Thinkling About the Lap-band

Updated on January 10, 2010
G.Y. asks from West Palm Beach, FL
13 answers

Hi, after my third and last pregnagcy, I gained ALOT of weight, I've been trying to lose it now for one year with no avail. For six months straight I've gotten up at 5:30 A.M to do a 3 mile walk/jog and I only lost 5 pounds. Before than I've dieted, joined gyms taken pills NOTHING, at least nothing long term,recently I've been really seriously thinking about the Lap-Band, I felt guilty and like a failure at first but now after coming to terms with the guilt and the feeling of failure I've come to conclusion that I'm worthy of a HAPPY AND HEALTHY LIFE. My only problem now is how to get financing, if anyone's gone through with the band and knows the ins and outs of financing the procedure PLEASE help.

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answers from Tallahassee on

I would hold off on this surgery. Changing the way you eat and exercise will help so much more. Eliminate most sugars and no carbs in the evening. Eat more soup, that way you get nutrition without unnecesary fattening stuff. Don't starve yourself. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables and small snacks and smaller meals. More water. No high fructose corn syrup which is in soda - this can add lbs easily! Buy bread, spaghetti sauce, etc without HFCS. No caffeine either.
I would really give this a try first. If you are walk/jogging, check your heart rate and if you aren't breaking a sweat and pushing your heart rate up, you aren't going to burn enough calories for your time and so won't see much weight loss. Try climbing stairs, this builds muscle in your legs which keeps burning calories even when you are still! Do you do situps? I lost some weight recently but I have this loose skin roll around my middle. I need to try and tighten up the skin and burn as much of it off as I can and then I am going to get a tummy tuck to remove the excess that can't be fixed by exercise because it's empty sagginess. I think it is too soon to go to surgery. Don't give up yet! After surgery, you could gain back if you don't fix what caused the weight gain in the first place, your habits.
Change your habits first, but you need to learn what habits you have that caused the problem. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Good luck to you whatever you decide!



answers from Tampa on

Hi there, I too have struggled with my weight forever and have considered a lap band. It sounds less invasive than a gastric bypass and it is reverseable and adjustable. I don't know what your insurance is, but mine requires me to go to my regular doctor for weight management visits for 6 months so she can verify that there is no other way I can lose weight. After that, there is a lot of paperwork to do and other hoops to jump through. My brother has just gone through this process (it took him 2 years) and is scheduled to have surgery this January. So it is a long term process.
However, let me urge you to try one more thing--Weight Watchers. I joined in June and have lost 36 pounds since then. I am still very overweight but WW is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change and I feel confident that if I change for good I will lose the rest of the weight and be thin and healthy without surgery. WW teaches you how to eat and how to plan ahead to eat healthy. They have tons of on-line resources too and a great on-line community. I also love the meetings I attend.
Anyway, if you're interested or want to know more, message me and I will point you in the right direction. I know you said you've been getting up early to exercise but that is only 33% of weight loss. What you eat is the other 66%. I haven't exercised very much at all to lose what I have--just watched what I ate.
Hugs and good luck to you!



answers from Jacksonville on

Have you made up your mind that you want to do the lapband?
I am only asking b/c I did the vertical sleeve gastrectomy instead. I had considered the band at first and I did more research and I know a lady who'd done it but she wasn't using it properly, she treats it more like yo-yo dieting. She has it adjusted as needed and she eats alot. She did lose at one time but she gained it back. I decided to go VSG route. My sister is considering it also but her insurance will be picking up the bulk of it. I have to get the dr's name here in the Jax area who is an authority on it. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more info on it. but I am about 15 months out from surgery and I love my results.

I have to add after reading the other responses; you do go through a psych eval and you are required to do diet work beforehand, ie. you will have to show that you have done other things and failed. That seems to be the norm. Now with that being said, if this is what you want to do then go for it!! I was very active prior to my weight gain and medical issues contributed to my weight issues. I played basketball and volleyball and I lifted weights prior to having hypothyroidism. I also ruptured my achilles and have had 7 knee surgeries all of this is from being athletic. So that stuff about just getting out and exercising isn't always true, if you can do it this way and want to then go for it, I won't try and talk anyone out of it. I especially say don't listen to people who don't know and provide answers from speculation or what they have heard. I would love to share more real info with you based off of my real experiences. Please feel free to contact me.


answers from Punta Gorda on

The Lap-Band can yield excellent results which is why it is popular. It is not a major surgery but it is major challenge for people who want to get out of the obesity category. when it does fail, it mainly due to the person's lack of commitment to diet and exercise. If you will not incorporate that as recommended by your doctor, then it could be wasted money. remember exercise does not have to be so tiring that you are crawling back home or dripping with sweat..

hope this helps.



answers from Jacksonville on

good for you in knowing you do deserve a happy and healthy life. I haven't had surgery but the 2 other posts do talk about that. I worry about the complications that can go with surgery, and you know that after the surgery you will have to drastically change the way you eat right? So here's the thing I thinks its AWESOME that you get up every morning and do a 3 mile walk jog, that alone if not helping you lose weight has given your body other benefits- increased lung strength, a healthier heart, and overall better health. That said exercise alone usually just doesn't help you lose weight- you need to diet. I would do weight watchers. That is the ONLY program that has been proven successful long term. The only one. Also if you don't belong to the gym anymore join one get yourself a personal trainer, or if you can't afford that go to the group excercise classes make some friends and make yourself accountable. You need to keep exercising and add weight training- this will increase your muscle mass and up your metabolism. Use the people that work at the gym- the people working on the gym floor, the class instructors etc- its their JOB they want you to be there and to be successful! DO this for your kids- you will be healthier in the long run if you keep exercising - its not just a short term thing- we need to keep moving all our lives to stay healthy. And most of all remind yourself setbacks are inevitable! Just keep doing it! Good luck.



answers from Tampa on

I had lap band procedure done 6 weeks ago and have had no problems. It has been the best thing I have ever done. I self paid due to my insurance would not cover it. Yes, there are medical loans out there.
Here is a website that that is very can post any and all of your questions and people that have been through it can tell you thier experience..good or bad.


answers from Jacksonville on

I have a neighbor who did it and it was quite successful. I have another friend who did gastric bypass, and had success with that. Be sure that you are completely informed about how this will affect your life. It is not temporary and will REQUIRE you to change your eating habits.

For myself, I began a program called The Alternate Day diet this summer and have lost at least 2 clothes sizes in 6 months. It requires that you restrict calories only every OTHER day. So there is not the urge to "cheat" because whatever it is you want, you can have the VERY NEXT DAY. There is NO restrictions on that 2nd day. I am sure you have done lots of other diets, as did I. This is the only one I have been able to stick with for any length of time WITHOUT FEELING DEPRIVED. There is a $10 book out there that explains it. It might be worth a try. Restricting calories every other day lets your stomach shrink so you feel full sooner on the days you are eating whatever you want, so you end up eating less those days too, but don't feel unsatisfied! Which is essentially what gastric surgeries and lap bands do... reduce the amount of food you can eat at one sitting.

Just a thought.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

(FWIW, I am STILL doing it and have no plans to discontinue it at any time in the future... it has not made me feel deprived and has helped me avoid all the other negative feelings that accompany that feeling of being deprived. I lost 2 clothes sizes and am still losing a little bit, but it has slowed way down. I am now between a size 6 and 8... I was wearing 12s.. and my "lifetime average" was 10's borderline 12's. I always thought I had a "set weight point" of a size 10. Apparently not.)



answers from Tallahassee on

Hi Gerdy,

I feel your pain, but it is my opinion that going this route - you'll only have more pain in store. As hard as it is, loosing weight is very simple. Calories in versus calories spent. Not to patronize you, but you may need to revamp your system - make sure you are not grabbing a handful full of this and that on trips through the kitchen and that you are truly pushing yourself during workouts. If those aspects are in check, then I believe you should see a doctor - but NOT on a lap-band consult. A "real" doctor, if you will, first your primary and then possibly an endocrinologist. You need to have your hormone levels checked. An unbalanced thyroid can sabotage any effort to maintain a healthy weight.

So, G., if you really want to be healthy, as you say you do, then be healthy about this. There is nothing "healthy" about surgically inserting a "band" to cut off entry to a portion of your stomach. Please reconsider that decision and seek the medical advice of a doctor with your best interests at heart.

I also wanted to add, to put your workout in perspective, it takes about an hour to run off 100 calories. So, how long does it takes you to get in those 3 miles? Now calculate approximate calories burnt. This is not to discourage you, but to help you see that you may need to investigate adding other options in. Building lean muscle, for example, will help you burn more calories. Muscle continues to burn off calories after the workout, so you'll get more bang for your buck, so to speak. :)

Good luck G..

Oh yeah! This one more thing and I promise I won't edit again... :D Keep track of inches lost. We all get so caught up in what the scale says but it is not uncommon to loose inches when the scale won't budge. Trust me, you're making progress, it just may not be in pounds. I'll bet your jeans are fitting a lot better, huh? ;)



answers from Melbourne on

Totally different vein of thought: do you consume probiotics? Yogurt, kefir, acidolphilus pills. Some don't lose weight because gut is out of balance. Need them even if you have the surgery. Necessary for life.



answers from Tampa on


This is just my opinion, yet I really don't believe in the lab band. The best way to lose weight (from a person that knows for sure...who is a food addict) is to learn how to eat all over again. Granted I used to believe that eating healthy is more expensive, but this isn't really so. Some suggestions: Watch Dr. Oz. He has so many incredible weight loss stories and helpful recipes. I am addicted more now to his show than food. Did I just say that? Wow. Walking is great and the best excercise. Today I am learning how to really take care of myself and find cool ways to eat foods that also curb hunger. Bulk and carbs are a killer for me.

It's up to you what you want to do, of course, but with the expense and pain (with three children) I really feel that you would be better off and make it fun to loose weight. Plus healthy eating and fun excercise can be a great way to get closer with your kids.

Just a thought. I wish you the best.

D'Maria Scaglione



answers from Gainesville on

G., not sure if this will help you or not. But I have had a weight problem for a long time as you are talking about and have a very hard time losing. I also like you feel that I must do for others and put myself on the back burner when it comes to doing for myself. Now my sugguestion is to try an anti-depression. I am on prozac and it makes me feel much better about myself and the worries around me. I have been losing wieght a little at a time and that is the best way as it stays off. Good Luck Sweetie. Diets don't work you have to change your way of eating. Try a smaller plate than the family and smaller portions. I wish you lots of Luck and Also Merry Christmas to you and your family.



answers from Punta Gorda on

Hi I had the lap band almost a year ago. I love it. Its not a magic pill that will fix everything you still have to do the work but it helps that I am full after a very small meal. It is adjustable and reversible, it can be taken completely out. For my insurance I had to have a documented diet for 6 months that means to the Dr every month for 6 months. I also had to have a psychiatric evaluation to prove that I understood the procedure and was able to make decisions. Also I had to meet with a nutritionist to discus what I was going to be able to eat and how I was going to have to eat to get adequate nutrition. It took about a year to get all of this done. If you don’t have insurance or your insurance wont cover it there are some companies out there that will finance medical procedures. My number one advice about lap band is find a good Dr with a good support team. You are going to need a support group in the beginning and the people who have been through it will tell you it isn’t all happy happy everything is wonderful. If you eat the wrong thing you will get sick, if you eat to much you will get sick, if you don’t chew well enough you will get sick. You can still eat a bag of chips or cookies when your stomach pouch is empty the band wont stop it. I also want to add the fact that you suddenly gained a large amount of weight after your last pregnancy and you presumably didn’t change your diet dramatically for the worse after you increased your activity suggests that something is wrong. Don’t listen to people who tell you that you have to do this kind of exercise for this amount of time to have results. Those numbers were calculated for people who are thin and in good shape. It is science when you do an activity jogging walking lifting you hand (lol if only that were enough) you are burning calories. If you are still putting in the same amount of calories and burning more through exercise your weight should not stay the same period. You don’t have to eat 2000 calories to loose weight the “average” woman needs 2000 calories to maintain an ideal weight. I gained over 50 lbs after my son was born. I tried to diet and would at best maintain my weight. I had a miscarriage and after having trouble becoming pregnant again I went to my Dr to have her run a bunch of tests to make sure I wasn’t diabetic or anything like that. She also ran a thyroid check and low and behold it was very low functioning. As soon as I started taking the medication I started feeling much better as far as energy. And the most amazing thing happened I started to loose weight when I exercised etc. So have your thyroid checked and have your Dr start you on a diet plan. My Dr gave me a diabetic diet plan it is all around a good plan to be on. Tell your Dr what you need from them. Which is a monthly visit to document your weight and mention of your diet or exercise plan. It can be as simple as patient still following ____ diet and taking daily walks. Find a good lapband surgeon. They usually have a free seminar to tell you about the lapband and the services they provide. From there you will have a consult and they should be able to tell you what particular hoops you have to jump through for your insurance as well as any requirements they have. Ok well I have written you an essay here but if there is anything else you want to know feel free to contact me.

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