My anticipated surgery date is this Wednesday. To bring the casual followers of this blog up to date; I am undergoing weight loss revision surgery to remove my Lapband and revise it to Roux-en-Y (gastric bypass). It is complicated, and I am answering the five most common questions I people ask me.
- Why don’t you just have the Lapband removed and live life without bariatric surgery?
This is the most common question I am asked. It is the question I asked myself countless times over the past six months. I have made quite a bit of changes in my life after my Lapband surgery. I am much more active and eat healthier.I know my body and my mind. I have seen my weight creep up 20 pounds as the band was emptied late last year. I am certain this is trend that would continue if I did not revise to another weight loss surgery. My goal is to remain a healthy active man. Maintaining a healthy weight is a key part in achieving that goal. Obesity is a disease and this is the treatment I have chosen.
- How did your Lapband fail you?
I lived happily with my band for 4+ years. It gave me the kick in the seat of the pants to eat better. I became an active person and discovered my love of cycling. It did a good job of limiting my food intake and kept me honest to a healthy diet.In late summer 2012, I began experiencing severe acid reflux, night hiccups, and regurgitation of undigested food. I was unable to eat most solid proteins. For the next six months, I underwent a long series of tests with the band being adjusted frequently. Decision time came this past March when I realize the band had to go for my health’s sake.
- Are you having weight loss surgery because you are unhappy with your weight?
I lost almost 90 pounds after Lapband surgery. I never became the sleek slender model for weight loss surgery. That did not bother me. I was happy with my weight as I teetered on that 30-31 BMI border of being overweight vs. obese.I maintained a consistent weight for four years. After the testing and adjustments started, I gained 20 pounds and have been at that weight for the past six months. I am unhappy with this weight but mostly unhappy with the prospect of it creeping up in the coming years.
- Is weight loss surgery easier the second time around?
I find myself in a different place as I undergo this surgery five years after my Lapband surgery. I am much more educated about diet, exercise, obesity and living with weight loss surgery. Although the surgical technique is very different, I find myself more confident and positive about the outcome.Weight loss surgery will not be easier this time around. Roux-en-Y is a much more invasive and requires a longer recovery period. I have been preparing myself mentally for my recovery period and am ready for the challenges it brings.
- Is weight loss surgery worth the risk since you are happy, healthy and active?
It is natural to measure the need and effectiveness of weight loss surgery by pounds lost. Arriving at a decision to undergo weight loss surgery is a complex and deeply personal thing that involves conversations with yourself, loved ones and medical professionals. Obesity is a disease. These conversations and battling obesity for many years through countless diets lead to my decision to pursue the revision surgery.For me, the risks associated with the surgery are far outweighed by the benefits. I have lived five years as a weight loss surgery post-op. I have seen the great and positive changes it brought to my life. Most of these changes I could have never imagined prior to weight loss surgery. I know this surgery is right for me.