Down from 275 lbs to 165lbs, diet/exercise and lap band

I began my weight loss journey in 2009 when I...

I began my weight loss journey in 2009 when I decided to peruse Lap Band surgery through my insurance company. Getting approved by insure was no easy task, I spent a lot of money visiting countless doctors and jumping through hoops doing more tests than I have ever experienced in my life, like 6 months of nutritional counseling ($100/ session), a psych evaluation ($250), a written letter stressing medical necessity by my general practitioner, getting cleared for surgery by a cardiologist and pulmonary doctor, passing a sleep study, doing a stress test (even though I was only 20), and finally an echocardiogram to top it all off. Luckily, I got approved the very first time I sent in my packet for evaluation, so my surgery was covered and all I had to pay was a hospital fee.

I got the lap band in June of 2009 at Centra State Medical Center in Freehold, NJ. I weighed 275 lbs at the time. It was a pretty painful recovery, difficult to sleep and move after, but luckily it didn't last very long. The worst part was the pain in my back and shoulders that I couldn't even stretch or crack to relieve, which I can only guess was from laying on the operating table for so long. The first year, I was very unsuccessful in my attempt to lose weight because I didn't change my diet after I healed and I didn't start exercising. I found that if you drink fluid with anything I ate, it essentially washes the food right through the part of your stomach the lap band is constricting and I was able to eat more. By the time 2010 had rolled around and I was 1 year post-op, I had only lost about 25 lbs. In August of 2010, I decided that enough was enough and started going to the gym 5 days a week and eating healthier. I currently weight about 180lbs and have lost just shy of 100 lbs to date. I think the lap band is a good idea in theory, but I know that I could have achieved this goal by myself if I had just started eating healthy and dieting like I do now. The lap band isn't going to be effective if you're still eating pizza, macaroni & cheese, and chinese food, like I was. I wish I hadn't gotten the surgery and could have made that connection sooner.

It also didn't help that my doctor didn't see me for over a year after my surgery. I was only seen for fills by nurses and physician's assistants in the office, which I found a little impersonal. I was given no help with diet or exercise plans, as I was told was part of the "program". It was as if everything they said they offered as part of the Lap Band System was out the window after my surgery was done and I was on my own after that. I had complications with adjustments and haven't been back in at least 9 months to get a fill because I'm pretty sure they just want my money. Every time I leave the office, they either put too much fluid in the band, or not enough. Its not a pleasant experience, either, so I have decided not to go back for a while.

I don't know how helpful this is to anyone reading, but feel free to message me if you have any questions or thoughts!

I had lapband sugery 4 years ago at 62 years old. My insurance had no problem coving it. They also covered my tummy tuck, breast reduction, pendalectomy and lipo on my upper legs because of the rash I had under my belly and breast. I took pictures of myself with the rash and I was approved 12 hours later. Best thing I ever did. I have lost 152 lbs and feel like a new woman.
You loll great! Congrats on the healthy lifestyle. :)
Thanks for the info, I am interested in getting the lapband, I weigh 280lbs and I'm concerned about sagging skin.

I weighed 174 lbs today. Officially at 101 lbs...

I weighed 174 lbs today. Officially at 101 lbs total weight loss. I can't believe it…

I'm 350 lbs and I'm getting a lap band tm and I'm excited ive talked to several different ppl about the surgery and everyone is different . Your story is amazing and I hope my surgery goes smooth
You look great! !
You look great! I am wondering , due to your experience, that if you had to do it all over again, would you get the band? Do you think you could have reached this place on your own?

Down to 166 lbs. now, and I was down to 162 lbs at...

Down to 166 lbs. now, and I was down to 162 lbs at my lowest. I am shooting for 147 lbs as my final goal weight though. Im happy I have been able to maintain my weight for so long and that Im still in this healthy frame of mind. Once this semester is finally over and I have more time, I am going to head back to the gym 5 days a week and start up weight loss mode again. Can't wait :)
It would have been nice to know at the consultation that if you have Hypothyroidism and Insulin Resistance it would be harder to lose the weight. I didn't find this out until earlier this week, after having the surgery done Dec 2013, and still at the same weight as when I went in. Not a happy girl!
I've had my lap band since 2006, I've lost 151 lbs. Because of this of course I had to have a mommy makeover, where 15 lbs of skin was removed and had to have abdominal muscle repair along with a breast lift, I'm two weeks out of surgery and I am happy with the results. Good luck to all you banded, please check out bandedwendy on YouTube , she helped me through many ups and downs.
You've done amazingly well, and proven what everyone should know, no surgery will just hand you success. It's a pity your follow up care was so poor, you really have done it all by yourself.
Dr. Morris Washington

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