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Bariatric Weight Loss Major Turning Point Decision



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With battling weight most of my life 10 years ago I got a lap band put in. I am now 57 years old, 15 years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes At the time my Lap Band was put in my weight was 230 pounds. That might not sound like a lot of weight but for a male 5’8 it was a lot for me. In addition to having type 2 diabetes I have also had two neck surgeries and three back surgeries over the years. The Lap Band gave me significant weight loss. I got down from 230 to 160-165. I also lowered my Metformin from 1000 mg to 500 mg. I lost approximately 70 pounds of weight and maintained this weight for about nine years. To say that it was an easy road for me would be lying, I was constantly having the band loosened tightened loose and tightened like being on a roller coaster. I had problems with the Lap Band being so tight that I was having major acid reflux problems. In addition to that I had some small ulcers around my esophagus next to my Lap Band. Last year I decided I had enough of this and had a lot of Fluid taken out of my band. The major acid reflex went away immediately however, I still have some ongoing minor constant heartburn and a small cough because the Lap Band is still in place but a lot of the fluid has been taken out. Because of that removal of fluid I have gained back for the first time in 10 years 35 pounds. Now I am back up to taking the same amount of diabetic medicine Metformin 1000 mg because of the 35 pound weight gain. The bariatric center in Los Angeles is recommending that I conceivably switch to a Bypass Surgery and not a Sleeve. This decision is not completely final yet, and the decision towards leaning towards a Bypass Surgery rather than a Sleeve because of the acid reflex problems I’ve had for so many years which only really developed soon after getting the Lap Band 10 years ago. My next surgery would be involved removing the Lap Band and switching to a Bypass Surgery all at the same time in one surgery. As in all surgeries there are risk concerns for changing the body anatomy, however regarding the Bypass Surgery my new understanding is the body does not absorb as many Vitamins and nutrients as it would from a Sleeve Surgery and there is a potential for Hair loss and dumping and other potential complications? Any advice or opinions from anyone that has been down this same kind of road would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time and concern. Hopefully one day I can help someone else.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Hope to Resolve

Your story sounds a lot like mine. Long story short--12 year old lap band slipped, caused hiatal hernia, constant sliming with no fill in it, etc. Had it taken out and revised to bypass in one surgery. My only regret was I wasted 12 years futzing around with the band.

Your concerns about Vitamins are valid, but easily addressed with Multivitamins and Calcium supplements. Hair loss is likely to occur with both the sleeve and bypass but is not as terrible as say chemotherapy--usually only YOU notice it, and it will grow back. Dumping is totally avoidable by not eating sugary or fatty foods, and I consider it a plus since it makes it easier to avoid potential trigger foods for fear of dumping!

One definite plus is my a1c and glucose are now totally normal, and that's without ANY metformin at all! I was on 1000 mg a day and now take none. I think the bypass has better statistics for resolving diabetes than the sleeve.

Whatever you decide, good luck, and keep us posted!

Edited by JRT Mom

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