I had Lap Band surgery May 4, 2011, and had an Allergan . My starting weight was 310.8 and my weight as of today is 260.2 (week 14 post-op). I chose to have weight loss surgery because I began having health problems, namely high blood pressure and high blood sugar. It was also becoming increasingly difficult to do basic tasks and I found myself isolating more and more due to my weight. My insurance did not offer coverage for any form of weight loss surgery, so I paid for it out of my own pocket. The surgeon's fee was $5000, the hospital was $11,000 and the anesthesiologist took the rest.
Frankly, VSG and RNY were never option for me. I felt strongly about not altering my digestive system by removing or bypassing anything. My philosophy is that all those parts are meant to do something or they wouldn't be in there in the first place. Lap Band seemed the best long term solution for my compulsive overeating.
Presently, I feel satisfied and full after eating only about 4 oz of food. My hunger is sated for approximately 4-5 hours and sometimes longer. I have lost over 50 pounds and two dress sizes in 14 weeks.
Before I was banded I attended the required informational and nutritional meetings and knew I would need fills. What I didn't realize is that until restriction is achieved (after the second fill in my case) you can still feel quite hungry. It was frustrating to have paid all that money, to have gone through the surgery and recovery process, and to still be hungry. The good news is that only lasted for about a month. Now I have really good restriction/appetite control and am finding it easier to maintain a consistent rate of loss. I like the fact that I can have an adjustment at any time in the process – even years down the road. On the downside, it requires an office visit and a needle stick, neither of which bother me terribly. My first year of fills is free, after that it costs $200 per fill. I suppose another possible negative might be the port, which I can feel only when I think about it. Otherwise it’s not noticeable and not a problem for me at all.
Another thing to consider is that with the Lap Band you can have stuck episodes, although this is not entirely unique to the Lap Band. By this I mean when you don’t chew well, take too large a bite, eat too quickly, are swollen, tense – or for just no apparent reason at all – you can suddenly be too tight or “stuck”. Although I have not experienced throwing up (also known as productive burp or refund) I have had several episodes that were temporarily painful. Walking and taking deep, relaxing breaths were helpful techniques to work through these episodes.
Overall, I rate my experience an 8 out of 10 – the 8 being because of the early frustration awaiting good restriction, and the occasional “suddenly tight for no apparent reason” episodes. Would I do it again?? In a heartbeat. Would I choose Lap Band again?? Absolutely!