Sunday, July 12, 2009

Myths About Lap Bands: Expect People to Discourage You!

You're Getting a Lap Band? It's Not Gonna Work!

Ever since I started considering the band, I've been pretty open about it. I've talked about it to friends and family, and anyone else who I thought might have a point of view.

I must say, during those conversations I've heard some of the same comments over and over again. I've noticed them as comments on blog entries, too. These ideas are  ill-informed and fairly innocent, but some of them are downright judgemental and cruel. Why do people feel the need to discourage us when we are trying to become better, more in control, healthier people?  I'm not sure of the answer, but this post tries to identify some of the things you're bound to hear from friends and family if you've had or are considering the band.

What is a Lap Band? It's pretty simple: a Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band procedure is a purely restrictive surgical procedure. A silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch. This small stomach pouch holds only a small amount of food, which is then passed through a small outlet created by the band into the lower part of the stomach. Because food is regulated, most patients feel full faster.

When you think about it, this is really just about the best way a person could seek to lose weight. Excessive hunger is one of the biggest reasons people overeat and gain weight. People do lots of crazy things to quell hunger. Things that work, like diet pills and ephedrine, that just aren't good for you. Then there are the jillions of things that are out there that don't work. You know, the stuff they sell in the checkout line at Walmart that "melts belly fat." That kind of thing. There aren't many people who haven't tried some sort of weight loss product. And just about everyone has at least been on a diet in the past. After all, Americans are really overweight. Why then, do people feel the need to judge people who get a lap band? Not sure, but be prepared. Now here are some of the things you can expect to hear.

  • You are taking the easy way out.  Not! This one really chaps me. I spent  two years getting approved, dieting, seeing doctors and getting ready for surgery. I had an operation, for Pete's Sake! I drank liquids for a few weeks. I'm getting fills, which really don't hurt, but they're scary looking. Plus, I'm having to listen to crap like, "You're taking the easy way out." Geez. Bite me!!

  • You are going to be malnourished. Nope. Your doctor will give you information on how to get proper nutrition. You'll also have to take supplents. But the lap band will not make you malnourished. Good grief! First, I have to hear that I'm self-indulgent. Now, I'm denying myself in a dangerous way. Make up your mind!
  • After lose the weight, you'll probably gain it back. This is one I hear all the time, and from just about everyone I mention the band to. It has assumed the level of an urban legend. I can't tell you how often I see comments on blogs that someone knows someone who knows someone who lost a bunch of weight and gained it all back and now they're fatter than ever. Not sure why people love this one so much. The fact is, if you get a band you'll still have to deal with your weight and eating issues for the rest of your life. But if you keep up with your fills you'll lose weight. Some people gain some of their weight back, but statistically, the great percentage of banders stay much leaner than they were before banding.

  • You're gonna lose weight too fast, and its not good for you! The same people who tell you you need to lose weight will turn around and tell you this one. In fact, you lose about 2 to 3 pounds a week.

  • You're going to have to drink your meals for the rest of your life. Of course not. After the initial period of healing you eat three small portioned meals a day.

  • If you get the band you'll never be able to get pregnant. Not true. Most docs want you to wait until your weight loss stabalizes. And if you need extra calories during your pregnancy, your doc can loosen the band. 

  •  Lap Band surgery is dangerous. You could die on the table! The lap band is placed with minimal cutting. You'll heal quickly and be back to your life in a couple of weeks. Lots of people confuse the band with gastric bypass, which is a very serious operation. I think that's why so many people believe this. 
You'll probably hear more nutty stuff, but this is a list you're sure to hear. If you have one to add, please comment. The main thing is, don't let other people's ignorance, jealousy and all around mean spiritedness get you down. The band has changed my life for the better, and its also helping me learn that it doesn't really matter what other people think about me. I'm doing this for myself, and for my health, and that's really all that's important when you think about it.

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Megan said...

Great post! Some people are so misinformed about the band. It is not a diet or and extreme way to lose weight... it is simply a lifestyle change. That's hard for some to except.

Lady Lap Band said...

i love this post! can you tell me how you got 3 columns on your blog????

fifilaroach said...

Hi Lady Lap Band,
I got them by installing a theme that has three columns. I found it on the internet by searching for free blogger themes. There's a link to the person who made this theme at the bottom of this page.