Bariatric / Weight Loss Surgery Community
Think before you get the surgery
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to bariatric surgery for weight loss (including gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery, etc) complications, finding a surgeon, whether it is right for you, nutrition, recovery, risk, and pre- and post-op issues.

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Think before you get the surgery

I had the surgery done in Aug 1994 - I went from 285 to 180(went as low as 165, but that was underweight so I gained some).

I have serious GERD now. I am unable to eat many foods, it's extremely difficult for me to eat out with people, in case I get sick.I can't eat most vegetables or meat, I miss lettuce and raw veggies. I cannot digest them at all. The length of time you have to wait before drinking is only a rough guestimate, I've had to wait 3+ hours before being able to drink. I cannot even remotedly lie down or lean against a pillow, as the food can come back up. I've got reflux associated asthma, on 3 occasions I couldn't breath - luckily I wasn't alone. I have early onset bone loss. My immune system has been comprimised. I ended up gaining 50% of my weight back as I had to eat more processed foods.

This surgery is great if you never ever cheat and you follow and extremely strict diet, which I did for the first 3-4 yrs. BUT the majority of people gain back the weight in under 10 yrs.I had no choice but to eat the way I did, or I wouldn't have eaten anything at all.  This is no miracle cure. I was not told of such high risks. I got a great 4 hour info session, and 1 hour consult.  The risk levels for health problems are not accurate.

I put this out there, because I have talked with several women in the same predicament as myself. I have to go into surgery again, so that I can have some quality of life, and it's extremely invasive.

The choice is yours, and I wish all that do it the best of luck, but be fully aware of the "hell" you may go through.
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Avatar_f_tn
what is GERD?

I had my band done in 1997 and I wasn't told alot of things that I have found from experience - weight gain from medications, sabotaging the band by eating empty calories, too many vomits, not able to eat foods.  Yes we all go through problems with the band and yes weight gain is a possibility.  The think you need to do is get the band working for you and have a team to help you and support you to get the band working again and eating food that is good for the band and got vitamins in it.  Also becuase of restrictions of what you can eat, you need to have a good multivitamin.

Weight loss by any means is not easy and surgery for weigh loss is even more difficult because we expect the miricales of it going away immediately and it doesn't and it takes work to lose it.  Remember though to lose weight with any diet requires help and it doesn't disappear right away.

Hope you get some help and support you need to get the band working again.

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GURD is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Gastric reflux disease, or Acid reflux disease is defined as chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by the abnormal reflux in the esophagus. This is commonly due to transient or permanent changes in the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. This can be due to incompetence of the lower esophageal sphincter, transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation, impaired expulsion of gastric reflux from the esophagus, or a hiatus hernia.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree, think before you get the surgery.  Some patients do not totally understand what weight loss surgery is all about.  Some thinks that this is the fast and easy way to lose weight.  But its success solely depends on the patient's dedication in losing weight.

Weight loss is a change of lifestyle.  You have to minimize eating, get more physical activities, and you will also have some food restrictions.  Weight loss surgeries are tools to help you lose weight.  Even with surgeries, you still has to change your lifestyle.  It doesn't just remove the weight or the fats in you but it only helps you lose them.  With gastric bypass surgery or lap band surgery, you still have to control your food intake and there are also food restrictions.

So to be able to succeed with weight loss surgery, one must really be prepared for a change his/her lifestyle.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I too  have had many dificulties with my lap band.. I got my band in November of 2007. In February of 2009 I start expierencing horrible acid reflux. It was so bad that I started to vomit. Once the vomiting started it was all down hill from there. The vomiting caused my band to slip. So in February I had my band replace with a "new" (shouldn't have any more issues with slips) band. After my second fill I started to expiernce acid reflux again. This time it only seemed to be an issue in the mornings. I explained this to the doctor and he said its probably from my sinuses draining at night. Now whenever I eat something the burning is sometimes too much to take. Sometimes I feel like my throat is being ripped out through my chest. I stick the strick diet and even to the point I eat less then I should. I eat and I get back pains. Sometimes all I can stomach is ice cream, which I know is wrong but when you have no other choices what are you going to do. I have a couple of weeks before I go back to my doctors and I'm trying to tough it out the best I can. Sometimes just having broth so I have something in my stomach. I'm scared that the band has slipped again. If it has I refuse to replace it again. I love what the band has done for me but I can't keep living in ain and unhappy.
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter just died on 25 Jan, 2014, from aspiration pneumonia.  Her lap band was put in April 2011.  The band slip and twisted.  She was having a lot of reflux but did not realize how serious it was.  She saw a pulmonologist since she had chronic asthma and had often had pneumonia.  The pulmonologist realized it was GERD but did not put 2 and 2 together that it had to do with the lap band.  She was admitted on the 5th of Jan with her electrolytes way too low.  An upper GI on the 6th, showed the problem was the lap band, but on the 7th (still in the hospital ) she vomited and aspirated it and ended up on a ventilator.  She never regained consciousness, and died on the 25th.  GERD after the lap band is common and very, very serious.
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