Love My Lap Band!

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

Posts Tagged ‘Obesity’

Weight Loss Surgery Even Safer Than Previously Thought

Posted by Lori on July 29, 2009

Oh, here’s a weight loss surgery study with great news for bariatric patients in general, and Lap Band patients specifically. The risks of death or complications from weight loss surgery is much lower than expected – particularly for Lap Band patients.

Now, a word to the wise for people looking at the safety rate. Weight loss surgery is frequently performed on severely obese and critically ill patients in a last ditch attempt to save their life, as happened for Lorraine Kay. Lorraine’s primary care physician wanted a gastric bypass because she was so ill that he didn’t think that she would lose weight fast enough with a Lap Band for it to save her life, but her surgeon didn’t think she would survive the surgery and wanted to perform a Lap Band instead. Her surgeon won out and Lorraine now weighs 125, her diabetes is in remission and her blood pressure back to normal – this from a woman in her late fifties, who weighed over 300 pounds, used 120 units of insulin a day and was weeks away from dying.  So, these patients are frequently in real trouble when they go into surgery in the first place.

That being said, the numbers for weight loss surgery in general, are no higher than they are for other types of surgery:

Weight-loss surgery isn’t risk-free, but a new study suggests that in the hands of a skilled surgeon, it may be safer than previously thought. However, some people — including those with sleep apnea or a history of blood clots — are more likely to have problems with surgery than others, according to a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Weight-loss surgery is safer, but could cause complications for people with sleep apnea or a history of blood clots.

Weight-loss surgery is safer, but could cause complications for people with sleep apnea or a history of blood clots.

“The overall conclusion that we reached is that bariatric-surgery safety is actually quite good,” said Dr. Bruce Wolfe, a professor of surgery at the Oregon Health and Science University.

In the past, bariatric procedures have been associated with death rates of 2 to 3 percent and complication rates of up to 24 percent. However, the obesity epidemic is fueling a rise in such surgeries, prompting concerns about their safety. In 2005, 171,000 people underwent bariatric surgery, more than 10 times the number that had the procedure in 1994.

To assess the safety of such operations, Wolfe and his colleagues looked at 4,776 patients in the first month after having a bariatric procedure. They found that 4.3 percent of patients had a serious problem, such as a blood clot or needing another operation, and 0.3 percent, or 15 patients, died within a month after surgery — a complication rate similar to other types of surgery.

Ahhh, but the news is even better for Lap Band patients – from another article on the same study:

“Nobody died within 30 days of the banding technique…”

As for the major complications:

The overall likelihood of major complications, including death, blood clots or the need for follow-up surgery, showed a similar pattern. It was 1 percent for banding, 4.8 percent for laparoscopic bypass and 7.8 percent for open bypass.

Wolfe said the pattern is not surprising because surgeons will not try laparoscopic bypass on patients with many risk factors. When they adjusted for risk factors, the chance of major complications was much more comparable between both types of Roux-en-Y bypass.

Dr. Malcolm Robinson of Harvard Medical School said in a commentary the complication rates ‘are similar to those seen in other major operations’ but since the study involved 33 U.S. surgeons certified as highly skilled, the results ‘may not be widely reproducible.’


Both Robinson and Wolfe recommend that any person considering bariatric surgery should choose a facility that’s been designated as a “Center of Excellence” because that means that the surgeon and the whole health-care team are qualified and experienced.

Here is Dr. Wolfe talking about how weight loss surgery allows people to live longer:

“[Research suggests that] surgery increases survival and makes people live longer, even taking into account mortalities,” said Wolfe.

That’s what it all comes down to – you have family and friends who love you and want you to live a long life. Think about your own sadness about the people who have left before you. If you kids or a spouse, you want them to feel that for as few years as possible. Weight loss surgery allows you to live longer and live happier – and that’s worth it.


Posted in Lap Band Studies, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lorraine Kay’s Lap Band Weight Loss Story

Posted by Lori on March 26, 2008

Lorraine Kay was an ultra-high risk patient. Just over 5 feet tall, she weighed 325 pounds. Her physician had warned her that she didn’t have another year left. Her diabetes was completely out of control (120 units of insulin a day), she was losing her vision and had congestive heart failure. Her physician wanted to perform a gastric bypass. Her surgeon refused to because he didn’t think she’d survive the surgery – although he did think she could get through a Lap Band. Her physician rejected the Lap Band because he didn’t think she’d lose weight fast enough to extend her life. Eventually, her surgeon won out. There was a four hour delay to make sure the crash cart was available, but she came though it just fine. I’ll let Lorraine tell her story from here on out.

This is the first of the videos that I’ve shot and I will be upping the resolution. I’m having a bit of a YouTube learning curve.

Posted in Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Lap Bands And Diabetes, Love My Lap Band Video Interviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obesity Largely Determined By Genetics

Posted by Lori on March 10, 2008

Sometimes I feel like I harp on this a bit too much, but most people who are overweight suffer from so much guilt, that I think it’s incredibly important to reiterate the degree to which weight gain is beyond common sense control. I doubt that most overweight people eat that much differently from their trimmer companions. Most of us eat somewhat badly but few of us really binge.

From the University College London:

Becoming overweight as a child is more likely to be the result of your genes than your lifestyle, claims a study.

University College London researchers examined more than 5,000 pairs of identical and non-identical twins.

Their American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that differences in body mass index and waist size were 77% governed by genes.

Why twins?

Twin studies are a good way to test how far our genes or our environment influence our development.

Identical twins have exactly the same genes, while non-identical twins are genetically different, like brother and sister.

However, because they were born at the same time, and raised in the same household, they can be assumed to have roughly similar upbringing in terms of food.

This allows scientists to measure differences in weight and calculate how much of that difference can be blamed on environment, and how much on genes, even though it doesn’t identify individual genes which might be linked to obesity.

They worked out that the effect of a bad environment was far less marked than the effect of a child’s genes.

I think it works out like this – our modern diet is a mess. Lots of carbs and fat and salt – not a good combo. For people who are not genetically inclined to gain weight though, the diet isn’t that much of a problem. But for those of us who are – watch out!

And be very clear – carbs, fat and salt is very much the diet that was encouraged on us from the late sixties on. I’m talking about pasta and pesto here – not fast food. But once you get to fast food, then you have real problems. And how many kids, in our mom-got-home-late-and-still-needs-to-do-laundry-and-grade-papers world are eating fast food a few times a week? Grrrrrr……

Just put your burden down and decide what you want to do. If you don’t want surgery, learn to love yourself anyway. Eat right. Get some exercise. Check out the online fatosphere and make some new friends. The truth of the matter is that you’re pretty worthwhile regardless of what you do, and that’s what you should treasure about yourself. And if you do want to lose weight, then quit beating yourself up. You probably aren’t any more gluttonous than lots of your skinny friends – it’s true. Get yourself to a surgeon and check out lap band surgery. You’ll live longer, you’ll be healthier and happier. And that’ll make your mom, your spouse and your kids happy too. 🙂

Posted in Lap Band Basics, Why You Can't (Or Don't) Lose Weight And Keep It Off | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »