Thursday, 18 February 2010

Sometimes bands don't work

Catherine over at was talking about why the statistics for bandster weight loss are so low

Q: Why do the statistics say that people lose only 50-65% of their excess weight with the band when everyone I know seems to be taking off all of it?

A: That statistic is an average, and it factors in the people who don't lose any weight because they do things like not get a fill or drink milkshakes every day. (Meanwhile, I wish that there was a statistic based on people who actually work their band -- I bet it's closer to 85-90%.)

Her gastric surgeon had some answers. But I do wonder if there are people for whom bands just don't seem to work. I have been banded 2+ yrs and have followed a few blogs where people lose 20 or 30 pounds, and then nothing. They stop blogging, and I never know what happens to them.

Bunny at is someone who has struggled with a broken band, *14* fills or unfills, and yet, three years out is finding it hard to make much progress on her weight loss.

Beki at is someone I followed early on and who was influential in my decision to go to Belgium, but she hasn't moved much since her last post (she's on a forum I'm on and has had regain)
Melondrama is another bandster who seems to have stopped half way:

And I have another blogger friend who has not lost more than 20 pounds since beeing banded in october 2007 - but her blog is private so I can't link to it.

I realise that people might stop blogging and still have sucess with their bands, but there are a scarily high number of bandsters on who are really struggling or going for revision to gastric bypass.
What makes the band sucessful for some people, while others struggle? I don't know the answer to that, but I realise that for everyone who does lose most of their excess weight with a band there are others who don't. Which may be why the overall statistics are as low as they are.
One problem which seems to hit the non-losing bandsters (I am trying not to use the word sucessful, since that implies some people have failed, while in reality it may be that the band has failed them, or that it simply wasn't the right thing for them in the first place, or that their "head issues" are too great for a band to work) is that they (and there are a lot of people with this problem on WLSInfo) are either so tight they can barely eat or even drink coffee some days, yet other days they can eat for England without restriction.
Other people don't tolerate restriction; in the sense that they can't accept the limitations a band places on eating.
I guess some people make bad food choices - ultimately, if you can swallow liquids, you can gain weight if you have high calories drinks (or alcohol) too often.

And some people have been plain unlucky and had band slippage, erosion or leaks.
Even with a working band, it is always going to be hard work to maintain my weight loss. I am scared that a year or two down the road I might be in the "no longer losing" category.
Would be interested in anyone's thoughts on this.. . .
Edited to add more links; and to give Catherine's surgeon his correct title.


Catherine55 said...

Hi, H! The doctor I was talking to is actually a gastric surgeon. I'm sure the stats factor in people who have problems with slippage and other things, so that probably is part of the reason the number is so much lower than I thought.

Bandster said...

Oops, sorry, have corrected it.