Weight Loss Surgery

I've fought with my weight for a long time. Very little seems to make a difference. The only diet that worked at all for me was Atkins, and I had to go off it because the lack of carbohydrates made me really cranky and depressed.

My weight has gone back up. I am bouncing between 247 and 250, mostly staying around 249. I can't take it any more. I try so hard, and nothing works. If I saw some real progress, maybe I could stick with it. But I'm just not the kind of person who deprive myself on a constant basis without seeing some real benefit.

I've looked into weight loss surgery for quite a while. I concluded almost immediately that gastric bypass was not something I would consider. Perhaps if I weighed another 100 pounds, or had more serious co-morbidities (weight-related health problems) I would consider it. But the risks are just too high in my opinion. Plus I don't believe in cutting out body parts that God gave you. Yes, technically they're still in you, but you've surgically separated them. Plus there are so many miserable and serious complications you can suffer afterwards.

Then I found the Lap-Band...adjustable gastric banding. It is similar to gastric bypass in that it restricts your food intake, but your stomach is not separated, nor are your intestines bypassed. All they do is put a silicone band around the top of your stomach. It has a tube leading away from it that ends in a "port" that is sewn near the front of your abdomen. The silicone band restricts the amount of food you can eat by forming a pouch at the top of your stomach, which is very small and fills up quickly. But unlike the gastric bypass, the food still goes through the rest of your stomach and intestines. Six weeks or so after surgery, you go to the doctor for a "fill". The doctor locates the port in your abdomen, numbs the area, puts a syringe into the port and puts a little saline solution in, which inflates the band, making it a little tighter around your stomach. That gives you more restriction, and this is what makes it adjustable.

If you find that you're able to eat too much, you get another fill. If you need the band looser, say for pregnancy, you can get unfilled. If you have problems with the band, it is reversible. You can have it surgically removed. There is a much lower risk of death, fewer and less serious complications possible, and you will ultimately lose just as much weight with the Lap-Band as with gastric bypass. The weight usually does come off slower, but that is better anyway, to give your skin a chance to get its elasticity back, so you can have less hanging skin.

Lap-Band is the "gold standard" in most other countries. And if your insurance doesn't cover it and you're paying for it yourself, you can travel to another country and get it done much cheaper, by doctors who are much more experienced. The doctors here are fairly new at it, because it is a newer surgery in this country. So often when you go in for a seminar or doctor's appointment, they try to steer you towards the bypass.

There are risks, but if you choose a surgeon who has done at least 100 bands, the risk is very small. Also, since it is done laparascopically instead of an open incision, the healing time is less.

My insurance does cover it, and I am definitely eligible. I am applying this week for approval. Please pray that I get it, and quickly, and that I can keep up my breastfeeding so that I will not get pregnant. I will have to stop breastfeeding before the surgery (American doctors' rules), so after the surgery I will have my priest's permission to use natural family planning to avoid pregnancy for at least a year to allow time to lose the weight (docs say 18-24 months, but they're so anti-pregnancy anyway).

I have researched this for a year and a half and done a lot of thinking and weighing the risks and the benefits, and I think this is the best choice for me and my family. My family deserves a wife and mother who is healthy and capable of fulfilling her duties, and can't be that person the way that I am right now.

For more information, check out Lap-Band.com and the information about lap-band on Obesity Help. Obesity Help has forums and reviews from many patients for their surgery, the hospital they used, and their surgeon. However, this site is for all weight loss surgeries, so keep this in mind when reading testimonials, reviews, etc. Also search for bandsters and Lap-Band support groups on Yahoo. People who have the band often refer to themselves as "bandsters".

If you are interested in getting the lap-band but would have to pay for it yourself, I would recommend going to Mexico. I know, your first thought is "eeeeeww" but there are surgeons there who specialize in this surgery. The important thing is to pick a good one, and a good hospital. The best I've heard of is Dr. Kuri in Tijuana. I've talked to many people who've gone to him, they all swear by him (though most bandsters LOVE their surgeons, anyway). He's done more than 1200 surgeries, teaches other doctors in Mexico and the U.S. how to do the surgery, and it only costs around $10,000. In Mexico you get excellent attention from the staff, and many people who get their band there go back to Mexico for follow-up plastic surgery to remove excess skin. But again, research is VERY important.

Please keep my intentions in your prayers. Pray that I am approved quickly, that I don't get pregnant til way after the surgery, and that the surgery is safe and successful. Thank you!

5 Responses to "Weight Loss Surgery"

Bethany Says :
3:21 PM

I will pray for you! I didn't know much about this but am glad that you filled me in. I am very glad that your intentions are to fill your God given role as a wife and mother.


Naomi Says :
9:00 AM

I can relate to what you are saying so much. I have three children 2 years apart all by C-Section and I can't have any more as my uterus is stuffed from the surgery. At the end of April this year I weighed 120kg (around 240 pounds). My baby is now two and I breastfed her until she was 11months. I really struggled as my body was so depleted that even with taking fenugreek tablets and other supplements I could no longer produce enough milk. I also could not lose weight. It has taken me these last two years to start to recover from the birth of my last child. At the end of April I decided enough was enough. I am pre diabetic and I have sleep apneoa and I was feeling ill all the time. I started on Atkins and have lost 10kgs (20pnds)so far. The secret to successful Atkins is eating vegetables and fruit. Thats right, fruit and vegetables. I eat 170grams of green vegetables twice daily and have nuts and 1 apple each day. I also drink lots of water. I do not feel tired and I am not cranky. My doctor suggested lap banding to me as well but I didn't think I could live my life never able to properly eat a steak and not participating in meal times which to me is fellowshipping with family and friends.

My body didn't want to let go of the fat until I stopped breastfeeding and my health was built up and now I can stick with the diet and lose weight. I know you are frustrated and tired of the way you are but I would urge you to give dieting another go. I will be happy to be you diet buddy if you like and we can encourage one another as I feel we have much in common.

I live in Australia and if you want to email me my address is paramellowa@hotmail.com

In Christ, Naomi

Mommaroo2 Says :
12:54 PM

I'm sorry to hear you had so much trouble breastfeeding.

If you're able to do Atkins in a healthy way, that's great. When I was on it, I ate a very balanced diet, had lots of veggies and a little fruit, took my vitamins, and it did work. I lost 25 pounds in a short time, but it wasn't worth it. Some people just have bad reactions to that diet emotionally. Unfortunately I'm one of them.

I did decide if I can somehow come up with the money, I'm going to try going to a hypnotherapist to help me deal with my emotional eating. It's really expensive though.

My breastfeeding problems aren't as a result of having a lot of children. I had problems from the start. I do okay up to about four to six months, then I have problems. I'm having problems early this time, probably because I was an idiot and tried using Relacore pills to help in weightloss, and as soon as I tried it, my milk supply dropped really bad. I'm taking fenugreek now, but it hasn't helped as much as it normally has.

I hope I don't have to have surgery, but I will if I have to. If I don't lose weight, I'm heading for some major health problems not far down the road.

By the way, the lap band won't interfere with you eating normally, once you've gotten past the "liquid diet" during recovery. True, you might not be able to eat steak, some people can't...but other than a couple of diet modifications, you pretty much can eat anything. Just less of it, and you have to take small bites and chew well, which everyone should do anyway. I wouldn't think it would set you apart from other eaters any more than Atkins does. But I'm not promoting the surgery for you or anyone else. There are risks involved, it is NOT an easy way out, and if you can lose it by dieting, you definitely should.

I'm glad you're having success losing the weight. Good luck with it, and thanks for posting!

Anonymous Says :
6:57 PM

before doing something so radical as surgery, please look into a good solid weight loss program such as Weight Watchers. Six years ago I weighed 233 lbs. I joined WW and now weigh 150 lbs. Yes it will take longer than surgery but you'll learn how to eat better and lose the weight at a safe rate.

Dani Says :
9:10 AM

Over 2 years ago I weighed over 200 lbs. I'm a vegetarian (lacto-ovo for 31 years) but started doing the Atkins plan. I graduated to a good carb-low sugar diet. I lost 90 lbs but since this past Christmas I have managed to gain back 12 lbs of it. I like to eat and I can eat a lot!

It's a hard battle but with God's help, I'm hoping to be able to keep this weight off.

I will keep you in my prayers. God bless! Take care. Dani

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