I will probably regret posting this but here goes anyway.
I do not deny band faults. Some, like Nic, have bad surgeons; others never get restriction; some poor people get internal damage. I truly feel for them. They have had awful experiences, not of their own making. This post is no way doubting their stories or belittling their experiences.
On the other hand, some abuse their bands. They expect instant miracles, accept being too tight and constant PBs. They do not make the necessary life changes. By getting an unfill, following basic rules, these people could help themselves. This is not the same as the first group I described.
But in real life, this is MY personal experience:-
I have been banded for well over 6 years. i am happy and successful. I did have a leak repaired a couple of years ago but am not unhappy about that. I eat all foods, I very rarely PB, I do not slime, get reflux etc. etc..
In the US ( three years ago), I met Bette ( now 8 or 9 years post op) Mira (over 6), Debbie (5) - all today still banded, all still slim, all still happy. I also met poor Pepsi/Sue who has since died of unrelated causes. Kirsten and Nekton no longer post but when last heard of they were happy.
In the informal support group I am part of in my local major town, I meet regularly with 20 people; they range from newbies to six years post-op. Everyone is happy!
Of the four people I met when I was first banded, one had her band removed due to unrelated causes, one had it removed, as she freely admits, because she abused it. The other two are happy.
Last time I went to my doc, there were three women in the waiting room with me and we got chatting. We were all happy; me at ( then) 5 1/2 years, the others at 6, 4 1/2 and 3 respectively. One was there for a defill, so it is possible there might have been an issue.
My own doc reports a re-op rate of 20% which seems a lot but of those, the vast majority are minor - flipped port, leak, reposition. Still ops, I know!
I have ( for non/medical reasons) changed hospitals and the new hospital has a slip rate of slightly over 2% and under 5% removals.
I asked my support group and they say that the experiences they hear in their own clinic waiting rooms reflect those I hear in my own.
I have no idea why people posting on here have such different experiences. People who have several family members with problems; people who say they know IRL large numbers of seriously damaged people. I am not in any way denying their problems. Just saying, it really is not all doom and gloom.
I fully expect to get posts full of stats ( but please, not that wonderful survey about the 80 people ( started with 151, but they lost touch with half of them), who were banded using the now obsolete surgical method, with the old bands. Not wildly relevant!
I know I am going to get flak for this! Comes with the territory. Curse the band, that's fine! Praise the band and you are an ignorant moron. Well, I'm not a moron. I' m not ignorant. I know I may not have my band for life. But I am grateful to it for enabling me to eat well for over six years, for changing me from a lethargic couch potato into a very fit, active person. I look good, I feel good. If problems start tomorrow I will deal!
Highest ever 290, Banded - 248 Lowest 139 (too low - deliberately regained to 150.
Blip (regain of 27lbs) during 2010. Dealt with (after leak repair).
Nov. 2010 set new (more realistic!) comfort zone of 150-160
Dress US size 26 to 8/10 (5ft 4ins tall) 2.8cc in 4cc band.
A VERY HAPPY BANDSTER.