I was banded with my first band
on June 19Th 2006. This band caused me to vomit multiple times per week, and suffer from severe esophageal reflux every night when I went to sleep.
I had to sleep in an up right position....Yet still I would awake with a mouthful of burning acid.
The acid was so hot that it actually burned the back of my throat and that could last for a few days. My PCP had me on a PPI and even that did not stop the acid. There were many times I was unable to swallow my own saliva and/or swallow water. Even unfilled I suffered from the acid reflux and band tightening.
The band self tightens as it becomes older. This is unique to each individual. I believe it's due to how much scar tissue your stomach will produce after the initial surgery.
I experienced left shoulder pain from day one and it never went fully away. I listened to those on the lap band board with their well meaning advice telling me it, " was just gas " or that I was eating too fast, or not chewing my food well enough. I followed their advice and still I kept experiencing esophageal reflux every night.
Left shoulder pain can be considered normal under certain cir****tances. For example :
After abdominal surgery ( WLS ) you will experience trapped gas in your shoulders, but that gas usually dissipates within a week or two MAX.
The only reason someone with a band would experience left shoulder pain months/years after surgery is because they are experiencing diaphragmatic pain. The diaphragm cannot feel pain and refers the pain to the left, right, and sometimes both
shoulders, as well as the chest and neck.
This pain can be confused with cardiac symptoms and anxiety attacks. Your left shoulder, arm, back,throat,neck and/or chest will hurt like you are experiencing a heart attack.
You may feel like you are having an anxiety attack because you feel tightness in your throat. This can happen before, during, or after you eat. It can tighten even when you haven't eaten. This feeling is your esophagus experiencing an esophageal spasm. Some of the lap banders will confuse this feeling by inaccurately calling it a " Stuck Episode "
Read the link below for more details regarding being " Stuck "
If the band is not removed in a timely manner the damage to your diaphragm may become permanent.
My daughter who was banded the same day as myself had to have her first band
removed for the same exact reasons I had to have mine removed.
Our bands had slipped.
I was banded with my second band
in December of 2008. This was an unplanned emergency surgery, so I was not prepared to revise to another surgery without being fully informed. I regretfully chose to have a second band placed, as well as my daughter.
At this point I had loss 70 lbs the hard way.
From 2008 to the time of my second revision.
I was still able to maintain my 70 lbs loss. This was not because of my band. It was because I was determined to not gain any of my pre-op weight back. I had been through enough and I wasn't going to allow myself to gain any of that weight back.
I experienced even more left shoulder, back pain, now was experiencing a whole new set of problems. Esophageal Motility Disorder & Dysphagia.
"The esophagus functions solely to deliver food from the mouth to the stomach where the process of digestion can begin. Efficient transport by the esophagus requires a coordinated, sequential motility pattern that propels food from above and clears acid and bile reflux from below. Disruption of this highly integrated muscular motion limits delivery of food and fluid, as well as causes a bothersome sense of dysphagia and chest pain"
I woke up with my air passage fully obstructed one night. I tried very hard not to panic and ran across my room to the bathroom where I was able to bend over the toilet while using both fists to press in on my stomach. I was able to successfully dislodge the object from my air way. I could have died right then and there.
I knew my problems with the band were becoming worse, so I had to do something about it. I called my surgeon and was able to get in that very day. I was directly admitted to the hospital where I stayed for six days. They removed my lap band and performed a VSG on me.
My band had slipped again. ?
UPDATE : No my band hadn't slipped, it eroded and I ended up with a surprise sleeve gastrectomy.
There are many who have been programmed into thinking by the makers of the Lap Band, Realize Band, and The O band that the band is " Minimally Invasive & Reversible " That is complete brain washing and anyone who chooses to go forward with having a band implanted for these reasons, need to research more because as you can see just by mine and my daughters experience alone.
That our surgeries combined totaled altogether 8 ' Minimally Invasive " surgeries.
My band was not reversible....it was removable, but not until it had already caused severe nerve and thoracic pain which just may end up being permanent damage.
Here is a link to more band experiences.