Tag Archives: WLS

Details of the fill

17 Feb

For those who want to know the morbid details of what a “fill” is like…

My surgeon chooses a different process from many other lap-band surgeons.  He prefers to bury the port in the lower part of my stomach (instead of the upper part, just underneath the boob).  He told me that the reason for this is two-fold:

1)  Once the patient has lost all of their weight, he found that a port (which has been placed in the upper regions) can stick out in a noticeable way (I guess, like a large, unexplained bump).

2)  He also said that, with some patients, the port (placed in the upper regions) can feel uncomfortable… for example, when crouching or gardening (you can feel it digging into you).

Therefore, he opts to secure his patients ports “lower” and “deeper”.

This is all very fine and well, but it comes with a cost – mostly notably the price tag!  When a patient has had their port installed under the boob – a fill can be performed whilst the patient lies flat on the doctors’ examination table.  Quick-quick… and pretty painless, I’m told.

But with my low & deep port… my surgeon has to access the port via X-ray… so I have to lie on the X-ray table while he locates the (metal ring) of the port – and then (ouch!) he jabs me with a long needle in my stomach (which needs to go in deeper than normal).  You might ask:  what does that feel like?  Well, it feels like he’s jabbing me with a long needle!  (no local anesthetic)  The good news – is that he did it REALLY quickly.  So that moment of pain lasted about 3 seconds and then it was over.  Really not a big deal.

The gross part, for me, is having to drink a vile, bitter liquid (that they can view on the X-ray)… and he watches this liquid move into my stomach – just to check that everything is okay and that the band is doing it’s job – and what not.  I probably hate the vile liquid more than I hate the long needle!  And then of course, there’s the price tag.  X-Ray procedure costs R1250 ($173) – and surgeon doing the fill costs R700 ($97)  (Eeek!)

Well… at least one only goes for a fill occasionally!!!

I have booked my next fill for the end of March.  I would like another 2cc’s of saline injected into my lap-band.  The restriction that the band offers is great…. but I would prefer just that little bit extra!

Any curious questions – feel free to shout!

H.

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20 kilograms (44 lbs) down…

16 Feb

I had my lap-band installed on the 6th of December and I have lost 20 kilograms so far.  This is GOOD progress… but I find myself increasingly impatient with the weight-loss.  I’ve been told the statistics time and time again…  lap-band patients don’t lose their weight as fast as gastric bypass or gastric sleeve patients…. but, 5 years after surgery, the weight-loss ratio (of the lap-band) is pretty much the same as the other surgery options.  Does that make sense?

In other words – lap-band patients do lose their excess weight…  just not as FAST as the other guys.

I knew these stats…  and I accepted these facts when I opted for the band.  BUT… now I am just so damn impatient!  I want the weight all GONE – and I want it gone NOW!

Yes, yes.  I know it’s not a race.  I know I should be patient.  I know.  But “knowing”…. and “feeling”…. are two different things.  And you can’t just switch off “feeling”.

Good news and celebrations though…  I cannot tell you how WONDERFUL it feels to be 20 kilograms lighter!!!  Already my energy levels have soared (I was constantly tired before).  A real treat for me is to fit into jeans that had been stored away for many months (because I was way, way too fat for them).  Now – I’m throwing THOSE jeans away!  The jeans you saw me wear in my previous post – are now too big – and have been donated.  Shirts that I hadn’t managed to squeeze into for many months are now baggy.  Even my feet have shrunk!  And… I can wear my wedding ring again.

I guess my only grumble is the rapid shrinking of my boobs!  Bra’s that used to fit very snugly are now loose – both around my back – and in the “cup” area!  I am a natural-shaped pear, and I KNEW this would happen…  but still, I’m not entirely delighted about it, I must say.

Apart from clothes that now fit – there have been lovely, satisfying little milestones along the way.  Like, being able to fit comfortably into the movie seats at the Cresta cinema without having to force my butt past the armrests!  I only realized after I had sat down, that my butt had brushed past the armrests (instead of being painfully forced).  This put a big smile on my face.

Oh, and I went for my first “fill” the other day.  The surgeon injected 5cc’s of saline into my band.  It gives me enough restriction to feel fairly full for most of the day – and to eat normal-sized plates of food (instead of the huge mountains I managed to devour before)… but I would still prefer more restriction… maybe another 2cc’s.  I have booked myself in for a second “fill” at the end of March.  In the meantime, the progress has settled down into a gradual loss of about 1 – 1.5 kilograms a week (which, I must admit, makes me feel very impatient indeed).

OK – I must go – I have so so so much work to do (hence my not-very-regular postings)…  but here is a quick little pic I took of myself this morning.

Thanks for reading & keep in touch!

x

Bands and Ties and Other Things Which Bind

24 Jan

Suzanne’s Perspective

At the end of last year, my big sister (in all the ways that count, and some that don’t) underwent a surgical procedure, and had a weight loss device – a lap band – inserted.  She now has a teeny little inner tube circling her stomach, which when inflated will squeeze tighter and more efficiently than any iron-fisted willpower she has been able to summon to date and limit the amount of food she can comfortably eat in one sitting.

Inside my 15 year-old sister (pictured here) was always a fat person, fighting her way out. Slim and pretty, but in her mind fat and clumsy. Hiding under bulky shorts, arms covering a belly she didn't have. Eating until years later, her outside matched her inside.

Two earth-shattering, conscience jarring, where-the-hell-do-you-stand-on-anything-actually parcels of life found their way to my door step at the end of last year.  Both of them, in terms of my contribution to this blog, struck me dumb.

Continue reading

15 kilograms gone!!

16 Dec

(Heather’s Perspective)

I am wearing a pair of jeans today.  They fit perfectly – and are even a bit loose around the waist and butt area.  Only a month ago – I had to squeeeeeeze into these jeans and could barely manage to get the zip up!  And even when zipped, there was a sausage of fat which hung over the waist-line.  In today’s pic, you’ll see that this is no longer the case.    I am very pleased to announce that I have lost 15 kilograms in 1 month!!  From the time I started my pre-op liquid diet – until now – 10 days post-op!  The pre-op liquid diet part was – by far – the toughest part.  Post-op… it’s been a breeze.  I can only get down tiny amounts of food (my stomach still needs some time to heal from the op – and apparently is rather swollen).  I don’t feel hungry.  I don’t feel deprived.  What a new feeling this is for me!

10 days post-op.

I removed the plasters from my wounds 3 days ago.  They’ve healed very nicely.  Still quite a bit of bruising – but it’s not painful at all.  The shortest cut is 15mm  the longest cut is 40mm… and there are 5 cuts.  The 40mm cut is where my lap-band port is placed, and is also the one which took the longest time to heal.

So!  There you have it!  I am absolutely thrilled to be losing weight and to be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for the first time in many, many years.  This is the start of a whole new journey for me!  🙂

I’m now a bona-fide BANDIT!

8 Dec

Hi all…

OK… for those who couldn’t care less about hearing all of the gruesome details – don’t bother reading this post!!

But… for those who are interested in what the whole procedure entails – here is my run-down.  Also to note: this experience differs enormously from person to person – so it’s not so much of a this-is-how-it-is post… rather than a this-is-my-personal-experience post (if that makes sense). Continue reading

Pre-Op Nerves…

5 Dec

(Heather’s Perspective)

This is the last blog post that I will be posting before I go in to have my lapband installed tomorrow morning.

I’m generally not a panicky or a nervous person… but I can’t deny that I’ve been experiencing the ‘butterflies’ since late this afternoon.  I don’t know whether I’m more nervous… or more excited.  It’s a definite mixture of both!

I will be back on-line after the op with an update…  but for now, it’s adios!

Thanks again to my wonderful friends & family who “get” why I’m doing this – and for supporting and encouraging me!

Next time we chat, I will officially be….. a BANDIT!!

x

Some inspiration…

1 Dec