Gastric Banding Info

by Christine on April 29th, 2010

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On February 27, 2009 I underwent gastric banding surgery. The process really began for me on January 1, 2009. Over a year later, I am still losing weight and learning to deal with this drastic change in eating behavior.

I have written several posts about gastric banding. If you are considering the surgery, will have it soon, or recently had it, I recommend checking out the following posts.

General Overview of the Surgery
This overview talks about what the gastric banding surgery actually is, how much it costs (because, c’mon, that’s what we all really wanted to know at first, right?), how do you qualify for the surgery, and what the typical results are with the surgery.

Pre-Surgery Information
Before you get surger-ized, you need to go through a whole ton of doctor’s appointments: psych exam, x-rays, respiratory tests, and so on. Plus, most doctors require that you go through a diet phase to lose 10% of your body weight prior to surgery. This section discusses my own experiences with the “Pre-Surgery Phase.”  You may also want to check out my “Post-Surgery Information” post for more info about how the gastric banding technology works.

Surgery Information
So what’s the surgery like? Did it hurt? Can you feel the band? Did the incisions hurt? This section gives an overview of my experience with the actual surgery.

Post-Surgery Information
This section talks about how the gastric banding technology actually works. What’s a port? What’s a hose? What’s a band? What are “fills” like? What can – and can’t – you eat? This also talks about heartburn, gas (farts), and exercise.

Mushy Foods Diet Ideas
You finally get off the liquid diet and can start in on mushy foods. Need some ideas? Check this list out!

Pregnancy and the Gastric Band
So you just found out that you’re pregnant, or you are hoping to get pregnant. How will the gastric band affect your pregnancy? Will you need to get your band taken out? Some saline taken out? Will the fact that you’re eating less — and possibly have vitamin deficiencies — hurt your baby? This article attempts to answer some of these questions you might have.

Stress (and PMS!) can cause the gastric band to get tighter
The gastric band is a semi-permeable membrane that can actually absorb fluid through it! Read more about this phenomenon here.

Common Questions About Gastric Banding Surgery with My Answers
This section offers my answers to some common questions about the surgery, such as “Does it hurt?” and “should I be able to feel the port?” and, my personal favorite, “why can’t you eat celery with the gastric band.”  Q&A Part 1 is here, and Q&A Part 2 is here.

Port Problems (with photos)
Oh dear! I have a protruding port! Photos of how the surgery went awry — but I never would have known until I lost enough weight. My original post, with photos of my port, can be found here. I had a conversation with my surgeon about what to do with my port in May 2010, which can be found here.  My surgeon then gave me more options at my March 2011 meeting, which I talk about here. I had my replacement surgery in July 2011, which I talk about in detail here. If you want to see a photo of my tummy a 9 months after surgery and how my port looks now, check this page out.

Could it be a gallbladder attack?
I started to have tummy pains, and I worked with my bariatric surgeon to figure out what was causing them.  (2013)

Pooping Problems (LINK)

Yep. Constipation. What can you do to alleviate it?

Sample Menu Plans for Gastric Banders

Here’s three sample menus that I would typically eat in a day. I have links to other food journals and a list of my favorite foods, as well.

How the Gastric Band Works to Suppress the Appetite

It all has to do with this magic hormone called ghrelin. Interesting stuff, if you want to get your geek on….

Participate in Clinical Trials and Medical Studies (LINK)
Your experience with the gastric band and bypass surgery can help others learn. By participating in clinical trials and studies, you can help compile information about weight loss surgery that will help other patients, help scientists perfect the surgery, and help alleviate complications for future patients. Check this page out to figure out how to find these studies and trials.

Wear a Medical ID to Protect Yourself in Emergencies
In case of an emergency, how will medical personnel know that you have had the gastric band or had gastric bypass surgery? Make sure you let them know by wearing a medical ID.  This website offers stylish medical ID tags!

“A New Me!” (As of April 14, 2010)
This post is about one year from surgery. At this point I had lost 70 pounds. I have some before-and-after photos, and some “secrets to my success.”

Goal weight achieved!
I reached my goal weight on December 16, 2010, just under two years after surgery. Read my post here and watch my victory video here!  I went from 225 pounds to 125 pounds.

Belly Button Rings (Navel Piercing) and the Gastric Band
I got a belly button ring to celebrate my weight loss, but it turns out it really effects the band in terms of band tightness and physical proximity to the port site.

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