Odds of long-term success


97 posts in this topic

I was scheduled to be banded next week until last night I decided to look at the before and after pics, and gave myself cold feet.

I was startled by the number of people posting there that have since (noticed the updates in signatures) had slips, erosions, needed a new band, "upgraded" to the sleeve or RNY, etc. It seemed to me, it was more common than not to have some sort of complication and additional surgery following the initial band for those people that got it in 2004-05.

I got so diseartened and scared, I called my doctor and cancelled my surgery today :)

What exactly is the average lifespan of a band?

What % of patients are still happy bandsters 5 years down the road?

Do people being banded today have better odds at band success than those being banded 5 years ago (since it's more common, more practiced doctors)?

The thought of losing this weight of my own, without the tool of WLS for support, is overwhelming. I have been dieting or "changing my lifestyle" for the past 15 years at least and all I have to show for it is an extra 80 lbs on my body.

But the thought of going thousands of dollars in debt (yay for self-pay!) for a surgery that will only work as intended for 2-3 years....

I feel so ambivalent about the surgery now... I wonder if I chickened out over isolated, rare, incidents or if my impression was correct.

Can someone point me to some information (either studies, statistics, or personal stories) about actual long term results with this surgery?

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These are things you should ask your surgeon. However you need to realize that it is the nature of a "support" board to have a preponderance of people who need support...for problems. People who are satisfied don't often post on boards like these. (yeah I'm a weirdo)

What are the odds that you'll have problems from obesity? Look at it that way.

The band has only been approved for surgery in the USA since 2003. Your surgeon should have access to the current numbers and should be able to provide you with sources, however, for success v failure rates etc.

I don't have the sources you want. My "evidence" is inferred and anecdotal, plus what my surgeon told me.

My bottom line thinking was this (and while ins did cover mine, I didn't know that until after I'd made the decision to be banded; in other words I'd planned to be self pay)

I know that being fat is very unhealthy. I know that I do not want any procedure (they also carry their cons) that cuts up my stomach and/or reroutes my intestines. While those procedures are very successful for some (and not so successful for others) they were not for me. I know that the band can usually be removed if necessary and the stomach/digestive tract (as well as your weight) return to preband status. USUALLY.

That did it for me. Slips...erosion...etc...people must take some culpability for this. Not everyone who has a slip "earns it" but many do. Eating ahead of the post op diet is a major cause. Ignoring issues like heart burn causes problems. Being TOO TIGHT too long causes problems. This tells me that as a bandster I have an obligation to monitor myself and maintain my health. I have to follow the rules. If I can't do that, don't get the band.

So you need to look at the big picture...WHY did those people have slips etc? If 1/2 of them caused it by neglect, poor education (unintentional neglect) or blantant disregard for following protocol...could you do better? would you? would that improve your outlook?

You will need to work through this. Good luck.

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RM is so right. I think we all have pre-surgery jitters. However, I wanted it so badly because everything else failed. And while it is important to research your decision (which I did a lot of), it is also important to listen to yourself. In spite of everything I knew and everything I researched I still felt like the band was the right choice for me. Of course, I have know way of knowing the future, but I do know that I made a commitment to myself that I will do everything I can to make the band work for me and that I have to work at it as well. Like I always say, for me it is a state of mind. Something I think about and work at. If in the future, I have complications, I will cross that bridge when I arrive there. I cannot worry about what happened to someone else happening to me. This is all about you and your determination and will to succeed. And like all of us, I am sure you have been on the diet rollercoaster. It is no fun. I am like RM, one of the people who posts this forum who actually loves the band and am making it work in conjunction with my effort and not experienced any problems with it. To me, it is about how much you want it to work and how much you put into it. But, boy I am glad I am not trying to do it alone and I have my friend the band with me at all times.

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I had my band placed in May of 2008. I did well until Feb of this year when I had surgery for adhesions. Since then I have had nothing but trouble. I followed all the rules (yes, I chew, chew, chew; take small bites; etc, any thing I could do to make it work). I managed to loose 85 pounds by Feb. Since then I will get a fill, then an unfill, then a fill then an unfill, etc. I have barium swallows with follow through which show I am not too tight. I have lost an additional 10-15 pounds since Feb while banded. Then go for 1 ml unfill or so then gain the weight back cause I can eat anything and everything (not really controlling myself now as I am so discouraged). I just have 4.5 ml in a 10 ml band. I was happy with the band at first but now hate it. I am one of those people who has trouble "plugging up" at that time of month and when I am under alot of stress (which is frequent with my job).

As soon as I can save the money, I will be getting the sleeve. My insurance will pay for a revision but not if I do it with the surgery being done in Mexico, which is what I plan on doing since they have more experience with the sleeve than here in the U.S. It is practically the same thing as a partial gastrectomy so to speak. They have been doing partial gastrectomy surgeries in the U.S. for years. I feel comfortable going for the sleeve.

I am just tired of dealing with band issues. It has taken over my life. Guess my long term success for the band wasn't so good.

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Does your doctor have support groups? Maybe you should go to one of them and see what people around you say about their band. People who attend these groups regularly tend to have a lot of success and less problems. They are probably the best people to ask about everyday life w/ the band...here is great, but sometimes a real person talking to you is better.

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The people who post here especially in the "General Discussion" are having problems - that's why they post. Go to the age group discussions and post there. The vast majority of us are happy we got it and it is a huge relief to not gain back all the weight I am losing even if I cheat.

I ate what I wanted and I mean ice cream, candy all I wanted for 6 months after my initial weight loss and gained only a few pounds. Now I'm ready to get back to work and it's only taken a couple of weeks to lose the few pounds I gained. Before it would take me months to lose what I had gained. And I'm sick of ice cream and candy and sugar stuff now- yea! I guess immersion therapy works.

So the band is not perfect but it's probably your only chance. And you can have it loosened if you get sick or get old. Gee who's gonna get old? Me! and you!

that's why I am glad I got my band. My partner and I have had no problems at all- you probably won't either but you still have to diet and you won't be able to scarf down a big old hamburger.

Be more scared of diabetes , heart attack, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high colesterol, early death, and a life of being the fattest person in the room. That's how I see it. Harsh but it works for me.

Edited by sadie11

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I was scheduled to be banded next week until last night I decided to look at the before and after pics, and gave myself cold feet.

I was startled by the number of people posting there that have since (noticed the updates in signatures) had slips, erosions, needed a new band, "upgraded" to the sleeve or RNY, etc. It seemed to me, it was more common than not to have some sort of complication and additional surgery following the initial band for those people that got it in 2004-05.

I got so diseartened and scared, I called my doctor and cancelled my surgery today :)

What exactly is the average lifespan of a band?

What % of patients are still happy bandsters 5 years down the road?

Do people being banded today have better odds at band success than those being banded 5 years ago (since it's more common, more practiced doctors)?

The thought of losing this weight of my own, without the tool of WLS for support, is overwhelming. I have been dieting or "changing my lifestyle" for the past 15 years at least and all I have to show for it is an extra 80 lbs on my body.

But the thought of going thousands of dollars in debt (yay for self-pay!) for a surgery that will only work as intended for 2-3 years....

I feel so ambivalent about the surgery now... I wonder if I chickened out over isolated, rare, incidents or if my impression was correct.

Can someone point me to some information (either studies, statistics, or personal stories) about actual long term results with this surgery?

I could never suggest banding for a self pay person. The maintenance can be extremely expensive. I really don't know how many thousands of dollars I spent trying to maintain my band with all the complications and problems.

There are studies that are showing that anywhere from 30-50% of banded people will be back in OR within the first five years to correct something band related. Slip, erosion, mechanical problem, etc.

The band manufacturers and FDA are estimating about 10 years for the band although I have never met anyone that has had a band for 10 years. Longest I have met is 9 years and she was asking me about revising to another procedure. The silicone in the band will last longer than you will, the plastic components.. well, it's plastic.

Because you are self pay I would look at the sleeve. Better and faster weight loss, NO maintenance! Fewer long term complications than the band, no mega supplements, no rerouting of intestine, no hunger causing hormone-Ghrelin, and an easier journey all the way around.

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I totally like and respect Wasabubblebutt! she knows that and I want you to know it too. I think she does good research. Having said that, I want to see the studies that back up her statistics. What I found, like the link below , lists MUCH lower repairs/revisions/replacement. The only other person I know besides me who has the lap band has had it since 2003 and loves it still, no issues. That is an admittedly SMALL sample, of 1. :)

LAP-BAND: Statistics subframe

and another,

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/63973.php

Again I say ask your surgeon for stats and get the sources of those stats, review, decide. Wasa may be right and I know she thinks she is or she wouldn't post that but until I can see those figures and consider the source myself, I have to kindly say ... well, maybe, or maybe not.

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People who are satisfied don't often post on boards like these. .

not really true.

many have found a place here outside the post op / pre op threads and post daily & have made IRL friendships.

it gets tiresome seeing the same thread over/over - you answer some days ... some days you know someone else will do it.....as sadie puts it.

to the OP - there are many successful people w/the band & complications are reality. i've had a few hiccups - but nothing that has damaged the band/port, all the while maintaining for over a yr.

i would look into ALL WLS - i think the band is very hard to work, if you ask my husband he would only suggest the band because he has had a cake walk. barely needed a fill - got to goal w/in 6 months....ZERO complications. me i wish i looked into my options a bit more - i wouldn't pick the band now knowing what i do.

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not really true.

many have found a place here outside the post op / pre op threads and post daily & have made IRL friendships.

it gets tiresome seeing the same thread over/over - you answer some days ... some days you know someone else will do it.....as sadie puts it.

you're probably totally correct...once again caught using myself as a ruler (god knows I TRY not to do that!) I don't go to the areas where there are people who've been on here a long time and all know each other and chat..etc...or threads that have MANY pages. so shame on me. The area I frequent on here...people post with problems. how's that?

And the bottom line is we all have to research and find the path for us. For some that may NOT include ANY WLS. I still believe you should check the SOURCE of any statistics you "hear". Don't trust me, or Luluc, or Wasabubblebutt...or even your surgeon, unless we can back up what we say!

I can tell you that I love my band but am only 11 months out. I can tell you that I would not EVER have had my stomach cut up or removed and I can say that if I have a band complication now or in the future I'm not sure I'd agree to the sleeve. I still wouldn't get bypass. I've "read" the pros on here. I still wouldn't. Uh uh. That's just ME though. Not you, not the next person. In other words, I can't really help you decide this, none of us really can.

I can tell you though that you are right to question, you are right to postpone or cancel if you aren't sure, you are right to hold off until and unless you find the solution that is right for you. I think we'd probably all agree with that one. Just remember that the odds of diet/exercise alone working are really slim. Don't let your life slip by while you mull it over.

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