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Hello Pals,

Its been a while since I have been on here. I had the lapband which was removed in 2016. Slowly over the two years and sadly I gained 25 lbs. I am scheduled for Sleeve on 1/23/19. Just reaching out to see what everyone's experience has been if you converted from lap band to sleeve. I wasn't worried at all with lapband but I am a little with this surgery

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I don't think you should be anymore worried about the sleeve than you were with the band. Even though the sleeve seems more radical, from a surgery and risk standpoint, the sleeve is probably safer. You're not installing a foreign body that could slip, dislodge or cause significant injury. For me, the recovery from surgery has been a relative breeze (not the case for everyone), but I honestly had very little pain after surgery and no nausea. I was drinking normally (without restricting) after 3 days and I haven't had an issue with eating at all. Obviously, there is an adjustment to the new restriction, but that's probably something you're already familiar with after the sleeve. After any surgery, there's always going to be something.

My aunt has a band and, frankly, I think my recovery from the sleeve was easier than hers. I was expecting to be in a lot of pain, with terrible gas issues etc. I know everyone's experience is different, but I recall having a little pain and nausea when I first came out of anesthesia (which you can barely remember anyway). I know I told them I had pain and nausea when the attending nurse was talking to me--but I also recall thinking, give me the good stuff now because I don't want to feel pain and nausea (if it does happen). They gave me a little something and I went back to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and all I could think about was how badly I needed to pee--which isn't easy after being under general anesthesia. Aside from needing to pee, I had no nausea and no pain. I had some gas and bloating (to be expected), but it wasn't terrible at all!!! I was on the floor with a women who got a lap band the same day I was sleeved. She had the same gas etc that I had. I don't think that part of the experience really differs much between the procedures. I had gas-ex chewables that I brought to hospital with me and that really helped. I slept sitting up the first couple of nights (get a good travel/neck pillow), which was more comfortable for me. Keep walking--it helps.

Longer term, I really snapped back quickly. I could drink normally after a couple of days. My program had me start on the puree/soft food stage right after I was released from the hospital (which is different from most). After a couple of days, I could eat relatively normally as well. Obviously, I can't eat large quantities any more, but I can definitely eat a 4-6oz piece of tilapia (stuffed with lump crab meat and a little ricotta) and I feel very satisfied. In the beginning you can feel everything you swallow all the way down into your stomach. I haven't felt that in a week or two. I was frankly worried that my doctor didn't make my sleeve small enough or that the surgery isn't working right--since I was able to drink so easily and eat without feeling pain or discomfort--but I think I am just lucky. I have had issues with constipation and GERD, but these are all manageable.

Most importantly, the weight is coming off!!! I have lost 18 pounds since surgery (and 30 since I started my pre-op diet). I have dropped 6.5 inches off my waistline since the day of surgery. As of this week, I have been taken off all my diabetes medications. Obviously, my initial concern that the surgery wasn't going to work for me, was misplaced!!! That said, I am highly motivated to loose this weight and live a healthy lifestyle. This is the first time in 15 years that I actually believe and know that I can have the body and good health I deserve. I am also not relying on the surgery to do all the work for me. I am sticking very closely to my doctor's post-op diet guidelines. The only modification that I made was to cut carbs down to 20g net carbs per day and to focus on eating my Protein first and then good fats along with it (like avocado). I have also been hitting the gym--treadmill, elliptical and spin classes (I haven't been cleared for weight training yet).

In short, having this operation was one of the best decisions of my life. I have no regrets (other than not doing it sooner)!!!! Don't be nervous!!! It's going to be worth it!!!!!

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I had lapband in 2005. Lived with it, miserably, for almost 5 and had it removed in late 2009. My surgeon offered to convert me to a sleeve at that time, but I wasn't ready for something like that.

By 2017, I had gained all of my weight back (thankfully, it didn't bring too many friends with it). A friend of mine had been sleeved and really encouraged me to look into it. Her experience was very similar to mine: banded first, etc. and she had done very well with the sleeve. So, after a lot of soul searching, I committed to being sleeved. That's not to say that I didn't have any reservations and wasn't nervous. I was. In fact, I cried as they were positioning me on the surgical table and strapping me down, etc. I just couldn't believe that I had let myself get to the point that I had to make permanent changes to my anatomy in order to get control over my weight.

I had to go through all the same pre-op stuff with the sleeve that I did with the band. I breezed right through it with the attitude "I've done this before, I can do it again". My recovery from the sleeve surgery was a little harder than the band surgery, but I was also 13 years OLDER. Once I got past the first week, I honestly felt really good after the sleeve. Maybe a little fatigued in those first few weeks, but no pain or anything. Learning what I can/cannot eat has been a little more challenging with the sleeve because I could tolerate anything with the band. The sleeve feels much more restrictive than I ever felt with the band and I don't eat a lot of bread (not because I CAN'T, but if I do then I can't eat much of anything else) and dry meats aren't my friend.

Now that I'm 10 months out, I feel great. Feel so much better than I did with the band.

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Thank you both for the feedback and your wonderful stories. I have to admit I am a little scared of going through all this again. However, my desire to be thinner is greater.

Congrats on your continued success

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Following, I am going from band to sleeve on 2/20, they are doing both removal and sleeve at the same time. Wondering how the restriction will differ from the band and the purge vs. waiting for something to go down on its own. Good luck with your surgery!

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