Lap Band total and complete failure

candacek
on 1/7/19 9:12 pm

I've had my Lap-Band since 2006, and I now weigh 60 pounds more than I did the morning of the surgery. It has been a total failure, and I greatly regret that I did it.

My surgeon says he does Lap-Bands now only when people demand it.

And, yes, I did comply with the recommendations regarding diet and exercise. After several years, when it became clear that it hadn't worked, I gave up and did quit the program.

The most I lost after the surgery was 13 pounds, and I gotta say, that was profoundly discouraging.

I'm now considering gastric bypass as a last ditch effort. But I'm skeptical.

Has anyone had a similar experience? What did you do? How did it turn out?

PrivateCitizen
on 1/7/19 9:56 pm

Hi, you will get some excellent feedback here, I am new on the site and just reading diligently to learn, but I have read some people's experiences on band removal.

I know from a FB bariatric group that several people had an issue with fibrous growths, or tissue connection around the plastic lapband itself.

Your first step may be get an evaluation, tests to see where you stand with the band condition. I don't know what is done for that, but I am betting there are many posts in this thread you can read.

Please don't be discouraged, even tho you are 12 years out from your band placement your current surgeon (if you have one as you mentioned) should be able to give many more facts.

Are you certain the band is not too "open' or not working at all?

Start reading here and be proactive in finding answers to your questions so you can ask the doctor specifically.

Wish you the best!

candacek
on 1/7/19 10:07 pm

Thanks for your kind response. I saw the same surgeon for a different surgery. He evaluated the Band, found it's still full (I think 9.5 cc in a 10 cc band), and recommended I consider RNY. I really don't want to do it, but I keep gaining weight and I think it's my only option. I'm not mad at the surgeon, but I do think the Band has been oversold, to patients and to surgeons.

PrivateCitizen
on 1/7/19 11:13 pm

Please read the RNY and Sleeve pages here... they really do sound like the best long term help for you. RNY is the 'gold standard' I am told, but the sleeve has benefits too for specific people.

The Obera balloon is the new short term WL transition method, except it often has immediate issues for patients who are burping the whole time, balloons can break, and have blocked intestines requiring emergency surgery. Top weight loss is 15-20 lbs for most, and removed at 6 mo. The cost is much lower, It is covered by ins. and there are FB groups discussing it you could join to at least learn more. (I did) No surgery, just placement down the throat, and they blow up the balloon, then out the same way while you are under anesthesia of course.

I have read the most frequent lap-band surgery is for removal. I also think they sold it too fast, not enough long term studies. I attended a 'traveling specialist' 'free' seminar on the placement of bands..this was in 2002 or later. we are a remote coastal town with no or few specialists of plastic surgeons, etc. The hotel conference room was full of obese people from both local native tribes (high diabesity and alcohol issues) and poor working people who are eating fast foods and sodas.

The doctors were slick salesman, cashing in quick because obesity was now a 'disease' it had to be covered by insurance so they came out in droves selling this method. They were cavalier about handling problems like too tight bands where people were drooling...when they were 200 miles away in Santa Rosa and local ERs had no way to fix any issues. We were told we had to accept never swallowing large pills or even rice as 'a grain could stick and block it', all sorts of weird restrictions which we had no way of knowing as true.

Anyway, I was fearful too, it IS a very simple solution with minimum surgery...but..too risky sounding to me.

Steph P.
on 1/10/19 9:49 am - MN
Revision on 08/16/18

I had the lapband in 2010 and while I did lose weight in the beginning it was short lived.

I had constant issues with finding my sweet spot, food getting stuck daily and reflux. I went back and forth with fills for a while and after years of no help I had my band emptied. It remained empty for 3 years, but that didn't help with the reflux and stuck issues (since the band itself creates the majority of the restriction). I finally got sick of it and went back pursuing a revision in Dec 2017.

They tried very hard to get me to go to the sleeve but I with my reflux and diabetes I was set on RNY. I also felt they largely oversold the lapband and I feared that they were doing the same thing with the way they pushed the sleeve.

Getting the revision was the best thing I have ever done. It has been so different and so much easier with the RNY. I haven't had reflux or any issues with food. I wish I had done this sooner and not put up with that crap for so long. You can see my stats and weight loss in my signature line. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Good luck to you!

Band to RNY 8/16/18

Age: 33, Height: 5'4"

HW: 299 (Pre-Lapband), RNY Consult: 260, SW: 248, GW: 145, CW: 169.8

Pre-op: -13, M1: -20, M2: -15, M3: -15, M4: -15, M5: -13, M6:

candacek
on 1/10/19 3:38 pm

Thanks very much, Steph. I'm interested in why you wanted the RNY rather than the sleeve.

I'm leaning toward the sleeve because it does not have dumping syndrome, which terrifies me. But I'm afraid I won't lose as much, and I really, really need to lose weight.

I don't have diabetes (yet), but I do have food get stuck and come back up. Yuck! How has it been for you since your revision? Thanks for your help.

Steph P.
on 1/10/19 4:32 pm - MN
Revision on 08/16/18

I wanted the surgery that is the most effective and has been around the longest. There is a reason they call it the 'gold standard'. Also, with the reflux I had with the band I was scared the sleeve would make it worse and I would eventually need a 3rd surgery which I wanted to avoid.

I'm also afraid of dumping which is good motivation to not eat the things that would cause it. I didn't cheat once through this past holiday season which was a big accomplishment. I'm sure I'll test the boundaries at some point but I'm not ready to yet. Also, some people with the sleeve do dump as well, I just don't think it's as common.

I have had no issues with any of the foods I have tried to eat. Chicken, fish, turkey, pork has all been fine. The only thing I haven't had yet is beef/steak, but that is just personal preference.

Band to RNY 8/16/18

Age: 33, Height: 5'4"

HW: 299 (Pre-Lapband), RNY Consult: 260, SW: 248, GW: 145, CW: 169.8

Pre-op: -13, M1: -20, M2: -15, M3: -15, M4: -15, M5: -13, M6:

PrivateCitizen
on 1/11/19 1:03 pm, edited 1/11/19 5:04 am

Thank you, I appreciate hearing real stories, not the 'ideal' that is presented, I know most humans will avoid focus on the potential negatives, hoping it won't be them.

I was wondering, without an X-ray or catscan how the MD knows the band is even in the right place, especially in her case with feeling nothing at all??

Can they slip up and dangle around the opening to the stomach and do nothing, even if 'filled' correctly?

I am older than most all here, and I have seen many methods come and be popularized without years and years of study. People get angry with the FDA for not pushing some meds thru fast, and restricting food additives, devices, etc, but it seems there is reason for caution.

I am glad your removal did not complicate even having RNY, so you are young! and you persisted. I admire that.

I wish you both the best of luck.

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