LAP-BAND process at Kaiser SSF

on 4/24/12 10:03 am
Hey everyone!

This is my first post :)  I have an appointment with my PCP on Thursday when I will be asking for the refferal for the lap band.  I am 5'3 with a BMI of 53%.  extremely high...  I have no co morbities which is good, I've been looking into lap band since 2009.  I am young, 23 years old, and I think i'm ready for this change to my life now.  I am ready and willing to move forward :)

I'm going through Kaiser.  My PCP is at Kaiser Redwood City, I'll be attending classes at Kaiser South San Francisco most likely.

My question is: 
how does the process work, what classes do i take, how long will it be?

I know the program is call Options.  12 weeks.  But i don't know much about it past that.

Hopefully you all can help me, I really have no one support my decision and a lot of my obese coworkers are saying that i'm "selling out" so to speak, that i'm taking the easy route and that i'm stupid for wanting the lapband as much as i do.  At least my dad supports me, but thats only one person.

Thanks for the replies, you're really helping me out!
on 4/24/12 12:35 pm
RNY on 02/24/12
Can't respond to the process with your Dr but can say GOOD ON YOU for wanting to be healthier.  You are on OH and will get great support.  Also, check if there is an active support group in your area that you can attend.  I loved the one we use to have. Pre and Post of all surgery types attended.  It was nice being in a room of people on the same journey.  

Banded  Oct 2008:  290       
RNY Feb 2012:        245    
Dr's set goal:            170 reached Oct 11, 2012
My goal:                     160  reached Dec 1, 2012
Today :                       145-150

I am half the person I was in 2008.

on 4/24/12 2:43 pm - Vancouver, WA
I don't mean to be a Debbi Downer but hon with that high a BMI and being so young, this is not a good surgery for you. The band is only a temporary fix(if it works) and it doesn't work for the vast majority of people. Many never get to their goal weight thru no fault of their own. Also the band is only meant to be in for 5-10 years then it will need to come out. Back when I had mine they told us it was for life and now because of so many problems with them the manufacturers themselves now say 5-10 yrs. max.! Any doctor that tells you this is going to work guaranteed is a flat out liar!!! There are 3 other main surgeries and I suggest you fully study them all because the band is the least effective of all the surgeries. There is the DS which is retriction plus malabsorbtion, there is the RNY which is malabsorbtive and the VSG which is also restrictive. Any of these will work far better than the band! I only lost 20-30 lbs with my band and that was all the first year, since then what little I've lost has been my own hard work dieting. So please I beg you to really study and research these other surgeries. Being so young you will need something that will serve you for a lifetime not just a few years. If you have any questions I can help you with please PM me I'm happy to give you the honest truth about the band.
 Join us at for fellowship and support!
on 4/24/12 2:50 pm
Hi and welcome.

You might go to the forum for California and you may find someone who has gone through the Kaiser SF .  

There is a meet-up support group that meets in SF one Saturday each month. I'll send you the details separately. I would expect that Kaiser has a group as well.

Support is critical, regardless of which surgical option you select.

Best wishes.
Nic M
on 4/24/12 2:52 pm
Your post just about makes me want to cry. PLEASE don't go with the band. You'll end up being horribly disappointed and possibly damaged by it. If you've been researching since 2009, surely you must have seen the dismal statistics for the lapband.

PLEASE reconsider and research your other options. I hate to see someone so young go down this road. I can't even begin to explain the amount of damage the band caused in my body. I'm 43 and a lot of the time feel like I'm elderly due to all the stomach issues the band caused. I had the band done over 9 years ago and removed about 7 years ago... and it's like a neverending loop... over and over and over... I witness the same complications. And every day, someone else chooses the band... and every day, someone else is desperately trying to get their band removed due to chronic pain, the inability to eat, constant nausea and gagging, and esophageal problems.

I am sorry to rain on your parade, but I just don't want to see you harmed.  I wish you the best in whatever you do.  My experience was SO incredibly hellish that I can't be silent when I see someone about to possibly make a really painful choice.


 Avoid kemmerling, Green Bay, WI


on 4/24/12 4:03 pm
I believe the lap band would be a good choice BECAUSE it is not a permanent change.  i think that i should be able to get a grip on eating in 5-10 years and i would like to have it either loosened up or removed when i decide to have children.  I also can not afford to miss 1+ weeks of work to recover and i have never had any major surgery.

Thanks for the heads up, to be honest i had not been expecting so many negative lap-band reviews.  I have been to a seminar and they were very happy and positive about lap-band.  they also pushed RNY but understood why many were choosing lap-band.

I hadn't heard so many negative stories during my previous research.  I will admit that a lot of peoples stories did freak me out but i still remain firm about the decision to pursue lap band.  I wouldn't mind RNY when I'm in my mid-thirties and if i still have weight issues by that point.  I plan to make a big lifestyle change and lap-band would just be an aid to help me change habits.

is there anyone on here with a positive story about lap band?  how it did work?
Nic M
on 4/25/12 12:25 pm
It's definitely not permanent for most people. At best, you can expect to have your band for 5 years or so. For most people, the complications start at around the 2 year mark. Then you have to start over... IF you're not overly damaged from the band. A lot of insurance companies have implemented a "One WLS per lifetime" whether they paid for your initial surgery or not... or even if YOU paid for your initial surgery and you now have good insurance. They can say, "no way, you had your one chance." It really stinks.

I chose the band for the same reasons that you did... unfortunately, the advertising overpromises and woefully underdelivers. We all went into lapband with the best of intentions and most of us ended up disappointed and damaged. I hope you'll read the Revisions forum here before making a final decision.  Also, Google ~  "referred left shoulder pain + lap band" and see the immense amount of information that comes up.  It's IMPORTANT because that pain, if you're not going through it, sounds "notso bad." When you're going through it, it becomes life altering in a very, very bad way.

I wish you the best. I just hope you'll understand that I've gone through it AND I've witnessed this for almost a decade now. It never changes.


 Avoid kemmerling, Green Bay, WI


on 4/24/12 10:43 pm
I have had the band for about 4 years now and live in Santa Clara and am always looking for people to talk to. I lost a few band friends after they were not successful.
on 4/25/12 4:10 am
I'm in Redwood City!

Did you hit your target weight? any complications?
on 4/25/12 5:05 am
I did hit my target I wanted to loose 100 I lost initally 115. I am working on my second baby right now due in August so I am not loosing obviously.
I have had complications yes, my port flipped, slip, unclip, and I had to have a whole new band put in becuase my first surgeon put one too small for me and with the scar tissue from revisions it was tight with no fill.
I got it when I was in my late 20's I am now 32 so I might be able to relate to you. Friend request me and I will send you my email address so we can talk.

Start weight: 320
At surgery:  300
Current:      185
Goal:           175