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Thread: Questions on lapband

  1. #1

    Default Questions on lapband

    Dh and and myself have seriously been looking into lapband. MIL has even offered to help pay for it. She wants us to be healthy and around for our kids (as do we). We have tried TF, loosing weight naturally, i joined a gym....but nothing seemed to help, so its not from a lack of trying.

    So i was wondering a few things from those who have had it done:

    1. On most sites ive read its generally a 2 night hospital stay...how long where you in there for?

    2. Sites say you normally are given a few doses of morphine for pain....are you really in that much pain afterwards?



    3. Sites say the band is filled.....how do they fill it?

    4. We dont have PHI cos we simply couldnt afford it, sites never give a price.....how much does it cost?

    5. Have you had any complications?

    6. What was the hardest thing about getting it done?

    7. Is it really worth getting it done?

    8. Any other info or advice you can share?

    Thanks heaps in advance

  2. #2

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    Kim, there are a few ppl on BB who have had this done. Hopefully they will see this and respond... but just wanted you to know that some surgeons/hospitals hold information sessions on this. Perhaps contact a couple and ask their receptionist to send you any literature they have.

    Also, keep in mind that pain is subjective so your pain threshold will be different to someone elses. You may require little or no pain relief or you may require a lot. I've recovered people who have needed nothing and it was like they hadn't had surgery... then there have been those that needed everything we had...

    Anyway, hope one of the girls who have had this sees it and responds...

    MG

  3. #3

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    Kim - both my parents have had this done at different times - i don't want to be negative, so i'll give you the one piece of advice they didn't take - change your lifestyle FIRST.

    the lapband is only a foot up for you - it won't do it for you - so you need to start getting ready well in advance. Sushee is a success story because she made the lifestyle changes first. if you want it to work, it has to be the last resort to cut down food intake when you've done the rest first (it has to be habit to exercise, or the recovery will be a hell of a lot harder cos not only are you eating less, you have to try to overcome the hurdle of not exercising already - if you're already exercising, it's habit that you get back into kwim)

    my dad had his lap band a few years ago now - he was in hospital a couple of nights only, and used some heavy duty pain meds at the time (but he has severe arthritis too) - he didn't make the required lifestyle changes, so for him, there have been complications - his weight yoyo's so badly, he swaps from eating small serves of normal food (which you should be able to do after a while - very small admittedly, but it's real food) to a complete liquid diet cos he sees the scales going up. he gets nasty hiccups and throws up a lot - but i think that's more about his eating than the band. i know others have gotten something caught and needed to be sick sometimes but dad is really regular with this one

    his band is "filled" with saline solution - basically if he's eating too much, they add more to close the hole that food goes through - or open it up if he's sick too much.

    cost - dad was a while back, and mostly covered by PHI so i can't comment - i think in some cases (like dads) it is covered more by medicare and PHI cos of the problems with arthritis etc - it was seen as a medical neccessity, not optional surgery

    ok - the last thing on your question "is it worth it" - the ONLY way i can see it as being worth it is if, like sushee, you have the motivation and drive to make the changes, but just need that little bit of help to get over the hurdle. don't do it as an easy way out (it's not by any means! - read sushees blog about the next bout of surgery she needs!) - the only way it will work is if you change your lifestyle and then use the lapband as a last resort if all else fails to work (as an ADDITIONAL measure, not an instead of measure)

    i hope that all makes sense hun

    BG

  4. #4

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    Hi kim.

    My 20yr old cousin got it done last year.....i cant remember how much it was....but i remember thinking 'sheesh thats a lot of money'....but yer i cant for the life of me remember how much.
    12-14 months later.....i cannot see much of a change. She goes to the gym....when she feels like it, but generally isnt a motivated girl, and i honestly think she just thought the surgery would have her in a sz 10 within weeks....ummm no.
    Like the other girls have said....its a lifestyle change - exercise, healthy eating must become part of this journey....not just the surgery itself.
    For my cousin.....i think she took the easy way out, i know she had to do a workshop before going thru with the surgery, but i honestly dont believe she had it done for the right reasons....(i.e i want to loose weight, and i want to loose it NOW).......when my nan visits her, nan tells us there is empty mars bar wrappers in the bin, and empty coke bottles EVERYWHERE (sneaky nan ...
    DOnt get me wrong...she has lost weight, but she still has a long way to go.....
    I hope you get the answers your looking for hun.....

  5. #5

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    My mum is due to have her surgery at the end of this month. She is getting hers done at the knox hospital Melb, a condition of having it done there id to go to an info session. I also attended for moral support.1. On most sites ive read its generally a 2 night hospital stay...how long where you in there for?

    2. Sites say you normally are given a few doses of morphine for pain....are you really in that much pain afterwards?

    I think you are in a bit of pain. Even though it is keyhole surgery they actually 'blow' your stomach up to do the surgery properly.

    3. Sites say the band is filled.....how do they fill it?

    There is a port just under the skin which gives them access to fill the band with saline. They adjust this a few times to get it right.

    4. We dont have PHI cos we simply couldnt afford it, sites never give a price.....how much does it cost?

    It cost around $15 000.00

    5. Have you had any complications?

    The surgeons say there can be complications but they are quite rare. Some complicartions can be - the band is too tight making you throw up. - the band is too loose resulting in poor weight loss. - the band can move resulting in futher surgery to correct it - the band can grow into the stomach also resulting in more surgery to correct the problem.

    6. What was the hardest thing about getting it done?

    -

    7. Is it really worth getting it done?

    Weighing up the sucess stories to the unsuccess stories I would def get it done.

    8. Any other info or advice you can share?

    You may have to go on Optifast for 2 weeks before the surgery. This shrinks the liver making surgery safer.
    You may have to have a sleep study done to check for sleep apnoea.
    You generally dont see results until 12 months later, provided you follow all the rules.
    After surgery you can only eat puree for 2 weeks moving onto mashed, soft, then normal.
    You cant eat and drink at the same time - you will throw up
    Excess skin can be a prob after you loose weight.

    At Knox, you get ongoing support from dieticians, counsellers.

    I really hope this helps and Good Luck!!

  6. #6
    paradise lost Guest

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    I would second what BG said, you should read Sushee's blog on her lapband. She changed EVERYTHING about her lifestyle BEFORE the sugery so that afterwards she could get back to that normal (where she ate well and exercised). If you read what Sushee did it's clear that all the lapband does in serious success stories like hers is take the edge off hunger and make it slightly easier to eat less (and more difficult to eat a lot in one go). She still exercised like crazy, made good food choices, accepted her new limitations (including giving up some foods that she previously adored, and i don't mean "bad" food like chocolate, i mean rice!), and kept at it through weeks when all that made no difference, just like ANYone on a weightloss journey. Having read her journey, her attitude was incredible and it was THAT that got the weight off; though the bend helped it was far less central to the process than i imagined it would be before reading.

    Hopefully she'll be along soon to advise.

    Bx

  7. #7

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    Wow thanks ladies for your advice and help.

    I have been reading Sushees blogs....it helped alot!

    There is an info night at the start of next month we will be attending, so hopefully that helps us some more too

  8. #8

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    Fully agree with BGs post.

    Also if you have had abdominal surgery before, lapband surgery can not always be done via keyhole surgery. Don't know if this is something you have to worry about, but just thought i would let you know.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for that Kate....ive never had surgery before.

  10. #10

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    Hi K,

    I've only just seen this, but can't reply now, I'm afraid, as I'm only online for a couple of mins. I'm glad you've read some of my blog, but I do want to answer some of your questions if I can. Will try to get back to this sometime tomorrow, and have a dash at posting a proper reply.

  11. #11

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    1.On most sites ive read its generally a 2 night hospital stay...how long where you in there for?

    I was in overnight. I had my op at 2.30pm, was out like a light until about 11pm, but by the next day I was well enough to leave. I got home and stayed in bed for a good two days though. Those first three days are the most painful and you can barely eat anything, so you'd be feeling pretty weak as well. You won't be able to look after your little ones in those first few days.

    2. Sites say you normally are given a few doses of morphine for pain....are you really in that much pain afterwards?

    I only had oral pain relief once I left the hospital, and that was more than enough. I stoped all pain meds by day 3. The pain you experience is manageable, definitely not extreme by any stretch of the imagination. After 3 days, you start to feel 80% better. In a week, you're almost 100% back to normal, except for where your port is. That remains tender for a month or so, but doesn't really affect your ability to pick your kids up, or exercise.

    3. Sites say the band is filled.....how do they fill it?

    The band is attached via a tubing to a 'port' that is placed just under your skin on your tummy. To fill the band, they inject a small needle through your skin into the 'port' and push through some saline. This saline travels to the band and fills it. The port cannot be seen as it's under the skin, but you can feel it. And if you lose a lot of weight, you can see where it is because it sticks out of your tummy a bit. I can see it now - it looks like a lump on my belly.

    4. We dont have PHI cos we simply couldnt afford it, sites never give a price.....how much does it cost?

    Self-pay it's about $8000 - $14000 depending on which Dr you use (mine charges $14000 for self pay). I've even heard of some Dr's charging as little as $6000, but I would pay more for someone with sufficient experience. Personally, if you can wait, I would suggest taking out PHI and waiting the one year to qualify, because with PHI, I only paid $1900 for my op. Even if I paid PHI premiums for the next 5 years, it would still work out less than paying up-front for the surgery.

    5. Have you had any complications?

    Not me personally. And I expect that it's because I used a very experienced Dr, and I followed the band rules. Slippage rates for the lapband in Australia is only around 1%, and erosion even less, and it's probably because most lapbanders treat the band with some amount of respect, and don't abuse it.

    6. What was the hardest thing about getting it done?

    The op. Seriously! It was inconvenient for me, since I had a small child. But seeing how I was on my feet and exercising within 3 days, it wasn't that much of a hardship.

    7. Is it really worth getting it done?

    Yes. For me, definitely. Yes, I exercise, yes, I make good food choices. Yes I lost weight by ensuring I ate less calories than I expended. And yes, all the band does is make sure I eat less and am not hungry despite eating so much less, but that was exactly what I needed it to do!

    I can't eat more than a cup full of food per meal, often less. I can't eat a whole pizza even if I wanted to. I am not hungry between meals, and I don't crave many foods now. In fact I don't think I crave much at all anymore. THAT has been amazing, after years and years of over-eating.

    BUT that is just physical hunger. There is also 'head hunger' which is what makes you reach for a bar of chocolate simply because you feel like it, and not because you're hunrgy. I've had to learn the difference between 'hunger' and 'craving'. I've had to learn the difference between pushing my plate away when I'm 'satisfied' compared to when I'm 'full'.

    The band will not stop you from eating chocolates, or having a milkshake, or chowing down on a bag of chips or eating ice-cream. All these foods (plus a lot of the stuff that's bad for you) are 'slider' foods that will slide past your band without you ever feeling full from them. If you don't think you can get a grip over your 'head hunger' no weight loss surgery will be able to help you. You need to conquer that on your own.

    The bandster rule is that all meals are to be hard protein, a small serve of carbs and a small serve of veg. Plus lots of water. Trust me, when you achieve restriction (you're filled to the 'perfect' amount), a meal like that will keep you full for 3-4 hours easily. BUT what you put in your mouth is STILL up to you, so you still have to ensure that you eat right and not eat badly.

    But even after all I've said, I will admit to this: I don't think I would have lost this much weight without the band. Hunger was my enemy, and the band killed my enemy. It gave me the advantage I needed to make the changes to my life I have always wanted to change. If I didn't have the band, I would still be battling my physcial hunger, and it was something I've never been able to defeat on my own.


    8. Any other info or advice you can share?

    The band will help you lose weight as long as you eat well and don't sabotage yourself by eating 'slider' foods. It will, by virtue of you doing nothing else but eating less, assist you in losing approx 60% of your excess weight. That is to say, if you have 40kgs to lose, doing nothing but having the lapband and eating well will mean that in 2 years, you will lose about 25kg. That's about a kilo a MONTH. Very, very slow weight loss indeed. So lapbanding, if you only eat well and don't wish to exercise, is not a quick fix by any means. It's a slow way to lose weight. That can be very de-motivating, if you're expecting to simply get banded and for the weight to fall off. It doesn't happen that way.

    The stats say this: 85% of lapbanders, if they follow the lapband rules (non caloric drinks only, and meals that consist of protein, carb and veg, and NO snacking) will lose 60% of their excess weight over the course of two years. That's all it does - and while being 25kgs lighter is still better than nothing, you have to be realistic about how much the band contributes to your total weight loss in the scheme of things.

    To lose ALL of your excess weight, the first thing you have to accept is that you will have to exercise regularly for the rest of your life. I lost 100%+ of my excess weight in less than 8 months because I worked at it, very hard. I cycle 40kms 3 times a week.

    I am a lapband success story because I have a lapband, I follow the band rules and I exercise regularly. It was all these things in combination that saw me lose the weight. Not having even one of those things would have probably meant that I would have lost this much weight.


    HTH you, K. Please feel free to ask any more questions. I won't sugarcoat it, I'll definitely be honest with you. I do wish I'd done this sooner, personally. That's my only regret. But I won't say that it's for everybody, and you have to be prepared for your life to change.

    But if you are prepared, this surgery is a godsend. It was to me.
    Last edited by sushee; March 23rd, 2009 at 10:22 AM.

  12. #12

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    Wow Sushee thank you so much for all your info and advice and taking the time to reply in depth. It has been a real eye opener and ill definately think about alot more.

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