I'm a 59-yr-old writer & artist who's struggled with weight issues all my life. I had lap-band surgery in September 2007. It was the smartest thing I ever did for my health. I lost 90 lbs from my highest weight, my co-morbidities lessened or disappeared, I have tons more energy and self-confidence, and for several wonderful years my band helped me manage my weight every day.
In early 2012, I had severe esophageal dilation that was cured with a complete unfill, but my surgeon strongly recommended removing my 4cc band, which she felt was too small and would be too tight even without fill in it. On 4/27/12 she removed my band but was unable to perform the sleeve revision I wanted because of a stricture at the base of my esophagus. A gastro doc was able to dilate the stricture and told me that my poorly functioning esophagus had been damaged by years of "silent" reflux (going back to the mid 1980's). On 8/16/12, my 2nd attempt at sleeve surgery was successful. I'm hoping that it will eventually become a useful tool in lifetime weight management, but at the moment I've got a lot of adjusting to do to get along with it.
In August 2010 published Bandwagon, a book about strategies for success with the adjustable gastric band, and a year later I published a companion book, Bandwagon Cookery. I have a Bandwagon support group on Facebook and I'm also the author of a novel, No Ransom, and 4 blogs:
Weight Loss Surgery - jean-onthebandwagon.blogspot.com (you can order Bandwagon here or at amazon)
Recipes - jeanslapbandjourney.blogspot.com
Dog Stories - 9dogshowling.blogspot.com
Artwork - collageartbyjean.blogspot.com
Note: Bandwagon can be purchased only from me (go to jean-onthebandwagon.blogspot.com and look for the credit card and PayPal purchase options on the left hand side of the page). Bandwagon Cookery can be purchased on Amazon, but you'll get a lower price by buying it from me.
One of the things that helps me succeed as a WLS patient is helping other people. If you have any questions you don't feel comfortable posting on one of the OH forums, please send me a PM and I'll do my best to answer or point you in the right direction.