Sue: LAP-BAND Surgery
Surgery Date: May 2007
I was tired of being tired and worried that at 47, I already had one knee replaced due to osteoarthritis and my orthopedic surgeon said probably I would need the 2nd one done in the future. I knew that my weight was not helping my knees. So, I decided to change my life…with Dr. Bagnato’s help, of course.
For me, that meant learning to like, if not love, exercise. Trust me – I NEVER thought I would ever say that sentence, ever, before my lap band surgery!! But while I cannot say exercise is always ‘fun’ – I do it at least five times a week.
I discovered that going to a gym was hard for me; it was way too easy to come up with an excuse to ‘forget’ to go to the gym. But luckily, thanks to my knee replacement surgery, I already had an exercise bike in my home office. Once I gave up the excuses and climbed on, I found it wasn’t bad at all! I am fortunate to have a TV in my home office, so at 10 p.m., I climb on and watch TV. I would usually have been doing that anyway, now I just combine it with biking. In less than 45 minutes, I can bike between 5 and 10 miles. It gets me tired right before bed. I found though, that I resented biking if I forced myself to bike every night. So I take at least one night off every week; but I never let myself take more than two nights off a week.
I discovered that I feel deprived if I do not have a dessert at night. But what matters is portion control. So I buy fat-free pudding cups (90 or 100 calories) and microwave one for my dessert (lemon is my favorite). It helps with my sweet cravings, but is sensible too. And I try to drink at least 8 – 8 oz. of something every day. Crystal Light packets are my constant companion, because I do not like the taste of water. I take them everywhere I go; including when I teach my university classes, I am drinking it or hot tea.
And the other thing I still do – and will always do – is track my eating and exercise amounts. I keep a food diary to track all my food and drink and I use this neat website, to keep track of my exercise. I track my daily, weekly, and yearly miles biked. The minute I get off the bike at night, I log on to the website and update it (I also log other things in my life too). It keeps me honest – I can immediately see if I have skipped biking or not done enough for that week, etc., and set out to catch up.
Am I near my ‘goal weight’? I think so. I have lost 8 dress sizes. My weight loss is slower now, of course. I wanted to feel and look better. . . and I do. I love my new body. . . and will do the work to keep it up. Good luck with your journey to health.
Is your weight lost typical on the lap band system? How did you feel with a port? I am thinking of having the lap band system surgery. What was your actual weight lost for the first two months and what kind of foods did you eat?
I am not sure I am “typical” – that might be a better question to ask the surgical team.
Patients are asked to start a low-cal/low sugar diet about 2 weeks before surgery – so I started it on May 1st and my surgery was on May 18th. According to the spreadsheet I kept, I lost about 20 lbs one week after surgery (including those days on the diet pre-surgery). By 2 months post-surgery, I had lost about 30 lbs.
Food – there is a slow gradual reintroduction of food post-surgery, that I followed religiously. First day or two post-surgery, I had some jello and vegetable broth (I have come to love it, hot, by the way). That slowly progressed to soft food like applesauce, soups, etc.
The port (Dr. Bagnato puts it near the left shoulder area) was probably what caused the most discomfort at first. But that makes sense — there is something “there” that was not before. I don’t notice it now (though it is more visible as I have lost weight, but I don’t wear skimpy clothes where it would show anyway).
Hope this helps with your decision,
Shelby, The first week after my surgery my thought was “Am I gong to feel like this all the time?” I didn’t like that I could feel where my port was AND could really tell I had had surgery on my stomach….hard to explain the feeling. But after two weeks everything was different. I no longer knew I had a port except for the tiny scar and my stomach was starting to heal inside so I didn’t feel that as much. By three weeks I couldn’t even tell I had had any surgery EXCEPT for eating differently. It is difficult to explain but by the time your stomach (& banded area) heals you “feel” no differently. I love my band!
Once you lost, was it ever discussed to remove the band?