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Now Not So Sure - London, UK

6 years ago i had a gastric band fitted, i rushed...

6 years ago i had a gastric band fitted, i rushed in to the idea as i hated the way i looked and every time i dieted it worked for a while then i would hit a wall get disheartened then pile it all back on again, my weight problems started when i had my 1st child, during my pregnancy i put on 8 stone (112lbs) i looked awful i spent 5 years on diets before deciding to get the band thinking it would be a quick fix, boy was i wrong, i went to one of the best well known private surgeries in London to have my consultant, i was a bit worried because they kept contradicting themselves on what i should do, one min they said i couldn't eat meat for a year but when i said that the lady they had on their site had meat in her diet plan a few months after the surgery they changed their minds and said it was ok, the only things i was told about the surgery was that i couldn't drink fizzy drinks or eat chewing gum EVER again, the meat thing and i was shown the band and where it went on my stomach, i got to talk to a surgeon who showed me where the band went but it wasn't my surgeon, i never once see him, anyways stupidly i went into this with my eyes closed but i didnt care coz i was going to be thin soon, boy was i wrong again, the surgery went well, i had 5 scars not the 3 or 4 they said i would have and 1 got infected but i didnt care, in the 1st month i was on a liquid diet and found this pretty easy, i also lost a stone this month, the next month i was on a soft food diet and put that 1 stone back on plus a little more for good measure, i went to the clinic at this point to talk to a dietitian and to have my 1st band fill, after another week of liquids then a week of soft foods i could finally eat real food, every time i ate i was in pain it felt like below the band was a huge air bubble so when i ate it sat above the band and caused me to be in so much pain, not only that i was still putting on weight, it was hurting me to do it, i soon realised that if i drank with my food it wouldnt hurt as much, prob coz the food was getting flushed through to the bottom part of my stomach so i was basicly cheating just to stop the pain, i know the pain was prob my body telling me i was full but i was still staving hungry, anyways a year after i had my band and weighing more than before i had the band they started showing programs on tv about the band that was made using people from the clinic i went to, some had really good outcomes but that was when i learnt about the band properly for the 1st time, i went back to have my 2nd band fill and was told to eat more dence food that would fill me up quicker like crackers but again this didnt make sense coz you had to chew every mouthful at least 20 times so surely crackers would just turn to mush and pass straight through??

a few months after that i read in the newpaper about a girl who lived round the corner from me, she had the band and food got stuck, she was taken to hospital where the docs didnt know what to do and she ended up stopping the blood flow to her stomach and died, im guessing all they had to do was take the saline out her band to make the hole bigger?? anyways as you can imagine i crapped myself and kept thinking 'what if that happens to me??' i would of had this band fitted put on weight then died anyways, i also heard storied about them slipping or twisting the stomach, ( i always hear the bad stuff after i choose to do something) anyways a few months later i fell preggers with my 2nd child, i had all the saline removed from my band but still have trouble eating, normally my 1st meal of the day or things like rice and potatoes, i put on yet another 2 stone in my pregnancy but im to scared to have the band re filled thats when i began to think about having a bypass, again i didnt know much about them, id seen tv programs about kids who had had them in the states and they had lost tons of weight and i see this as an easy fix and something i couldnt cheat with but now im not to sure, ive spent the last 2 days reading everyones stories on here and everyones comments and it doesnt sound as easy as it looks, even though 99% of you say you would do it again in a heart beat, its really opened my eyes up to the complications it could bring, yeah id love to be lighter but the thought of extra tiredness, infections, hair loss, dry eyes, low sugar probs, vitamin probs, balloons having to be put down my throat, dumping, hernias, weight gain, gallbladder removals, gall stones, leakages, depression, and everything else ive read on here have really put me off, i know from the past and having my band that once a company takes my money there will be hardly any aftercare so i will be 100% on my own and i also know that the hospital i live near of useless coz not only did the girl with the band die but my partner also passed away 3 years ago at the age of 37 because they refused to follow up tests of the thing my gp thought he had, so i know that if i needed a balloon put down my throat it wouldnt happen if i needed vitamin injections every week it wouldnt happen and if i had to have my gallbladder removed i would prob have to go on a huge waiting list then they would prob mess it up but thats the NHS, the NHS wouldnt do my bypass op so i would have to pay private at a cost of £11.000 and i know i wouldnt get aftercare that i would need as i didnt with the band, i really want to lose weight but dont know if i could risk this op with two children, after all im their only parent now, soooo lost in what to do

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Comments (5)

yes that would be great, thank you and thank you for your comment and advice also
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Thank you both for your replies, I thought i did the right thing when i got my band, i went to the biggest and best place (even famous people go there) sadly my consultation must of been with a trainee and where i was so desperate to lose the weight i just paid the money and had the op 2 weeks later, once the op was done there was hardly any aftercare, i think i went back to the clinic a total of 3 times after i had the band 2 of those times were to have the band fills and see someone about what food i was eating and she just told me to eat crackers but didnt give me any other info and the 3rd time was to have the saline removed as i fell preggers, i still feel like i have restriction there as it hurts when i eat to much so much so that i have to have a drink to wash it all through and then i can carry on eating which kinda defeats the object but i feel i have to as im still hungry, i was thinking about the bypass as i hear people lose a lot of weight on that but i dont like the thought of nearly all the problems they have to deal with and i dont think i would risk any of them being the only parent my children have and knowing my luck i will prob get every single illness and side effect going, at the mo although im over weight i dont have any problems,

Ive been reading the reviews on the sleeve and they dont seem to get any problems but there isnt as many reviews to read on that operation, does anyone know if there are any problems with the sleeves like there is the bypass?
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Every surgery has its complications, but that doesn't mean that every person gets those complications. I'm not a doctor, but from what I've read the sleeve is a slightly less complicated form of bariatric surgery, although it is still surgery. From what I've read in the past, the sleeve is offerred to older patients and can also be a stepping stone for severly obese patients, if the doctor feels that it is too unsafe to do the bypass right away.

You should try and set up 3 or 4 consultations with different doctors and hear what each of them has to say. Find out the pros and cons of each form of surgery and see if the doctors feel there are any complcations that may specifically apply to you. Once you have all of that information you will then be able to make an informed decision.

On a side note, early next week we will have some guides to bariatric surgery up on RealSelf. Each guide will cover a different type of surgery (sleeve, bypass, band). I can let you know when they're up, if you'd like to read over them while you're researching your options.

 

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I'm sorry to hear about all the trouble you've been having. :( I think having a good follow up care is so important with the band (or any obesity surgery). You don't have to necessarily get this from your doc. There are support groups, in-person and online, that can help you deal with things and adjust your lifestyle. It's a good way to find people who have already had it too so you can talk to them about what it's like. Honestly any TV program is only going to show the extremes because it makes good telly -- so either deaths or the people who lost 500lb. That gets all the headlines. but there's lots of people in the middle who have experience too. So hang in there and keep typing and talking about your feelings... it's the best way to get it out and we are here to listen and help. I don't mind chatting to you privately either if you want to PM me.

Keep us posted, imissu!
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Hi there, thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. I'm so sorry you had such a rough time with your band. Like any surgery, what works for one person doesn't always work for another and you do need to have faith in your doctor, if they've let you down then it can impact on your success. It sounds like you weren't given any kind of direction when you had your band fitted.

I have a friend who has the band and they've had success, dropping a considerable amount of weight, but it all depends on the support you get from your doctor and how you approach the lifestyle changes.

Regarding the bypass, there will always be risks to any surgery, you have to weigh up whether the risks to you are more or less important than the risk of being obese. You also need to make sure that you have a good doctor and one you feel comfortable with, who has a proven track record. Unlike the band, the bypass is permanent and will take a lot of discipline and life-long changes to your diet and lifestyle. You will need vitamin supplements for the rest of your life and will need to make sure you have a support network.

If you need anything then please just let me know! :)

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