Love My Lap Band!

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

Posts Tagged ‘gastric bypass’

Another Great Male Lap Band Blogger

Posted by Lori on August 5, 2009

When I first started doing this, there were hardly any men talking about their experience with the Lap Band. Robert Morgan’s poignant tale of morbid obesity and 250 pound weight loss was close to singular. Today, I was checking the new blog entries and found a new writer on the block – Aaron Grossman. He has two blog entries up at Lap Band Talk – the most popular of the Lap Band forums.

In Entering The Lap Band Zone, his first blog post, he does a wonderful job of sketching out the differences between gastric bypass and gastric banding and he explains the reasons behind his decision to have weight loss surgery. He starts post-op at his surgeon’s office:

I got on the examining room scale which is connected to a device that measures weight, body mass index (BMI) and whatever else you can obtain from stepping on a scale. The nurse and I both looked at the weight reading. Her eyes widen. My eyes tear up. My wife high-five’s me. I had lost 14 pounds in 8 days.

Lest you think I just came out of the hospital after a debilitating illness, let me clarify; I had Lap-Band bariatric surgery a week before the weigh-in.

And then his reasons for deciding to have a Lap Band procedure:

Anyway, you get the idea. I went through the other pre-operative protocols which included an Upper GI series, stress test, Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Echocardiogram and several other procedures. I attended support groups of both pre-op and post-op Lab-Banded patients. I reached out to friends of friends who had the procedure. I spent untold hours surfing the web and reading community board posts by pre-op and post-op patients. I wrestled with my diet demons.

And then, a really close friend needed quadruple bypass surgery. He’s fine now, 6 months later. But that was it for me. I don’t want to have my sternum cracked open. I want to minimize or eliminate my risk factors. I want to live and return to “normal” eating. And, I decided that the only way a serial overeater like myself can do it is by banding my stomach down to a small pouch.

It’s a wonderful article. He talks about losing weight only to regain it – something that we have all experienced.  And he covers his diet in the first few weeks post-op.

In Dealing With Civilian Responses To Lap Band Surgery, his second blog post, he talks about his success six weeks out with the Lap Band, and his response to people who say that weight loss surgery, is taking the easy way out:

To those who say it’s the ‘easy way out,’ here’s my reply: I went through both abdominal surgery and the attendant recovery from its unpleasant discomfort; I no longer drink coffee, carbonated beverages or distilled spirits; I will probably never again eat hard, crusty bread, well-done meat or anything else that can’t pass through an opening the size of a toothpaste cap in my ‘new’ stomach; if I do overeat, I’ll get sick, nauseous or vomit; in the worst scenario, I’ll be hospitalized from eating the wrong food or the wrong amounts. This is the ‘easy way out?’

On the other hand, in 6 short weeks, I’ve lost 45 pounds and have eliminated virtually all of my blood pressure medication; I can walk 6 ½ miles without getting winded or having to stop from joint pain; and, I am happy to do chores around the house again. I achieved this, in no small fashion, with the love and support of my family and, yes, relying on good old fashioned discipline to consume the right foods in the correct proportions.

At the end of the day, Lap-Band surgery has empowered me to take control of my food intake and regain my sense of self. It has not always been easy and it is definitely not for everyone. But it’s working for me right now. The very best part … and it didn’t happen as a result of the ‘easy way out’ … is hearing friends and loved ones tell me “Welcome, you’re back again.”

Wonderful stuff. I’m glad that he is writing about his experience and not simply shuffling it off as “diet and exercise”.


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Gastric Banding Effective for Failed Gastric Bypass Patients

Posted by Lori on October 16, 2008

I’m a year late on this study. I have no idea how I missed it. It’s a tiny study, still it makes the point that for people for whom Gastric Bypass operations fail to help them leave morbid obesity behind, Gastric Bands can provide further support.

Results 11 patients (seven females, four males) were referred to our program for weight loss failure after RYGBP (six open, five laparoscopic). Mean age and BMI pre-RYGBP were 39.5 years (24–58 years) and 53.2 kg/m2 (41.2–71 kg/m2), respectively. Mean EWL after RYGBP was 38% (19–49%). All patients were referred to us for persistent morbid obesity due to weight loss failure or weight regain.

The average time between RYGBP and LAGB was 5.5 years (1.8–20 years). Mean age and BMI pre-LAGB were 46.1 years (29–61 years) and 43.4 kg/m2 (36–57 kg/m2), respectively. Vanguard (VG) bands were placed laparoscopically in most patients. There was one conversion to open. Mean OR time and LOS were 76 minutes and 29 hours, respectively. The 30-day complication rate was 0% and mortality was 0%. There were no band slips or erosions; however, one patient required reoperation for a flipped port. The average follow-up after LAGB was 13 months (2–32 months) with a mean BMI of 37.1 kg/m2 (22.7–54.5 kg/m2) and an overall mean EWL of 59% (7–96%). Patients undergoing LAGB after failed RYGBP lost an additional 20.8% EWL (6–58%)
What all of that means is that they took 11 people who had only lost, on average, 38% of their excess weight after a Roux-en-Y procedure. After they received a gastric band, they lost an additional 20.8% on average. It looks to me like some of them even got down to what would be considered “goal weight”. Good deal.
Anyway, good news for those of you who have failed to hit your goal with Roux-en-Y surgeries. Don’t get cynical. If this is important to you, talk to your doctor about a Lap Band.

Posted in Lap Band Studies | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Weight Loss Surgery Radio Today at 5pm PST

Posted by Lori on May 28, 2008

Cher Ewing and Jeff Cadwell are both weight loss surgery patients and Life Coaches. Cher has had a Lap Band and Jeff a gastric bypass. They do weekly 90 minute broadcasts about various issues of interest to weight loss surgery patients. I like what they do because they have first hand knowledge of what the process is and that’s incredibly valuable.

Today, they have, as their guest, Colleen Cook who is a weight loss surgery patient and founder of Bariatric Support Centers International. From the press release on the show:

Join Cher & Jeff as they talk with Colleen Cook about her story. Colleen is a weight-loss surgery patient from 1995.

She is the founder of Bariatric Support Centers International, an extraordinary company that specializes in providing long-term education and support services for weight-loss surgery patients. She is also the founder and former chair of the National Support Group Network for Allied Health Sciences, a committee of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.
Colleen is a sought after speaker & former host of her radio show, “Obesity’s Surgical Solution”. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed “Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients“. She has an extensive background in group organization, meeting facilitation, and leadership training. Known as Ms. Enthusiasm, Colleen helps men and women from all walks of life recognize their extraordinary potential and then inspires them to aspire even higher.

Her book, which I linked from my bookstore, is out of print and ridiculously expensive secondhand (not her doing). So, I’m going to spend some time at Ms. Cook’s website and see what kind of things I can learn. We do know, as I remind you so endlessly, that people who have weight loss surgery and attend support groups lose more weight than those who don’t. And this is all about the weight loss.

By the way, Jeff and Cher maintain podcasts of all their shows, so even if you miss one, you can catch up again later.

It’s a beautiful day in Southern California and I have got a lot of running around to do. So, I’m gonna put on my running around clothes and go do it. It even smells good today. The flowers are blooming mad.

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Weight loss with lap band interview

Posted by Lori on February 14, 2008

I just found a wonderful interview online from Randy Alvarez’ Wellness Hour. He sits down and talks to Dr. Robert Powell who has offices here in California and in Texas.

The interview itself is about 20 – 30 minutes long. I wasn’t clocking it, so I’m not sure of the length. But he does a good job of covering the basics. Dr. Powell is obviously not a big fan of gastric bypasses, and believes that most people would choose the lap band given the choice. He says that his office looks for 8 – 13 pounds of weight loss per month which is not nearly as quick as gastric bypass – but of course, lap bands are far less invasive and reversible if necessary. He talks about how his patients become ambassadors for the procedure and that’s something I’ve experienced. As I’ve begun talking to people who have had lapbands, all of them are incredibly enthusiastic as to how much it has changed their life for the better.

Alvarez and Dr. Powell discuss hunger for a moment. Beth, one of Dr. Powell’s patients, is on the show, and she addresses the fact that she hasn’t felt hungry since she was banded. Dr. Powell talks about how the nerves that signal that you’re full are in the top of your stomach. The lap band, by creating a little pounch, stimulates those nerves after just a small amount of food and thus, an early feeling of satisfaction. They also discuss the need for follow up care and for counseling, and how the office teaches people to eat well. With the feeling of hunger no longer in overdrive, eating properly becomes a much easier proposition.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the interview. Dr. Powell does a good job of telling the story in a fairly complete and succinct fashion.

Posted in Lap Band Basics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lap Band Blog

Posted by Lori on February 13, 2008

I was out cruising around the internet the other night, looking for new and interesting things to bring home, when I found this very elegantly written blog post by Dr. Sid Schwab. Read the whole post. It’s a beautifully written piece about lap bands. The Simpson’s story below is fun as well.

The parents of Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, were friends of my parents. It might interest his fans to know, if they don’t already, that his parents’ names are Homer and Marge. Several years ago, my mom got Marge Groening to finagle a favor from Matt: he sent our son, on his birthday, several items of wittily signed simpsonalia, along with a couple of original drawings of Bart offering greetings, relating, as I recall, to a cow. This does not keep me from criticizing Mr. Groening on surgical matters.

On the most recent Simpsons episode, which I watched with my usual devotion, Homer underwent weight-loss surgery. During the pre-operative meeting with the surgeon he was told about “gastric bypass surgery,” but the explanation, complete with diagram, was of placing a band around the stomach. There’s a lot of misunderstanding out there.

And in the comments, I found a link to the blog of Dr. Chris Oliver, an orthopedic surgeon in Scotland who is blogging his weightloss with a lap band. I particularly like this post with the before and after pictures. Read the comments as well. Like Sid Schwab’s post above, Oliver references the fact that he doesn’t really feel hungry anymore. How liberating must that be?

Posted in Lap Band Bloggers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »