Love My Lap Band!

Everything you want to know about life and weight loss with a Lap Band!

Posts Tagged ‘Fat Loss’

Lap Band Success! 21 Pounds in 21 Days

Posted by Lori on October 6, 2009

I had my surgery on September 10th and have done a meticulous job of sticking to the diet. Happily, I’ve only experienced a little hunger. On the 21st day, I finally got my courage together and weighed myself – I’d lost 21 pounds. Wow. This operation is a miracle.

As a result of the weight loss, I’m walking farther than I have in years. Two nights ago, I walked 5.4 miles without having to stop even once and I got it done at a 20 minute per mile pace. Not rocket speed but I haven’t been able to do that in years. If I’d had a better pair of shoes on, I could have gone another 2.7 miles. As it was, my feet were covered in blisters by the end of the walk and it’s kept me home for a couple days now. But now I know I can do it. I used to walk 8 to 10 miles a day, and I’ll be able to get there once again. You can’t imagine how good it is for your soul to walk alone at night time with no voices or music bobbling in your ears. Just me, my dog, the stars and Ventura Boulevard in the late evening.

My clothes are finally getting baggy. I wear stretch jeans and it takes quite a bit before they stop fitting. I think I have ten more pounds max in my current jeans and then, times being what they are, I’ll have to figure out what to do next. In the meantime, I have a Macy’s Wish List for Love My Lap Band, in case any of my readers want to help out with my current dilemma. If so, the jeans are the priority.

I’m still not experiencing much hunger – it’s a very nice thing to have it totally swept away.  My big splurge day was just under 900 calories. I’ve made this decision to keep my calorie intake ultra-low, if I can, until the point where I can fit back into a size 14 and I find myself relating to the notion of 900 calories the way I used to relate to the notion of 2000 calories. But now, because I have a Lap Band, 400 calories,only provokes occasional twinges of hunger rather than a full out assault on my consciousness. I drink a lot of water and that helps as well. I know Dr. Ortiz’s materials suggest having some Metamucil for hunger. I may pick some up just in case.

My compromised computer does not allow me to link pictures right now, so I apologize for how dry looking blog is at the moment. Hopefully, I’ll have a new MacBook Pro sometime soon, and I’ll make this blog a little prettier once again.

I want to say one more time that this operation is a miracle. My life is now under my control in a way that  it hasn’t been in years. I’m not hungry, it doesn’t hurt and no, I’m not throwing up. I’m going to be able to do it – I just know it. Nothing is gonna stop me now. 🙂

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Lap Band Blog About Men

Posted by Lori on July 28, 2009

Most of the Lap Band blogs I find are written by women. Today, I found the Lap Band King – imagine that! This is from his “about” page:

I am Marcus. I am Male. I am 36. I have a wife. I have 2 girls and 2 boys. I have a big family. I have been over-weight for nearly 3/4’s of my life. I am not your normal guy. I run several companies including one multi-million dollar operation. I started in this venture in life a son a preacher man. I was raised in a small back woods town in East Texas called Votaw. Yeah thats right back woods. I was home- schooled for most of that growing up time. Thus my lack of knowledge in spelling. I was married at the age of 21. With no money in the bank. I never went to college yet, tried my luck in the pipeline oil and gas industry. I have had great success in this field. I have lots of friends that I love dearly. I am a giver. I believe that is how I am in this position in life. I have lived the American dream from driving a 74 ford to driving whatever I want to drive. THE ONLY THING I HAVE NOT OVER COME IS MY WEIGHT. In the start of my obsession to loosing and becoming the KING of my life my highest weight was 445lb. Thats a big SOB, If you know what I mean. So this site is dedicated to me and my quest to become who I see myself in the mirror – the person I really see. My day to day journey loosing weight with the help of the Lapband – I hopefully shall become the LAP-BAND KING. My surgery date was February 5, 2009.

Okay, that’s more than I can say for myself.  Anyway, here is his archive of video posts. He just seems like a fundamentally decent guy on a journey. Here is the episode from his birthday:

Also, if you’re new to the site, I want to encourage you to read Robert Morgan’s 250 pound weight loss story linked on the lower right column. It’s quite a long story, but he is a journalist and a wonderful writer. Here’s a sample:

I felt doomed to die of a heart attack by the age of 32, but I didn’t know what to do. I don’t overeat so I figured eventually it would all go away. I was certain that putting on a few extra pounds was something that happens to everyone when they hit their 30s.

It hit me like a ton of bricks this year, and I have one immature, rude, disrespectful Decatur High School student to thank for it. I was at my first volleyball game of the season in late August when I walked by the student body section. I noticed in my peripheral vision as I approached the group that one boy in particular kept staring at me. Just as my family and I passed, he quickly turned to two of his buddies and said, “Did you see how fat that dude was? What a freak!”

This definitely was not the first time I was stared at because of my weight. It happens all the time. When I see others in my same position, I notice they all get the same kind of looks I get.

Those words that boy spoke back in August are still ringing in my ears. I didn’t sign up for this, nor did I ask to be overweight.

To say I didn’t cry that night as my wife slept would be a lie. What I heard come out of that boy’s mouth cut like a knife. Of all the great kids I work with at Decatur, it took one inconsiderate teenager to shake my world.

I thought about it all night, the next day, and for the next week. I wanted to change overnight before the next person made fun of me. I see it almost every day now that my eyes were opened by this one person. People look at me differently every day, it’s just I can’t read thought bubbles as they stare when I slowly pass by.

Posted in Lap Band Bloggers, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Video Blogs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Karen Miller’s Lap Band Story

Posted by Lori on May 30, 2008

I can’t find the first installment of this series, but it’s about Karen Miller, a 26 year old woman, in Bridgeport, Connecticut who had a Lap Band procedure performed by Dr. Timothy Ehrlich. Like most future Bandees, she had lots of different health problems – frightening when you’re only 26. Those have gone away, and now she’s feeling (as a friend of mine put it) down right evangelical.

She said she’s actually had to stop herself from suggesting the procedure to others, for fear of seeming rude.`I don’t want to offend anybody,” said Miller, a law student at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass. “But I want to let them know that this is an option. Before I had the surgery, I didn’t even know it was out there. I wish I had known sooner.”

And her health problems are now better:

Her enthusiasm is understandable, given her response to the surgery. Before the procedure, she weighed 247 pounds. She also had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which led to a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, irregular glucose levels and irregular periods.

The syndrome also made it difficult for her to lose weight, even though doctors urged her to do so.

On the advice of a friend, Miller, who works in the medical records department at St. Vincent’s, decided to explore bariatric surgery. However, she wasn’t interested in the more highly publicized gastric bypass surgery. That surgery, made famous by high-profile patients such as “Today” show weatherman Al Roker, involves rerouting part of the intestine.

Unlike gastric bypass surgery, lap-band is minimally invasive with few risks. Gastric bypass surgery, on the other hand, is a more complicated surgery that carries more risks, including possible death. Another benefit to lap-band surgery is that, unlike the bypass, it’s reversible.

Miller was deemed a good candidate for the lap-band, which is most effective for patients aged 18 to 65 and having a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher. Before surgery, Miller’s BMI – measurement based on weight related to height – was 42. Her health problems also made her a good candidate for the surgery, so she signed up.

One year later, she’s lost 72 pounds.

Since the procedure, Miller has gone from 247 pounds to 175 pounds. That’s obviously garnered a lot of reaction — most of it positive — from friends, family, strangers.

And she finds herself being cheered on.

Throughout the past year, Miller’s life has changed in many ways, but the thing that surprises her most is how supportive everyone has been.

“People are getting more and more cutthroat these days,” she said. “But when people see me doing this, they’re just so encouraging. I’m very happy.

It’s a good story – always gratifying to see someone decent have things go well. In the last installment, she’s about 20 pounds away from her goal weight – and wouldn’t we all like to be there.

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Interesting Post on Fills

Posted by Lori on May 27, 2008

Hmmmm, here’s something I’ve never read before. Dr. Rachael Keilin is talking about how fills impact a bandee’s hunger, and how the impact of the fill isn’t necessarily immediate.

There is also a phenomenon we see fairly often, but really can’t explain well. Some people will have a delay in the “tightness” of a fill by as much as two weeks. This is why we won’t fill one day and then fill again three days later. Because there is sometimes a lag in the perception of hunger after a fill (and remember: it’s hunger control we’re aiming for, not bulimia!), we don’t want to end up over-filling patients, especially if they live out of town. Spitting into a cup is just not fun. You’re meant to have gradual weight loss with the Lap Band from eating less. You’re not meant to be on a liquid diet or pureed food diet. We want to eat more or less a regular diet, just eat a smaller amount of food so that you can lose weight.

Interesting. Now, that I’ve checked out Dr. Keilin’s site, I have to go find out what “Smart Lipo” is. Inquiring minds want to know.

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Lap Bands and Diving

Posted by Lori on May 25, 2008

Oooooooh, this is sooooo interesting. One of the things I really want to do after I get my Lap Band is go diving. I’ve never been SCUBA diving in my life, and living so close to the beautiful waters of Mexico, I really want to at least once. Just once. Maybe twice. Anyway, I found this fascinating article about bariatric surgery and diving. It covers all of the weight loss surgery techniques and the risks to divers from each.

The news for bandees is good:

Adjustable Banded Gastroplasty or “Lap Band” isanother more restrictive procedure which reduces the size of the stomach. Following the surgery, the patient’s stomach may only hold 1-2 tablespoons in volume. This method drastically reduces the amount of food the patient can consume at any one time; digestion continues normally; and nutritional problems such as anemia and osteoporosisare almost nonexistent. The patient does not require as much ongoing medical supervision or dietary supplements.

Patients choosing this procedure must be very selective about the food they eat: since absorption is not altered, any foods high in calories, sugars and fat will have the same affect on the body as they did before the surgery. If a patient consumes too much food or large pieces of food, vomiting can result.

After surgery, some patients experience chronic acid reflux. Reflux and regurgitation of fluid and gastric liquid can present problems for a diver in the “head down” position, such as during descent. Divers can manage problems of regurgitation or vomiting through proper dietary considerations and possibly medications.

The estimation of “1-2 tablespoons in volume” is pretty extreme. In truth, you’ll be eating 6 to 8 ounces of food per meal – or a “half glass” of food as Dr. Paul O’Brien likes to put it. In the real world, that’s the equivalent of a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger and a small order of McDonald’s Fries. Of course, you won’t be eating at McDonald’s if you want to lose weight, but you can see where a meal of that size would be perfectly satisfying emotionally. And of course, with the Lap Band, you’ll be quite full as well.

So, for me, it’s to Mexico for my Lap Band surgery, and then hopefully, one year later, back for a SCUBA trip. I can’t wait. 🙂 Palancar Gardens – here I come!

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Good, Basic Lap Band Video Clip

Posted by Lori on May 25, 2008

This is a clip from National Health Journal with Dr. David Davtyan of the Beverly Hills Weight Loss Clinic. It has good animations – at least one of which I have seen before – including an animation of how the inner ring fills up to make the band adjustable. Dr. Davtyan is a Lap Band patient as well, and feels like that has really helped him to understand how the adjustability works best.

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Medicare May Expand Lap Band Coverage

Posted by Lori on May 19, 2008

Well, this is good news. Maybe it will help knock down a few more insurance walls for Lap Bands here in the US. Maybe it’ll help reduce the cost as well.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Medicare program may expand reimbursement for bariatric surgery for the obese, in light of a study that found the treatment can help reverse diabetes, the agency said on Monday.

Recent research found the surgery can completely reverse type 2 diabetes, a metabolic condition spurred by weight gain and suffered by millions of Americans.

Medicare, the government health plan for the nation’s 44 million elderly, “will assess the nature of the scientific evidence supporting surgery for the treatment of diabetes,” the agency said on its Web site.

The agency will decide whether to set a “national coverage decision,” that would set reimbursement policy for all Medicare recipients. It could also decide to not cover the weight-loss surgery for diabetes alone.

The government already pays for the surgery in certain patients, generally those classified as “morbidly obese.”

Both my mother, and my grandfather had diabetes and died at the age of 64 from heart attacks. Neither of them were obese and both of them were quite active. My grandfather was a rodeo photograher – not a job for the unfit. He was taking down storm windows from his home when he died. My mother was digging a ditch and I’m guessing the combination of the diabetes, the smoking and the Arkansas summer heat took her. Still, 64 is awfully young. Here’s hoping that we help keep parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles around longer.

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Lap Bands, Red Wine and Fat Cells

Posted by Lori on May 12, 2008

Dr. Paul O’Brien is right! We do get to have our glass of red wine with a Lap Band! Not that I’m much of a drinker, but I would like to live longer. Being an American with no health insurance, I get scared sometimes.

I was googling “weight loss” + genetics + fat and found this study from researchers at Oregon State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Ottawa about SIRT-1 – a gene which can reduce the development of new fat cells and increase metabolism. Ooooo la la! Well, it seems this gene’s activities can be increased by resveratrol, a compound found in grape skins.

The study was done with mice as a research model, and a remaining challenge will be to see if the same results are observed in a higher vertebrate model, including humans.
The research outlined the processes of fat formation and usage at a cellular and genetic level. It also analyzed the metabolic function of resveratrol, a polyphenol and antioxidant found at high levels in grape skins.

“When cells were exposed to resveratrol, our studies showed a pretty dramatic reduction in the conversion to fat cells and a lesser but still significant increase in the mobilization of existing fat, or the rate at which the cells metabolized stored fat,” said Mark Leid, a professor of pharmacology in the OSU College of Pharmacy. “This clearly could be one of the explanations for the health benefits that some researchers believe can be linked to moderate red wine consumption.”

And…

n trying to determine the molecular basis for this genetic link to longevity, the new study found that SIRT1 increases the use of fat and reduces the formation of new fat cells – apparently it represses one or more fat-regulating proteins and other genes that drive fat storage following calorie restriction. This may have been an evolutionary adaptation for the body to sense short term famine and counter it by increasing the burning of stored body fat, researchers say.

So, there ya go – I get to have a glass of red wine while I’m blogging and you get to have a glass of red wine while you’re reading my blog. 🙂

One more in my series Why You Can’t (Or Don’t) Lose Weight and Keep It Off. I’ve got more to report comin’ up in the next few days.

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Jaime’s Lost 50 Pounds In Just Over 2 Months!

Posted by Lori on May 11, 2008

Nice blog update. Jaime, of Jaime’s Journey, went to the doctor the other day and has officially lost 50 pounds! She started off at 350 and her doctor is now teasing her that she’s just melting away. She has before and after pictures up as well – pre-surgery, 1 month post and 2 months post.

Lise the Loser came back from her weekend at Langley, Washington to discover that she has officially lost 30 pounds and now weighs – dun da da da! – 199. She is in Onederland to stay!

Achieving Me has bought herself a fabulous black ruffled dress (it is dreamy) for the Winter Ball she will be attending this July! She got it in a size 8 (12 for our Aussie friends) so that it fits in a few months.

Lastly, I think Gwen has some new photos up of herself in her photo carousel.

Happy Mother’s Day to all. A documentary I co-produced a couple years ago on the training of opera singers is being screened for the board of the organization we worked for tomorrow night. I’m excited about that. My darling 29 year old son may, or may not, be aware of Mother’s Day but you know, a mother’s hope springs eternal.

Posted in Lap Band Before and After, Lap Band Bloggers, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

What You Can’t Eat With A Lap Band

Posted by Lori on May 9, 2008

Poking around YouTube today, I found these three videos for Dr. Terry Simpson in Phoenix, Arizona. You may recognize his name from my blog – previously I’ve linked a podcast to a radio show he did with Cher Ewing and Jeff Cadwell for Weight Loss Surgery radio. He’s an interesting guy and I’ve enjoyed listening to him. At his website, he has a lot of podcasts that he links on different aspects of life with a Lap Band.

This first YouTube video covers eating in the weeks following a Lap Band procedure. The first few days, it’s warm liquids. After that, you can have some soft food like mashed potatos. Then you move on to solid food, and he gives a run down of what you should avoid. Lastly, he talks about how much you should eat, and the fact that you should sit down and eat it when you do. There is always plenty of good information with him.

In this video, he talks about how the Lap Band works. He has a animation of a Lap Band when the video first opens that is silent – so nothing has gone wrong with your computer.

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Basics, What You Can Eat With A Lap Band | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Great Before And After Lap Band Story!

Posted by Lori on May 7, 2008

This video is from a Fox News Affiliate in Florida with Dr. Joette Giovinco who is doing a weeklong series on weight loss. She’s profiling Lap Bandee Bette Gashler who has gone from a size 22 to a size 10. Best of all, Bette is now pain free. And in regard to the poll that I linked last night about whether bandees regret their choice, Ms. Gashler says she doesn’t regret it at all and that this is the smallest she’s been since her daughter was born. It’s a two minute video – very quick. It does have good, clear close ups of the Lap Band as well.

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Do You Regret Getting A Lap Band?

Posted by Lori on May 6, 2008

Here’s an interesting thread over at the Lap Band Talk Forum. Ramone asks:

How Do you feel about your choice to get banded ??? Please Vote !

Sorry i posted this by mistake in Intro section as well.

My Story

Hi, I’m new to the community and am scheduled to get banded on May the 13th !!! Soooo nervous and excited at the same time. Would really like to hear from some of you about your experiences. Does anyone here regret going through with the surgery ?

My biggest worries is that I may regret the surgery for the following reasons:

1) I may feel frustrated with having a foreign object telling me what I can and cannot eat (unable to eat foods like red meat, past and rice the rest of my life).

2) Feeling like an impostor in front of other people because I have something inside myself that I am hiding from other people. Like I will always be carrying around this embarrassing secret with me…

What do you think about my thoughts ?

BTW I am 23 years old and in college

And the answers are overwhelmingly positive. Well, I knew they would be. 🙂 However, it’s an interesting read because everyone has their own reasons for being happy or regretful. As for the poll in question, 283 say it’s the best think they’ve ever done for themselves. 10 regret having been banded. And 51 haven’t made up their mind yet.

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For Self-Pays: Spring Special On Lap Bands $9900

Posted by Lori on May 6, 2008

Great Lakes Weight Loss in Detroit, Michigan is having a special price on Lap Band procedures for self-pays. Through the end of May, their self-price is $9900.

Announcing Our $9,900 Self Pay Lap Band Spring Special!!!

The cost is $9,900 for a pre-operative evaluation, the surgery and all post-operative visits (including band adjustments) for 90 days.
For your pre-operative visit, if you have insurance, we will accept it (if you need a referral from your primary care doctor, you must get one beforehand). If your insurance will not cover the cost of the office visit, the self-pay price is $250, which can be applied to the cost of the surgery if you proceed. So, the average cost would be:
1. $250 for the pre-operative visit
2. $9,650 for the surgery ($9,900 minus the $250 from the pre-op visit)
3. $150 x 3 not-covered band adjustments

Average Total Cost: $10,350, including all the necessary adjustments. There are no additional hidden costs in this price!

Harper University Hospital, where Great Lakes Weight Loss performs its surgery, is the first in Michigan to receive a JCAHO certificate for their bariatric surgery division.

“The bariatric surgery program at Harper has clearly demonstrated a commitment to excellence that differentiates it from similar programs across the country,” states Brooks Bock, M.D., president of Harper University Hospital. “The Gold Seal of Approval is a coveted healthcare indicator that our bariatric surgery program effectively employs established clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care for the clinically severe obese. This program complies with a national set of standards, utilizing an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.”

The bariatric program at Harper has helped thousands of patients successfully lose both weight and body fat. This program takes a comprehensive approach to managing weight loss before and after surgery through education, support, proper nutrition and exercise. Harper clinicians also provide effective pain assessment and management during recovery, resulting in early mobilization and a short length of stay.

It certainly looks like a good deal. If you’re interested, call Jackie at 313-966-7491.

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Cost | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lap Band YouTube Blogger Ashley’s Amazingly Well Documented Before and After Lap Band Story

Posted by Lori on May 5, 2008

I’ve had Ashley’s Lap Band blog, The Band In Me, linked on my blogroll for several weeks now. She’s a twenty-something Lap Bandee in Seattle, Washington who has amassed a pretty amazing series of videos on YouTube. She starts 1.5 weeks before surgery. She weighs 235 and has just lost five pounds.

Cut to a year later. Here she is two weeks ago, talking about her progress.

The amazing thing is that she has a total of 51 videos online in addition to her blog. Here’s the link to her channel at YouTube where you can see all of her videos. Ashley certainly doesn’t pull her punches on the complications of a Lap Band but talks about how worthwhile she has found it to be.

FYI, she had her surgery done at Northwest Weight Loss Surgery in Everett, Washington. These people have a great site with a lot of information available to prospective patients although a lot of it is applicable to everyone regardless of where you’re having surgery. Here’s their page on how to approach your insurance company for coverage. They have an active study going on about adolescents and Lap Bands and accept teenagers for surgery starting at age fourteen. They have offices in Yakima, Bellingham and Spokane as well.

There’s a lot of information here. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Posted in Lap Band Before and After, Lap Band Bloggers, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Teens and Lap Bands, Video Blogs | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dr. Terry Simpson on Reaching Your Lap Band Goal Weight

Posted by Lori on May 4, 2008

I discovered Phoenix, Arizona surgeon Dr. Terry Simpson of Southwest Weight Loss from Weight Loss Surgery Radio. Jeff and Cher have a fantastic podcast with him which I linked previously. He was late calling in so his interview doesn’t start until about 40 minutes in. It’s well worth the listen.

He has a series of podcasts linked on his own site that I’ve been listening to. The one that really caught my attention was entitled GETTING TO GOAL – it’s all the way down at the bottom of the page. He’s got a lot to say about the habits you need to form to be successful – none of which are unreasonable or at odds with your basic biology. His practice took a look at their patients that got to their goal weight and figured out what they had in common with eatch other. The number one thing was that they had a goal weight; and the number two thing was that they adjusted their behavior to get there. For instance, Dr. Simpson suggests adjusting your calorie intake to match the calorie intake of the size you want to be and has a BMR table to help you calculate that. As an example, someone who is in their early fifties, is 5’3″ and weighs 235 needs to consume about 1800 calories to maintain that weight. If you want to get down to 120, you’re going to need to drop your calorie intake to about 1100 per day – right about where the average Lap Bandee is already.

Dr. Simpson has a lot of video on his site that I haven’t even begun to dig into. He’s a bright, appealing guy and I think you’ll enjoy the time you spend there. He has two books for sale in my bookstore – LOSING THE LAST THIRTY POUNDS: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF WEIGHT LOSS and WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY – A LIGHTER LOOK AT A HEAVY SUBJECT. When you’re through looking around, if you want to read more, come on back and buy a book. Mama is still saving to buy that new tripod!

Posted in Bariatric Surgeons, Lap Band Podcasts and Radio | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »