartburn started.

My previous doctor warned that any heartburn can either be the symptom OR cause of a slipped band. I went to a new NY surgeon the next day to get all the fluid removed. A day later I felt mostly better but still tight. Foods were getting stuck and being that there was no fluid in there I was nervous.

Bands that are too tight can cause a slip.

My husband and I are trying to get pregnant and when I asked my surgeon what happens if the band slips/erodes during pregnancy, she just said "things can get complicated and more risky for both you and the fetus"

That's when i just realized that I'd HAD IT WITH THE BAND!! I could no longer live with device that caused me so much stress, fear, and didn't even work in the first place!! (that night I went to a wedding and took a bite of chicken which got stuck and had me dashing to the bathroom and vomiting. This was simply no way to live, yet a common occurrence for me).

Long story short, today I got my band removed and I FEEL SO RELIEVED! I am in practically zero pain and feel like a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders. I'll do another post about the removal process because this is already wayyyyy too long!!

TLDR:

Didn't have any MAJOR complications with the band, but very relieved to have it removed! It may be a less risky, reversable procedure on the outset, but the long term risks of complications are fairly high and can be nerve racking.

Sent from my SM-G960U using BariatricPal mobile app

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Congrats! I'm also pleased I had mine removed. I was revised to the bypass and I honestly could not be happier with my decision!

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Congrats on your LB removal! I know when I had mine removed, I felt much better physically.

I chose not to get revision right away and did pretty well for about 5 years. Then life threw me some curve balls and I gained my weight back. I spent 2 years trying to do it on my own before I realized that I needed help.

I got revision to sleeve on 4/10 and am very happy with my decision.

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Congrats! I had mine removed and revised to the sleeve October 10th.

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I’m having revision on December 17th. Congrats n your journey!!

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Quick question: I've been advised to have mine removed by a GI doctor following 10 years of complications, but the doctor also said that unless the band slips, it won't be covered by insurance. Have any of you had to cover this expense out-of-pocket? I'm bothered that I have medical complications from a foreign object and cannot get it removed as medically necessary. Thanks in advance for any help with this.

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12 hours ago, Cm3540 said:

That makes no sense to me.

If you have had "years of complications" and the doctor recommends this, then insurance should cover it (slip or not!)

You will need your doctors office submit the necessary authorization forms to your insurance company with the proper codes

Edited by Lapbandster

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31 minutes ago, leeanghadn said:

Quick question: I've been advised to have mine removed by a GI doctor following 10 years of complications, but the doctor also said that unless the band slips, it won't be covered by insurance. Have any of you had to cover this expense out-of-pocket? I'm bothered that I have medical complications from a foreign object and cannot get it removed as medically necessary. Thanks in advance for any help with this.

As lapbandster mentioned above, I would recommend fighting this one. I can't think of any insurance that would deny removal of an implanted device for which you are having complications. If the GI doctor is recommending removal, I recommend consulting with a bariatric surgeon. Bariatric offices have staff that specialize in this, so they'd know how to show "medical necessity" of the procedure.

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Yes exactly,

For me, the barium swallow exam showed zero problems and I was worried that insurance wouldn't cover removal since "everything looked perfect".

But then I told the doc that I was feeling discomfort, tightness, throwing up at times, and had some reflux. Insurance covered it and I am so relieved. Having the band removed has been the best thing I've done in many years. I literally feel like I'm walking on clouds! Such a large weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

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Late getting in on this post, but I had my Lap-band removed back in February and revised to SIPS. I couldn't be more happy as well. I had serious acid reflux and heart burn, and like some others, constantly throwing up if the wrong food hit. It was just no way to live. Besides, I never lost more than 50lbs with it, and then gained that back plus some. So not very successful.

Since the revision back in February 2018, I have lost over 100lbs and feeling great. I went for the lap-band because it seemed to be safer than the other WLS methods and less invasive, but it was a nightmare. Glad to be relieved of the lap-band contraption.

Edited by deltagirl93

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Leeanghadn: I got my Band removed with insurance coverage without a current slip. I called lindstrom obesity advocacy, and they helped me by telling me exactly how to have the doctor submit the request for insurance approval. Also, if you want to convert to another WLS, you need to request that at the same time you request Band removal, or the requirements for a conversion WLS are much harder. Lindstrom : www.wlsappeals.com


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7 hours ago, Jendkopp said:

Also, if you want to convert to another WLS, you need to request that at the same time you request Band removal, or the requirements for a conversion WLS are much harder.

I agree that if you want to convert at the same time, you need to request the conversion as a separate procedure (the surgeon and his team will bill for 2 separate procedures, so you'll want to make sure you have approval for both). However, I do not necessarily agree with the sentiment that the requirements for conversion after the fact are much harder. This would entirely depend upon your insurance policy.

I had my lap band removed in 2009. My surgeon offered to convert me at that time, but I didn't know enough about the sleeve at that time and really wasn't ready. Fast forward to 2017. I was right back where I started before my lap band and more than a decade older. The pre-authorization hoops I went through were exactly the same as those I went through for the band. The only additions were a sleep study (for sleep apnea) and a cardiology consult for cardio clearance. Both of which could be explained because I was older and had additional obesity related health issues. At no time did I feel as though the approval was harder, only more thorough.

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I agree that if you want to convert at the same time, you need to request the conversion as a separate procedure (the surgeon and his team will bill for 2 separate procedures, so you'll want to make sure you have approval for both). However, I do not necessarily agree with the sentiment that the requirements for conversion after the fact are much harder. This would entirely depend upon your insurance policy.
I had my lap band removed in 2009. My surgeon offered to convert me at that time, but I didn't know enough about the sleeve at that time and really wasn't ready. Fast forward to 2017. I was right back where I started before my lap band and more than a decade older. The pre-authorization hoops I went through were exactly the same as those I went through for the band. The only additions were a sleep study (for sleep apnea) and a cardiology consult for cardio clearance. Both of which could be explained because I was older and had additional obesity related health issues. At no time did I feel as though the approval was harder, only more thorough.

I meant the approval process is harder than getting approval at time of approval for Band removal. If you seek conversion approval at the same time you seek approval for Band removal, you only have to prove Band defect and surgeon's rec to convert. If seek approval after Band removal, then you have to go thru all of the requirements as you would for an initial WLS. For example, no 6 month supervised diet when seeking approval for Band removal and sleeve conversion at the same time (even tho removal and sleeve can be done in separate surgeries a few months apart). However, if Band gets removed and then you want a sleeve, you have to do a 6 month diet if your ins policy requires that for initial WLS



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Hi all!
Soooo my story started a few years ago (I think 6).
I was morbidly obese and felt disgusting. HW was about 244 lbs (and I'm only 5 feet tall!!). I didn't have the willpower to lose ALL that weight on my own and began to realize that I needed help.
My mother had RNY a few years earlier and, while she DID lose like 75% of her excess weight, she never looked healthy to me. She suffered with anemia and Vitamin deficiency, never worked out, had very saggy skin etc.
When deciding on a bariatric prodecure I felt attracted to the lap band due to its reversability and low operating risks. The first surgeon I went to was VERY pro the LB- in fact I think he only performed this procedure. The second surgeon I consulted with was vehemently against the band and strongly advised me against it. This was years ago when then "anti band" sentiment was just starting.
I ultimately decided on the lap band because I'm a nervous person in general and wanted the "easiest", lowest risk, and most reversable procedure performed.
The surgery went well and there were no problems. I was able to go back to work within a day or two.
I've heard some people say they have a "love hate relationship" with the band. For me it was a "want to love, yet fear relationship" meaning I WANTED so BADLY for the band to work. But I was constantly afraid of it slipping... Or eroding.. Or food getting stuck (in public!) ... Or suddenly feeling tight when traveling and I didn't have access to a doctor... Or not being able to afford the fills and fluoroscopys... Esaphageal dysmotility, distended pouch... Etc.
My doctor had a strange way of doing fills. Unlike using fluoroscopys to help me find my "sweet spot" he would just put in the needle, fill the band, have me sit up, chug Water, and then release some Fluid. Once I felt the Water go down he would remove the needle and tell me that im in the perfect zone.
Boy did that cause issues! Getting lukewarm sink water down is simple... But getting in Proteins and/or veggies down was much harder! I was constantly running back and forth to the doctor for fills/unfills (which wasn't cheap or easy! He was located 1.5 hours away from me and fills we're $50 plus insurance copay. So i was constantly taking off a half day of work and shelling out $80 for this.)
When I'd see him he was thrilled! After all, I WAS losing weight... And getting fitter... But it sadly it had nothing to do with the band. I was just too ashamed to admit it. Rather, I worked out every day, ate under 1200 calories/day, and carb cycled. I was on a mission to prove to the world that I COULD lose weight, and that I didn't get cut up and have a foreign object placed in me for nothing.
It was sad for me, and I really did feel alone... But I made it work and got used to chewing my food up a ton, taking tiny bites, drinking a lot to get the food down. I went from 244 to 178 and was happy. I was far from skinny... But I really felt good.
Fast forward about 5 years!!...
I got married, moved to NY and mostly forgot about my band. I actually gained some weight back after the wedding, but started Medifast/optavia and lost 40 lbs. I was good... Until the heartburn started.
My previous doctor warned that any heartburn can either be the symptom OR cause of a slipped band. I went to a new NY surgeon the next day to get all the Fluid removed. A day later I felt mostly better but still tight. Foods were getting stuck and being that there was no fluid in there I was nervous.
Bands that are too tight can cause a slip.
My husband and I are trying to get pregnant and when I asked my surgeon what happens if the band slips/erodes during pregnancy, she just said "things can get complicated and more risky for both you and the fetus"
That's when i just realized that I'd HAD IT WITH THE BAND!! I could no longer live with device that caused me so much stress, fear, and didn't even work in the first place!! (that night I went to a wedding and took a bite of chicken which got stuck and had me dashing to the bathroom and vomiting. This was simply no way to live, yet a common occurrence for me).
Long story short, today I got my band removed and I FEEL SO RELIEVED! I am in practically zero pain and feel like a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders. I'll do another post about the removal process because this is already wayyyyy too long!!
TLDR:
Didn't have any MAJOR complications with the band, but very relieved to have it removed! It may be a less risky, reversable procedure on the outset, but the long term risks of complications are fairly high and can be nerve racking.
Sent from my SM-G960U using BariatricPal mobile app

Did your insurance cover the removal?

Sent from my SM-G920V using BariatricPal mobile app

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Did your insurance cover the removal?

Sent from my SM-G920V using BariatricPal mobile app

Yes, thankfully.
I still had the deductible, co-pays, and coinsurance though.



Sent from my SM-G960U using BariatricPal mobile app

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