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By EmpowHER February 14, 2008 - 8:45am
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Do you need a personal trainer to stay motivated when on an exercise plan? If not, what do you use as inspiration to stay on track and reach your goals? A buddy? Reward system? Something else?

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Lisa, Thanks for your post. Would like to learn more about your program. Went to the Web site and it looks like people take the pill about 30 minutes before meals to help them feel fuller. Was wondering if there have been any clinical trials on the product? Also, with regard to your weight loss, have you been exercising in conjunction with taking the pill? If so, what was your exercise program? Thanks again.

September 15, 2008 - 7:59am

Thank you so much. I really had no idea about this procedure or even what it was. I definitively didn't know that there was stuff in the band itself. I guess I was picturing one of those rubber wristbands and they some how slid it on your stomach. I feel so foolish.
So at the same time I am hearing all these really good things about the lap band, but are there any bad things that are known to happen? Luckily I live about 5 miles from Penn State Milton Hershey Hospital and they have a center just focusing on this procedure so iI wouldn't have to travel, but have you heard any bad?

May 23, 2008 - 4:54pm

amiep, Your question was forwarded to a well-respected bariatric center in Arizona. Kijuana Wright, Bariatric Surgery Coordinator for Scottsdale
Healthcare had this to say.

"We have many patients who successfully carry healthy pregnancies after adjustable gastric banding surgery. Typically, we would remove all or most of the saline from the band so that the caloric intake would not be restricted prior to pregnancy. Careful meal planning and consultation with your obstetrician will allow appropriate weight gain to support fetal growth and development. With banding surgery, the recovery time is minimal. Many patients resume normal activity (with a lifting restriction) in approximately 5-7 days."

Did you find this information helpful?

May 13, 2008 - 12:15pm

Until Kelley (and others!) share their personal experience with gastric bypass and gastric banding, I found some information on MedlinePlus.gov and Mayo Clinic's websites to answer a few of ampiep's questions.

1. Mayo Clinic: Lap Band ("gastric banding") is a safer surgical procedure and healing time is faster than gastric bypass. You can expect to be in the hospital for 1-2 days (or up to 3-5 days) after surgery. The healing time for your stomach is 2-3 days (not sure what this means!).
Cleveland Clinic: You can expect to resume normal activities within 1-2 weeks.

I'd be interested to hear from women who actually had this procedure done to see how quickly they were back on their feet, taking care of children! Also consider the side effects of surgery after the "recovery time", which can last 3-6 months (listed below).

Mayo Clinic: You may experience one or more of the following changes as your body reacts to the rapid weight loss in the first three to six months:
* Body aches
* Feeling tired, as if you have the flu
* Feeling cold
* Dry skin
* Hair thinning and hair loss
* Mood changes

(...but isn't that exciting to think of "rapid weight loss"?! plus, I would assume that you may already have some of these side effects with excess weight)

2. Q: My doctor is "making the surgery seem like it is easier than it really is".

Do you feel like your doctor is listening to your concerns and really answering your questions? Don't hesitate to get a second opinion; you can still "stick with" your primary doctor, but talking to another doctor about a surgical procedure may not be a bad idea.

3. Q: How much would I potentially lose?

Mayo Clinic: Within first 2 years of gastric bypass surgery, you can expect to lose 50-60% of your excess weight; gastric banding weight loss is slightly less. Additionally, other conditions that are associated with obesity may improve or resolve, including:
* Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes
* High blood pressure
* High blood cholesterol
* Obstructive sleep apnea
* Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

4. Q: How would this surgery affect my future choices on getting pregnant? I am wondering that my husband and I chose to become pregnant again that I would not be able to properly eat the supply the right nutrition for the baby. Any advice would help.

There was no mention of becoming pregnant during the 1-2 years that you would have the lap band, on any credible health sites I reviewed. What did your doctor say about this? Would you need to have the lap band removed before you become pregnant? (I assume your insurance would have something to say about this, too?) Be sure to check with these sources, and share what you learned with us...other women can learn from you, too!

Lastly, MedlinePlus.gov has AMAZING resources on lap band procedures...there is even a video of one (or, you can click on "View Transcript" to read about the procedure, instead of watching the taped surgery).

MedlinePlus.gov (searched "lap band")

May 11, 2008 - 7:18am

I was told by my doctor last week that she wants me to get the lap band. She said that it was safer and that the healing time is faster that gastric bypass. The thing is I have three children and a life to run. I am so concerned about getting back on my feet and not to mention I am feeling like she is making this surgery seem easier than it really is. Do any of you have advice on this? How much would I potentially lose? How would this surgery affect my future choices on getting pregnant? I am wondering that my husband and I chose to become pregnant again that I would not be able to properly eat the supply the right nutrition for the baby. Any advice would help.

May 10, 2008 - 3:35pm
(reply to amiep)

Hi Amiep:

You ask great questions. I had the lap-band done 4 years ago by Dr. Ortiz in TJ Mexico. The following is my recovery experience: I had the lap band Laparoscoply put in on a Friday morning at 10am and by 2pm that day I was up and walking around. I spent one night in the hospital (Fri night) and I went back to my hotel room in TJ Sat night. Got up Sunday morning drove home to Phoenix (about 5 hours in the car). I was a little sore around my stomach area for about a week but was able to go back to work on Tuesday. The trend for this surgery is going to out-patient. Most patients typically only spend 1 night in the hospital for this procedure. I was 5' 8" and was 260 pound and lost 100 pounds over a year and half. I did run into problems with my lap-band in that I did not have place or doctor in my city who would do the band adjustments for me so I had to travel to TJ, Mexico every time I needed an adjustment and that is the key to success with this procedure. You must have your doctor or a place where you can get frequent adjustments to your lap-band. That is they will put fluid into or take some fluid out of your band. Because I was not able to get frequent adjustments I had problems with my band and ended up having it removed last Feb. I am currently considering having another band put back in this year but now have access to a fill center where I can have adjustments made as frequently as needed. As for pregnancy-those are questions you should ask your doctor and let me do a little checking this week and see if I can point in the right direction to research your questions about pregnancy. I do know when you get the lap-band they have specially formulated vitamins now (vitaband) for people who have a band which are very helpful. On Monday I am going to be publishing a two part blog detailing my lap-band experience-please check it out. Even with the problems I encountered I am a big advocate of this procedure. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I will be happy to relate my own experiences.

May 11, 2008 - 12:01pm

I've realized what helps me stay on track, as far as my exercising goals, is to eat in a healthy manner. I've tried eating veggies & fruit with the slogans, "eat 5 a day" or "eat the rainbow", but what really helped me lose my pregnancy weight and keep exercising...was when I controlled the portions of my food.

It's easy and difficult at the same time. I know many people may not have access to this, but you can re-create it for free in your own home...

In the small town I lived in, there was a women-owned store where you could go assemble a month's worth of meals, freeze them, and pop them in the oven after work. The store-owners did all the prep, measuring, clean up and grocery shopping. It saved me time, grocery money, and best of all...I lost weight! For example, if I made a dinner with 3 chicken breasts and rice, with broccoli for a side...then that meal needed to last for a dinner-for-two plus lunch. There were no seconds. The recipes weren't fancy, but they were tasty!

It helped that I didn't have to think about food, I didn't have to wonder "am I hungry" (when usually I was just bored) after dinner. I assume that is some of what's behind Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and NutriSystem and those others advertised on TV. I don't think we have to spend lots of money on these weight-loss programs, when we can do our own portion-control at home: when making dinner, double the recipe, then spend the extra 5-10 minutes wrapping individual portions in foil for the week, to freeze and pop in the oven. Some restaurant-supply stores sell the aluminum pans that are freezable and oven-safe, so there are no extra dishes and it is *so simple* (granted, it is not as environmentally-healthy, but they are recyclable).

So, now that I've "trained" my brain, stomach...or whatever it may be..into what is a "portion", I feel healthier and more able to concentrate on walking and exercising...and I see the benefits of exercising, which is also a motivator.

Another idea: start a "cooking co-op" with neighbors. A few friends of mine made extra batches of food each week, and we traded nights, so one night per week we were "off" from cooking and dishes, plus we got a healthy meal that someone else made (doesn't that always taste better?!). Other families can help cook "correct" portion sizes, and you can even agree to try out new, healthy recipes on each other...make it fun!

February 16, 2008 - 1:22pm

I'd love to have a personal trainer to hold me accountable and keep me on track. However, the trainers where I live are either very expensive or with expensive gyms, and I'm simply not a gym rat. So, I stay in touch with online buddies, plus use my marathon and other race training to set fitness goals.

As for weight loss, "menopaused" weight has me in a quandry and that's where I need a lot of support. I've tried journaling, but am quickly bored with that. I've kept a "diet" chart, and was quickly bored and frustrated with that. Interacting with my online buddies and sharing our successes, and falls off the proverbial wagon, has been the most encouraging to me. Progress, if any, is slow; but, it's still progress.

February 14, 2008 - 5:56pm
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