Wednesday, 28 October 2009

How long?

In response to a discussion started on Dash's blog, I wrote this. We are discussing - how long physically does a band (it is after all a bit of plastic inside you) last? And what do you do when it disintegrates/collapses/falls apart etc.

It is only a bit of plastic. . . our stomachs remain unchanged (compared to having a gastric bypass or one of the more radical types of WLS - weight loss surgery)

I wrote:

You said
"[once at goal weight/ in maintenance] how often do we go back to the doc and what does he do for us in regards to the band then? "

That is the million dollar question (let's say US dollars for Catherine's sake :-))

I dunno

I dunno when or whenever or however I may need the band out

I dunno if I could keep up my weight loss (90 pounds ish) without a band

I dunno where and when and if I might need a replacement (I was 41 when I was banded; I expect, God willing, to live for another 40+ yrs)

I dunno the answers.

These are good questions. I love to hear from long time bandsters (like 5+ years) since five yrs of maintaining weight loss seems to be the "holy grail" in weight loss circles (not just WLS circles)

My surgeon (who is very well respected in England and Europe and who personally got out of bed to save my life) warned me before I committed to gastric banding that my band was NOT a life-time article.

Sometime, he said, in the next 15 - 20 yrs it will fail. I might be able (he thought 80% likely) to live with that, but have a 20% chance of needing surgery to get rid of the band which has collapsed/died/fallen apart etc.

He assumed (I don't) that by then I would have my weight under control, and that any issues with the band would be purely physiological.


Lots to think through. Am not yet 2 yrs out. Best thing I ever did for myself was to get a gastric band. I never go a day without being thankful (lol and sometimes I hate it; but only for a few minutes here and there)

I love my band.

I don't want it to die

I realise it will prob die before I do

(this sounds like I am talking bout a kitten!)

If and when it does, I'll re assess the situation.

Sorry to ramble on


I still don't have any answers. . . .in fact the longer I live with my band, the more questions I have.

I am very physically aware of my port - it is prominent and since it is stitched to muscle, it is never painless.

I am also - harder to explain - aware of the band. I can feel it round my stomach all the time, although I can't physically put my hand on it cos it is behind my ribs. Nonetheless I can feel my band whenever I eat, drink, swallow, or bend forward. It is very much there in my life.

I can also - and this is unusual - feel the tubing between the two (port and band). Because of where my port was placed, as I lost weight, it has become very very close to my skin/the surface. I can feel it all the way round, and can feel the tubing coming from it up to my band.

Were I (God forbid!) to wear a bikini in public, you would see my port very obviously. And anyone who touches my port (like dh, and kids - that is all!) can immediately feel the tubing too.

Cos of the port placement and my weight loss, the plastic bits are very very near the surface.

It is not a bad thing. . . since I am in a happy marriage where my dh knows about my surgery. But if I were a singleton, I'd be very very - (nervous?) about the fact that I have a large bit of internal plastic plainly obvious in my abdomen.

Getting back on topic here - how long will I have it? I don't know. I have three dental implants (bits of metal screwed into my jaw which hold crowns which look like real normal teeth - but in reality, they are dependant on large metal screws run into my jaw) and I feel like I can live with them forever. .

Which is partly why I thought I could cope with a band rather than a sleeve or RNY.

Any opinions, please share. Apologies for hijacking The Dash's question - she's linked down the side, read her blog, it is a great read.


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