- HEALTH TRACKER
I had my band unfilled 2 yrs ago and am doing fine (for now), haven't gained and in fact have lost some. I only lost 20 lbs with the band anyway so it wasn't really a help. I was however having issues with it tightening with no fills and I couldn't afford the fills anymore either. Hopefully one day I can get a VSG but will have to wait.
Please do as Judy advised and research each type of surgery there are better ones than the band and it is NOT a life long surgery, eventually it will have to come out. My band experience has been a huge failure, at best it kept me from gaining more weight but I only lost 20 lbs with it and that was the first year. I was already eating 1000 calories or less when I got the band so it really didn't help me lose, I was already eating the way one is supposed to with the band. Also if you have over 100 lbs to lose there are more effective surgeries. The majority of people I know with the band have had to have it removed after a few years and some of these were staunch pro band people who followed every rule to the letter, yet they still had to have them removed. We are finding that the band causes serious damage to the esophogus and that the damage from scar tissue building up under the band can be very damaging. There are just better more successful surgeries out there.
I'd say leave well enough alone. It seems like every time someone starts fiddling with a decent fill it starts a progression of disaster. I'd say put more effort into using the fill level you already have,I think you should be able to eat a bit more than the first year because you were in losing mode then. You are in maintanance now and should be eating more, you should control intake not the band.
I made a point in the begining to cut my food into pencil eraser sized bites before I ever started eating, that way I don't get side tracked and forget. Another possibility is that your band is getting tighten from the scar tissue growing under it. After 3 years I started having to have fill taken out of my band because the scar tissue kept tightening it. I finally just had it emptied 2 years ago and have done much better empty than when I had a fill! You do need to go back to liquids after any stuck or choking episode to let the tissue relax and lower the inflammation. This can become a very serious issue, I know of at least half a dozen people who are no longer able to eat normally because their esophagus doesn't work anymore the way it should. So please take this very seriously!
No it isn't normal most people don't lose anywhere near that much! most of us don't lose much of anything until we get some restriction after several fills. Also the average weight loss with the band is 1-2 lbs a week so don't expect huge losses. It takes far longer to lose weight with the band than other surgeries.
Crystal have you tried allergy shots? They did wonders for me for about 5 yrs. Then my lungs got funky, COPD, now I can't tell what is from allergies and what is from the lungs. I do know that feeling of, if I could just get a good deep breathe I'd feel so much better. I also change our furnace filter monthly instead of every 3 mos. like they suggest. It's amazing how quick they get dirty. Here's to technology, maybe someday they will come up with something.
That's true, if it's allergies it clears up once the allergy issue is resolved but it should cause liquids to not go down. I never felt super tight when it was allergies just a little snugger than usual, If it is causing that much trouble then absolutely see your surgeon for a partial unfill at the very least and if it continues for weeks get it checked out!
So true! I have COPD and my pulmonary doc has me on generic Zyrtec also. He says it is the best because it handles indoor and outdoor allergies plus doesn't cause the sleepiness so many do. I also use the generic flonase for daily for dust allergies. It can also cause our bands to feel miserably tight. It really does make life more bearable when you have breathing issues whether from lungs or nose or both! And it certainly is the season!
I have the same type exclusion and I've called the ins. a couple of different times and was told the same as you. Fortunatly I had mine emptied and haven't had any more problems, so far. Have you tried getting a total unfill? It might help and couldn't hurt at least it's cheaper than surgery. Good luck you aren't alone that's for sure!
Most of the successful folks don't post anymore but I know a couple and I'll have them PM you. They are out there, but just don't eel safe posting here because they tend to be given a hard time by some.
Things like that it is a limited amount of time that it is good, I read that it was good for a lifetime. That it would dim the appetite and make you feel full. I was hungry a great deal of the time and rarely felt full or satisfied. No it wasn't head hunger it was stomach growling hunger and I even tried drinking more water to help feel fuller (after waiting the 1/2 hr. to hour after eating). That is was oh so safe, least invasive, and nearly fail proof. As we are finding it's not so safe and is very invasive when it does damage to the stomach and surrounding organs when it erodes. Allergan made it sound like a perfect tool. Now the results in Europe seem to have been more successful and for the life of me and others w don't understand why there are so many more problems with U.S. bands. I didn't got to a band mill, I had an excellent surgeon and lots of follow up care that I took advantage of but my band just never seemed to work the way I'd read. I consider myself fortunate that my only problem is that it never worked, there are so many who have had serious and even life threatening issues or are living in a hell all their own with daily vomiting and heartburn with either an empty band or no band. The band can be removed but the damage is still there.
Elena, as well as others have had great success and that is another puzzler, why some have done so exceptionally well and others have had nothing but pain and suffering. In my opinion that is another reason to be very careful about getting the band because there is no way to tell who is going to have a good time and who is going to have nothing but problems. The longer the band is out the more issues keep cropping up. Not long ago it was reported the band can cause breathing problems and keep the lungs from working as well as they should. Had I known that I again would not have gotten the band because I have COPD and my lungs are impaired to start with. I imagine the inflamation and irritation from the band can spread over into the lung area, they aren't that far apart.
I'm very happy for the folks like Elena, Bette, Kate and many others who have had such great success. I also will continue to warn folks that it isn't always a succcessful journey for everyone. I don't post these things to slam or bash the band but to make people aware that there are very real problems and they should be aware of that before making the final decision. If a person decides to go ahead with the band I will support them in every way I can!
I realize that and I just wanted to make sure others know, like you said, that there are a multitude of causes. I think I'm just one of those "lucky"? people who tend to have body wise inflamation going on because I have alot of inflamation in my lungs too. I try to stay away from most processed foods and anything else that can increase it but even that doesn't make a lot of difference. So some of us are just "lucky ducks"! I tend to think alot of it is just modern day life and things in our environment that we can't neccesarily control. We're just "special, sensitive" people!
Well I "thought" I had researched the band well enough however Allergan lied about alot of the info they published or left out VERY important information. In fact they are now being investigated by the government. I was told it would be good for a lifetime, people joked that archeologists would find our bands thousands of years from now and wonder what they were, not true. They are only good for 5-10 years for the majority of people, there are a few exceptions, but for the most part at 3-5 yrs people start having issues that eventually require removal.
I was also told it would make me feel full after eating about half as much as normal and would feel satisfied for hours, nope, never felt full and was hungry most of the time. Unless I was too tight then I was stuck and hungry but couldn't eat. That rarely happened because I would immediately get some fill out.
Was told should lose 50% of my excess weight, nope there too, lost an amazing 20 pounds! That was the first year then nothing after that.
At year 3ish my band started tightening for no reason, hadn't had a fill in a year or more, so I got 1 cc removed. Then several months later another 1 cc removed because it was tight again. Several months later it was tight again, well by that time I was totally "over" the whole band nonsense and had it emptied entirely. It seems that scar tissue builds up until it makes the band tighter and then one needs at least a partial unfill. I didn't realize until then just how uncomfortable I'd been those years until I was empty and could finally eat healthy food again. Until then I had a great deal of difficulty eating solid protein which is a staple with any bariatric surgery. I actually lost more when empty than when I had a fill because I could eat normal healthy food again.
I could never in good conscience advise anyone to get a band. Now this is my story, I also know others who have had no or very minimal issues with their bands but I know far more who have had a multitude of problems. My advise is research all 4 major surgeries, the band, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, roux n y (bypass) and the duodenal switch. Then decide what you can live with the rest of your life and go forward from there.
Too much bickering and not enough agreeing to disagree. Every post became a battle zone and lots of folks just got tired of it. Also I think lots of people have migrated to Facebook private, closed groups, I know I belong to several there. If you never lose another pound you are still so much smaller and have that adorable little munchkin to keep you busy!
Sorry Elena gotta disagree with that one, Ya know I love ya! It may trigger fibro but I don't use aspartame and haven't for years but my fibro is worse now than ever. I also didn't use it way back when I was a teen and it started. There are many triggers for fibro and the aspartame is but one. I know quite a few people who developed it after having the band put in, I think it is from the irritation and inflamation it causes in the body.
Fibro can be triggered by stress or trauma to the body and having an object in there could very well trigger it. I've read several people who developed fibro post band surgery. I had fibro before getting the band but it has gotten much worse and I have alot of issues with inflamation, especially in my lungs that takes forever to clear up. I've been on prednisone for over a month now trying to get my lungs settled down. I don't know for sure if it is related to the band, but it certainly can be irritating to surrounding areas.
In all honesty I can't advise the band for anyone as it is the least effective surgery even when it does work. I would suggest looking at the sleeve if you don't want malabsorbtion. Even better look at all the 4 main surgery types band (wouldn't suggest, sleeve, RNY and DS, then make an informed decision that you can live with the rest of your life.
Well I belong to that group too and I'm hardly a happy bandster. In fact the group has nothing to do with what kind of surgery a person has had, it is just a bunch of us old vets who wanted to keep our friendships without dealing with the drama on the reg. band board. So it's really not nearly as exciting as others seem to think it is.
I don't know if it is different anatomys or where the band is placed but I swear I never ever for a "green zone" feeling. I never felt overly full, just got the occaisional slime episode. I also was still hungry all the time, it had little to no effect on hunger. Of course the manufacturers knew this long ago they just didn't bother to let us know and they fed our surgeons BS and they passed it on to us as gospel truth not doubting the manufacturers. Of course they probably don't deal with alot of liars in their fields because in the long run it doesn't pay off. Now those same trusting surgeons are having to explain to us how they were conned just like we were. I had my surgeon for some other surgeries and know him to be a good honest man who would never intentionally lie. Yet he promised me the band would work and cut my appetite in half an help me feel full for hours at a time. Well not so much! The pressure business only makes sense, you can't cut off part of an organ and expect it to work correctly! Just wish there weren't so many others going thru what you are!
Thanks Caramel I haven't really asked about removal because my insurance has a bariatric exclusion and since my band is empty I'm not really having any problems that would qualify for removal, thank goodness. I guess I should at least ask.
I too had no choice but the band because of a clotting disorder my surgeon wouldn't do the RNY (which I didn't really want anyway) and since they were supposedly the same at 5 yrs out I figured no problem I'll just take a little longer. Oh yeah lost 20 lbs the first year and that was it. I'd lost that much just by dieting the year before. So the band didn't do anything for me that I didn't already do for myself and I've maintained or lost a bit since then so obviously it didn't give me any advantage over non banded people.
So here I sit with an empty band waiting for my golden years to get anything done. If nothing else I will get the band out and then take it from there.
I've been here for over 6 yrs and was one of the biggest band boosters around until at 3 yrs out my band kept tightening (with no fills!) and finally had it emptied to try to avoid any further serious problems since my insurance no longer covers bariatrics. I still help newbies with problems regardless of my now hatred of the band. I will continue to warn people of the very real dangers of the band until the day I die because we were lied to by the manufacturers back when I got mine. In fact the government is currently investigating those very lies! I've known people who nearly died from the band and others who are permanently damaged and their quality of life forever ruined so I'm not going anywhere. I suggest if you don't want to hear us then don't open our threads or block us, but I can guarantee we are here to stay so adjust or block us. We aren't going anywhere!
So very well put Susan I applaud you!!! My story is similar except that I haven't been able to get a revision because if insurance exclusions. I did have my band emptied a couple of years ago and so far so good but I feel like I have a time bomb sitting in my stomach because you never know when things will get worse. I am hoping to get it removed in a couple of years when I qualify for Medicare and not sure if I will revise to the sleeve or just go it without surgery. I'm kind of burnt out on the idea of surgery and hubby is NOT supportive of the sleeve so will just have to see when the time comes.
I know the only reason I stay here at all is that after 6 years of being here I find it hard to leave and not warn the new folks of the very real dangers of the band. I am also friends with Bette and Kate and am thrilled that their bands are working so well for them and any others that have had success, however I completely agree with you that they are the exception rather than the rule. I know far more people who have had problems than successful people. I know my only motive is to try to save folks from the dangers of the band. Some are so damaged that their lives are forever changed for the worse and I wouldn't want anyone to go thru what some have. So like you all I ask is that pre ops read and research ALL the surgery types and then choose the one they think they can live with.