I am scheduled to have a second lap band put in on July 24th. For those of you who have been following along with my “journey”, I had multiple problems with my first lap band, which I had in 2003. Over the last year I have gained back 50 of the 100 pounds that I had originally lost with my first band.
I decided 2 months ago that I was going to get a second band. The last two months have been an emotional rollercoaster as I have mentally chewed on what went wrong to lose my first band, as well as what can I do differently this time in order to be successful with my second band.
After many emails and phone conversations with my doctor over the last 6 weeks I have finally come to a place mentally and emotionally where I’m ready to take the plunge a second time. Unfortunately I guess I had to learn these lessons the hard way, so if any one out there is considering getting a lap band or has a lap band but is having problems I highly recommend you read this blog as I think it may be helpful. The following tips are what I learned first hand with my first band:
• Weight loss should be relatively slow with the band. How fast you lose weight will be impacted by the total amount you want to lose so consult your doctor as to how quickly you should expect weight loss. It’s important to have the correct expectations going in. For a sense of comparison, it took me 2 years to lose 100 pounds.
• Follow your doctor’s instructions. I did not stay on liquids for the first 21 days after the surgery and this may have lead to some of my problems. Additionally, and I can’t stress this enough, if you start having problems like constant “productive burping” or “PBing”, (which is very similar to throwing up), get into your doctor immediately and do not put it off. This is more important if you are using a doctor who is in Mexico or not located near your home. I think this was the single biggest mistake I made which caused me to lose my band.
• A lap band will greatly help with the “mental eating”, or continuing to eat even after you know you are full but for some reason you just continue to eat because mentally it feels good. Although the band lets you know it’s time to stop, you really need pay attention to that feeling and STOP. This some times is easier said then done but is crucial to your success with the band. If you continue to eat past what your band is telling you will most likely start PBing.
• PBing, or productive burps, should be avoided because this action brings up bile each time you do it, which in turn can cause inflammation and then later erosion to your esophagus. One may think the more you PB, the faster you would lose weight but the opposite is actually true in that your body’s metabolism actually goes into a starvation/survival mode and slows way down, and therefore you lose very little or no weight. PBing can start a very vicious cycle so it’s imperative that you realize the cause quickly if it occurs more than once.
• When getting your adjustment (or fill) to your band, do not encourage your doctor/nurse to overfill it or put more in your band thinking it will help you lose weight faster. An overfilled band will not result in faster weight loss but instead problems with PBing. Trust your doctor/nurse to guide you as to the correct amount. Everyone is different in the amount they need in their band.
• Occasionally you may eat too fast or eat something that is too fibrous or dry and you may PB but this should be the exception and not the rule. If you find yourself PBing often call your doctor and get in to your doctor to see what is causing the problems. Have a conversation with your doctor about what are the warning signs or symptoms, which would require a call or visit to your doctor.
On July 24th I will be getting an endoscopy in the morning to make sure my esophagus is completely healed and okay to be banded for a second time. I am scheduled to have surgery later that day based on the positive outcome of the endoscopy test and a few other pre-operative tests. I will be blogging each week for the next several weeks detailing my progress and how I am feeling. Today I weigh 215 pounds and my goal weight is 175. I think with my first band I was the poster child for “what not to do” and with my second band I am hoping to be the poster child for “how to be successful with a lap band”.
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READ HER STORY
Kelley Howard: Mexico Lap-Band Experience - Part 1
Kelley Howard: My Lap Band Procedure In Mexico: - Part 2 the weight continues to come back
Kelley Howard: Mexico Lap Band Journey-Part 3