My doctor never fully explained until after the surgery that the real weight loss secret to the band is "starvation" as he put it. Indeed, when the band is tightened, you can forget about eating most animal protein, melon, lettuce and sushi or end up throwing it back up. In fact, the food that goes down the easiest is junk food and sugar. So even though I lost weight, when I had my blood tests done...it came back that I had practically no iron and was nutritionally deficient. My friend had the same results as well.
At the 3 or 4 year mark, my acid reflux got so bad that I had to empty the fluid and let my body heal before having it refilled. The doctor said he's now made this standard procedure since acid reflux is a common issue with his band patients. Now, everytime I have my band filled, the refulx comes right back. I'm not willing to damage my esophogus for this so I have decided to leave the band unfilled. What a waste of money and time. I wish I could have it removed now. I had my surgery in Mexico since they weren't doing the procedure in the US yet in 2002. I have a local doctor in Phoenix who does my follow-up. By the way, now that I have no fill, I weigh more than ever before.