Lap-Band Weight Loss (then, the band lost it’s fill)

by Dori Lower
(Gainesville, FL)

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I had my band placed Dec 2005. My last fill was Aug 2006. I started at 240#, and lost down to 120#. I was on cloud 9, and stayed at that weight until Jan 2015. Then I started gradually gaining weight until here I am, Dec 2016 and 175#.

That was enough!!! I worked too long and hard to regain even another pound without finding out why my band seemed to no longer be working. I visited with my favorite bariatric surgeon (not the surgeon that placed the band, he is now deceased). Through fluoroscopy and draining my band what he found was:

Perfect positioning of the band, an S-shaped esophagus (it should be straight), and a total of just about a tenth of a cc of fill (it should have had 2.3 cc of fill). He recommended 2 weeks of liquid diet followed by another fluoroscopy to determine if the esophagus would begin to shrink and become straight again. I had the follow-up 2 days ago: No Change.

Recommendation: remove the band, allow several months for my esophagus to return to normal, then have bypass surgery.

I fully trust this surgeon and his guidance. So why am I here? Because I was so successful for so long, I’m at a loss that this is my option, I hope not my only option. I never experienced any nausea, vomiting, heartburn, reflux complications (I was already on 40 mg Nexium 2 times a day prior to my band placement). As I started to gain weight, I noticed I was able to eat a little more, but still kept close to my target weight until July 2015 when I had to have all my top teeth removed and welcomed my new dentures. That’s when I started really putting on the weight. My fault, I consumed a lifetime supply of ice cream, in small quantities, because of my band. But when I stopped the ice cream and thought I would lose the weight right back to where I should be, it never happened. I continued to gain weight!!!

I’m devastated at the thought of my band being removed. Even more than that, I’m becoming severely depressed that the bypass is the answer. I will do the bypass, but I was trying to research other options, like removing part of the esophagus and retaining my band. This site was the best information I could find, but still didn’t address any esophageal modifications.

I will be 64 in 5 days, and the idea of the bypass scares me. Especially since I have already been told that I will be undergoing a major surgery in Feb 2017 for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Any help, suggestions, advice, knowledge, or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You for listening to my rants and raves.

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