I responded to a lady who is considering the band (just like I did oh so many years ago). I thought it was SO good it was worth posting on my profile, lol. I think so highly of myself =)
While I never got the band I will tell you about my story. I was always fat upwards to 345 in my 20's, 325 when I started researching WLS in 2006 when my mom died. I actually saw a LapBand commercial (the greatest ad campaign I have EVER seen). I was never ever going to get the RnY because of the fact they have a hole at the bottom of your stomach (stoma) that basically just dumps the food you eat into your intestine (where the term dumping comes from). I have seen COUNTLESS people in my personal life and read who CAN have complication etc. Please note that I say CAN because it's not guaranteed that anyone WILL have complication x, y or z, but they can. Ok so I'm researching the all mighty LapBand (and that's how I felt) I needed a surgery that would HELP me the most, and I believe that I needed a surgery that would keep my stomach as a normal stomach. Where the stomach acid helps digest and mix up my food, where my pyloric valve once the stomach was done doing it's job would open and let my food continue on the digestion road. I wanted a surgery that would REDUCE the amount of food I could at at any one given time.
So research I did. Now I saw the website where there is a (and I think back then in 2006 there was like a 50-60%) complication rate and you MIGHT not lose ALL your we ight but I also believe that given the right mental aspect of this surgery coupled with the restriction you can do almost anything so I kept on researching. I came to OH thanks to a friend and well what I saw here made me nervous. Instead of some arbitrary number on a website about complications I was seeing ACTUAL living breathing people with the LapBand who WERE having complications, some minor others not. So I in total research mode started a pros/cons list. I had page after page of "possible" complications with the Band and of course RIGHT next to it I had the "words/advice" of those who loved the band saying oh if you do this or do that you will NEVER suffer from these complications. In my research I am ALREADY forcasting that I WAS going to be the PERFECT bandster. Like someone already said I was aiming to be ONE of the LUCKY ones. The more I researched the MORE I found people who were banded in like 05/06 with these complications and they were CLAIMING to have been "perfect" bandsters. But STILL I did not want the RnY because of the false stomach, nor the DS because I just do not consume that much fat and I had NO medical issues. THEN boom bam thank you Jesus a young lady on the LapBand forum asked Dr. Curry about the VSG and that her insurance (just happened to be MY insurance) suggested she get that instead of the Band.
WHAT you say girl. There is a surgery out there called the Sleeve...what is this...tell me more. Well you guessed it I started researching the Sleeve and OMG it "appeared" to have EVERYTHING that I wanted....normal stomach, food restriction and to boot there was a CHANCE that I would wake up from surgery and NOT be hungry because it removed over 1/2 your stomach and the hormone called Ghrelin. Well tell me more all mighty Sleeve. I then simultaneously was researching the Sleeve but not taking my foot all the way out the band camp. I wanted to know EVERYTHING I could about the sleeve. After all I was willing to say GOODBYE ADIOS to over 1/2 my stomach (NOT that my stomach ever did anything for me, I still am VERY fond of ALL my body parts). I took my research AWAY from the WLS forums and researched Full/Partial Gastrectomies as done on people who have stomach cancers and ulcers which has been done for over 30 years or more. I read about peoples LIVES after having a partial gastrectomy, What LONG term vitamins "may" be needed. How they just eat way smaller portions then before. How yes they would lose weight. How yes they weren't really hungry. How yes you could even live a full and productive LIFE even without ANY stomach. How a family who had a history of stomach cancer voluntarily had their stomachs REMOVED as a preventative measure. How people were LIVING life YEARS after their gastrectomies with virtually the same restriction and the "bonus" of weight loss.
Now the whole time I still had my pro/con list. The Band one was LONG and extensive on the "possible" complications, slips, erosions, esophagal dialation, adhesions for IF the band had to be removed all the risks involved in removal. The VSG after researching had a few questions/comments. What size bougie would the surgeon be using? How does the surgeon check for leaks? After surgery I did research to KNOW if I did have a leak what SHOULD I be looking for in those weeks after surgery? How long does it take the stomach to fully heal over the sutures/staples? That was IT.
I was fortunate that my insurance DID cover the sleeve back in 2007. Blessed if you will because back then Insurance companies weren't. I don't know what I would have done in 2007 once I KNEW about the VSG, if my insurance would only cover the RnY or the Band. To be honest I don't like the GAMBLE of either of those surgeries to NOT be one of the "lucky" ones. For the VSG I took a gamble that I might still be hungry. I did take a gamble that hey you could have a leak but as of yet I have not seen a VSGer die purely from a leak.
My reality after my VSG. I woke up from surgery with INSTANT restriction. I have been blessed with NO physical hunger. I am almost 3 years out, still not hungry and still with restriction. I have lost over 100lbs. I COULD have gone lower then my current 192 and I'm working out it, but at 1 1/2 years out, I decided a little carbs here and there won't hurt, well they do and depending on YOUR body...well **** I'll say CARBS are the DEVIL. I am referring to PROCESSED carbs, not fruit but yes fruit for some can be "danger Will Robinson danger."
I wish you well on your decision.
After decades of knowing people and researching I just don't like the remnanat stomach which can still get cancer especially if it runs in your family. I don't like that you now have a stoma which can stretch. I don't like that you will FOREVER not absorb vitamins and nutrients, but soon your intestines adapt and you will absorb calories.
I had a host of other things but since we don't have bookmarks anymore =(
"WLS is only for people who are ready to move past the "diet" mentality" ~Alison Brown
"WLS is not a Do-Over (repeat same mistakes = get a similar outcome.) It is a Do-BETTER (make lifestyle changes you can continue forever.)" ~ Michele Vicara aka Eggface