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Old 02-20-2013, 03:29 PM   #1
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Gastric bypass vs Slim Band

I'm hoping some of you who have had either procedure done could provide me with some information - the information that the doctors may not.

My Dad is considering getting either the bypass or slim band done but is unsure at this point. Bypass is covered by insurance but from what he knows is very invasive. Slim Band is supposed to be a little less invasive but is not covered by insurance.

We would appreciate any and all information you can provide!

TIA!
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:31 PM   #2
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:19 PM   #3
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I have a Lap Band and would NOT recommend it. Lot's of people have been successful, however as they are now able to do longer term studies its failure rate is high.

Has he thought about the sleeve?
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:36 PM   #4
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I had gastric bypass surgery on 12/26/12. It's been a little over 7 weeks and I am down almost 38 pounds. NOTHING worked for me before. I can honestly say it was the single best thing I have ever done for myself. There is no more hunger, and it takes an insanely small amount of food to fill you up.

I won't lie, it was a very tough surgery and initial recovery. But after the first few days of terrible pain, it got better everyday. I was back to work in less than two weeks.

Good luck with whatever he chooses!
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:05 AM   #5
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I had gastric bypass surgery on 12/26/12. It's been a little over 7 weeks and I am down almost 38 pounds. NOTHING worked for me before. I can honestly say it was the single best thing I have ever done for myself. There is no more hunger, and it takes an insanely small amount of food to fill you up.

I won't lie, it was a very tough surgery and initial recovery. But after the first few days of terrible pain, it got better everyday. I was back to work in less than two weeks.

Good luck with whatever he chooses!
Thread Jack...Gaviv I am so glad to see post. I always felt you tried so hard and nothing was working. Congrats on your weight loss so far.

Now to the OP...a lot of times the doctors will recommend a certain way of eating prior to and after surgery...maybe your dad can try low carb before the surgery to lose a few pounds. I know a lot of doctors won't even do the surgery if you are too overweight due to potential surgical complications.

I have not had surgery but if I were to have it I would want the choice that could be reversed if needed for any reason. JMO ... he should get the proper counseling and make an informed decision.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:49 AM   #6
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Thread Jack...Gaviv I am so glad to see post. I always felt you tried so hard and nothing was working. Congrats on your weight loss so far.
Thank you so much lterry! It was quite an emotional roller coaster for a while. I am happy to be back here posting, and giving and receiving support!
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:50 AM   #7
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Thanks all! From what I've been seeing if he went the bypass route there would be months of counselling required. I'm scared that with slim band, because it is paid for out of pocket and considered cosmetic surgery here that will not be a requirement. The fact that someone contacted him from the clinic within 5 minutes of him filling out the online survey also has be worried.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:53 AM   #8
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For bypass, it depends on your insurance how long the pre-op period is. For mine, I didn't have to diet or have counseling (other than the standard psych eval). I did have to meet with my surgeon once a month for 6 months prior to approval, so that was my pre-op period.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:58 AM   #9
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I'm addicted to British weightloss shows. Honestly, I find them very educational! I've learned so much about the psychology of overeating from Secret Eaters. And I learned a lot about bariatric surgery (which I had barely even heard of) from a British TV series.

There is an entire 5 episode series about bariatric surgery (available on HULU in the US) called Fat Doctor:

Watch Fat Doctor online | Free | Hulu

Dr Shaw Summers explains the bypass medical procedure in every episode -- after watching the series, I could probably teach the roux-en-Y procedure to elementary school children. Dr Summers is VERY thorough! And the show does really interesting interviews with the patients, both before and months after their surgeries.

I thought a bypass just made the stomach smaller. But, no, it's more complicated than that. The surgery also removes about a meter of the intestine, so that much of the tiny portion of food that comes in via the newly-tiny stomach actually can't be absorbed by the body. They're not just eating less and being satisfied with less food (because their tummy has been reduced to the size of an egg), also the way their body absorbs nutrients is fundamentally changed FOREVER! Once they take part of the intestine, there's no going back. That's a key reason that the people who get bypass surgery drop huge amounts of weight much more quickly than people who get the bands that reduce the size of the stomach.

There is also an episode of Fat Doctor (I've forgotten which episode) in which the doctor contrasts gastric bypass with the results of a gastric band. I've forgotten why the young lady got the band instead of the bypass, but I think it had something to do with her insurance qualifications under the British NHS system.

There is also an episode of Supersize vs Superskinny (available in the US on YouTube) in which the "postcard from America" supersizer has had BOTH gastric bypass AND a gastric band.

James vs Modasser - YouTube

This man's story points out the fact that the effectiveness of weightloss surgery also largely depends on the individual's willingness to change their lifestyle to comply with their new way of eating. The American gentleman in the show didn't want to change, so he found ways of *cheating* the system and (literally) forcing huge amounts of food into his body. The gastric band was put on OVER his bypass as a way of physically preventing him from forcing food into his stomach. But he found a way around it, called "sliding." It was an eye-opening thing to watch.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:37 AM   #10
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Thanks Trillex, I'll see if I can find these in Canada for him to watch. I'm really concerned about him having either procedure done and am hoping that the more information I provide, he'll change his mind and try something like LC.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:08 PM   #11
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Trillex, you make a great point (well, many actually). Bypass is helpful for three reasons: 1. it is restrictive (can only take in very small amounts at a time) 2. it causes malabsorption, and 3. since the stomach is no longer "used" there is no hunger since this is where the hormone that causes hunger is produced.

However, it is important to remember that the surgery is just a tool, you still have to work hard and be diligent to get the results you want. It is an excellent tool nonetheless.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:07 PM   #12
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If he hasn't tried low carb, he should before pursuing surgery. I did lowcarb for three years and no luck. No matter what type of WLS, it should be considered a last resort. Maybe low carb might work for him. Choosing between the band and the bypass, there is no way I would have chosen the band. Way too many complications etc. As far as making an effort to lose before being covered for surgery, not only can it make the surgery less risky but it also helps put you in the mindset of compliance with whatever surgery is chosen.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:36 PM   #13
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Trust me, the hunger comes back. lol Lordy, does it.

This surgery saved my life - and it gave me a great life to live for as long as I have it.
Gastric bypass - or any WLS is a tool - you get what you put into it. If you screw around and don't eat right you can mess it up. You can overeat and stretch the stomach... Many people (like myself) can eat whatever they want and not get sick. I can have a cup of scrambled eggs or a cup of ice cream. The choice is mine.

You will hear people with horror stories about their best friend's sister's mom or their uncle's ex wife's boss... Whatever. Shows on TV are interesting and can be somewhat educational, but take a moment to consider they aren't always going to show your middle-of-the-road person. TV today is all about showing train wrecks (can anyone give me a Honey Boo Boo?). I am far more interested in what actual people I can see and hear and talk to have to say about matters that affect my health. I am so glad I researched all my options, really sat down and thought about the DECADES I had been trying but not succeeding with weight loss, and came to the conclusion that this was for me. I made up my mind and went into it 110% ready to do whatever it was I needed to do. I was very unhealthy and I had the surgery for that reason. My weight loss speaks for itself, but here's a few statistics for you: My BP went from 140/90 on 2 meds to 112/62 with NONE. My resting pulse went from 88 to 62. My sleep apnea is essentially GONE. I can jog for over a mile without stopping...and can walk for miles. And, last, but not least, I do look a lot better than I did at almost 400 pounds - a nice side-effect of losing the weight... I am SO HAPPY I had a gastric bypass.

People sometimes talk about this like its a death sentence...like it is some horrific option. That bugs me, because it isn't like that - or it shouldn't be. Things have progressed a long way since I first heard about this operation in the late 80's. Of course it is risky. So is sitting around at 350 pounds - pick your risk! Also, I have been told that, all things considered, people with a band can expect to lose about 60% of their excess weight. People with a bypass can expect to lose about 80% of their excess weight. Restriction and malabsorbtion do a lot for you, but then you have to do the rest. It is not a magic bullet. It can be a second chance. By all means, if you can lose the weight by eating low carb or by exercising or, heck, by standing on your head and singing show tunes, then DO IT! If you are like me, and can't? Then look into if it might work for you.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by PassionateFire View Post
Thanks Trillex, I'll see if I can find these in Canada for him to watch. I'm really concerned about him having either procedure done and am hoping that the more information I provide, he'll change his mind and try something like LC.
The Fat Doctor series is available on YouTube, as well. I didn't look to see that you were not in the US -- I guess I'm more America-centric than I thought!

Here is a link to the first episode on YouTube:


Quote:
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Shows on TV are interesting and can be somewhat educational, but take a moment to consider they aren't always going to show your middle-of-the-road person. TV today is all about showing train wrecks (can anyone give me a Honey Boo Boo?).
I see your point. I don't generally watch a lot of television, myself. For example, I have no idea what a "Honey Boo Boo" is. But I recommended this show because I, personally, found it both educational and rather objective. The title, Fat Doctor, makes it sound like the trashiest thing ever made. But I found the series quite thoughtful and thorough. It's nothing like typical (American) television, it's more like a series of short documentaries. It's not the most *exciting* TV show, because I think it actually does try to tell the stories of middle-of-the-road people. But I found it fascinating because the patients on the show are dealing with lifestyle issues and medical concerns that I'd never ever thought about, even though I have been obese for most of my adult life.

The show starts with a candid interview with the patient and a look at the patient's life and his/her motivation for the weightloss surgery. The patients are different ages and genders, with different motivating factors, health concerns, and lifestyles. The viewer sees the doctor going through the evaluation process with each patient. The doctor that is featured in the show, Dr Shaw Somers, is one of Britain's leading experts on weightloss surgery and he has performed thousands of procedures in the course of his career. The doctor explains the surgical process to the patient (and to the viewing audience). Then the audience sees different stages of the actual surgery (very graphic), while Dr Somers explains what is happening and why. Each episode ends with a follow-up interview with the patient, several weeks or months after the surgery, to check in on their progress. The patients give interesting (in my opinion) follow-up commentary on the ways that life has changed with regard to food, lifestyle changes/improvements, personal relationships, social interaction, medical issues, etc.

I like the show because it made me aware of a lot of obesity-related issues that I had been previously unaware of. I guess being obese made me think I was an *expert* on obesity. But I don't know anything about what other obese people experience. For example, one of the featured patients actually lost 200 pounds on a diet a few years earlier, but the liquid diet that she lost weight on was unsustainable and had serious re-gain problems because of the way it affected her metabolism. She thought she was doing the "right thing" by doing the hard work of enduring this really difficult, limited, liquid diet. And she thought she was successful because she lost such an immense amount of weight on that diet. But she had no way of understanding the long-term impact. And the program didn't give her a follow-up strategy to keep the weight off. It was very eye-opening, to me. And I was fascinated by the contrast between the previous diet -- that set her adrift after helping her lose weight -- and the careful advisory process that she went through with Dr Somers.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:18 PM   #15
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I have a Lap Band and would NOT recommend it. Lot's of people have been successful, however as they are now able to do longer term studies its failure rate is high.

Has he thought about the sleeve?
though I am sorry for greybb1 that the lap band didn't work out...

I just know that although the SURGICAL complication rate is lower for band, it is HIGHER for post ops than either the sleeve or RNY. Also, the weight loss is the lowest of the FOUR (not two) types of WLS commonly performed.... Gastric Banding (lap band, o-band, slim band etc), Gastric Bypass (RNY is the most common in this category), Gastric Sleeve (AKA Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy), and duodenal switch (less common, more extreme malabsorption, but still one of the four).

I have the sleeve and I recommend that if one is more comfortable with no malabsorption, that they choose the sleeve over the band. There is also a hormonal benefit of the sleeve over the band, which is that the portion of the stomach which produces most of the ghrelin (hunger hormone) is removed.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:21 PM   #16
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If he hasn't tried low carb, he should before pursuing surgery. I did lowcarb for three years and no luck. No matter what type of WLS, it should be considered a last resort. Maybe low carb might work for him. Choosing between the band and the bypass, there is no way I would have chosen the band. Way too many complications etc. As far as making an effort to lose before being covered for surgery, not only can it make the surgery less risky but it also helps put you in the mindset of compliance with whatever surgery is chosen.
Amen to that!
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:25 PM   #17
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Thread Jack...Gaviv I am so glad to see post. I always felt you tried so hard and nothing was working. Congrats on your weight loss so far.

Now to the OP...a lot of times the doctors will recommend a certain way of eating prior to and after surgery...maybe your dad can try low carb before the surgery to lose a few pounds. I know a lot of doctors won't even do the surgery if you are too overweight due to potential surgical complications.

I have not had surgery but if I were to have it I would want the choice that could be reversed if needed for any reason. JMO ... he should get the proper counseling and make an informed decision.
This is a misconceptopn based on great marketing from the lap-band folks... there is no reversable procedure... people who have lap-band removed do not have the same stomach they had before... the scar tissue, potential errosion, and esophageal dialation, stomach shape after band removal are permanant.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:46 PM   #18
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I've heard a lot of horror stories on the lap band from another VSG board I belong to, a lot of people getting their bands revised to VSG and finding all sorts of icky damage that the band left behind, lots of scar tissue etc. One poor woman went to Mexico to get a vertical sleeve and the surgeon found that the band had eroded into her stomach and she was no longer a candidate for ANY weight loss surgery, he was able to save her life and fix the erosion but no RNY or VSG was possible on her.

OP is in Ontario so I'm assuming the choices of band or RNY are a question of the OHIP rules there, for some reason they do not do VSG unless you have a medical reason that you cannot do the RNY. If he does not want the RNY (I didn't want it) then he could always go the self paid route. In Montreal Dr Gagner does VSG and Duodenal Switch out of pocket, or there is of course always the Mexico route.

Here's a video from Canada about weight loss surgery wait times... the surgeon in this video who performs the VSG on the woman from the Maritimes is my surgeon (Dr Jaime Ponce de Leon).
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