Seeking conversion from lap band to gastric bypass - Bariatric Surgery Source

Seeking conversion from lap band to gastric bypass

by E
(Florida)

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I had the lap band placed 4 yrs ago. I’m a female, 50 yrs old. I’m 5’7″ and weighed 274 lbs. pre-band. I got down to 185 lbs about 1 yr later.

My band was very tight, and I had a lot of vomiting over those 6 months to achieve the 185. I was happy, not happy about being sick almost daily. I then had my band loosened and felt somewhat better.

I gained 15 lbs over about a yr, bringing me to 200 lbs. I stayed at that weight until a yr ago. Because of my inability to tolerate so many foods BUT was able to tolerate cookies, chips, anything crunchy, I’m now 214 lbs.

Especially within the last year, I have been suffering much vomiting and getting stuck. I have chosen all the wrong foods, am unable to eat most meat and a lot of the veggies I love… I turned to junk. I cut my food, never put anything bigger than a dime in my mouth, and chewed, chewed, chewed.

I consulted another surgeon about a conversion to gastric bypass. The surgeon that performed my band does not do gastric bypass. I also received no nutritional counseling, and no support with this doctor.

But I own this failure. I have not been eating the right foods. I’m nervous to eat so many things, because I’m sick of being sick. I’m working with this new surgeon, and he stated he doesn’t perform many lap bands because of all the problems.

My question: my insurance requires no pre-authorization for surgery, and I’m not required to gain weight back before the conversion. My BMI is 33.5 with no co-morbidities.

Insurance stated that, along with surgical report, they need the documentation of the complications to determine whether they will pay or not. Vomiting 4 to 5 times a week seems to be a valid complication. I’m so frustrated and upset, any help would be appreciated.

Thank you

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There would be no going back

by: Lonicera The Bandit

Think carefully before you decide on gastric bypass. I don’t claim to be an expert, merely quoting what I used to overhear the patients chatting about when I was in the waiting room at the private hospital where I went for my fills and unfills. Comparisons would fly backwards and forwards and two points emerged very strongly.First that there’s no going back once you’ve had a bypass. 90% of your stomach is actually removed, unlike the gastric band which merely divides it in two. Secondly – and this was also quoted by one of the bariatric nurses who was herself forced to have a bypass when she had complications with the band – it’s no magic solution, because the stomach tissue is pretty elastic, and you can stretch it back again almost to its original size by overeating. As far as I could gather, the only permanent change was that you couldn’t eat sweet foods without it having an unpleasant effect. (Have you gone into this aspect – do you really understand what will happen to you when you eat the wrong things?)Do read up about it A LOT before you go any further. Also, think about your life and what’s happening in it that you feel unable to use the lap band as a successful slimming tool. Think about why you keep ‘cheating on it’, about what you can introduce into your life that will help you to think about things other than food. I go through phases when (like you) my favorite (wrong) foods obsess me, and the only way I get over it is to slow down and relax, and think about what I’m doing, and gradually let go, and plan other distractions. Make food less important. It’s making weight loss painfully slow, but I still prefer that to the idea of a gastric bypass.Lonicera The Bandit

Help with revision

by: Yvonne McCarthy

I’m sorry it turned out the way it did but it’s in the past. I will tell you that revision will not help if you do not make up your mind that you will give up the junk. You just cannot eat like that under any circumstances. First find a bariatric doc that does gastric bypass revision. They will help you with the insurance company. Every time you go to the doctor make sure it is documented that you are throwing up. Document, document, document.I don’t know if you have access to support of some kind but we eat because we are self medicating our pain. If you don’t fix what’s going on in your head, the surgery will just be a band-aid. I had gastric bypass ten years ago and the surgery is the smallest part of it. It is an every day struggle to not fall into old habits and use food as a drug to make me feel good for a few minutes then turn around and beat myself up for days. It is a horrible cycle. I hope this helps but going to a new bariatric doctor will be your best bet on getting approved. Best of luck, Yvonne

thanks!

by: E

You have given me food for thought. I have gone to another surgeon. He performs both banding and gastric bypass surgery. He has seen a lot of failure with the band. I agree, the surgery is only part of long term success. I decided on the band because I was leary of the permanent and drastic nature of the surgery. The original surgeon only performed bands, offered no nutritional counseling, and shut down our online support group 4 months ago when most of us were discussing the same problems we were having. I will see a nutritionist next week to discuss all of this. I will be honest as to what has caused me to gain this weight. The doctor stated people say they only eat 400 calories a day, but they weigh 300 lbs. If I can’t be honest, and own it, then I will surely fail. I just cant seem to consume most meat and a lot of different veggies. No matter how well I chew, I become sick.The band was checked via endoscopy, and it seems to be fine. I have very little fill in the band, less the 1/3 full. My sister had gastric bypass 4 yrs ago and is doing great. Yes, if she eats too fast, or the wrong foods, she gets sick. She seems to be able to tolerate a much healthier variety of food than I do, and she has kept the weight off. My niece and cousin both have bands, and are also having the same problem as I. I appreciate your feedback and your honesty about this. I will keep you updated and hope I can have the revision. The word ‘diet’ is not in my vocabulary… the way I look at food and using the tools you’ve suggested and Ive used in the past, I will succeed again, for good this time. I want to be able to eat healthy food, and achieve this long term success for life. Thank you and God Bless

Go into this (or don't) eyes WIDE open - Part 1

by: Beth

[Sorry, this will be in two or three parts due to character limits]Hi, E. I’m sorry you’ve struggled with the band. First and foremost, when you’ve had issues like this, has your doctor ever checked you under fluro? I think either he needs to do this, or you are simply too tight.I was actually tighter than I am now at one point, and it worked beautifully. I was one of those whose sense of hunger was completely numbed at all times. The down side to that was any feelings of fullness were also numbed; so for that reason, I had to manually regulate how much I ate. Once I got used to that, it was fine.However, I started going through some stressful times with school finals, etc., and my band started giving me major reflux. I even had one time where it closed up on me and I couldn’t get liquids down, prompting an emergency visit to my doc on a Saturday.That said, I don’t know exactly what advice I can offer you on gastric bypass because, frankly, that scares the crap outta me. Once I learned about the band, I liked it because it wasn’t permanent. Bypass is forever. Not only is it forever, as Lonicera and Yvonne mentioned, there are MAJOR changes that you will have to make with bypass, and there will be no getting around them.(continued below)

Go into this (or don't) eyes WIDE open - Part 2

by: Beth

Additionally, let me tell you a story about a guy I knew. When I met him, he was huge. If I had to guess, he was 450 on a good day. He had HAD bypass before I met him. Granted, I saw photos of him and he HAD been bigger, but not by lots — maybe 100, 150 pounds. That’s a lot, don’t get me wrong — but I knew him for three years, and he never got smaller. In fact, he got bigger during some of the time I knew him.We’d go out to eat at buffets, and that man could pack away three heaping plates of food; and he could do this because he had obviously stretched his stomach back out again. Additionally, he would brag about putting away a half-gallon of ice cream at a sitting because it “went right through.” He never even TRIED to work with his bypass. So, once somebody has cut out most of their intestines and reworked their plumbing and they can’t stick with a food plan, THEN what?I just found this study abstract, and following is the study’s conclusion on the long-term [up to 10 years post-op] results of gastric bypass):”The super obese lost more rapidly from time zero and gained more rapidly after reaching the lowest weight at approximately 2 years than the morbidly obese patients. There was no difference in results between the long- and short-limb operations. There was a significant increase in failures and decrease in excellent results at 10 years when compared with 5 years.”And the conclusion:”The gastric bypass limb length does not impact long-term weight loss. Significant weight gain occurs continuously in patients after reaching the nadir [lowest point] weight following gastric bypass.”According to the study, gastric bypass fails, and for most, it’s after the 2-year mark. Sure, you’ll see some amazing results in the beginning, but most people who are being malnourished experience weight loss. And that IS what you’re doing to your body when you go bypass — you’re literally malnourishing your body. Those I’ve met who had bypass and had lost weight just plain looked sickly to me.(continued below)

Go into this (or don't) eyes WIDE open - Part 3

by: Beth

Is there any way to have your band tweaked (as in, have a tiny bit taken out) to see if that adjustment keeps you from vomiting? Additionally, instead of hoping your doctor/hospital has some type of support, can you find an independent one in your area? Maybe even going to Weight Watcher meetings would help give you the support you need. They won’t need to know about your band (though at one point I joined WW and DID tell the leader in private just so she’d know); but the fact is, I don’t think you have a band issue as much as you do a food issue. And in reality, that covers each and every one of us.Just some food for thought. I personally hope you don’t go the bypass route because I am very against doing something so drastic AND permanent, but it is your body. Just please don’t make any decisions to go forward with it until you’ve researched it to death because there IS no going back.Good luck to you.[By the way, sorry for such a long post. I have never typed one so long, but I don’t want you to be misinformed or under-informed on something so huge.]

Bravo Beth!

by: Lonicera The Bandit

Bravo Beth – what a comprehensive reply. I thoroughly concur with the statement that it’s our brains not our bodies that need sorting out. Please would you (E) let us know what you eventually decide? Lonicera The Bandit

More food for thought

by: Beth

Thank you, Lonicera. I have a very strong opinion about gastric bypass, but I also realize we all have to do what we feel is best for ourselves. My purpose here is not to deter but inform.HOWEVER, I also know that we can feel pretty desperate and willing to try just about anything to get this weight off and get our lives back under control. I think that urge can affect our ability to really look at such a drastic move as objectively and thoroughly as possible. Heck, I did that with the band. I didn’t research it seven ways from Sunday — I kind of went into it rather quickly. So far I’ve been okay, but I’ve known too many who haven’t done well with the band. Had I researched that more thoroughly, I may have come to a different conclusion.E, there’s also the factor of mortality and other major complications that go well beyond an almost guaranteed weight re-gain after the two-year mark. Check statistical data from a reliable source on infection, hernia, obstructed bowels, hemorrhage, and venous thromboembolism that are concerns anybody having abdominal surgery must look at. Then there are complications directly related to gastric bypass such as anastomotic leakage, anastomotic stricture, and anastomotic ulcer (<a href="/lap-band-problems-lap-band-complications.html" click here for complications associated with lap band surgery).You will want to know about “dumping syndrome” as well as the nutritional deficiencies that bypass causes: Hyperparathyroidism, iron, zinc, thiamine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, and protein malnutrition.Then there are data on mortality rates (click here for gastric bypass and here for lap band).I don’t say all this to scare you as ANY surgery has its risks. I just want you to go in fully knowledgeable about what it entails and how your life will be having to live as a bypass patient.

More about gastric bypass

by: Yvonne McCarthy

I just want to add that there are both good and bad stories.  I have personally known hundreds of people that have had gastric bypass and other procedures.  As far as who died, here is my personal experience…One beautiful friend died from having the Duodenal Switch, one committed suicide because she couldn’t have it because she couldn’t care for her adult special needs daughter anymore and one that died from cross-addiction to drugs.  Here’s a link to people in various stages of their weight loss.  Some were still losing.  (These are before and after shots and I know them all)Again, my surgery was over ten years ago and I do know hundreds of successful gastric bypass post-ops.  Again, compliance and accountability are the magic words.Best of luck, Yvonne

All of your comments are greatly appreciated

by: Anonymous

I researched the band thoroughly before I decided on that route. I’ve been a nurse for 32 yrs and am well aware of risks, complications and the permanent nature of this surgery. Four yrs ago, my sister, niece and I all decided the band was right for us. My sister changed her mind because of her age (60), and had gastric bypass surgery. I was not happy with her decision and had great concerns. She is over 4 yrs out, and is 140 lbs. My niece and I have the same issue. She has regained almost all of her weight, and I know she always had very bad eating habits. I have regained 1/3 of my weight. I’m on the computer every day doing research on gastric bypass. I’m not saying that just because my sis is doing well, I will too. Everyone is different, and my band has been tweaked many times, even emptied, and I still felt slight restriction and extreme hunger. I was just 50 a few months ago, and my eyes are wide opened as to the finality of gastric bypass surgery. However, I don’t want to wait until I’ve gained more weight and get older. I have decided I will go ahead with gastric bypass surgery.I have a surgery date for November 17. I will attend weight loss surgery support group meetings and am working with a nutritionist… something my lap band surgeon never offered. I saw my new surgeon today and laid all my cards on the table of my concerns, expectations, etc. He stated he has been performing more revisions than gastric bypass revisions alone. His opinion is that the lap band isn’t a long term effective answer, and stated the FDA is taking a second look at the high failure rates. I don’t see it as a sales pitch because I was shocked to learn, according to several sources, that the lap band is a little more costly to perform. I thank you for your opinions and help, I’ve thought this through for quite some time and I am going to have the surgery. I will keep you posted on how I do… and will keep in mind the over 2 year study you referenced. This isn’t about now or next year, it’s about keeping it off for the rest of my life, with success in my mind and heart.

More about conversion to gastric bypass

by: Yvonne McCarthy

I’m pleased for you that you have a date. By the way, as far as the danger of the surgery, it is safer than having your gall bladder out. I do want to say that I have friends that have all kinds of surgery and I have seen incredible results from each of them and I have seen bad results. I am super encouraged that you will attend a support group and work with a nutritionist. I also highly recommend working with a therapist if you have those benefits and get into some “family of origin” issues. I’m kind of sorry your surgeon said that about lap band because I have some beautiful friends that have thrived with the band. Each and every surgery is a tool and you have to take care of your tool. If you leave your hammer and screwdriver outside in the rain and they rust, they won’t work very well. You have to take care of your tool. One of the important things about success is to go to those support groups. Sure there will be times that someone will go on and on about why their surgery isn’t working while you watch them eat Cheetos in the meeting, but don’t let that stop you from going. You need to show up so that you will be accountable to a group of people that will know whether you are losing or gaining. If you live with a family, tell them the things you are not supposed to be doing so they can support you too. They don’t have to be your food polic, but it helps when you are tempted to eat badly. There’s a saying, “If you hang around a barbershop long enough, eventually you’ll get a haircut”. Don’t keep bad food in your house.Best of luck, Yvonne

Very glad for you

by: Beth

E, I’m very glad you’re going into this eyes wide open. Please forgive me if I insulted you or insinuated that you were going into this blind. Sadly, though, many do; so I just wanted to be sure you were going into it informed.Yvonne also offered some great information. Since I’ve heard nothing but the bad stories about gastric bypass, I’m glad to know that she has experienced different results with her friends. Unfortunately, that’s always the way — the stories that reach our ears are almost always the bad ones.I also agree with Yvonne (and was going to suggest myself) some form of support or even therapy where food is concerned. The fact is, it’s not a food problem we have, it’s almost always an emotional one that we treat WITH food.I sought a therapist for a while after I had had my band about a year, and she specialized in those with eating disorders. I knew that if I had this tool that I COULD bypass and cheat with (and I was), that I was still in the same boat if I didn’t get my urge to treat my emotional issues with food in check. Whatever the source, whether it be an OA group, WeightWatchers, or a one-on-one, I strongly suggest it — if only to be another tool in your arsenal.Good luck to you, and I hope we hear from you after your surgery.

Thanks!

by: Elaine

I appreciate all of your input and would never take offense to what is said. I wouldn’t be asking for support here if I did. I see you’re all intelligent people, and your feedback is exactly why I’m here. If there’s no honesty, there’s no point to this support. I’m lucky to have been in therapy for many years and have that opportunity. I will also attend support group meetings regularly. Thank you all for taking your time to help me. It’s a good feeling to know strangers have your best interests at heart. I will be a regular here, and will support any one of you also 🙂 God Bless and many thanksRelated Pages:Types of Bariatric Surgery – Comparison of the 16 Established & Experimental Weight Loss Surgery ProceduresLaparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery (?Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass”)Analysis & Cost of Lap Band Surgery (?Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band?) & Whether It?s Right for You Gastric Sleeve Surgery (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy or Vertical Gastrectomy)Duodenal Switch Surgery (DS)Bariatric Doctors / Bariatric Weight Loss Center: 4 Essential Steps to Finding the Surgeon That?s Right for You

Thanks Beth

by: Yvonne McCarthy

Beth,I want to say thanks for having an open mind and saying that you probably only hear the bad stuff about gastric bypass. All surgeries have pros and cons. Since the lap band includes a device, there is a lot of advertising (as there should be) so you want to say “our product is better than your procedure”. I work very closely with senior executives at Allergan and we want everyone to have a good outcome. All surgeries can have complications and then add on top of that a patient that does not follow the rules and fails. The first thing many of them do is blame the surgery. For instance…you may hear of someone having a leak in their pouch but you may not hear that the patient ate fried chicken two days after surgery before the pouch had healed. I think it generally comes down to a fear of being cut on or a fear of having a device with a port inserted into your body. Invasive versus non-invasive and on and on. Ten years ago I did’t even have a choice and mine was “open” (vs. laparoscopic). I just wanted to say a special thanks for your comment. I can’t remember if I’ve said this in this thread so excuse me if I repeat myself. In ten years I have known hundreds of patients. One died after having Duodenal Switch (DS), one committed suicide because she couldn’t get the surgery and one cross addicted to drugs which caused death. I know that more people have died from the surgery but they have died from lap band surgery too. The story coming out of L.A. recently where 5 patients died is highly disturbing and I believe that it is clinic/doctor related entirely since it happened with the same group. Obesity kills us too. My suggestion is to believe in whatever you pick and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Unfortunately there are many discussion boards where people are mean and will tell others they got the wrong surgery. You must believe in your surgery because that’s what makes it work. Hugs, Y

are you a bariatric pt?

by: Elaine

I agree with what you say. I’m so sick of everyone saying the lap band is a “foreign object” and you will get sick. I believe it is a great tool, if the rules are followed. I also see many that have gained back a lot of weight a few years out from gastric bypass. They’re both tools, and changing eating habits for life is the only way either will be successful. I’m very excited to go to the support meeting on Monday and speak with others who are walking through this journey. I’m nervous and have had my second thoughts. However, I’m in control of my success or failure, not the surgeon or surgery. I think this is why there is failure, because the failure is not owned by yourself. Either way, we are accountable. I told the nutritionist I feel as though I failed the lap band. She said, “You didn’t.” Well, I don’t buy it, because I’m the one eating the wrong food. Yes, getting down meat and a lot of food is difficult. But in the end, I could’ve made better choices. Everyone must decide for themselves what’s right. I will brush off the negative and only concentrate on the positive. Case closed. The person who posted they work for “Allergan” maybe is biased because they work for “the Realize band”. I’ve looked a lot about the long term success of the “band” and the outlook is bleak. Sorry to offend, but do you have a band or gastric bypass? No one should comment unless you’re a bariatric patient. You will never understand unless you are in the position. I’m sure I’ve angered some, but I will speak freely.

my apologies

by: Anonymous

Y, I’m sorry for previous post, I see you have a band. I’m in such a defensive mode right now. I only drew negative out of your post which was very rude. I’m just tired of defending my choices for almost 5 yrs now. It gets old, especially from thin people. My deepest apologies to you. I wish you all the best, and hope you continue to be successful in your journey.

Miscommunication

by: Beth

Elaine, Yvonne wasn’t being rude — she was siding with you. And if memory serves, she is a bypass success story. I understand the defensiveness angle, but she was siding with you. Deep breaths, friend. 🙂

my apologies

by: Elaine

That post was from me, apologizing. You’re absolutely correct, I need some deep breaths and was out of line to speak that way. I am sorry, I need to read things more thoroughly, and stop being so defensive. It seem everyone in my life is questioning me, and I have come to resent it.There’s a difference between concerned, and thinking they know what’s best for me. I’m normally a very level headed, kind person. I’m nervous, and questioning myself at this point. I wish all the best for all. 🙂

Sorry you misunderstood

by: Yvonne McCarthy

I’m gastric bypass. I was talking about working with Allergan people so that we can open up greater communication and learn from each other. I thought that was kind of cool for them to invite me to a big meeting and it worked out great because so many of the lap banders got to see that gastric bypass works great too and that all the talk about complications is fairly overblown. You have a lot on your mind. Just trying to be of help. Hugs, Y

Understood

by: Beth

Understood, Elaine. I totally get what’s happening in your life and head right now. I have to say that for ME, that was the PRIMARY reason that only my husband and best friend knew about my lap-band surgery when I got it. I didn’t even tell my mom until a week afterward. I just didn’t want the outside influences. I know that doesn’t work for all people and all situations, but I was lucky in that I was able to keep it close to the vest when I was in the decision phase.You have a lot on your plate, and I know that bypass freaks some people out. It still freaks ME out, even with the positive input from Yvonne. Frankly, it scares me. But I tried really hard to leave my feelings out of my exchange with you as much as I could. The fact is, this is a personal journey for each one of us; and what works for me (or even appeals to me) is going to be different than for somebody else. I try really hard to remember that and not put MY feelings front and center.I’m sure those who are closest to you are concerned for you and have your health and well-being at heart, but I agree that sometimes it can be too much. Your surgery date is also looming, which I’m sure has you a bit nervous as well.I haven’t been part of this community for a really long time, but so far I believe we are all pretty informative and supportive. The only people that annoy me are those who are eating double cheeseburgers the day after weight-loss surgery. THOSE people get on my last nerve. (lol) That said, we’re safe here for you, Elaine. We just want you safe and healthy.

thanks for your understanding

by: Elaine

Beth and Yvonne,You’ll never know how much I appreciate your words. It means more than I can say. You’ve encouraged me, and helped me calm down, and do some reflection. I’ve only told a few people about this surgery. I’ve not told friends, because I noticed jealousy when I lost weight. I guess because they’re heavy too, but not in need of surgery. Living in Florida, and being a New Yorker, I’ve found it hard to to get close with anyone. I’m not perfect, but people drink a lot, smoke a lot of pot, and have different morals than I do. I’m lonely, and appreciate your support more than anyone. I’m excited about the support meeting on Monday. There will be laps and gastrics there, so it will be interesting. Its amazes me how all of you have helped me so much. I thank you again. 🙂

You're so very welcome

by: Beth

Elaine, if we could help you even a little bit, it does my heart good. We’re all on our own journeys, each of them similar yet different. Sometimes it just takes talking with people who are on the same general path as you are to see things from a different perspective than from those who don’t get what we’re going through.I still have just a few people I’ve told about my band — no more than I told three years ago when I got it. None of us needs the scrutiny, those who will watch every little thing we eat and do, and the potential negativity that comes from those who are either jealous or who believe living as a weight-loss surgery patient “took the easy way out.”I will tell you, I also hear you on the “getting close” thing. I’ve never had large groups of friends, preferring instead one or two close ones. However, I am pulling away from everybody these days, including my husband, mostly due to their eating habits and their desire for me to recommit myself to being their foodie friend again. For nearly three years, I struggled with this, oftentimes being pulled back into the fold and eating things I knew I shouldn’t, gaining and losing the same weight over and over again. I am finally losing again and am at the lowest banded weight I’ve been to date, but it’s caused a lot of angst and consternation for my husband and foodie friends. As I get stronger, I realize that they are rather toxic for me. There’s that part of me that is somewhat freaked out about this because it means that if I ditch all of them, I’m really kind of by myself. However, I am also somewhat okay with that now. I’m finding my strength and myself now, and these people just annoy me anymore.Anyway, come here when you need some refuge from others. But also, try to keep your wits about you during this new transformation. It’s scary and exciting all at once, and having been fat for any major length of time, it can be hard to NOT read negativity into people’s words. I’m hoping for you that you can find good people to surround yourself with, that you can hold strong in the face of your overweight friends and their food issues (and issues with you as you lose weight), and that you enjoy a fuller life with a less-fuller you. I wish the same for all of us, including myself. Yvonne seems to have gotten there. I seek to join her.Best wishes for you, Elaine.

were in the same boat

by: Elaine

Our lives are so similar. I too have even backed away from my husband. He urges me to eat, then has the nerve to say “you’ve gained weight”.Friends are just weird about it. One friend was so jealous (also due to a breast reduction I had), I’m no longer friends with her. Another tells me I’m crazy.. just go on weight watchers.. she’s pretty heavy, I feel like telling her if weight watchers works so well, why are you so heavy? I have to eat alone… any aggravation with the band, and I’m sick for sure. I don’t mind being alone, too bad the two best friends I have are up north. So tomorrow is support meeting, and for the first time, I’m excited about it. I tried this before, with the lap band support group, but I’m not into whiny women. I would leave there with all the positive energy sucked out of me. That was it for me with that group. I’m looking for honesty and positivity. I will keep you posted as surgery is 2 weeks from tomorrow. Thank you all again, and I take comfort that we are not really alone. 🙂

support meeting

by: Elaine

I attended my first support group meeting tonight. It was good to hear about others’ journeys. Quite a few said they never “cheat” and stick to the plan to the letter. I said I believe if you don’t allow yourself to ever eat a small amount of something you’re not supposed to, I think in the end, you will fail. The doctor agreed, that he believes you can eat anything, BUT in total moderation. I was so happy one woman said yes, she will eat one cookie or take a bite of birthday cake, but that satisfies her. I think that is realistic.The woman sitting next to me also had the lap band, and I was happy to have met someone in my boat. Then she asked, “why do you all have water with you? I only drink coffee.” Then said, “Well, it seems gastric bypass is exactly the same as the band.” She also didn’t know not to drink with meals… I don’t think I know it all, but I don’t get it.I suggested she research gastric bypass as she didn’t understand malabsorptive and restrictive or what dumping syndrome was. I will go to a few more meetings because I need to keep an open mind, and the doctor is in attendance and has great words of wisdom. He believes this journey shouldn’t be full of suffering, it should be a way of life that is pleasant and not full of deprivation. Another man said, “I haven’t had a drink since I had surgery over a year ago.” The Dr said that there’s nothing wrong with consuming one drink over the course of an evening. I’m 13 days away, and I’m an intelligent person and understand. Maybe that’s why I’m so scared! I also post in another forum, but you’re a tougher bunch and that’s what I need… I don’t want anything sugar coated.  Thank you all. 🙂

more for Elaine

by: Yvonne McCarthy

So glad you went to group. You’ll find all kinds of things there. Some people will know their stuff and some will not. I’m going to explain what I’ve experienced about whether you stick to a strict bariatric diet plan or have cookie every once in a while…One size doesn’t fit all. Some people that try to have one cookie unfortunately do not stop. We have many cross addictions and have tried one glass of alcohol and don’t stop. It’s good to go in educated so if you find that you can’t stop at one cookie you might be one of those that shouldn’t ever eat them. The marvelous thing I found out is that by not eating those things anymore, I have lost my craving for them. Would you tell an alcoholic to just have one sip so they don’t feel deprived? I decided to never have that cookie, cake or whatever and I don’t miss it at all. I see so many women gain back a few pounds and they get really depressed so they start allowing more than one cookie because they are self medicating over regain. Processed sugar lights up the same places in the brain that drugs do. It has no nutritional value and you can easily get addicted. Google “sugar addiction”. I have to still watch what I eat and I can’t afford to eat something that’s not good for me. If you find you can do it…WONDERFUL. I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve found the post-ops that avoid the junk food are the most successful. It is very sad to see women that have lost 200 pounds, regain 20-30 or more and are more miserable than when they were at their largest. This is just my suggestion. When you reach your goal weight, fight like a dog with a bone to maintain. I get so many emails from these women and it breaks my heart. They usually start out saying “I started to test the waters and ate some things I wasn’t eating”. Try to remember that those few minutes of pleasure (food/our drug) isn’t worth the self loathing and the defeat we feel later.Again, you may be able to eat a cookie every once in a while but don’t think of it as deprivation. Losing what I’ve worked for (my goal weight) would be depriving me from what I want most. No ten minute high is worth it to me. Please don’t think I’m saying your evil if you want to eat cookies. I just want you to know what I’ve experienced over the last ten years and hope I give you something to think about. Certain foods are like drugs and if you’re a drug addict you can’t do drugs a little bit. I eat pretty boring because I can’t afford to have what I call “sex in a plate” anymore. Food is just fuel. I have found other things in life to enjoy that don’t make me obese.Hugs, Y Related Pages:Bariatric Diet (What you eat)Bariatric Eating (How you eat)

words of wisdom!

by: Elaine

Yvonne, again you’ve given me food for thought. You’re right… an alcoholic can’t stop at 1 drink, a sugar junkie probably couldn’t stop at 1 cookie. I will not be eager to test this theory. I’ve never been much of a sugar addict. I would prefer a big sandwich with chips. I haven’t thought much of it, but I’ve had fast food maybe 3 times in 4 yrs. I also don’t eat out, mostly because I fear getting sick while out. I also have always had the bad habit of “eyes are bigger than my stomach” issue. I was never a big portion eater. My obesity came from eating nothing until dinner, then not eating a lot at dinner, but snacked all night long. I was the night stalker. I stopped that by going to bed before midnight. Also because of my hubby being ill for so many years – he had a heart transplant and suffers from severe PTSD as a vietnam veteran. I haven’t worked for 10 yrs now. Another dilemma is created by being home all day – the fridge is very convenient. Anyway, I’m on day 2 of liquid diet, and I’m very hungry. Tomorrow I will bump up my protein to curb the hunger. I’m scared of having to have the gastric bypass opened. I can only hope it can be done laparoscopically. Having the lap band done that way wasn’t nearly as painful as I had anticipated. After breast reduction last year, I found it very painful because she made my incisions all the way to my back to remove all the excess skin and tissue. I’m still very nervous, and it’s still sinking in that I’m taking this plunge again. I know there’s a big difference, but I thought the band was the answer. I intend on working hard to get to my goal, and staying there. I have no doubt I will get to it. That it’s staying there for the rest of my life is what concerns me. I too need to stay away from bad food because I will justify only a bite.. yea, a bite here, a bite there…well you know where this leads! LoL! Thanks again, hugs to you and all that have taken time out to post and help, it’s a gift! 🙂 Sincerely, Elaine

update please

by: Anonymous

i just found this thread and am sooo curious as to how the revision turned out! please update on here i too am in the same situation and thinking very hard about having my band removed. would love to know how it is going for you…

reply to Elaine and anonymous

by: Yvonne McCarthy

It took me a while to read through the thread and wanted to tell you I wrote a blog post about giving away the “fattest friend” trophy.

When you are the largest person in your group of friends and you lose weight that means you are giving them that trophy and they don’t want it!

I lost a friend too because she didn’t want me to be around her husband.

You must move forward and hang with the winners and fly with the eagles.

Sometimes when those people are members of your family or your husband you need to seek some therapy.

Many men withdraw from their wives when they feel threatened that you might leave if you “get skinny”.

Their lives are changing too.

For anonymous:

You do not have to use your same doc to remove the band.

Make sure and research this because the success of any weight loss surgery has to do mostly with the person who has it.

Related Pages:
How to choose the right bariatric surgeon
Directory of Verified Weight Loss Surgeons

From lapband to gastric bypass

by: Linda

I was wondering if any body had any problems going from the lapband to bypass. I had lapband in 2009 and didn’t have problems with eating but with the port. My right side hurt all the time and then my doctor left town without letting me know.So I had it removed in 2011. So know I am going to have bypass and my doctor said there is scar tissue from the lapband and this is his first version. So if anybody has had this done I would appreciate any information, because I am a little scared

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