Side effects of having a Gastric Band (Part One of Three): There’s good news and bad news

Question Below Submitted By:  

Lonicera The Bandit (a patient from Bristol, United Kingdom)

In my family one of the most heated discussions, repeated on a regular basis, was whether pessimism and realism were the same thing. Don’t be so pessimistic! was invariably countered with I am being realistic. And in the end, the grownups would lose the will to live and bring the argument to a halt, while we wanted to carry on screaming at each other.

I think in fact there isn’t much difference between them; it’s just a question of attitude. Do you tend to make the negative statement first and end up with the positive one, or the other way around?

What I am getting to in my roundabout way is that the gastric band is good news, no question, but there are side effects, down sides, whatever you want to call them, and it’s how you cope with them that will determine how successful it is to you as a tool. Let’s be positive and call it realism. These are realistically the side effects of having a gastric band. The sooner you accept them the sooner you can step off Cloud Nine and make it work.

I have divided them into three time zones, and will deal with them over three articles.

At first:

(1) You have to eat slowly, and what you swallow has to be sludge. And that means from the very first mouthful, which as every bandit knows, is the most dangerous. You are hungry and for a split second you are likely to forget that you can’t stuff a piece of bread through a keyhole. You will never, ever be able to GULP food or drink again.

(2) Liquid can never, ever be used again to wash down food. No washing, just plugging. Drink will turn your chewed food struggling to get through, into a very effective bung.

(3) Until you learn how to treat your band, you will feel pain in your chest as your food struggles to get down some times worse than others. Eating rapidly is another thing you will never, ever do again. Which foods trigger pain and stuck episodes varies a lot from one person to another, but most agree that hamburgers are out they can’t be turned into sludge. This is the emotional dimension, because you won’t want to bid goodbye to certain comfort foods which are band unfriendly.

(4) When you finally accept that gravity isn’t going to help you and you leap for the bathroom, you can’t abandon yourself to total surrender. Nope. You still have to remember that if you are sick too violently there is a chance you could dislodge the band or the port. You still have to control the ghastly business as much as possible. Read the bandit blogs and know that you most definitely do NOT want a slipped band or port.

(5) Either way, the consequence is likely to be sore insides, and in all probability a bit of swelling. You can’t see it, you can’t feel it, but when you complain the following day that you need an unfill because you feel so restricted, it’s likely to be because your esophagus is still inflamed and wants to be left alone for a while.

Click here to read about the second stage in my next article.

Lonicera The Bandit (other posts)

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Related Pages:
Lap Band Problems & Lap Band Complications
Lap Band Surgery Failure – 2 Types & How to Avoid Them


Patient Responses to the Question Above


by: Bea

Has anyone had trouble with thier voice box or larynx? I have constant wheezing, cough and bronchial problems, and cannot sing anymore. Feel some times that I'm going to loose my breath completely. Doctors say lungs and heart are good. I'm frustrated!

I have the gastric band and I love it!

by: Kay

I got the band in last July and then 9 months I lost a hundred pounds. The band completely controls my eating it is an excellent way to lose weight and keep it off

LP band surgery

by: Antonia Cara

If I only have 17kg to lose and get to my ideal weight, would I be eligible for lap band surgery?

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