Katie, I just had my realize band removed Friday. I had great restriction. For about a year, then it became tighter and tighter until I couldn't swallow water. I had all fluid (3.5 cc) removed last June, but still was having trouble eating. When they removed it, there was tons of scar tissue under the band and around the base of my esophagus. The "lower pressure" designation is why I chose it. The band is a bit wider, distributing the pressure over a wider area, but all it meant for me was wider scar tissue.
If you're not sure about banding, consider this. The lifespan of a gastric band is 5-10 years. More than likely, you'll have your gallbladder removed after losing a good deal of weight. That's 2 surgeries and for me a total of 9 lap incisions. So 5-10 years out, your band's expected life expires, you have a bunch of diagnostics, removal/revision(sometimes in one procedure, sometimes not) and another 5-6 incisions...I don't know how old you are, but do you want to have major surgery every 5-10 years or 1 surgery that should last you your lifetime? The abdominal wall is compromised with every incision and hernias can be life threatening, requiring more surgery. In my case, my doctor is about 90% sure I cannot revise due to the damage done by the band. If this is your one shot at WLS, make sure it is the ONE that gives you the best chance at keeping your tool for your lifetime.
When I got my band it was my only option. I've lost 100 lb and was 100% compliant. I still eat 1/2-1 cup of food, focus on protein, low carb, but for the last 18 months, my quality of life has been severely compromised causing stress to me and my family. I've had over $20k in diagnostics and now am on my own to lose the rest of my weight and maintain...3 surgeries in 3 years, 15 incisions, $150k billed to Medicare. Not safest, not least invasive, not a lifetime tool.
"low pressure" really has nothing to do with it. MANY bandsters never reach restriction. That applies to both Allergan and REalize. I have the Allergan band and I never got restriction like the advertised it.........EVEN AFTER 20 FILLS!
Also even if you are one of the lucky ones that the band does "work" for. Remember that it is a very short lived product. We are talking like 50% removed at just 6 years out! Do you really want to get a new band every 6 years???
I have the Realize Band, i've had it for 3yrs and im considering a revision, due to the lack of restriction. I too went for fill after fill only for it to become too tight, causing my food to get stuck! I don't know about anyone else but I could never seem to find my "green zone" as they call it where the band was just right. after the first couple of months after surgery i was no longer losing 1-2 lbs. a week, i never felt full, let alone fuller longer with just 3 small meals. I would say just make sure you do your research before you get anything done so that you can be sure you are choosing the WLS that is right for you! If i had known about ObesityHelp.com while doing my research I probably wouldn't have chosen the Realize Band, on here you're able to get in depth feed back from people who have had the surgery and how its worked for them VS other websites that offer general information.